Gorgeous Greek beach wedding ceremony on Halki

A Greek beach wedding ceremony in Halki, Greece. The photo shows the guests seated and the couple in the bckground with the Celebrant and a view of the sea.

There is a Greek dance hailing from the island of Kalymnos which depicts a man, crippled with decompression sickness, as many sponge divers were.  The dance starts off slowly with the lead dancer, the crippled sponge diver, barely able to stand even with the use of a stick.  The music starts slowly, but as it builds up so the passion and pride rise.  At this point he flings aside his stick and joyously dances, the music seemingly lifting him out of his crippled posture. What does this have to do with a romantic Greek beach wedding ceremony?

The memory of seeing this dance was stirred when Barry (the groom), just weeks after having surgery on his back, decisively and determinedly threw aside his crutches in order to read his wedding vows to Niesha. It was like the rising passion for this momentous occasion was all it needed to stand unaided and make his promises for a shared life of joy.  Great moment.

Where it all happened…

Barry and Niesha chose to have their ceremony on the pretty Greek island of Halki, just off the coast of Rhodes. It’s a small, very chilled Greek island only accessible by boat. The venue was Kania beach; white sand and turquoise waters to rival the Caribbean! The setting was romantic, rustic and wonderfully Mediterranean. We used the decking around the taverna (the only one there!) for the ceremony space with those beautiful turquoise waters behind us and after the ceremony, the guests moved down onto another area on the beach for the meal and to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Wedding ceremony details

Both Barry and Niesha have grown-up children from previous relationships and as an extra bonus they all genuinely love each other and get on fantastically! So, of course, it was important for them to participate in the ceremony.

Niesha’s son, Alex, walked his Mum along the beach and up to the taverna as Barry’s son in law Chris sang them in with his guitar. They chose a David Grey song ‘Be mine’ as it perfectly encapsulates how they both swept each other off of their feet!

Both Barry’s daughter Ellen and Niesha’s daughter Kerina were bridesmaids as well as performing a really moving handfasting later in the ceremony. Niesha’s sister Debbie joined the girls as matron of honour and they all looked absolutely gorgeous in their blue floaty dresses!

Barry’s best man Nigel played a (literal) supporting role and keeper of the rings.

And then everyone was in place and we began!

I told the story of Barry and Niesha – he’s a charmer in the loveliest possible way and managed to outmanoeuvre all the rules in the Niesha book of dating, and she’s no pushover I can tell you! And before we knew it, it was time for the ring exchange and then that amazing moment when Barry threw his crutches aside to share his personal wedding vows. (Have a look here for some wedding vow inspiration) And the moments just kept coming – Niesha had a mascara malfunction after hearing Barry’s promises and Alex, Niesha’s son, stepped up with a tissue to sort it out, saying:

“I just need to do this Mum, otherwise you will hate the photos!”

Now that’s a boy who knows his mum!

Ceremony details – Handfasting

When vows and rings had been exchanged, we finished the ceremony with a handfasting. Barry’s daughter, Ellen, and Niesha’s daughter, Kerina, stepped up to bind their hands in a beautiful show of unity and love, literally binding their families and their lives together.

Greek island beach wedding handfasting
Just look at those gorgeous, smiling faces!

Chris, ‘the roving minstrel’ played them out and all the wedding art went on to enjoy photos on the beach before finishing the evening with dinner on the beach.

It was magical! Such a beautiful location enhanced by a couple so in love and in tune with each other, and with the added bonus of uniting two families to create a new whole!

Credits

The wedding ceremony was on Kania beach, an idyllic setting on the tiny island of Halki and just perfect for your own Greek beach wedding ceremony!

Greek island beach wedding
Just showing you the water! Swoon!

The celebrant was me, ECK – A wedding Celebrant in Greece.

The design and bespoke décor were Maria and Daffy from 3 Redbags events. The accommodation and transfers for the guests and the couple were arranged through Nissia Holidays, the leading Halki specialist! The photographer was Savvas Argyrou.

If you would like your wedding ceremony to be crafted to suit your personalities, and you fancy a gorgeous location in Greece, then get in contact today and we can have a chat about how we can make it happen!

Email me at: weddingcelebrantgreece@gmail.com

Testamonial
My pleasure!

To the dogs in our lives!

Dogs at weddings

Nearly all my couples are dog owners, dog rescuers or even dog trainers! It’s a popular trend these days for couples to involve their dogs in the ceremony: ring bearers, accompanying the bride down the aisle or just being part of the day. But of course my couples are enjoying a destination wedding and there simply isn’t luggage allowance for beloved furry family members. However, I can promise you that they will most definitely get a mention in the ceremony because if I didn’t, they would know…

I too am a dog owner and rescuer so I get it. Anyone who thinks a dog is ‘just a pet’ has never shared their home with one and probably should not approach me to write their wedding ceremony! So I get it, these beings are family members and we love them with all our hearts. So let me share the love and introduce my own pooches with you.

getting my dogs in a row..

Continue reading “To the dogs in our lives!”

