I feel so lucky every time we get to look inside a wedding that took place outside the US - there is just something so powerful about seeing the different cultural traditions and local details being experienced in weddings around the world. Kristal and Makis' rustic wedding in Corfu, Greece is the perfect example. It included many locations meaningful to Makis' family, a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony, and style inspired by the island's olive groves and green landscape. What a treat!
The Couple: Kristal and Makis
The Wedding: 6.9.12 - The Pink Palace - Corfu, Greece
What three adjectives best describe your wedding?
Rustic, Unique and Very Greek
What was your wedding color palette?
Neutral and natural - lots of cream, ivory and brown, with plenty of greenery
What inspired your personal wedding style, and how did you incorporate your style and personalities into your big day?
The wedding style was inspired mainly by the island of Corfu and its beautiful olive groves. The whole feel of the island is very rustic, and I wanted to carry that feeling through into the decor. One of my favorite details were the centerpieces we had at the reception. I found about a hundred vintage ouzo bottles in Makis’ family storage room and thought they would be perfect as vases. We filled them with local wild flowers and myrtle, which we actually cut from a bush ourselves the day before the wedding. They were placed all throughout the reception, giving the tables height and the room a wonderful, heavenly smell.
Looking back, what are the moments, decisions or memories that you love the most about your wedding?
The best decision we made for the wedding was hiring John Bello as our photographer, along with a second shooter, Sachin Khona. Not only did they capture each important moment of the day, they told a story. You can feel the day as you look through each frame, it’s magical.
What piece of advice would you give to a bride planning her wedding today?
- Use Pinterest for inspiration!
- Work as a team with your groom. Share ideas and create everything together. For us, it was such a great team-building experience.
- Not everything will turn out the way you hope and plan for. Don’t let anything ruin your day. Go with the flow and just enjoy every moment.
- Rehearsal dinners the night before the big day can be a really bad idea! Drinking too much wine and stuffing my face 12 hours beforehand is my biggest regret . I'd say, have a rehearsal brunch and keep it sober!
- Be grateful to your out of town guests. I assembled welcome bags filled with local goodies, a bottle of wine and an info pamphlet with maps, contact numbers and details about the ceremony.
Tell us about your experience planning a wedding overseas. Being in a different country and not being fluent in the language made this very difficult for me at times. But it was a great experience for us to work together as a team, and I think we were successful.
My dress and veil were custom made by Hariklia Andrioti. Her shop is located in Corfu Town, and since she doesn’t speak English very well, Makis came to all my fittings with me to translate. Of course I didn’t want him to actually see the dress so he would sit on the other side of a room divider and listen in! It was a very funny (and frustrating!) experience.
Shopping for the bridesmaids’ dresses was not the typical experience we were used to. I was in Greece, my maid of honour in Romania, and the others were back in Canada, in different cities. Since we all were unable to go shopping together in person, we shopped online. For about a month, we were constantly sending each other links to probably a hundred different dresses. I wanted them to choose something inexpensive and something they would actually want to wear again. Because they were spending a lot to actually come to the wedding, I wanted to put as little pressure on the dresses as possible. What they ended up with is absolutely perfect and exactly what I was aiming for.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: John Bello
Ceremony Venue: Saint NIcolau’s church in the village of Sinarades, Corfu. It’s the main church of the village where the majority of Makis family has been married and baptized.
Reception Venue: The Pink Palace
Officiant: Father Spiros Kousaris
Catering: The Pink Palace
Florist: Rizo’s Garden
Wedding dress: Hariklia Andrioti
Bridesmaids' Dresses & Accessories: ModCloth, H&M, and Aritzia
DJ: Alekos Mouzakitis
Dance instruction: Makis has been performing as a Greek dancer for years, so naturally he taught me some of the moves. We performed a small number called the hasapiko at the reception.
Favors: In Greek tradition, boboniere (favors) are typically candy covered almonds (called koufeta) bundled with tulle. I went for something a little more elaborate that would carry out our rustic theme: the koufeta in a small box, wrapped with brown paper, lace and twine.
Handmade Stefana, (Orthodox crowns used during the wedding ceremony): Brenda Long
Thank you Kristal and Makis!
See more amazing wedding from around the world on our Photobug blog!