Anytime StellaAndMoscha is featured on a magazine or a blog is like "over the moon excited" for us!  It's what gets us going! This time is for an Italian Magazine Feature -Oggi Sposi April 2012 issue.  An interview by me and Stella about Destination weddings in Greece. Watching your work been published gives you the feeling like getting a good grade at school, been rewarded for your hard work, the opportunity to share your thoughts and maybe inspire and help brides-to-be with some more tips and ideas about destination weddings on the Greek islands.   Interview with Oggi Sposi Magazine   I dedicate this post to my favorite wedding planner and great associate Andrea Naar Alba who made it all happen for us! If you are dreaming of Italy she is your woman for making dreams happen.  You can access directly our interview with Oggi Sposi here in Italian a copy of  the whole magazine Oggi Sposi magazine  in Italian here (make sure you go to page 44-47) or  read below the interview in English. Italian Oggi Sposi Magazine Getting married in Greece: Which are the main features of a “Hellenic” wedding? A traditional Greek marriage is the celebration of the formal engagement. On the day of the wedding, the Best Man, accompanies the couple to the church, to be married. This ‘parade’ is usually escorted by local musicians serenading with particular ‘wedding songs’. The Best Man with the Priest, are in charge of the ceremony. He places gold crowns or wreathes made of orange blossoms (or vine leaves in Santorini) on the heads of the Bride and the Groom. These crowns are lined with a silk ribbon and symbolize the unification of Husband and wife. From the rest of the day the newlyweds are honored as king and queen. The Wedding Reception is usually a huge dinner party that lasts all through the night – traditionally it was held at the bride’s home. The preparations for the feast took place days and weeks before the big day.

photo by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

In such a difficult moment for your country (as we do experience in Italy as well), are marriages (so weddings receptions) decreasing somehow or quite same numbers? Has the way of getting married changed due to crisis? Indeed times are difficult and now more than ever people are working on specific budgets. Destination weddings are not only a trend of our times, but a great option for couples who are now more price conscious than ever. An overseas wedding allows couples to cut down on guest counts, cost on decoration, avoid pricy wedding venues, combine their honeymoon with wedding celebration and so many more. Up to now weddings on the Greek islands have in no way decreased rather than increased since last year (according to Town Hall statistics). Surely the digital world has helped a lot couples in so many ways. There are so many free online wedding software packages out there which help couples, with budgeting, vendor suggestions and many tips on wedding planning. Wedding blogs are now the one wedding planning stop shop for free inspiration on design, DIY Crafts (Do it yourself) and suggestions on all things wedding related. Let alone PinterestLover.ly, Facebook and the rest of social media, were a bride can gather her favorite design details, flowers, and wedding gowns on one board for inspiration. Couples now have more and more information on hand, choose DIY crafts to cut down on wedding decoration and choose Greek island weddings to combine their honeymoon, summer vacations and wedding all in one.

photo by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

How much in average does a wedding in Greece (Santorini) cost? Couples are in charge of how much their wedding would cost them. There are a lot of special offers for simple celebrations for two that would start from €2,000 and can go up to €5-6,000 if the couple has specific requirements (such as all day long photo shooting at unique locations, special decorations, harpist, a sunset cruise etc). For larger wedding groups of let’s say 50-60 one can expect to pay around €10,000 and this can go up to €20.000 again depending on choice of venue and other details.

Wedding in Santoriniphoto by Anna Rousos | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

Does this present crisis period affect the couple's choices in the wedding sector? For instance, does the Greek government help young couples, by giving any economical incentive to get married? Do you think the wedding is perceived as a "ray of hope" for families in such an unstable period for the country or not? Like:  "family" the only certainty for the future? To our knowledge there haven’t been any special measures towards this – the reality is that couples in Greece seek alternative ways to celebrate their wedding that would still make it a memorable day but not costing thousands of Euros. Young couples move away from the classic hotel ballroom 5-course dinner and choose smaller neo- Greek style tavernas that give them the opportunity to celebrate as our grandparents did 2 generations back. This ‘going back to the root’s’ has not only been due to financial restrictions but is centered around trends for ‘all things vintage’ and for weddings that really stand out and have a unique concept.

sunflower decoration

photo by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

Destination weddings in Greece: Are there lots of foreign couples that choose your country (and Greek Islands) for their wedding? Every year Greek islands have thousands of people visiting for their summer vacations as well as their honeymoon and wedding. The latest trend for couples is to combine their summer vacation on a Greek island as well as scouting different venues and locations for their wedding.