More than just a ring…

I’ll be honest here. It doesn’t pique my interest who your wedding dress was designed by or where you got your suit from, how many roses you want in your bouquet or where you got your wedding rings from – unless of course there is a reason why you made that choice or a story behind it. Then I want to know ALL about it! Another confession coming up – I was a bit ignorant about how significant jewellery can be. I got that pieces hold sentimental value if they are passed on from precious loved ones and of course I got the significance of rings exchanged during a wedding or vow renewal ceremonies. But I had never considered that the design and materials used to create something new could hold as much of a story almost as a bespoke ceremony. That was until I met Linda Syrigos. Linda is a jewellery designer and the creative energy behind ‘Ilion Design’. She’s the girl you need to go to when you want engagement rings, wedding bands or just anything really important designed to do with jewellery. And she’s pretty cool too. So I would like to introduce you to the lovely Linda and let her tell you about why she does what she does.

How did you begin doing what you do?

I’ve been drawing and creating since I can remember. I made jewellery for friends and family from a young age and was always interested in taking apart old jewellery and revamping it into something more ‘on trend’. I completed a bachelor of Industrial Design where I took on an elective class involving jewellery production techniques and fell in love working with precious materials and understanding the processes involved with jewellery making. After a move to Melbourne, and many years working in fine Jewellery houses, it was only natural to start my own business venture in jewellery.

What do you love about your job

I love bespoke work! Sitting down with clients over a cuppa and discussing their story. Whether it be a love story, special birthday 
or anniversary, the beautiful part of bespoke work is that you are working together with the client, encompassing their vision and story and creating a piece that will be worn and celebrated for many years.

(See what I mean? How lovely is that?!))

Tell me about one or two of the best moments to date in your work, something REALLY special:

I recently designed a pendant for a client whose mother had passed away. She had a stone that mum held on to in her jewellery box for many years and even though it wasn’t a precious stone it held so much sentimental value to her. We created a pendant design that could be worn in different ways so she can change up the piece depending on the day and carry a piece of her mum with her.

(Now that’s what I’m talking about.)

I’m just releasing my website and a new collection called Amalia, which is such a special moment in my work. Seeing the designs come to life and being involved with every part of the process was both challenging and rewarding. The new collection is about embracing each moment, living present and getting into touch with nature where we can.

What do you believe is your unique selling point?

Producing bespoke celebration jewellery pieces combining rare ‘one of a kind’ gemstones with exquisite diamonds.

Tell me something about yourself that other people may not know 

I use to be a Dj and still collect vinyl even though I don’t play anymore.

(I told you she was cool!)

Where can people find you or get in touch with you?

www.iliondesign.com and Instagram @ilionjewellery 

What are you waiting for? Go get your stories turned into tangible, beautiful pieces of bespoke jewellery!

Do you have any pieces of jewellery with a story behind them?

 

Will you…

Apparently, the Christmas holidays are the most popular time of the year to pop the question. I haven’t found that to be true with the couples I have written and performed ceremonies for, but what the heck. I’m still going to share some lovely proposal stories with you.

In my job as a wedding celebrant, I always ask the couple how the proposal went down and usually I get rewarded with some amazing, funny or just downright romantic stories! As this is a pivotal point in the relationship, I usually like to include some of the details in the ceremony. Or if it was particularly spectacular, I sometimes get them to re-enact it. Like Ash and Olly. Olly had written a fab proposal poem and set it to the tune ‘O sole mio’ and even got to execute it perfectly on a gondola in Venice just as they rounded a corner into the bright sunshine (although that might just have been Ash’s smile) We couldn’t get the gondola and a canal, but we were by the sea, so Olly went down on one knee and gave us a repeat performance to a standing ovation. Luckily Ash still said yes!

Oliver’s proposal was so romantic, I made him do it again at their wedding ceremony!

I think that the style of the proposal says so much about the couple and the tone of their relationship. It’s a true litmus test of how well they know and understand each other. Like when Steve proposed to Julia with a motorbike instead of an engagement ring, with ‘will you marry me’ number plates. Knowing that Julia wasn’t a fan of jewellery, but was a huge fan of owning a new bike, showed that he completely understood her and respected her lifestyle choices and taste, that he was prepared to give her something she would truly value even though it meant breaking tradition.

Often the best proposal stories are the ones that didn’t go exactly to plan, but actually turned out to be even more perfect because of it. Chris had planned his proposal to Kelly for their trip to Amsterdam. Their afternoon nap over ran into the evening, losing their dinner reservation, a disagreement about what time of day was the right time of day to go to the ice bar put another spanner in the works and when a great romantic moment on skinny bridge presented itself, neither of them had any battery on their phone to take pictures. But that was ok because an Estonian couple happened to be passing by with fully charged phones and happily allowed them to take selfies to their heart’s content. Not ok was the exchange of email addresses which got lost in translation so that none of the photos were ever received!

And then there was the proposal which was just so awful and badly timed, that I let them have another go with the words and tone that they wished had been employed the first time around.

