The weddings so far...
62. The dress of ALL wedding dresses on the stunning Island of Corfu.
28th October 2013
After a few weeks in the UK we were surprisingly refreshed and ready to get our wedding on. Corfu is just beautiful and the timing of our visit was perfect. We had managed to avoid the hoards of international tourists and shared the stunning island with just a few people visiting from the mainland. The food was fresh and tasty, the weather was divine and we were excited for our Corfiot wedding.
On the day we met our dream team for early coffees and by 9am I was having my make up applied and my hair tonged into tight curls while around me a hive of activity spread over two rooms at the beautiful Belle Venezia hotel, who kindly had us to stay for a few nights and let our entire wedding party descend on them for the day.
We were honoured and a little star struck with multi-award winning Nik Pekridis who had astonishingly agreed to help us capture our special day on Corfu. As far as photographers go in Greece he is pretty much the bee’s knees, and then some! He had also done us the huge favour of introducing us to Takis Kyriazis, an up and coming videographer also from Greece who had happily come along too, we really did have a dream team for this one! The pair of them ran around between rooms trying to capture as much of the day as possible while Lorraine ran around trying to make sure Alex’s suit fit properly.
By 11 we were as ready as we were going to be and the gorgeous Kamelia Andrioti, the designer and maker of my dress, literally sellotaped me into the stunning white, backless gown! Huge Swarovski crystals dripped from my ears and down my back and as I posed on the hotel balcony next to the Corfiot flag I literally felt like a million dollars!
I didn’t see Alex before he set off to the church, he, Yiannis and Stella had raced ahead to make sure everything was in place, plus, we didn’t want him to see my dress until the very last second. After taking a few more snaps with Nik and Takis it was time to go. It was like a mission.
Nik and Takis went ahead and before the church came into sight Lorraine, Kamelia and I pulled off the road to give the team time to get in place so they could get the best shots of us arriving. I was hot and nervous and worried that I would sweat my tape off but we sat and nattered until we received the all clear phone call.
As the wheels started rolling again my heart jumped into my mouth. I hadn’t seen the church until now and as it came into view a nervous giggle popped out of my mouth. The tiny church sits alone surrounded on three sides by the beautiful deep blue Mediterranean. A long path connects it to the land and creates an incredible aisle which was decorated beautifully and finally, I could see Alex in the distance stood waiting for me with a HUGE smile on his face!
(He later pointed out that it was the perfect church for the nervous groom as there is no way to escape….unless he swims!)
Kamelia adjusted my dress and Lorraine introduced me to a group of local singers and dancers wearing traditional Corfiot dress who were going to walk me down the aisle.
Spiros clasped my hand as Theofilos played the guitar and they sang beautifully all the way down the long path to Alex’s side. My hand was placed in Alex’s and he passed me my bouquet which he had almost squashed while waiting for me.
Alex of course had still only seen the front of my dress so far but he beamed from ear to ear and said “not too shabby” as we walked slowly to the altar. He pointed out a pair of swans on the water to the right of the path and told me they had followed me down the aisle. Everyone had been thrilled by it and were sure that it was a sign that the wedding was meant to be!
The altar was on the steps of the church and the warm breeze blew the soft materials draped over the tables and the scent of the flower wreaths surrounding flickering candles caught and floated in the air all around us as the officiate read a shortened version of an Orthodox Greek ceremony. We held the ceremony outside as we did not have the support of the church unless we agreed to be baptised, but just to be there in that beautiful setting was enough for us.
Wreaths of olive branch were placed over our heads as we were blessed and responded in Greek when asked if each of us would take the other as husband and wife.
After cheers and a few congratulations we were invited into the gorgeous little church to light a candle and say a prayer and as we emerged back into the light all of our guests drenched us in rice and cheered for us!
It wasn’t until then that Alex saw the back of my dress and his eyes nearly fell out of his head! We laughed and laughed as we took some shots with Nik and Takis around the island. We stopped for a glass of wine and a rest during the shoot and then drove out of town to our reception as the sun slid from the sky.
I cried the moment I walked into Tripa Taverna. The atmosphere in the tiny room is palpable, accented by flickering candles, floral arrangements and white linen table cloths surrounded by authenticity. Shelves cover the walls and every surface is covered with bottles of unopened liqueur from all corners of the globe, every single one untouched…literally! The Taverna has been opened since 1936 and the display is left undusted. Trails of spidery cobwebs link them here and there and it makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. Far from making the place look grubby and unloved it made it magical, warm and welcoming, it was the perfect place for our reception…and that was before we even ate anything! The food was INCREDIBLE. Plate upon plate of traditional Corfiot fare was served, all amazing, all piping hot and all washed down with a punchy homemade wine!
I couldn’t stop grinning! The tables were decorated beautifully by Me Trela Kordela, simple hessian and olive branch complimented the gorgeous white roses and favour bags, or ’bonbonieres’ containing 5 sugared almonds, given to guests as a keepsake in appreciation of their attendance, each almond representing health, wealth, happiness, prosperity and long life.
After far too much great food we did some dancing led by the fabulous dancers from Tripa , Yiannis and Andreas showed Alex how to balance a chair on his chin and to dance properly and before long we were all up dancing to make some space for our beautiful cake. We were full to bursting, both with food and happiness as we left late that night! Such an incredible day in such a beautiful place. From the hotel to the dress, to the quaint little church on the water, to the fantastic venue for the reception, Corfu Wedding planner and Corfu Exclusive had planned the perfect day!
And this time for a change we didn’t have to run the very next day!
All our love and thanks go to everyone who made the day possible and so much fun!
Wedding Planners – Corfu Exclusive and Corfu Wedding Planner | Photography – Nik Pekridis | Videography – Takis Kyriazis | Dress – Kamelia Andrioti at Sensoria Brides | Make up – Nasos Gremmenos | Hair – Giota Petrogianni | Jewels – Corfu Swaovski | Decor – Trela Kordela | Cake – Cake Boutique | Reception – Tripa Taverna | Accomodation – Bella Venezia Hotel Corfu |