As art directors for two different events companies in Shanghai, Valentina + Alberto are no strangers to the industry. They were all about crafting an experience for their Mediterranean destination wedding, so guests (who BTW, were arriving from 18 different countries) could get to know them better and experience their heritage (he’s Italian, and she’s Italian + Greek). That meant a light, laidback wedding in Corfu, Greece—no formalities necessary! Thanks to Les Anagnou for showing us how they did it in the photos below!
Why Corfu? They wanted an Ionian island location that was a) easy to reach, b) had beautiful beaches and a a lot of history, and b) much more affordable than popular places like Santorini + Mykonos. Check, check, and check!
Valentina tells it, We were looking for a nice beach club where people can chill and walk around rather than feel obligated to sit through the whole dinner. Pazuzu is just stunning, it was designed by a Greek architect studio that has offices in NY as well. As we are both designers we’ve been extremely picky with the reception location. We wanted something minimalistic, built only with natural materials (wood, concrete, bricks etc.), we didn’t want any colors or frills. And Glyfada Beach is truly outstanding. Alberto really wanted something on a nice and not-crowded beach (thankfully in mid-September it wasn’t too busy). The whole place faces directly to the sunset. Perfect for welcome drinks!
They kept the color palette to natural and earthy colors, neutral hues, and greenery.
After the ceremony, we had traditional musicians outside the church. We had to walk back to the bus pick-up point. So the musicians were walking on the front and it was us following and 100 guests behind us. It was magical and hilarious at the same time! Walking through these scenic alleys with all the people we love, while random tourists were hurrying to grab their phones and take pictures and videos of us (we truly didn’t expect that!)… It was so funny!
The DIY list included the invites, welcome pack + favors, kids’ activities, guest book (with paper, pens, and a polaroid), neon signs made in Shanghai, big hats with random messages, escort cards, and more. So creative, guys!
See more photos from V + A’s wedding in our inspiration gallery below…
If you’re planning a destination wedding, be sure to scoop up Valentina’s tips:
At first I thought I could handle the planning; as I work in events, I thought it would have been no big deal. I quickly realized that with an 8 hour time difference and no connections in Corfu it was virtually impossible and I was going insane. Alberto was pushing to get a wedding planner and eventually I understood it was a good idea. Hiring Lorraine of Corfu Wedding Planner was the best money we spent. Her help was everything. Not only did she already have great vendors she partners with and saved lots of money while getting the best services, but I was so relieved from the initial stress… I believe some people think that a wedding planner will be an extra cost they can save (I thought so too) but if you hire a good professional the money you save through them is much more than what you spent. Hire someone that makes you feel comfortable and confident that things are going to be perfect. If you don’t feel that way, don’t be afraid to find someone else.
Photographers: Les Anagnou / Videographer: Make Your Own Films / Ceremony Venue: St. Jacob Catholic Church in Corfu Old Town / Reception Venue, Rentals, & Catering: Pazuzu Glyfada Beach / Planner: Corfu Wedding Planner / Florist: Rizos Garden / Hair: Celebrity Hair Studio Kerkyra / Cake: Cake Boutique / Invitations: Bride & Groom / DJ: Alekos Mouzakitis, Corfu DJ / Bride’s Dress: Made by a tailor in Shanghai / Reception Dress: Designed by Bride / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Rings: Ilaria Melli / Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS / Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Custom / Shoes: Crockett & Jones