Santorini is a hugely popular destination for weddings and couples from all over the world go there to tie the knot. In fact, some even get married at home and then fly to Santorini with wedding dress in tow, just to have photographs taken in its beautiful (and very romantic) surroundings. After spending a day exploring the delights of the island for ourselves, and meeting the other guests at a very big and very noisy dinner the night before, Mike and I couldn't wait for the festivities to get underway.
Everybody met at the church of Agios Georgios in Oia at 6.30 pm.
It was a warm and sunny, bright and breezy sort of evening. The groom was there to welcome all the guests, and as more and more of us arrived, the excitement began to build. Finally, the woman we had all been waiting for made her appearance.
The bride and groom walked three times around the altar, wearing the stefano crowns to symbolize becoming husband and wife, and king and queen of their future family.
Back outside, more photographs were taken, and the guests chatted about the ceremony as we waited for the coach that would take us to the reception. The perfect opportunity to take a quick outfit shot! (More later.)
Eventually the coach arrived, and took us on a long and winding (and slightly scary) road up to the town of Pyrgos and a fancy looking restaurant of the same name. It is the highest point on the island and the ever-present breeze (read: gale-force wind) was pretty fresh up there. However, some cleverly arranged glass panelling allowed us to sip champagne and nibble sugar-coated strawberries in comfort as we admired our surroundings and the spectacular sunset.
Just as we were beginning to wonder where the bride and groom were, we heard the whir of a helicopter overhead.
Surely that wasn't them?
As a complete surprise to everyone, including the bride, George had organised for them to arrive in style. The delighted excitement among the guests as we watched the helicopter landing just meters from us was very special. And it turned out that this wasn't the only trick up George's sleeve, as he proceeded to escort his new wife out of the helicopter and onto...
That's right. A donkey. Quite the contrast!
As the bride and groom made their way to join us in this very traditional Greek manner, silhouetted against the setting sun, U2's "Beautiful Day" blasted through the loudspeakers. It was an emotionally charged moment, and I'm sure I would have had a tear in my eye even without the two glasses of champagne I'd guzzled by then. ;-)
After all that spectacle, we were starting to feel slightly chilly and very hungry, so we were pleased when the time came to go inside. We ate, drank, danced and generally made merry until the early hours of the next morning.
If you'll forgive the less than amazing quality of the following shot, here's a closer look at my dress.
Dress - Little Mistress, Shoes and bag - Zara, Blazer - Topshop, Earrings - Accessorize
I wanted to keep my makeup soft, so I recreated the smoky plum look which you can see here. For my hair, I attempted a few curls with my exhausted GHD's, which are long past retirement age, and then blitzed it with half a can of hairspray. (I also did quite a full-on makeup routine on my legs which I might tell you about in my next post - if you're very lucky!)
Fancy a closer look at my accessories?
You may notice that this is not the bag I ended up carrying. Obviously the sequined one looks prettier with the outfit, but practicality won out in the end and I opted for one that would accommodate a pair of flip flops. It was a long night, with a lot of standing around and a lot of dancing, and I wasn't sure how long I'd last in heels.
I have to say, though, that I was very impressed with Zara's nude strappy heels and how sturdy they felt to wear, and I ended up lasting the whole night in them. I'm not generally very good in heels so I can't recommend these enough. If you see a pair in the Zara sale, snap them up!
The wedding was without a doubt one of the loveliest I have ever been to and the highlight of an amazing week on Santorini.
Definitely a beautiful day.