Hannah's Trip to Greece - Planning a Destination Wedding
For those of you who couldn’t guess by his name, my fiancé Yiannis is Greek. We got engaged on August 1st this past summer, while we were traveling on the Greek island of Rhodes. We had a lovely little Airbnb that had a rooftop patio with a stunning view of the Old Town, and he proposed one evening right as the sun was setting and the sky turned pink. Everything about that moment was magical and dream-like. So much so, that every 30 seconds after Yiannis proposed, I had to keep asking him “is this really happening?” for a good half hour. It turns out that it did happen, and we *are* in fact engaged. Fast forward exactly 3 months, and we were back on a plane heading to Greece to plan our wedding.
(Click the photos below to enlarge and browse through)
Booking our church was one of the most exciting moments of the trip, and it made the wedding feel that much closer. I realized that the next time I would be walking up those steps to the church, I would be holding my Godfather’s arm and seeing Yiannis’ wonderful face for the first time. It’s the most stunning little church. It holds about 80 people, which is kind of funny, because we’re going to have around 150 guests at our wedding. Some (or, I guess half…) of them will have to stand outside, which may actually be better for them since Greece in August can be around 40 degrees Celsius.
The church we booked is called St. George / Εκκλησία Άγιος Γεώργιος in Vouliagmeni, just outside of Athens.
I’m sorry- but can we take a second to imagine what this venue looks like after sunset, with the trees full of string lights?!
The venue for the reception backs into a rock cove, with a fresh water thermal spring lake, called Vouliagmeni Lake / Λίμνη Βουλιαγμένης. It’s open to the public as a beach / thermal bath, but only until 6pm. I don’t remember how I came across this gem, but we had only seen a few photos of it online before we eagerly put a deposit down and booked our date. This was our first time seeing it in person! We absolutely loved it.
After spending a few days in Athens and Vouliagmeni, we spent about 5 days of our trip in Yiannis’ family’s village working on other details for the wedding- but most importantly, eating and sleeping.
When Yiannis and I were first planning our wedding, we actually wanted to have it in the village. The main problem that we ran into was that the village is about a 3 hour drive from the Athens airport, and obviously would not have enough accommodations to hold 150 guests. We also have a few very important family members and friends that can only stay in Greece for about 3 days, so we thought it would be best for everyone’s different travel plans to have the wedding closer to Athens. Yiannis’ sister got married in Greece two years ago, and after seeing how many loved ones came all the way out to celebrate and create new memories together, Yiannis and I knew that’s exactly what we wanted for our own wedding. We want to give our friends and our family an experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, just like we will.
While we were staying in the village, we went to the nearby town of Monemvasia to climb the Church of Hagia Sophia / Ιερός Ναός Αγίας Σοφίας, which I had never done before. Honestly, I swear I don’t have a fear of heights, until I have to climb down from where I’ve hiked up. Especially on the slippery worn down stones, it can be treacherous. The only thing I kept saying to myself coming down the cliff was “If Stef could do this 2 years ago in Birkenstocks, then I can do it in converse.”
(Photos by Hannah, shot on a Canon 5DMKIV + iPhone 6)
The next 9 months I’m sure are going to fly by for us. Yiannis’ brother in law told us after we got engaged “enjoy the time that you have while you’re engaged, it goes by so fast and you don’t realize.” And it’s true, I only have 9 more months to say “my fiancé Yiannis.” I’m looking forward to the next chapter of our lives together, and I am beyond excited for our wedding date, but I also feel selfish and childish haha. I want time to slow down just a little bit and I want to fully enjoy this year without being stressed about planning the wedding.
Anyways, thank you for reading this far! Has anyone else planned a destination wedding? Were there any difficulties you came across or anything you’d recommend?! Share with us down below!