There are the weddings of our dreams, and then there are dream weddings that are actually reality. This gorgeous Greece wedding from Shell de Mar Photography falls nicely into that second category. It’s so stunning it’s hard to believe that it was anything short of a fantasy, but it was indeed the way this couple said I do. With the magical Kinsterna Hotel & Spa setting the stage for one gorgeous day – this gallery is one dreamy place to be today. See it all here.
From the Bride…Martin and I met at school when we were just 4 years old however it was nothing more than friendship until Martin asked me to dance at the school’s summer ball when we were both 15. After that we were inseparable and began dating. Ten years later, Martin finally popped the question with a beautiful antique 1930’s ring on a blustery autumn day on Hampstead Heath over looking London, the city that has been our home for 8 years. We celebrated with cupcakes and coke floats at my favorite bakery.
We had often discussed what our wedding might be like but can honestly say that the weekend exceeded all of our hopes and wishes. We always knew we wanted a small wedding to share with just our closest friends and family so started looking at small boutique hotels in the sunshine. We stumbled across the Kinsterna Hotel and Spa one Sunday afternoon. It looked like the perfect venue, situated amongst the olive groves and vineyards of the hotels own estate, it is a magnificent Byzantine fortified home which has been lovingly restored using the original building methods and has been converted into a spectacular place to stay.
Being of Greek heritage, I had always thought that getting married in Greece would be a nice nod to my ancestors. My Grandparents, English Grandfather and Greek Grandmother, met and fell in love during the war and married in Greece before traveling to England to start a family and begin their long and happy marriage. Sadly neither of them are with us any longer so it felt special to be able to start our journey the way they started theirs.
It wasn’t long before we arranged to visit the hotel for a long weekend with my father. Upon arrival we knew that the Kinsterna was the perfect venue for our celebrations. The hotel manager Theo Terzopolous helped us every step of the way in planning the perfect long weekend for us and our guests and he and the rest of the staff could not have been more accommodating of our vision. Nothing was too small, too difficult or too much trouble for them.
The wedding day itself was perfect, our guests spent the morning chilling by the pool as me, my sister, mother and mother-in-law watched from my balcony as we enjoyed a champagne breakfast. Our ceremony took place in the afternoon overlooking the Aegean Sea, we couldn’t have asked for a more romantic setting, a champagne reception followed before our guests tucked into a seven course meal. A thunderstorm was predicted to hit Monemvasia during the day, but luckily the sun shone and it only arrived later that night when we had to evacuate indoors for our first dance. Everyone was back outside in no time and we finished the evening dancing under the stars until the early hours.
We wanted our wedding to be very personal so decided to do many of the decoration and stationary elements ourselves. We decided on a neutral color theme of creams, dusky pinks, burnt oranges and gold to complement the colours of the beautiful natural surroundings. We wanted all of our wedding stationary to have a rustic feel and hand designed our wedding invitations, lining the envelopes with vintage map prints and using twine to seal them. Other DIY touches included hand stamped name placements tied with vintage ribbon, vintage handkerchiefs in wine crates whilst wooden fans were placed on everyones seats during the ceremony to help combat the warm Greek sun. For our wedding favors we made boutonnieres using tulle and twine and my mother painted the frames that we used for our table numbers. We wanted our flowers to have a freshly picked feel and incorporated olive branches and cypress leaves from the hotel grounds and Fevronia, our florist, did a wonderful job of bringing our visions to life.
The day after the wedding we had a pool party, it was really special for us to have an extra day to spend quality time with our friends and family and see everyone enjoying themselves, relaxing and having fun. That evening we had a drinks reception and his and hers cocktails were served in jam jars. We then had a dinner by the Cistern where everyone sat around one long table to share a Greek feast and drink great wine made from the hotels own vineyards. The highlight of the evening was when Theo suprised us by arranged a tree planting ceremony where we planted our very own olive tree as a symbol of peace and love. We look forward to revisiting the Kinsterna for years to come and to watch it grow along with our marriage.
Wedding Photography: Shell de Mar Photography | Wedding Venue: Kinsterna Hotel & Spa, Monemvasia, Peloponnese, Greece | Wedding Coordination: Theo Terzopoulos | Catering: George Hapsas, Chef de Cuisine at Kinsterna Hotel & Spa | Floral Design: Fevronia Luxury Concepts | Brides Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Brides Accessories: Jenny Packham | Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dress: Hoss Intropia | Bridesmaids Shoes: LK Bennett | Flower Girls Dress: ilovegorgeous | Flower Girls Necklace: Family Heirloom | Flowergirls Shoes: Accessorize | Grooms Suit: Reiss | Groomsmen Suits: River Island | Wedding Stationary: Invitations, Order of Services, Menus, Name Placements: D.I.Y by Bride & Groom | Frames with Table Numbers: D.I.Y by Mother of the Bride | Wedding Favors: D.I.Y by Bride & Groom | Vintage Handkerchiefs: Vintage, collected by Mother of Bride