Once we had decided not to get married in the UK (which is a story in itself!!), the only place that we wanted to go was Greece. Greece is a special place for both of us. For Emma’s family, it was the place that they spent many childhood holidays, and for us, it is the place that we fell in love. We visited Greece together for our first holiday and then four years later it was where Ian proposed.
Photography by David Elgee
The whole wedding was planned around one special spot for us. We really wanted to have our friends and family enjoy Erimitis, a beautiful bar and restaurant on the cliffs in Paxos. It is such an amazing spot, but also very remote. And so we asked Ionian Weddings to plan a traditional Catholic wedding around this location. This proved to be more difficult than we thought, as there are no Catholic churches on Paxos, but Jane and Andreas from Ionian Weddings were amazingly helpful and supportive and made this look easy, including chartering a boat between Corfu and Paxos for the guests!!
Our first impressions of Corfu weddings were experienced when we visited at Easter. We were having coffee and suddenly heard a commotion outside and it was a Greek wedding couple who were just about to start the evening’s festivities. Everyone in the shops and houses around had come out to clap the happy couple, and it felt like such a special moment and was great that even strangers were smiling and passing on their best wishes. And so that made us even more excited, and indeed on the day itself there were a crowd of local people outside the church joining in the celebrations, and we heard from friends that some locals even came in and watched the ceremony from the back of the church!
The wedding ceremony
It was very important for us to have a Catholic wedding and we really didn’t think this was going to be possible. But we had a lovely ceremony at the Catholic Cathedral in Corfu Town. We met with the priest in Corfu a few weeks before the big day, making it not feel like we were 1,000 miles from home!
After the ceremony
With the wedding being on Corfu and the reception in Paxos, there were several stages to the day. Following the ceremony, we had drinks and nibbles in the main square next to the Cathedral – a beautiful setting. We then headed back to Paxos on our chartered boat, with Greek music and dancing! For the reception, we were at Erimitis, with the most amazing sunset. They made our dreams come true – from the cocktail that they created especially for our wedding, to the food and the drinks. Somehow they also managed the perfect sunset, and the party went on until an exhausted bride and groom left at 4am… and so we almost saw the sun rise!
The wedding night
We left on the last minibus at 4am, down the two mile bumpy track to our apartments. We were staying at the apartments where we had been with friends and family, and never has a bed been more welcome. It was great to wake up the next morning and re-live the wedding and its events around the pool the next day.
With having the wedding in Greece, it seemed most sensible to stay and enjoy the island. And so we moved from the apartment to a private villa with pool, and spent the next week reminiscing over glasses of retsina and plates of meze. By this point, our wedding party was well know on the island and so were welcomed with great hospitality wherever we went. We are planning a big trip away in 2011, and so this will be the ‘official honeymoon’.