Alex and Ashley, who are based in London (UK), started to plan their wedding in Crete a year in advance. We had our first meeting in Crete in April 2022. By the way April is the best month to visit venues and villas in Greece – the season starts in May, thus most vendors and venues are available for meetings. Wedding process starts from the moment we meet the bride and the groom and hear their wishes until the very moment that lead up to the “I do”, everything in between is a magic moment of creation, from the plain canvas we draw a master piece.
We spent 3 days travelling around the island. I would say Alex and Ashley were quite picky. Both have an amazing taste. And I was happy that they picked up Biolea. Venue is undeniably one of the most important components of the wedding. Even though I have been a wedding planner for the past 12 years, I choose not to get stuck to well known wedding platforms and orchestrate weddings from the comfort zone of knowing how each one would be in advance.
The same was with this place – Biolea. When I visited it, I just knew the potential it holds. Not to mention when I tasted that divine food that Mikhalis (the owner) created with the local food produce. All the ideas of running weddings here started to run through my head: olive grove perfect for the ceremony, dining table overlooking the mountains, lounge area, bar spot, dj, music etc (how a wedding planners’ mind works:). It’s an every day job even when not on a job.
In an every day Biolea works as an olive factory that you can tour and a full functioning restaurant with incredibly delicious food. Personal favourite: sunset dinner, overlooking these gorgeous mountains. For my future wedding couples, anticipating the first question, this venue can host up to 80 people.
Ashley and Alex invited their closest friends and families. They aimed to have an intimate event, however Alex, the bride, cared a lot about her wedding’s style. A former graphic designer, Alex has expressed her wishes in earthy, blending into natural colours of decorations and props. She gave us a strict guidance. And I believe that the execution was precise, exceeding any expectations and making this wedding by far one of the most unique ones, moving away from the standard and the usual and instead tried experimenting with the new.
It was a phenomenal weather in spring 2023 in Crete. May was chilly and rainy. Of course, we always have a plan B in case of rain, but people travel to Crete for outdoor events under the stars. Me and my team, we checked the weather every 2 hours a week before Alex and Ashley’s wedding. 27 th of May, the risk of rain was 70%.
Despite the rain, that started right in the middle of us decorating, making us bring all props inside, left us hung up until the last moment. The sky has cleared up and we had just enough time to finish last minute preparations right before the couple has arrived for their photoshoot. Following by an appearance of the sun, that was a true blessing from the skies. Which made it even more romantic, don’t you think?
The moment of the ceremony (even if it’s symbolic ceremony and a couple lives together many years) is always emotional. I don’t let my couples to feel overwhelmed. A shot of raki (famous Cretan spirit) can fix a lot.
Alex and Ashley rented a cozy rustic villa in Chania, close to the wedding venue. Alex and her bridal party getting ready part took a place there. Ashley got ready at his friends place. We staged the first look at the villa’s spacious garden.
Great idea to say thank you to your guests for sharing your special day with you! I truly love creativity of my couples. Each one gets so excited and happy about their big day, of course, wanting it to make special and memorable. Also express in their own way their gratitude to the guests for their presence.
Leaving personal messages for the guests on the olive tree was one of the cutest things on one of my weddings this summer. (Note: paper was biodegradable) I really loved the idea: it’s personal but also inexpensive, it’s interacting and entertaining for the guests. A lot of pleasant emotions from something so simple yet so thoughtful. Of course, if your number of guests doesn’t exceed a certain number.
It’s the thought that counts:) Now grab some raki! “Geia mas!”
Happily ever after, dear Alex and Ashley!
Photos by Irini Koronaki
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