There is something about me that you might want to know, I love, absolutely love organising weddings in the nature especially where no one has done it before. Because Crete has this unique energy and absolutely breathtaking raw landscape that I just love showing my clients. Of course, the bride and groom need to be just as adventurous, wanting something so authentic and different that are willing to put up with extra planning and organising.
And this wedding was one of them.
Georgia and Sunit.
A couple from Switzerland and Germany.
Their love story started from Crete where they met plus Georgias Cretan roots making the island an obvious choice for their wedding celebration.
Georgia and Sunit had a vision for their wedding from the beginning, 3 day celebration, guests over 120 people. While venue searching, I have taken them to one of my favourite places in the mountains Thalori . A traditional stone built houses resort, traditional local cuisine and infinity pool right among the vastness of Cretan mountains. Honestly speaking, the place is stunning. It is open all year around, it has that special feel like there is nothing but just you and the nature, making it to be popular not only among tourists but locals too. Once our couple have seen the place they knew that they wanted to wed just here and nowhere else.
And this is where wedding planners biggest job begins, organising it all from the scratch in a remote place at the south of Crete Heraklion region, that has never hosted a wedding before, finding staff (djs, hair stylist, decor, photographer just to name a few) that would travel as far as 1.5 hours away from Heraklion.
Later we faced another challenge due to the pandemic, the wedding was moved to next year but the prices that we quoted were for the year before, so had to convince the staff to agree to the original prices.
First and foremost in order to close the booking for a 3 days celebrations in the middle of summer and make the place to be sold out was from the section of impossible to make it possible, not to mention to get a price quote. Cretan life rhythm is not exactly a high paced one. Nobody is in a rush of things, that can come across quite frustrating and irritating to the western way of doing business. After long negotiations we got the prices, but yet meeting another challenge: food! Most of the guests were vegetarians whilst taverna on the premises being very traditional signifying meat and meat dishes only, whereas vegetarians platters considered to be served as appetisers but not as a main dish. Yes, one of the perks of being a wedding planner is building a bridge between the local ways and traditions with of guests ones from abroad so both parties could meet each other needs.
Next, we had to organise accommodation for the rest of 50 guests as Thalori’s occupancy is for 70 people, meaning we had to contact all Airbnb’s in the area that would luckily have those dates available. Whilst Thalori’s kitchen would be responsible to prepare food for all 120 people.
But we managed it all, in case you ever doubt about hiring a wedding planner and trying to do things on your own.
Guests arrived on Friday, gathered over the dinner where beautiful words and toasts were shared with an early ending of the evening, to be fresh for next day wedding.
The ceremony itself took place at the picturesque landscape of the mountains (the couple wasn’t religious so no church was needed), a 10 min walk by footpath, the backdrop was just priceless and no pictures could do justice of the surroundings, it was more about being right there right that moment, taking it all in.
Sister led the bride to the alter, the ceremony lasted about an hour with exchanging the vows. Extra Indian traditions were added to the process that made it even more unique. Destination Weddings are about creating your own perfect day without any rules.
Each table at the dinner was named after a city the newlyweds lived at or visited.
Video surprise from friends that couldn’t be there, literally have to watch it by projecting on a sheet.
Followed by a party by the pool right into the morning, note to hiring a dj, drinks and barmen to facilitate it and of course booking out the whole residency for the event meant no noice policy to worry about.
Last challenge was right in the morning when all guests turned up for breakfast at 10 am where originally it was planned to be served at 12pm. But all in all it all got managed.
Wedding planner’s job is never the same, destination weddings means people coming from different parts of the world with their needs, wishes and with their own traditions, we are here to make that magic happen even if at the beginning it seems like quite impossible.
As for me, I cherish each experience I get with each one of my couple, grateful for their trust, platform to learn, getting creative and generating new ideas for the next one.
Photos by Natalia Petraki