From the very first moment, as soon as our ferry from Crete entered the caldera and we could admire thousands of white & blue cave houses, we fell in love with this tiny island. Spectacular, world’s most beautiful sunset in Oia, tranquility, breathtaking hotels overlooking the Aegean Sea… While wandering in the streets of Fira, at one point we saw a newly-weds. A crazy idea crossed our minds: “Maybe we also can get married in Santorini?”
Santorini wedding – how to make your dream come true?
I must confess that shortly after engagement we started considering other options, we even visited some venues in Poland. Santorini seemed so unreal, we were even afraid to think that our big dream may eventually come true. Destination weddings are not popular in Poland and I personally don’t know anyone else getting married abroad. But once we saw THIS view, we just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Nothing could really compare. Being a little scared (but mostly excited!), we made our decision. Let’s get married in Santorini!
We knew we needed a wedding planner to help us organize the ceremony in Greece, think about all the formalities and service providers. Accidentally, at the wedding fairs in Warsaw, we met a person who claimed that her company would organize our Santorini wedding. It’s a pity that after the first meeting she stopped replying to our emails… We found out later what might have happened. At this moment we were just glad we didn’t pay anything to this company.
Our Santorini wedding planner
Being a little discouraged, we decided to take this risk and try to find a wedding planner in Santorini. Bearing in mind rather bad experiences from Poland, we started browsing the Internet. This is how I came across Maria and Divine Weddings. After the first email exchange, I was surprised how professional she is. Obviously, she had a great knowledge of the island realities. Maria answered so quickly to our emails (sometimes with really “stupid” questions), sending several proposals of subcontractors to choose what fits us best. She asked us for pictures of how we want our wedding cake or a candy bar to look like. During the wedding, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING looked exactly like in our dreams. I think that even if we asked for a pink unicorn, we would also get it 🙂
Maria and her team took care of absolutely every tiny detail of our ceremony. They even made pompoms the day before the wedding to decorate the wedding venue! I must admit that obviously, we were super stressed about this whole Santorini wedding. We never saw Maria before, we only contacted her by email! However, when we met her after landing in Greece, we instantly stopped freaking out. A wonderful girl whose optimism has influenced us all, professional in every way.
|Tip: When it comes to that Polish wedding planner… When we contacted various hotels in Santorini, looking for a wedding venue, we ALWAYS received the same answer. There is no possibility of organizing a ceremony on your own as they cooperate only with local wedding planners. Apparently, in the past, they had a lot of unpleasant situations when the foreign company didn’t take appropriate care of everything (of course, it’s hard when they’re not on-site). This is how it looked 2 years ago, maybe something changed? When are planning your Santorini wedding, take this into consideration.|
Which documents do you need for your Santorini wedding?
If you’re an EU citizen, it’s very easy. To get legally married in Greece, you would need:
- full birth certificates (with parents names on it), translated into Greek and with apostille on it
- so-called marriage license (proving that you can get married, eg. you don’t have a second wife somewhere in the world), also translated into Greek and with apostille
- copies of your passports.
The situation may get a little bit more complex if you were divorced or you’re a US citizen. Look at Maria’s website to check the necessary documents or write to your wedding planner directly. I know, many of you are afraid that your documentation may not be in order. To be honest, we had so many problems to collect these 2 pieces of paper that you will for sure make it right.
We had only one Friday to ask our Polish registrar for a marriage license when we were both in Warsaw. I was working in Dubai, Michal in Munich, we were supposed to get married in Greece and we had to collect documents in Poland… Can it get more complicated? Of course! Our friend collected our marriage certificate on Monday (we were far, far away already). Then, he went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get it stamped with an apostille. He was told that… a few days earlier the rules have changed and the registrar issued our license using the wrong form!
After many hectic phone calls and trying to fix thing (including writing a power of attorney in the middle of Dubai Mall on Hello Kitty pink notepad – please, don’t ask…), we finally succeeded. So, as I said, if we could make it, then you can do this for sure.
Where to organize your Santorini wedding?
Basically, most weddings take place on special terraces in hotels overlooking the caldera. Many people also choose a ceremony in eg. Santo Winery, Pyrgos, or at the beach on the opposite side of the island. Your wedding planner will surely give you different options to suit your needs.
We were mainly looking for a place with a big, elegant terrace for a ceremony. A possibility to organize a dinner at the premises was another advantage. Finally, we decided on Dana Villas and it was THE BEST CHOICE EVER. We were so delighted with the service, wedding venue arrangements and our dinner. We were treated like royalty. We have never before met such an excellent staff. There are no words to sincerely recommend this magical place where our dreams came true. We were also lucky to get an upgrade to the best room – the infinity pool villa. We set up a little pool party for our family and friends on the next day 😉
|Tip: Dana Villas is one of the most popular wedding venues in Santorini. When we asked 1,5 year before about any free spots for May-June 2015, they had only TWO dates available. Luckily, one of them suited as perfectly, but if you want to be more flexible, start planning in advance.|
The best wedding photographer in the world…
Yes, Vangelis was another reason why we wanted to get married to Santorini so bad. I know it sounds odd… However, you have to know that we just love his work, which is also a great inspiration for us. One of our greatest dreams was that he would take pics of our special day. His pictures are simply stunning, showing the unique beauty of each and every couple. He mastered the art of using light to perfectly capture the ephemeral magic of the moment.
He is considered as one of the best wedding photographers in the world. It goes without saying that his pictures are truly unique and full of true emotions. You can admire his work in this post, and if you want more, visit his website.
Flowers, make-up, decor…
When we were planning our Santorini wedding, frankly speaking, it was a bit hard for us to trust someone we never met before. Thankfully, Maria helped us choose experienced, fantastic service providers. They were even able to provide very last minute arrangments, for example, when we decided that we would like to have a short wedding video or an additional bunch of flowers. If you are also planning a Santorini wedding, we can totally recommend these amazing people:
Flowers: Betty Flowers Santorini – spectacular floral arrangements, I think she will bring flowers for you from literally every corner of the World, my bouquet was so amazing. If I ever become rich, I’ll make them arrange flowers for my home every day 🙂
Video: Miltos Karaiskakis – we wanted to have one short video from the wedding (just 3-4 minutes only), all in all, Miltos produced 4 stunning videos for us 🙂 He perfectly captured sensational, exciting emotions and perfectly selected music to fit. No “too long” shots, just perfect cuts. Working with him was really a pleasure. We literally came up with an idea of a short movie one or two weeks before our wedding, not expecting anything “fancy” when looking for someone last minute. Miltos work simply exceeded our highest expectations. Every time I watch these videos, I get goosebumps!
Makeup/Hair: Savva – very nice girls to work with, they can do a trial makeup or hair styling if you want.
|Tip: We took a few things to decorate the venue from Poland – such as wooden M & M letters or pompoms, white&pink Jelly Beans for a candy bar flew with me from Dubai 😉|
Are you also dreaming of Santorini wedding? Let us know if you have any questions 🙂
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