This Aussie couple were married on the Greek Islands. They have some beautiful wedding photos and heaps of advice about planning a destination wedding. I asked Evan & Raquel if I could share their Wedding Story here on the blog. They told me how they avoided all the fuss of a BFGW (big fat Greek wedding) and enjoyed the Greek Islands…. read on to find out how they did it!
Post Sponsorship: Maria Trovas from Story of Stefania hand crafted these beautiful wedding crowns for Evan & Raquel. You can see more of Maria’s work on the Greek Wedding Shop by clicking here. The images in this post have been beautifully captured by Hanna from HannaMonika Wedding Photography.
Interview with Evan & Raquel
Raquel: Both Evan and I were born in Australia but Evan’s family is originally from Greece. His mum’s side of the family is from Sisani and his dad’s family is from a horio called Omalo Thrakiko backing on to Techniti Limni Kerkini near Serres. Both are in the northern part of Greece.
In saying all of that, we chose to have our wedding in Crete as neither of us have been there before (and nor had any of the 50 guests). Crete seemed to have a lot more things to see and do over some of the other mainstream choices like Santorini or Mykonos. Having a destination wedding meant that I was able to avoid the “my big fat Greek wedding” scenario that would have occurred if we had it in Sydney or Melbourne. I was pretty keen to keep things simple.
Sia: How did you plan your wedding in Greece, while you were working and living in Australia?
Raquel: I was forced to rely on email and google extensively to find and secure all of the local goods and services that we needed for the wedding including accommodation, transfers, eklisia (church), food, paperwork etc. A gorgeous family friend of Evan’s did all of our translations (Tracey Ghionis (Parashos), Melbourne, Australia).
Sia: Did you have a wedding planner in Greece?
Raquel: We were really lucky that we decided to book a villa in Sissi for our accommodation and wedding reception venue (as opposed to a hotel on the beach) as we were then assisted by the incredible Audrey who manages a lot of the Luxury Villas on the island and the local travel agent Christos from All Inclusive Travel.
They were both great: Christos was well versed in weddings and official marriage paperwork as he just had his own Greek wedding with over 3000 guests! Audrey helped me source decorations and lambathes from Jumbo rather than from an expensive florist. And both Audrey and Christos conspired to surprise us with 2 manges (local musicians) to walk me up to the chapel playing local tunes on a bouzouki and lyra. It was such a highlight!
Sia: Who was your photographer?
Raquel: I contacted a few local photographers for proposals but there was definitely one stand out, Hanna from HannaMonika Wedding Photography. They are an amazing husband and wife team who do weddings, fashion shoots, and all other family occasions. Just brilliant!
Sia: What was your guest list like? Did everyone come overseas with you?
Raquel: We invited almost all of our friends and family to the wedding but we knew that only a handful of people would make the journey over to Crete. Our guests travelled from Australia, Greece, Germany, Turkey and the UK. Most people from Australia made a holiday of it.
Evan’s parents hosted a party for us the month before the wedding. They invited everyone who couldn’t come overseas with us including his parents friends and the friends of a friends, the accountants uncle’s brother… you know, all the close family relatives. LOL.
Our pre-wedding party was actually bigger than the day itself, including a 4 piece band and all and much to my horror Evan’s mum had her favourite ceramic dinner set smashed… yep smashed!
Sia: What do you think the guest list would have been like if you decided to have a “normal” local wedding?
Raquel: If I had my way it would have been 70-100 people or less but I am certain that by the time the date rolled around it could have risen easily to 200+. Just my immediate family including sisters, husbands and nieces and nephews account for 16 people. We chose to have our wedding in Crete as neither of us had been there before.
Sia: Tell me more about what you did in Crete. Did you stay there for your honeymoon?
Raquel: We spent a week in Crete, arriving 3 days prior to the wedding – which was consumed with organising food by the Event Catering company, the flowers, the decorations and all the other final wedding details. Most of the guest enjoyed their time in the villas, eating, drinking and swimming but I was too busy to sit back and enjoy the holiday.
On the second last day we had to lodge our paperwork with the Greek government to ensure that we were ‘officially’ married. What should have only taken an hour, ended up taking over 5 hours! Greek bureaucracy is another story… There is no way that we would have been able to do it without the help of Christos’ – Thank you!
Time seemed to disappear very quickly. We choose to stay an extra day longer but it still wasn’t enough. We would love to go back to Crete next year to do a bit more exploring. For our honeymoon we hopped from Crete to Rhodes, Marmaris, Istanbul, Northern Greece, Paris, Barcelona, New York, Mexico and then sadly back home.
Sia: Would you recommend a destination wedding to other brides?
Raquel: Definitely! That’s a no brainer. Planning a destination wedding does require a big time investment and a lot of faith and trust that everything will be as it has been described in emails or shown in pictures. However, I don’t think that it would suit everybody, particularly if the couple was prone to stressing out. We had to make many skype calls to Greece to ensure that what we thought/described had not been lost in translation. Thankfully Evan’s Greek is good as mine is terrible!
If you want your wedding story to be featured on Greek Weddings and Traditions blog, contact email@example.com
Suppliers that Evan & Raquel recommend:
- Dress – Bianca Spender
- Suit –Pierucci Men’s Outfitter
- Headpiece – Impostors Bridal Jewellery
- Stefana – Story of Stefania
- Hair and Make up – Michalis Tsotras
- Bouquet Memorial Charm – Delaney Photo Jewelry
- Travel Consultant – Christos from All Inclusive Travel
- Photography – Hanna from HannaMonika Wedding Photography
Relative posts you might love:
- A Greek Wedding in Cyprus – Ekaterina Botziou Shares her Story
- Niki & Billy’s Greek Wedding
- Interview with Anna: Her Love Story and her Choice to Become Greek Orthodox