“Our wedding day was absolute bliss!”
Both of us had been to the Greek islands before on our travels however we had never been to the Ionian Islands and it was the beautiful beaches and landscape of Kefalonia and Lefkas that attracted us here. Two weeks of covering both islands on a scooter, experiencing idyllic beaches, castles, caves and food, firmly entrenched within us our love of Greece.
We chose Lefkas as we wanted our reception in the beautiful hills at Maria’s Taverna in Kolivata because this was the place on our first visit to Lefkas we had heard so much about; offering wonderful home cooked food and we considered it a must. When we arrived at the taverna it looked beautiful; the big tree was in bloom and the little village of Kolivata was peaceful and so serene. The taverna had actually closed for the season (we arrived in Lefkas mid September) however Maria greeted with us with open arms and cooked us the most amazing meal consisting of an array of traditional Greek dishes. She sat and talked with us whilst we ate and we really felt like we were in a place like home. After a few hours we thanked and hugged Maria, hopped on our scooter and continued on our exploration of the island.
The main reason behind our choice of a destination wedding over a UK wedding was that we wanted a location that meant something to us and our relationship. We both grew up at the beach in New Zealand and Brazil respectively so the sea and sand are ingrained within our lives. Combine this with the emotional attachment that Maria and her Taverna in Kolivata and the island of Lefkas hold for the both of us, then this was our first and only choice.
The wedding day…
Our wedding day was absolute bliss. Perfect Greek weather, superb locations, voyage by boat, amazing people, a guitar playing/singing Reverend, appetizing food and welcoming hosts ensured we experienced a day of incredible emotional highs that we and our guests will never forget. From start to finish everything flowed smoothly and with the coordinating help of Claire at Lefkas Weddings our special day was incredibly easy to plan from start to finish.
The wedding blessing took place on Gerakas Beach with the guests cruising over aboard the Ionian Star. The couple had chosen an old gold theme for their day and this complemented the blue waters of the Ionian sea perfectly. The entertaining Rev Jules from Holy Trinity Church, Corfu officiated the ceremony which had been written to include songs and readings meaningful to the couple.
Travelling up to Maria’s taverna in Kolivata, Brad and Nicole spent some time taking photographs in Alexandros and Kolivata villages before joining the guests and being welcomed with open arms by Maria and her family. They served appetizers accompanied with a soft and fruity local red wine, before dinner which was a large selection of traditional dishes all prepared by Maria herself.
After dinner and the speeches, the olive leaf decorated wedding cake was cut and Nicole was surprised by her Groom! Brad and his son took centre stage to perform a traditional Haka dance for the guests welcoming Nicole to the family! The DJ kicked off the party and the guests took turns to lift the couple up on chairs in celebration before the dancing commenced.
Brad and Nicole had thoughfully provided for their guests throughout the day; firstly a gift bag on the cruise containing hats, fans and personalized flipflops for the beach. Each guest also had a glass jar so they could collect sand from the beach as a momento of the day. At the reception the couple wanted to offer the guests traditional favours, so we suggested λαδόπιτα (ladopita) the traditional sweet of Lefkada and κουφέτα (sugared almonds) which we put in boxes decorated with gold ribbon, olive and lavender.
Our favourite moments…
The occasion was truly wonderful and was a combination of emotion, smiles and laughter especially when the opening prayer had to be repeated because no one joined in with the Reverend at the ‘ALL’ point. Prior to that Nicole’s escort nearly walked her down the aisle carrying the bride’s bouquet himself!
Organising our Greek wedding…
Claire being based both in Lefkas and the UK allowed us to have up to the minute reports and feedback of all the details that we required which made the whole process more inclusive and reassuring.
All our arrangements, locations and resources for our wedding were personal to us which were also reflected in our accommodation on Lefkas at Neion, a very relaxing and picturesque guest house in the hills above the East coast of the island.
Our advice to anyone thinking of marrying in Greece is the following:
1. Don’t wait, do it!
2. Book flights as soon as they are available (advise guests to do the same)
3. Sort your marriage paperwork asap
4. Have the ceremony late afternoon & wear appropriate wedding attire for the hot weather!
5. Choose Maria’s Taverna for your reception
6. Use Lefkas Weddings as they are on the ground in both the UK and Greece
Brad and Nicole xx
Wedding Arrangements by Claire at Lefkas Weddings
Private boat charter and beach set up by The Ionian Star
Venue: Maria’s Taverna, Kolivata
Photography: Foto Eikona, Lefkada