Destination Weddings/Real Weddings

Classy Cliffside Santorini Destination Wedding

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 42

Isn’t Greece just wonderful? The Cyclades is one of those places that you daydream about for years and when you finally arrive it’s just as wonderful (or rather more magical) as you ever imagined. One could understand why then, today’s real couple threw their classy, intimate, destination wedding on the cliffs of Santorini.

The light and airy photographs captured by Elias Kordelakos, this wedding takes advantage of all the best of Santorini. Stunning white cave houses (for flawless bridal portraits!), epic sunset caldera views, to-die-for cuisine and even a beachside reception. Because, you know, “when in Greece”!

But even in paradise, planning a destination wedding isn’t always easy. Anna and LJ offer plenty of advice for planning your faraway wedding, like how to both splurge and budget, accommodating for sudden forecast changes, and wedding-day tips you won’t want to miss.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 20
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 11

Our Love Story

It was the Spring of 2011. I was attending my last year at UCLA, and LJ had recently moved back home from playing soccer in Europe. My guy friends invited me to go out to a club called Exchange L.A. in Downtown Los Angeles. And as boys will be boys, my friends went looking for girls to flirt with.

I was dancing alone and not too far away was LJ, (who earlier that night had planned on staying in, but luckily enough, one of his friends dragged him out to the club). LJ saw me dancing alone and started dancing his way closer to me. When I looked up to see who was next to me, this handsome guy asked, “Why aren’t you smiling?” and the rest is history.

After three months of dating, LJ and I were walking along Avenue C in Redondo Beach, California. During that walk, LJ asked me to move in with him. Fast forward to 5 years later, LJ took me back to that same lunch spot, walking along the same street and as we reached the end of Avenue C he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 23
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 36
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 4
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 6

The Style & Floral Design

We love the color white, the elegant yet simple feel that it gives, so our colour palette was white. The ceremony took place at Venetsanos winery looking over the ocean.

Our wedding altar had a white drape with two bouquets of white roses and hydrangeas and just a bit of greenery. My wedding bouquet had white roses and baby breath. The ceremony aisle was beautifully decorated with baby breath bouquets placed on top of white wooden stands and baby breaths tied around each chair that were the closest to the aisle.

I wore a strapless white dress from Maggie Sottero with a lacy train. And LJ wore a blue suit from Kenneth Cole.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 12
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 8
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 3

The Ceremony

Our niece was our flower girl, and our nephew was our ring bearer but since he was too young to walk our 7-year-old niece carried him with the rings. My dad walked me down the aisle to the song “Only time” by Enya.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 41

Favorite Moments

The fireworks was such a special moment. We had them go off during our first dance. None of our guests knew about them so it was a great surprise, and we had the song “Firestone” from Kygo playing in the background. It was magical.

We loved everything about our wedding, all the white flowers, all of the candle lanterns placed along the pathway to our reception, the L & A big letter all lit up. We bought flip flops for all of our guests which proved to be quite useful.

At the end of the day, the people that we had with us was what made it so special. Not everyone that was dear to us could make it to this destination wedding, my grandpa passed away not long after we got engaged, but LJ’s grandparents who reside in Hungary and who are still very much in love could not make it due to their age and health conditions. So we were able to Skype them in and they saw the whole ceremony live, which meant a lot.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 25
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 22

The Photography

Our wedding planner, Maria had sent us a couple photographers to choose from, but we as soon as we looked at Elias’ portfolio, there was a softness and a candidness to his photos. Then we skyped with him, and his awesome personality confirmed that he was the one.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 48
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 32
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 30

The Reception

Upon guests’ arrival at the reception, they were greeted with a welcome glass of sparkling wine and hors-d’oeuvres of smoked salmon fillet and cherry tomatoes stuffed with feta cheese and fresh basil. In order for people to find their seats, we had them go to a table where we had shots of Metaxal that said: “take a shot and take a seat”.

The walkway to the reception was lined up with high white wooden lanterns, the centerpieces on the tables had roses and hydrangeas placed in glass vases and surrounded by candles. We also had a basket of white flip flops which had a sign that said “A little treat for your dancing feet”. We also had big white letters that said L & A all lit up.

Our first song was Sky and Sand by Paul Kalkbrenner. We combined both the Father and Daughter dance with the Mother and Son Dance, which we danced to “Stand by Me”. We had a DJ play mostly house and mainstream music throughout the night. My dad danced so much that the poor guy pulled his Achilles.

And for the cake, we had a white frosted chocolate cake placed on a gold sequin tablecloth with the sign Mr & Mrs. We danced the night away!

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 31
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 33
Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 28

Advice to Other Couples

Having a wedding planner relieved a lot of our stress. Having a destination wedding forces you to not only have a smaller wedding but most importantly to let go, to let go of that control and it forces you to trust in the process, that whatever will be will be, and that the end of the day everything will work out some way or another.

Also, focus on what you want to splurge on. We knew we wanted to spend more on the decoration, the fireworks, and the food, so we cut expenses on the Save the Dates and invitations. They weren’t the fanciest but we tried to be creative. For the Save the Dates, we created boarding passes on Word and printed them at Kinkos and did the mailing labels ourselves. For the invitations, we ordered passport invites on Zazzle (great website for budget-friendly invites).

 

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 37

Remember to check the forecast. There was a heat wave when we had our wedding in Santorini, so the morning of the wedding LJ and I went into a souvenir shop and bought as many fans as we could for our guests. And let me tell you, our guests were super appreciative. Make sure to let your guests know what type of shoes to wear, the ceremony had cobblestones so we recommended guests not to wear stilettos.

Also, no one wants anyone to show up late at their wedding, so on your invite, put the time at which you’d like your guests to show up, not the time at which your ceremony starts.

As far as the tips for the wedding day goes, have a hearty breakfast. Between the ceremony, the pictures, the socializing and the drinking you may find that you barely have enough time to sit down and eat. After our wedding, I walked in Fira in my wedding dress with my husband to go get a gyro.

Classy Santorini Destination Wedding (With Amazing Caldera Views!) | Elias Kordelakos 38

The Honeymoon

LJ and I went to another island called Naxos for our honeymoon, we spent five days there. It was wonderful – nice beaches, lovely people, a variety of sceneries and delicious food.

I would highly recommend it, as well as doing the Anthony Bourdain’s “How to Spend a Day in Naxos” (And rent quads to ride along the beaches!)

Share this
Looking For More Wedding Ideas?
Sign up today for free and get the best of Bridal Musings in your inbox every Friday!
All done!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×