A review of our wedding at Antoniou Winery, Santorini.
In February 2006 we started planning our wedding in Santorini to take place at sunset on Friday 18th May 2007. After looking at brochures and websites we decided that Antoniou Winery looked like our favourite location. Unfortunately there were no reviews from anyone who had actually got married at Antoniou so once we had selected it as our location I promised myself we would write one on our return! Our plan was to have the ceremony and reception in the grounds of the winery with our 41 guests in tow.
After contacting several co-ordinators over the internet we decided to use Michael at weddings-in-santorini, partly because we were impressed with the website (that's where we first found the pictures of Antoniou), partly because he answered all our e-mails so quickly, partly because the costs he quoted were more competitive and partly gut instinct! We couldn't have made a better choice and would warmly recommend Michael if you are looking for a wedding co-ordinator. I think I almost drove the poor man crazy with all my e-mails (I fully admit to being a neurotic bridezilla at times), but he was very patient and helpful and did everything he could to set my mind at rest every step of the way.
I called Michael on our arrival in Santorini and he arranged to pick us up the following day to see the location and go through the arrangements. The venue was simply fantastic. Michael and Elena talked us through what would happen and we talked them through our special requests and readings etc. We were in Santorini for a week before the wedding and, as we had organized a coach for our guests, Michael even came to see us again to personally show us the pick up points for all the different hotels in Kamari.
Unfortunately the only thing we couldn’t control was the weather and we had three days of freak wind and rain (the day before, the day of, and the day after the wedding – typical!!!). Michael had called to warn me the day before the wedding that we may have to move the reception inside, I was upset but willing to take his advice and he very kindly left it as late as possible before making the final decision. The morning of the wedding it rained and at 2pm on the wedding day we finally agreed that it was the most sensible thing to do. Fortunately the rain stopped at about 2.30pm and didn’t start again until about 7.15pm, so we managed to have the ceremony and photos outside as originally planned (Yay!) before moving inside for the reception.
The location is stunning, just the way it is in the photos and we were lucky that we had chosen Antoniou because we had the option to move inside (you do not have this option at some of the other locations). Thankfully we didn’t have to move the ceremony indoors but it was reassuring to know we could have. We had taken options for a floral arch, red carpet, floral stands, covered chairs etc which really did make it very special. The hall where the reception took place was actually very nice and didn’t feel like an emergency measure at all. We had arranged flower/candle centerpieces which looked fantastic and they had added additional hurricane lamps which made it feel very rustic and intimate – lovely!
All our guests said the wine and hot buffet were great and we had loads of comments about our delicious wedding cake (thanks again to Michael for the recommendation). My bridesmaid in particular thought the DJ was great and kept asking for requests even after the last dance!
We had a wonderful time, and our guests assure us they did too (in spite of the dodgy weather), with many of them planning to return to Santorini in the future.
Any negatives? A couple of small ones but nothing major. The area where the ceremony took place could have done with a sweep (which could have been largely to do with the stormy weather). Also, the photographer took some great pictures but he somehow managed to get in between me and my flowergirl/bridesmaids as we walked down the stairs to my waiting groom and became part of the wedding procession (probably wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d been smartly dressed but he sticks out a bit in his jeans and leather jacket!). To be honest, with everything that was going on, I barely noticed but a couple of guests commented and it did look quite funny on the wedding dvd (which was fantastic by the way). Obviously, this is something you could speak about beforehand if you were worried. Gives you a story though doesn’t it? Makes me laugh every time I see it!
Any advice? – use Michael (and his assistants)! Any time I had a question he answered it (and I had loads!). I must have got costs for every option going and only went with about half of the stuff I asked for, but nothing was too much bother. Any time I asked for advice he gave it and all the advice he gave was great. At all times he was in control of everything that was going on. All you worried, fretting brides-to-be, don’t worry, you can trust this man with your wedding!
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