Wedding Planner

Everything you need to know when planning your destination wedding in Greece

Sarah Hatjipavlis is the wedding officiant at the Sheraton Rhodes Resort. Photo courtesy of Sarah Hatjipavlis.

Couples flock to Greece for their dream destination wedding. Greek journalist spoke with two wedding planners about the latest wedding trends for couples and what to expect when planning your destination wedding in Greece.

Boutique wedding planner Olympia Giannopoulou, owner of Marry Me in Greece, started her wedding planning business almost ten years ago after spending a quarter of a century managing hotels where one of her many responsibilities was the planning and coordination of events.

All of her skills are put to good use when planning a destination wedding for one of her clients. She explained to Greek journalist that it offers “full service” wedding planning.

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“Everything from papers and documents you need to get married in Greece to hair and makeup, photography, hiring a DJ, transportation, services to refresh the bride’s dress, references for wedding cake designers, ordering flowers and decorations – even fireworks – these are the services I offer, ”says Olympia.

The destination wedding planning industry in Greece has grown steadily over the past few years. Many tourists come to Greece, fall in love with the beauty of the country and above all, feel safe and secure while visiting. They then choose her as their dream destination to get married.

“Greece has some beautiful and amazing places where you can have a wedding. This unique environment cannot be found anywhere else, ”said Olympia.

She explained that her destination weddings can be as small as 2-35 people or as large as 125. When asked where is the number one requested place in Greece to get married, Olympia said Greek journalist: “Santorini is still the first place in Greece to get married. “

It’s not hard to see why couples want to get married in Santorini, with the backdrop of traditional cubic-style whitewashed houses overlooking the caldera and the sparkling blue waters of the sea below. Talk about a destination wedding that is a dream come true!

Other popular places to get married are Mykonos, Athens, and even smaller islands like Kea, located off the coast of the mainland. Couples even choose the neoclassical decor of Nafplio, the original capital of Greece.

The majority of destination weddings for Marry Me in Greece are Greek Orthodox diaspora weddings that are “very expensive.” They treat marriage as if it was a vacation too, ”Olympia explains. “I also did symbolic weddings, Hindu weddings, and a Jewish wedding.”

She adds: “My biggest challenge is to please every bride. And the best reward is when everyone is happy at the end of the marriage and there are kisses and smiles. My goal is to build a business on reputation and trust.

A few tips for couples planning to book Greece as their wedding destination – make sure you book well in advance! More and more couples are choosing Greece as their wedding venue and places are limited for many wedding planning companies.

Why is Greece such a popular destination?

In an interview with greek journalist, Sarah Hatjipavlis from Grecian Ceremonies explained why people might want to travel and get married in Greece.

Multi-nominated wedding planner Hatjipavlis resides on the island of Rhodes. Her work has taken her across the country, accumulating a great deal of expertise on destination weddings in Greece over the years.

“The experience of traveling in Greece, the culture, the food, the beautiful country, the islands, the blue waters – these are the number one reasons,” says Hatjipavlis, which clearly shows why Greece has an almost universal appeal for engaged couples.

“So yes, they choose it for the weather, they choose it for the beautiful sea, and some also choose it because it is cheaper to get married abroad than to get married in your own country.

“It’s very expensive to have a wedding in the US and UK, so some couples choose Greece because they can have a more enjoyable experience. They come to Greece and have their wedding, so it is often cheaper, even with the flights, ”she continues.

There are several reasons why almost everyone would love to get married in such a breathtaking country. However, individuals can also specifically choose Greece as it has sentimental and family value for them.

“Another reason is that they have a heritage in Greece. The couple may be from the United States, but they may have a Yiayia in a village in northern Greece, and they want to come back to their country of origin and enjoy their marriage there, ”Hatjipavlis explains.

Getting married … in times of pandemic

The past year has been a very difficult one for the wedding industry as the majority of weddings have been called off or postponed. Sadly, much of 2021 looks the same, with most major weddings postponed until 2022.

“The majority of the big weddings have been moved to 2022, so I already have something like 35 weddings next year all over Greece.”

The pandemic has meant smaller and more intimate marriages for the most part. Especially when choosing to have a destination wedding during this time, couples are likely to opt for specially arranged weddings between the two of them and an officiant.

The coronavirus situation has also led to perhaps more lasting or irreversible changes in the wedding industry in Greece. Due to the pandemic, people have become more likely to explore getting married in other places beyond the big four sites of Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete.

“I would say there is definitely a shift in the trend towards smaller islands. Smaller islands – a bit more like “Mamma Mia” the movie. So people are obviously looking for small post-COVID places. Recently, people don’t necessarily look for an all-inclusive hotel either, as it seems like the all-inclusive hotel might be something fading into our past, ”Hatjipavlis confessed of recent trends in the industry. marriage industry that may have been influenced by COVID-19.

Due to its stunning beaches, stunning locations, and rich culture, it’s no wonder Greece attracts so many couples who want to host a dream destination wedding!