Mediterranean inspired wedding in Meganisi, Greece
Just a few stats for ya as we introduce Charlotte + Peter and their Mediterranean wedding: they tied the knot with 220 guests in Meganisi, an island with a population of just over 1,000. Uh huh! The bride road into the ceremony *by boat*, which is now officially our fave destination wedding idea ever. After a romantic church ceremony, they headed over to Il Paradiso, a small restaurant and farm, and one of the only accessible spots for a celebration of that size.
Charlotte + Peter actually lived in the same places for about four years before ever meeting. They went to Harvard Business School (she came from England to attend), and both moved to the Bay Area afterward. They only met much later, when she decided to move to NYC and stayed at a friend’s house for a few days before transferring. Turns out, Peter was a housemate, and they had lots of mutual friends! Of course, she was moving cross-country, so the first two years of their relationship was long distance.
Charlotte tells it, Choosing Elias as our wedding photographer was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. I seriously don’t think I could have stayed so calm on the day without him! He was a real pleasure to be around, put us at ease, and his photos are the best images I’ve ever seen of myself and my husband (and our guests, venue, you name it…). He was very accommodating to my request that we keep the ‘posed shots’ to a minimum, capturing stunning ‘candid’ moments, and he had a super calm manner when directing us, which removed any awkwardness.
The bride’s arrival via boat was a major highlight. It gave her time to collect her thoughts while out on the water, and you can imagine how excited all the guests (and groom!) were to welcome her to the church.
With limited infrastructure and accommodations on the island, planning a 220-guest wedding was tricky—in a rustic, organic setting, under olive trees, no less. Charlotte explains, To overcome this, as soon as we set the date I went ahead and made cancellable reservations (mostly on booking.com) for pretty much the entire inventory of hotel rooms, villas, B&Bs, you name it, as well as researching water taxis to neighbouring Lefkada. As soon as each guest confirmed their attendance, I sent them a list of the available accommodations (with details like price per night, number of rooms, facilities, location, etc) for them to select where to stay. I then transferred the applicable reservation into their name, and cancelled the couple of remaining reservations ahead of the free cancellation deadlines.
Rock Paper Scissors Events also did the flowers for their event, incorporating in big, organic arrangements. All the olive branch, please!
The other great challenge was where to host the reception. Many of the roads are too narrow for a catering or furniture rental truck to pass, and there is barely any flat land, other than beaches. Il Paradiso was literally the only spot which was both reachable by truck and with a flat lawn. The restaurant is managed by a husband and wife team who couldn’t serve so many guests, so we rented the space from them for the night—giving them their only night off for the entire summer season—and brought in caterers from Lefkada, who set up cooking facilities in the lot behind the restaurant. We had to bring in almost everything, from extra tables and chairs, to a generator for backup power, which did come in handy as the power cut out a couple of times through the evening
Did they pull it off, or what?! Pretty much everything there was DIY, considering the remote location of the space.
And the cheese cake: Stilton, Creamy Lancashire + Cheddar from England, gouda (the groom’s fave) and the highlight: a homemade goats cheese from their reception venue hosts. Yum!
Lastly, did we mention that they planned the wedding around the date of a full moon, to allow a little moonlight dip after the party? Not to mention, the light was actually necessary for guests after celebrating in such a rural location. So smart!
My main tip for those planning is to stick to your instincts. Anything is possible if you start planning early enough, are extremely organized and use plenty of imagination. But it’s not for the faint of heart. We could have made our lives infinitely easier by choosing a more plug-and-play location.
Congratulations, Charlotte + Peter!
Photography: Elias Kordelakos / Videography: With Heart Films / Ceremony Venue: Agios Ioannis Church on Meganisi Island, Greece / Reception Venue: Il Paradiso / Rehearsal Dinner: Hotel Esperides / Wedding Planning, Design, & Flowers: Rock Paper Scissors Events / Hair: Penelope Malfa / Makeup: Bride / Graphic Design & Paper Goods: Bright White Design / Catering & Linens: Gazis / Napkins & Flatware Rentals: White Lilac / Chair Rentals: Tore Furniture / Lighting, Sound, & DJ: Loud & Clear / Bride’s Dress: Heidi Hudson ‘Myla’ / Shoes: Carolina Herrera / ‘Stefana’ Crowns: Custom by Thea Bloch-Neal of Hushed Commotion / Engagement Ring: Etsy / Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in Perfect Nude / Nails: OPI / Groom’s Suit: Reiss / Shoes: Red by Saks Fifth Avenue / Tie: The Tie Bar x BHLDN / Wedding Band: Cielo Venezia in Lefkada