I have just returned a few days ago from getting married on the beautiful island of Santorini.
Whilst I was away, I promised myself that I would write about my experience, just to put some people's minds at rest with regards to using wedding planners from the internet, and what they can expect if they hire one. After all, I was one of these worriers not so long ago! So here goes....
I got married at sunset, Friday 11 August 2006 at Profitis Ilias just outside of the village of Imerovigli, and had 24 guests attending. We used Michael from Weddings-in-Santorini.com. If you are using Michael as your wedding planner, you should feel very pleased - he was fantastic!
Once arriving on the island, Michael called us to arrange for us to go and have a look at the location where we were getting married, and to talk us through what would happen on our special day. The next day Michael turned up at our hotel and took us to our wedding location. During the journey, he informed us exactly how our ceremony would be held, where we would stand, how the flowers would be set out, when the music would be played, asked all relevant questions as to who would be walking the bride down the aisle/how many bridesmaids etc - literally everything you needed to know!
When we arrived at Profitis Ilias we were stunned as to just how beautiful the location is. The view is amazing - you can see for miles!
When we left there, Michael took us to the Almira Restaurant at Kamari Beach (where we were staying), where we had booked to have our wedding dinner. I wanted to meet with the manager there to discuss the dinner and the arrangements for the evening. As a sidenote - this place was great, and very accommodating to every request.
Before dropping us off back at our hotel, Michael took all the necessary legal documents from us and discussed the timings that our guests would need to arrive at the wedding location, as well as advising us when he will be coming to collect us.
So, now to the actual day - after months of arranging by email and telephone calls, panicking about everything (including having a wedding planner that I'd never met!), would Michael have arranged everything that we asked for? would everything be alright? The answer: more than we could have ever imagined.
Here's a quick run-down of how the wedding went:
The guests left our hotel - yay! I'd been worried that the mini-busses wouldn't turn up! Note: you will need to use either taxi's or mini-busses to get to Profitis Ilias, nothing larger! You'll see what I mean if you go there :0p.
Micheal arrives to pick us up from our hotel (bang on time) in his tastefully decorated air-conditioned car. He gives the bride her fantastic white rose bouquet, and me my buttonhole.
The journey to the location took around 20 - 25 minutes (we had to go through Fira which is always busy!). Again, during the journey, he went though everything, and asked whether we had any questions. He also phoned his assistant who was already at the location to make sure our guests had arrived, and to ensure everything was ready.
We arrived at the location. The sun was just beginning to set, the colour of the sky was amazing, and the flowers that we had ordered looked incredible - we had 4 floral stands and a floral archway, all with red, yellow, and orange gerberas. Everything was just as we wanted it to be - perfect. I stepped out of the car first, and our chosen music started to play. I waited at the front under our floral archway, and watched my bride and her dad walk down the red carpet scattered with rose petals. The registrar was friendly and professional, and the ceremony/vows itself were lovely. The photographer wasn't intrusive - the photo's we have received from him are truly amazing - they just don't look real from how good they are! The photo's were taken during and after the ceremony, all with the sunset in the background. Talking of the sunset - it was the best I have ever seen.
After the ceremony we were taken to the Almira Restaurant for our wedding dinner. Our flowers were taken to the restaurant, as was the champagne ;0)
Michael arranged to bring us our photo's a couple of days after (on the Sunday morning), and that his assistant would pick us up on Monday morning to take us to the Town Hall in Fira to register our marriage.
I'm sorry that this is such a long post, but I wanted anyone who is interested to get an insight into exactly what went on at our wedding, and to get a feel for how professional, trusting and above all a fantastic wedding planner that Michael of weddings-in-santorini actually is.
Sorry if I've bored anyone! If you want any further information, just let me know.
Michael - if you get to read this - thanks again for everything.