Connie & Rich
Connie and Rich’s inspirational “Covid Wedding Story”, shows how it’s possible to have a unique and truly memorable wedding abroad. The couple were heartbroken when 2 months prior to their wedding, the Coronavirus pandemic hit. With the expert help of Claire from Lefaks Weddings, the necessary tweaks to their plans were made and their wedding celebrations were moved to September 2020. With a focus on scenery and great food, Connie and Rich treated their guests to an all day event. It included two beautiful Ionian Islands, Lefkas and it’s neighbour Meganisi, a cocktail cruise with lunch and afternoon swim, followed by an evening meal in a traditional Greek Restaurant.
Nearest Airport: Preveza
Number of Guests: 18 (reduced from 51 due to Covid-19)
Greek Island Wedding – On the Day
The couple and guests all stayed on Meganisi Island.
The groom and guests departed at 09:30am for Lefkas by boat.
The bridal party followed later in a traditional caique boat.
The ceremony was at 10:30am on the beach on Lefkas.
11:30am they departed from the beach on a cruise with their guests which included lunch, cake cutting and the Groom’s speech.
They returned to Meganisi around 4:00pm.
At 7:00pm they came down to the village for their evening reception at Mikas.
Why you wanted a Greek Island Wedding?
We met by pure chance at a party of a mutual friend almost 7 years ago. Neither of us were going to go and yet we for some reason we did. We talked the entire night (much to the annoyance of everyone else at the party) and haven’t looked back since, although it sounds cheesy it was very much love at first sight.
Rich proposed after 5 years together on the Cornish Coast Path just outside of Porthleven. He’d got me measured for an engagement ring in the summer so when we went away to Greece in September, I was convinced it was going to happen any minute! I did full hair and make-up every day (just in case we needed to FaceTime our families!) but nothing happened. It wasn’t until a rainy November dog-walk in Porthleven (where we go every year) when I was least expecting it, no hair, no makeup, that he stopped to “tie his shoelace” and asked me to marry him. We have been back to that spot twice now and will continue to do go back each year. Despite the proposals we expect from films or social media, our engagement on a normal, wet dog walk, just the two of us, was actually what made it so special.
We were never keen on having a traditional British wedding as our families aren’t traditional but, it was important to us when selecting a destination wedding venue that it was close enough that the people we wanted there could be, whilst being far enough away that we wouldn’t have to invite people by obligation, as is common in a lot of UK weddings!!! We’d had wonderful holidays in Halkidiki and Crete, so Greece was special to us but no one can deny the beauty of the Ionian Islands!
How did you pick Meganisi? What is it you love about it?
We were always going to have a destination wedding but the fear of the unknown kicked in as soon as it came to handing over our savings (what if it wasn’t like the pictures?).
I had been to Meganisi on a family holiday the year that Rich and I had met and adored its rustic charm. One night we sat in Vathy harbour looking across the water, I was missing Rich and I told my family that I would bring Rich here one day (I knew he’d love it as it’s the Greek equivalent of our favourite spot in Cornwall, a quiet harbour which still retains its traditional beauty.) So, flash forward 5 years and when Rich and I were feeling overwhelmed by all the different destination wedding options, I suddenly remembered the wedding myself and my family had witnessed on the M/S Christina boat whilst we were holidaying in Meganisi.
I showed him the photographs and he was smitten! I contacted Jane Flinders at the M/S Christina the next day, and she directed me to her partner Claire at Lefkas Weddings and the rest is history! It gave us great comfort to know one of us had been to the island before and loved it, so we wouldn’t be disappointed.
Why did you decide to add cruise to the wedding day?
The whole day was about the cruise for us! I’d seen the M/S Christina sailing on a wedding day the year Rich and I had met (whilst holidaying with my family) and it just felt like such a spectacular and unique way to spend your wedding day. Neither of us are great at being the centre of attention so having the cruise felt like an event in itself, as well as our gorgeous ceremony. Rich isn’t a big fan of public speaking so being able to give his Groom speech in the middle of the Ionian Sea in glorious sunshine with only our closest family and friends was perfect.
For Connie, how did you feel as you arrived at the beach on the boat?
Content! Maybe it was the Prosecco on the caique boat on the way over, or maybe it was the relief the wedding was finally going ahead after the uncertainty we’d had. I wasn’t at all nervous, just happy to see Rich waiting at the arch (with our family and friends around him) and the surrounding beauty of Zorbas beach.
For Rich, how did you feel when you first saw Connie?
Blown away! I felt so lucky and happy.
What other activities did you do with your guests in Meganisi?
We visited the beaches, we especially loved Fanari and we spent a lot of time paddleboarding there. We ate out at every opportunity as the food in all the tavernas in Vathy was incredible. We also relished visiting each other at our villas (especially after all the rules we had back in the UK regarding COVID) and would drink rosé wine or Mythos by the pools, making the most of the glorious sunshine and views. A highlight was hiring motor boats for the day and doing a lap of the island, stopping to swim in caves, eat at waterside tavernas and sunbathe at the beaches.
Did you enjoy having a planner and choosing all the parts for your day?
