Your wedding day is supposed to be the most special day of your life. And mine really was. Our Santorini Destination Wedding was nothing short of a dream. Seeing the wedding pictures now, about a month after the big day, they still take my breath away.
A copper arch, covered in beautiful bright pink flowers, candles lit as far as the eye can see, and a stunning backdrop with a view over the famous Caldera of Santorini.
In this post, I am gonna spill all the beans on my beautiful Santorini Destination Wedding, in the hope to inspire you to make your big day just as magical as mine.
How did we even come up with having a Santorini destination wedding?
Admittedly, having a destination wedding has always been a dream of mine. Our final decision to do a destination elopement with just the two of us has only been made after we realized, that having a traditional wedding at home in a church was not easily doable.
While my husband is Dutch and his family and friends live all over the Netherlands, most of my family and friends live in Austria, my home country. Both countries were therefore not an ideal solution for what we had in mind, so we went on the internet and got inspired by the possibilities.
In the end, we didn’t find our dream wedding location on the internet, but rather on our last vacation in Santorini. We fell so deeply in love with the place that we had a hard time finding anything that could compare with that.
Because of the whole Covid situation, and because we are fairly awkward in front of a lot of people, we decided to do this for ourselves and not have all of our relatives fly in (side note: my mum still threw us a fabulous party in Austria to make up for it).
The first step – finding our perfect Santorini wedding planner
In case you have ever tried planning a wedding somewhere far away without speaking the language of the country you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, let me assure you, it is almost impossible.
We decided to hire a professional wedding planner to help make our dream come true. There is no shortage of offers on the internet for Santorini wedding planners. In the end, I got some nice offers, but one of them stuck out.
Flora Bekri, from Unique & Forever Events, approached things a bit differently. Instead of sending me a package price, she offered to call and talk about our dream wedding. We knew immediately that we preferred the more personal approach and we could see clearly that she simply loved weddings and would give us her best effort.
Admittedly, we did not make it easy for her. With 2022 being a very busy season (a lot of post-Covid-weddings) and us only deciding 6 months before the date, she had a lot of catch-up to do in getting us a dream location.
Choosing our wedding location in Santorini
A dream location she did find us. Shortly after our initial call, we received a selection of about 15 wedding locations. Sadly, every single one of them was gorgeous. I say sadly because it made it that much harder to decide.
With our budget in mind, Flora approached us with the idea of booking a hotel room with a stunning view and hosting the ceremony on our private terrace, instead of paying a lot of money for an “official” wedding venue.
In the end, we chose the honeymoon suite of Azanti Suites in Megalochori as our wedding venue. The infinity pool and the view of the Caldera were unmatched, and as a little bonus, we got a small private vineyard in front of our house that we ended up hosting the reception dinner in.
Picking out the details for our Santorini destination wedding
The part I was most afraid of during the planning process was picking all the decorations and details. Little did I know that this ended up being a fun part!
We filled out a questionnaire for our wedding planner, answering anything from our favorite colors to our favorite movie. Based on our answers, I already got a great selection of decorations to choose from.
Flora found us an amazing florist that made the most lovely bouquet from all my favorite flowers. A much bigger version of my bouquet ended up on our wedding arch initially and was also reused for our reception table.
We picked rugs, candles, and cutlery and I have to say this was an absolute joy. Anything we ever dreamed of was possible, and I loved to see my ideas slowly come to life.
Making some lasting memories – picking our Santorini wedding photographer
One of the bigger choices we had to make concerned the photographer! Our wedding planner sent us some portfolios with a couple of really great offers. Ultimately it comes down to your style and what kind of mood you want your pictures to be in.
We chose Kimonas Patiniotis because we simply loved his work and his photography style. Photography was one of our biggest expenditures because we simply wanted it to be perfect.
We chose a four-hour package, that covered getting ready, the ceremony, a small shooting in a picturesque town, and the dinner. Needless to say, the pictures turned out perfect and we could not be happier with our choice. My only regret was not booking a morning after shooting with him as well.
Last but not least…
… we chose the details such as catering, hair and make-up and make-details for the ceremony. Later, we picked these things roughly a week before the ceremony, which gave us plenty of time to think about what we wanted and to weigh all the options. Lastly, we decided on a three-course meal with some nice Santorini wine alongside the food. A Santorini destination wedding would not be a success without a delicious glass of their famous Assyrtiko.
The big day arrived – our Santorini elopement was happening!
Finally, the day we had all been waiting for arrived. We packed our wedding suit & the dress in the hand luggage and boarded an early morning flight to Santorini. Upon arrival, we had a small meeting with our wedding planner to go over some final details. We decided to add more fireworks. We had one and a half days to enjoy our stunning honeymoon suite before a small team arrived at our hotel and built the arches and the dinner table.
Neither of us had pre-wedding jitters, simply because everything was perfectly taken care of. Our only job was to lie in the sun and relax and eat the huge breakfast basket the hotel had sent over. Around 4:00 p.m., my hair and make-up team arrived and transformed me into a bride. Shortly after we started taking getting ready pictures.
Finally, it was time for me to walk across the aisle. For the first time, I got to see the stunning setup Flora’s team had created outside of our villa and it took my breath away.
We held a lovely ceremony, signed the wedding certificate, and toasted with a glass of champagne in front of our beautiful arch. Needless to say, this was one of the happiest moments of my life. So far.
While we took off with our photographer to get some nice shots in the cute town Megalochori, our terrace was transformed into a romantic dance floor and reception area. We were simply speechless when we saw the beautiful table setting. The table was covered in flowers, candles, and fairy lights in the middle of our little vineyard. Especially in this moment we were so grateful that we have chosen Santorini for our destination wedding.
We danced for the first time as a married couple in front of our beautiful arch, It lit up by fireworks and by the sounds of Ed Sheeran. Behind us, the sun set over the Caldera.
This moment was simply magical and probably the most beautiful thing we had ever seen. Finally, we got seated at our lovely wedding table and enjoyed our meal. We laughed, ate, and drank the delicious Santorini wine until late. It was truly the best day of our lives.
My take on our destination wedding in Santorini
I could have not wished for anything more for our special day. Every little detail was planned out to perfection (luckily not by us). We could enjoy this day to the fullest without being nervous or stressing about anything. A lovely team surrounded us and worked hard in making this the best day of our lives. And they succeeded.
Of course not having your family at your wedding does sound a bit sad. But for us sharing this special moment with just the two of us was the better option. Big weddings tend to be more about everyone else and less about the love. So, we were happy to share this special moment in private.
Wedding Planning: Unique and Forever Events, https://www.uniqueandforever.com/
Photography: Kimonas Patiniotis, https://kimonaspatiniotis.com/
Location: Azanti Suites Santorini,