Cellar cave in santoriniphoto by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

Main countries they come from? About 90{823a5a2666b3c72ceb491e09ec403b5dc7ccaca9c0ae225a1c1e9ef688c1ac81} of our clients are from abroad, from countries like the US, Japan, Germany, Qatar and Australia. Around 30{823a5a2666b3c72ceb491e09ec403b5dc7ccaca9c0ae225a1c1e9ef688c1ac81} are second/third generation Greeks who wish to honor their inheritance and celebrate this very important day in their lives in Greece. Why you think they choose Greece/Santorini? The Greek islands are all about unique landscapes, great weather and being able to make the most of their unique open spaces. This gives you endless possibilities to create a one of a kind event tailored to every couple’s character. There is certainly an island for every style of wedding. As for Santorini its “magical sunsets”, azure waters and spectacular views make it suitable for varied style of weddings. There are “many” Santorini Weddings: a couple can either celebrate on a white-washed chapel literally hanging of the cliff with a spectacular view of the Caldera. For beach lovers, why not organize a unique beach wedding on a black sandy beach with a reception dinner to follow full of lanterns and candles creating a truly memorable event? And how about a Castle wedding? Get married in one of the eldest churches on the island within the Venetian castle of Pyrgos and continue the celebration in a nearby Relais & Chateaux hotel experiencing a truly medieval environment. Catholic Wedding in Santorini Most suggestive venues in Greece Islands such as Paros, Mykonos or Rhodes are the ones for a “cosmopolitan fete”, Sifnos, Folegandros and Ios for those seeking an Intimate Elopement, Koufonisia, Amorgos and Chalki for off-the-beaten track events and The Venetian Castle in Naxos for the Romeo and Juliet-style romantic. Good reasons why to get married in Greece and Santorini I can’t imagine there are a lot of people who say that their wedding day was one of the most relaxed days in their life. Couples choose to have a wedding in Greece to take the stress away from a big celebration back home. The weather is no issue to worry about – and all arrangements are well taken care of by so the couple just needs to pick the right location and venue. An experienced wedding planner can guide the couple through the bureaucratic requirements; help find a dream location; arrange catering, flowers, musicians, hairdressers; in short, take care of every little detail so that after the to-be-weds arrive in Greece, all they need to do is relax, and enjoy. The beautiful landscape and environment is so relaxed so couples find it irresistibly inspiring and enjoy every moment. The combination of bright sunny days, blue domed chapels, azure waters, spectacular food is just hard to pass by.

Santorini Weddingphoto by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

Are there Greek couples that choose Italy to get married? There are certainly lots of Greek couples choosing to marry in Italy. Both countries share similar culture, beautiful unique landscapes, perfect food and great hospitality. In your opinion, which are the most attractive factors of Italy, when choosing it for a wedding? Unique landscapes, great people and perfect food! Latest trend in wedding industry in Greece Greek Style is “IN”. In recent weddings, they’ve noted “a huge trend for “All things Grecian”, whether in bridal gown fashions, jewelry or venue décor. Couples love the idea of introducing these into their wedding concept; they love the simplicity and elegance of a Grecian look. Grecian dresses and shoes as well as jewelry have dominated big fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabana, Versace and Diane Von Furstendberg. Our newly redesigned website and logo is inspired by the most well known Greek Meandros featured on most ancient Greek temples, urns and wall paintings Today’s couples are increasingly ecologically-conscious too. They skip printing and mailing invitations, preferring customized e-invitations instead. Brides opt for silk or paper flowers in lieu of real ones.

photo by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

The menu is normally typically Greek or are they interested at different types of cuisines? Couples often go local when it comes to selecting menu ingredients. They want to taste everything a Greek island has to offer. Many choices include Italian food which is so similar to Greek- Mediterranean cuisine which people love eating. In order to "re-launch" your country, what do you think could be resolute? Greece could be again a great destination for honeymoons? For destination weddings? Greece never stopped being a popular destination for honeymoons and Weddings. In fact we have seen increase in the past few years. It would certainly be useful to promote that it is an easy process when it comes to legalities; there is a false perception that couples are lost with beaurocratic processes which is certainly not the case when a local planner is hired. Greece can also serve a wide range of requirements; castle weddings, themed Grecian weddings, island & romantic weddings, beach weddings, resort weddings, mountain weddings, off- the beaten track weddings and boat weddings. Greece has so much more to offer in addition to Mama Mia style or beach weddings.

wedding bouquet with white rosesphoto by Ipokratis Alexiou | Event Design StellaAndMoscha

Did you enjoy reading our interview? would you like to share with us some new trends about Destination weddings, has the crisis changed weddings in your opinion?  Happy to read your thoughts! Warm Island Greetings,