Stunning Getaway Wedding in Santorini
A family is like branches on a tree, we may grow in different directions, but our roots remain as one. Samira and Justin’s stunning getaway wedding in Santorini was not only about jetting off to their favourite destination, but sharing a once-in-a-lifetime moment with their parents! There was some serious exploring around the blue-capped whitewashed villages that hang like a string of pearls above the caldera, endless soaking up the most amazing crimson sunsets, sailboat cruising, hard love, and bonding for this beautiful family, and we were just thrilled to be part of their journey!
On the day of their wedding, our wonderful friends and super talented planners Julia and Evita from Santorini Glam Weddings brought all the pretty to Samira and Justin’s private terrace at Aenaon Villas, perfectly perched to what seems on top of the world. The couple’s minimalist approach with neutrals whites with tons of greenery, popped with sleek bursts of sunset hues, volcanic reds, and burgundies (Santorini is after all volcanic as is restless), and a perfectly poised flower arch in lieu of a table runner at dinner we totally crushed on!
We can’t stress this hard enough! We just LOVE a first look session before the wedding! Samira was ravishing in her Ines Di Santo dress (she already had a little bit of Santorini in it right from the start, didn’t she?) and Justin all dappered up, made their “I do’s” even more memorable with their first looks and we all had to put an extra effort not to bawl. No matter how sophisticated a wedding is it is these moments that a couple cherishes the most so after convincing ourselves to stop tearing, we moved onto their wedding entrance where Justin’s father slipped a white handkerchief in his hands given to him by his late grandfather. More goosebumps anyone?
After an incredible ceremony, the party literally took off with Justin’s music set which was compiled to bring generations together, with songs these two incredible souls love and tunes their parents had played on their weddings! There can’t be a bigger blessing than giving and receiving so much love! Samira and Justin’s wedding made our smiles shine bigger and our gratitude grow deeper, we can’t thank you enough! Congratulations new family!
From our bride Samira:
“While planning our wedding, one thing we wanted to make sure of was that we shared the once-in-a-lifetime moment with our parents who mean so much to Justin and I, so we shared this intimate day with them, and after our wedding day, they could set out and explore the romantic Greek islands on their own. In terms of the look and feel of our wedding, Justin and I find happiness in simplicity and intimacy. Santorini couldn’t have fit into the vision for our day and what we value as a couple any more perfectly. The Santorini sunset is truly one of the wonders of the world. From a visceral standpoint, quaint whitewashed houses perched above the blue Aegean Sea, the sound of waves crashing onto the shore, and the amazing crimson sunset invoke the most romantic emotions imaginable. Little white-washed churches with blue capped roofs create such a simple yet breath taking backdrop. Because of the theme set by the island, I knew that I would need only minimal decor as to keep from taking anything away from the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. I wanted to do all I could to keep from overshadowing the backdrop of the Santorini caldera.”
“When I said “Yes to the dress,” Whisper by Ines Di Santo, I knew it was the perfect dress for me. The fact that it was sewn to fit me, while being embroidered and beaded by hand made it even more special. by hand he theme set by the island helped showcase the delicate detail of the embellished sweetheart neckline, low back, and sparkly full tulle skirt. I complemented the dress with nude patent heels by Valentino Garavani and glamourous, handcrafted earrings by Elizabeth Cole.”
“Our wedding took place on our private terrace at Aenaon Villas, which sits at the complex’s summit. The terrace was perfectly poised for sunset views and helped set the stage for our ceremony. I wanted to maintain a minimalist approach so I followed a neutral color-scheme while still incorporating a few bursts of color to complement our sunset-timed wedding. A neutral look has always has been my go-to. We stuck with mostly whites and greens, and for color, added in pops of blush, red and burgundy (which were added to the ceremony arch and chair décor). Since we had a private dinner set up on our veranda after our ceremony, our planner suggested we use the flower arch as our table runner. A simple, efficient yet sophisticated touch. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly for us!”
“Justin was introduced to the tailor for his wedding suit by a friend. The tailor flew in from India to take Justin’s measurements, and a month later, delivered a custom built suit to our home. We knew we wanted him to wear blue, but we wanted it to be a color that complemented the aesthetics of the island, so we chose a type of “postman blue” color that would “pop” ever so slightly without being too much. The color ended up working out even better than we had imagined! To create that clean, dapper look, we chose a champagne colored skinny tie, a classic white pocket square, brown dress shoes with a brown belt to match. I surprised him with a pair of sterling silver David Yurman cable cigar band cuff links as a wedding day present, which added a sophisticated final touch. The best thing about purchasing his suit rather than renting is that he now can incorporate all of those elements in his wardrobe for work and play!”