We couldn’t have done it without our planner! Aside from the obvious language barrier, we wouldn’t have thought of some of the details which made the day feel so special (the caique boat for the bridal party, Mr & Mrs Chairs at the meal, the flowers design etc), let alone been able to organise them. We really weren’t sure where to start with table decorations, bouquets etc (we thought we just wanted olive branches for everything!), so having Claire’s advice and her website to view previous couple’s choices helped us decide on something special. Above all else, we didn’t know which beaches we could have our ceremony on, let alone which beaches were suitable for the M/S Christina to moor at so, having a planner with local knowledge was fundamental to our day working. We enjoyed choosing the essentials of our day, because simplicity was key for us, we had such gorgeous scenery at all parts of the day, we’re glad we let that speak for itself.
You chose olive and white flowers, why these in particular?
We really wanted the beautiful scenery to be the focus of the day, olive and white flowers seemed to compliment the views completely. When we think of Greece, we remember the olive groves so it was a nice way to tie our wedding into the special place we found ourselves in, we loved the simplicity of a two-colour palette. We particularly loved the garland-style flowers we had on the tables at Mika’s for our evening meal. We’ve been to weddings before where you talk over the centrepieces so having them run along the tables not only looked beautiful but made conversation flow easily.
Did you agree on everything or did you have to make some compromises?
We agreed on everything except which friends to invite and the shoes Rich wore on the wedding day! COVID sorted the friends issue out for us (a very faint silver lining!) but I still wish he’d worn lighter shoes!!
For both of you – what was your favourite part of the day?
Jumping into married life off the M/S Christina into the Ionian Sea – veil in place! (see Rich and Connie’s wedding film)
For Connie, what made your dress ‘the one’ for you?
Our local bridal shop was closing down and I poked my head in, saw this beautiful dress which normally cost £1300 on sale for £300, tried it on and I was set on it. I needed my wedding dress to be lightweight, not only for the heat we anticipated but also so it could be packed into a cabin bag for the flight to Greece. This dress ticked those boxes. I loved that I could wear the dress all day and night (even with the train) and not worry about people standing on it or spilling things on it, having it drag behind me etc. because I hadn’t spent the thousands of pounds on it which some Brides might’ve done, I wasn’t precious over it which helped me to relax.
For Rich, was it easy to choose what to wear for a destination wedding?
Yes, I knew I wanted to wear a suit, even in the heat (rather than shorts or a shirt with no jacket) because it was a special occasion and I wanted to feel comfortable in the photographs. As a big part of our day centred around the boat cruise and swimming, I knew I wouldn’t be wearing the suit all day. I went into the Moss Bros suit shop near home and saw a lightweight suit in the blue colour I’d planned to wear so I bought it there and then, 18 months before our planned date!
What did you like about Mikas as the dinner venue?
It was the Greek food we knew and love but more refined so it felt special. Small things set it apart from other tavernas in Vathy such as the cloth tablecloths rather than plastic, bottled wine rather than carafes etc. Claire had done other weddings at Mika’s and as soon as we saw the outdoor dining area decorated from these, we were sold! Its location, slightly set back from the harbour edge in the village square, gave us privacy so we could dance like no-one was watching after we’d eaten!
The owner’s surprised us at the cocktail hour with a Koulouri ths Nifis which is traditional bride bread cut by the couple and shared with everyone. It was a lovely gift!
You added video at the last minute, are you glad you went ahead invested in this now?
Absolutely! It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get everyone you’d like to attend a destination wedding (especially during a pandemic) which was why we chose a videographer last minute, so those who couldn’t make the day could still feel like they were a part of it. Now that we have the films, we can’t believe anyone wouldn’t have a video! That one day flies past so quickly and having the video helps you relive every precious second, again and again. It also allows you to see the whole day and parts you weren’t involved in (like Rich being able to see us getting ready at the villa) so the video helps you see it end to end which is lovely. Having the drone made the video and we would thoroughly recommend that also.
Anything else you would like to tell us, please do!
There is nothing more surreal than being on a small Greek island, hundreds of miles from home and bumping into a family member in the bakery! Destination weddings make everyone feel happy because you’re all in holiday mode.
My mum, on hearing about the Greek tradition of wedding day embroidery, made me a special piece as a keepsake and we attached it around my bouquet.
In memory of Rich’s father, we chose to light a candle as part of our marriage ceremony and Rich’s ring had very special meaning as he chose to take his father’s wedding ring, which had been passed down to him.
Planning a Wedding Abroad in Greece and Covid-19 Q&A…
To find out more about how COVID-19 impacted Connie and Rich’s wedding and the and changes they had to make to their day, pop over to the Q & A session with Connie here and then pop over and watch their gorgeous Wedding Film here.
A very big thank you to Connie and Rich for sharing her wedding story and beautiful images with us, we wish you a lifetime of happiness.
The Perfect Partners
Wedding planner: Lefkas Weddings // Wedding Photographer: Maxeen Kim Photography // Videography: Lense2Lense // Private Boat Hire: M/S Christina // Brides Boat: The Aggelos // Reception Venue: Mikas // Flowers: Gourioti Flowers // Wedding Stationery: Vistaprint // Wedding Cake: Patisserie Il Sapore // Make-up: Kourbei // Brides Dress: Kenneth Winston // Brides Shoes: Mago Sisters // Ring Box: Forever Keepsake Co // Brides Ring: The Beautiful Company // Grooms Attire: Moss Bros // Bridesmaids Dresses: Moonsoon // Bride & Groom and Guests Villa: Exclusive Meganisi