“From the moment I chose my dress, it took all of me to keep it a secret from Justin. He helped me decide on many aspects of the wedding but it was exciting to keep the dress such a big hush-hush! From photos of it stored in my iPhone, to secretly hiding the dress in our house to traveling abroad with it vacuum sealed in my carry-on bag, he had many chances to peek. But he wanted to make the first look as memorable as possible. When we had our first look, it was a great moment to finally show him! I will never forget his first words: “Wow. You look beautiful.” We both had to work hard to hold back the tears. As we walked back toward the stairs leading to our private veranda for the ceremony, Justin’s dad stopped him and slipped a white handkerchief in his hands. The handkerchief was given to his dad by his late-grandfather, and he packed it and brought it all the way to Greece to give to Justin to help comfort our tears of happiness!”
“Justin and I both attended the University of Kentucky and are huge Wildcats fans. I wasn’t much of a partier, but after a big primetime basketball game, a few of my classmates from nursing school dragged me downtown to celebrate the win. Justin also got dragged out by his friends to celebrate, and we just so happened to cross paths that night. I fought him off on multiple attempts to go on a date thereafter, but when he said his boss gave him two first level tickets to a UK basketball game, I figured I would give him a chance! I figured, if the first-date failed, then at least I could say I had good seats to watch my Cats play!”
“Our proposal was super special! Justin wanted to ask me to marry him on a trip we were planning to visit the vineyards Napa Valley. I was so nervous he was going to propose to me then and was really hoping he wouldn’t so that I could enjoy the trip and not be on-guard the entire time! Justin totally caught me by surprise when he proposed a week before that trip. We got all dressed up and went to a cocktail gala for his work. It was a wonderful night and I expected to spend the rest of the night on the town with him and our friends afterwards! Meanwhile, while we were enjoying dinner, cocktails and music at the gala, Justin had secretly coordinated with my sister and mom who snuck down to Lexington from Cincinnati to help set up the proposal. They decorated our backyard with candles placed in mason-jars, string lights, and rose petals leading up to a blanket with roses laid about. They then drove back home to Cincinnati right before the gala ended. He and I left the gala and took an Uber home so that Justin could drop off a silent auction gift basket he had won. (He knew this was the only way he would get me to go home after the gala rather than go straight downtown with everyone). When we arrived home, he had me take the gift basket inside. While I was inside, he snuck back outside, lit all of the candles, turned on the string lights and queued up the music. Anyone who knows me knows how hard it is to keep a secret from me, and yet I walked outside to a total surprise. He proposed to me under the stars, on a blanket illuminated by moon and candlelight with our puppy Booker by our side. It was an unforgettable surprise and I couldn’t have been more happier to say “yes”.”
“Our entire wedding was designed to be intimate and personal from the start, from the private sunset sailboat cruise across the Aegean Sea that served as our “rehearsal dinner” the day prior from to the individual plates that were prepared and catered for each of us to-order. But the personal touch of our wedding day was the music. Justin spent countless hours putting together a surprise playlist for the ceremony and dinner. Each song created the perfect backdrop to the paradise-feel of our wedding. He not only incorporated some of our favorite music, but songs that our parents played on their wedding day (which caught everyone by surprise and got all of us teary-eyed). It was the perfect complement to our wedding day experience, and really made the evening feel that much more romantic and special!”
“It’s very important to select the right team of people to help you plan the many small and large aspects of your wedding, be it domestic or abroad. I can’t stress how lucky we were to have such a special group of people support us in our big day. Our planner, her assistant, our photographers, the husband and wife who owned our villa, even the caterers and hospitality staff all played a role in making us feel like we were the most important people in the world throughout our experience. Don’t get rushed into making snap-judgement decisions on who will play each role in your wedding planning and day-of process. Just like your soon-to-be husband/wife, you’ll instinctively know the right fit, so take the time to interview and vet the people who will help make your special day just that and nothing less.”
Venue – Aenaon Villas
Planner – Santorini Glam Weddings
Makeup – Makeup Santorini – Renia Bledaki
Hair – Rena Skourti
Wedding Dress – Whisper by Ines Di Santo
Bridal Shoes – Valentino
Jewelry – Elizabeth Cole
Veil – Paris by Debra Moreland
Groom suit – Custom tailored suit from Universal Tailors
Groom shoes – Hugo Boss
Wedding rings – Tacori
Dinner – Spicy Bites Catering
Sandy and Odysseas_