But one of my favourite proposal stories has to be D and L. For me, it just bodes so well for a partnership of love and teamwork. Plus it’s incredibly romantic!

“I proposed when we went to Greece for summer holidays a couple of years ago. I purchased the ring from a friend jewel setter in Athens and was planning to pop the question at a romantic place in one of our island destinations. I didn’t have a plan as such but was confident an opportunity would present itself, which it did on the island of Amorgos. There was a castle in Chora and I found out no one could go there unless they had the old door keys. These were to be found in a café near the castle where I had to go and ask for them. It is fortunate L doesn’t speak Greek, so didn’t really know what was about to go down! Unfortunately, the key lock proved to be an extremely difficult one and after 10 minutes of frantically trying to open the door of the castle, I was about to give up and try something different another day. As I was thinking what to do next I offered L the keys and asked her to try it one more time. Naturally, she gently turned the keys counterclockwise and after a loud click, the door finally opened! ‘This is it’ I thought to myself, it obviously takes two to tango and I realized more than ever that she is the one to walk with and unlock all the closed doors we might find in our journey together!”

I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to propose, there is only a right answer. Whether it’s elaborately planned and executed like a military operation or spontaneous and ring-less, as long as it’s from the heart that’s what counts.

If you have a wonderful proposal story, I’d love to hear it! And if you are doing the proposing, get in touch and let’s get writing that wedding ceremony!

Email me: weddingcelebrantgreece@gmail.com

P.S. the gorgeous engagement ring is from the super talented Linda at Ilion design.  Check out their bespoke jewellery over at www.iliondesign.com   And you can meet her next week in an interview and hear about the creative process for making pieces of bespoke jewellery – especially wedding and engagement rings!

‘About me’ extra

The photo above was my very first wedding ceremony as a celebrant.  At least it was supposed to be. As it turned out, an emergency situation meant that it actually became the second ceremony I performed.

I was prepared, super prepared. I was confident that I had written a beautiful, personal ceremony which not only included some beautiful details from the couples love story, but we had also included our version of the wedding crowns, a nod to the bride’s Greek heritage.  So I was feeling pretty relaxed. And so I should, I had weeks, months, in fact, to prepare and email back and forth with the couple to get things just so.

And then I received a phone call from another distraught couple. They believed they had booked a Catholic wedding ceremony at their hotel in two days time.  They had family and friends coming from all over Europe. But there was no Catholic wedding happening at the hotel and an unscrupulous staff member had misled the couple, not even preparing their paperwork for a civil wedding registration. They were devastated and mortified at the prospect that their wedding party would feel they had a wasted journey. Would I be able to perform a symbolic ceremony for them at such late notice? Um, in two days time, you say? Ok!

And so that was actually my first ever wedding ceremony.  Unexpected and written with the intense focus that only such a deadline can evoke, and with a determination that their ceremony would be even more amazing to compensate for their terrible distress. And it was! We laughed, we cried, we basked in the warm glow of the sinking Mediterranean sun and the love of a couple with a story of restored bicycles and lost buttons.

This was the ceremony that convinced me that I had found more than a new job.  It showed me that I could make a difference in one of the most important days in any couples lives.  And that I could even do it at very short notice if I needed to!

If you are curious to find out more about me, head over to the official ‘about me’ page here. Or just ask anything you want to know by email, on the facebook page or my Instagram.

I look forward to meeting you, but please don’t leave it until 48 hours before your wedding to ask for a ceremony!  Unless you really, really have to of course…

Who you should choose to read at your wedding

Who should you choose to read at your wedding?

I love it when other people get involved in the ceremony. (But only if they have been invited to do so by the couple, if they are just randoms then it can be a bit awkward.) But who do you choose and most importantly, what do you choose for them to read, and maybe even more importantly, do you let them do the choosing?

So let’s take these decisions one by one.

Who should you choose?
I often see a lot of subtle diplomacy deployed here. ‘Important’ roles are distributed amongst the best friends and family members – maid of honour, best man, bridesmaids, dad/mum/brother walking down the aisle. But oops, the groom has TWO best friends, the bride has THREE BFF’s and there’s a stepdad or a spare brother, how are they going to be presented with a starring role when there just aren’t enough to go round? “I know!” You cry, “We’ll get them to do a reading!” So this is how sometimes your second, but no less significant, best friend gets a reading foisted on her/him when quite frankly they would rather eat their own leg than stand up on one of the most important days of your lives and read a slushy poem.

What’s the answer then? Continue reading “Who you should choose to read at your wedding”

How to write wedding vows

Your wedding Vows are the pivotal point of your wedding ceremony. With a Celebrant led wedding ceremony, there are so many ways you can choose to conduct your wedding ceremony, elements you can emphasise or even exclude, but the wedding vows will always remain. After all, it’s this exchange of promises that seals the deal. How you choose to exchange your vows is a very personal decision. You might only want to say ‘I do’ or you might want to write a stream of declarations and promises. Discuss the way you want to make it happen with your partner.

During the wedding ceremony, we usually arrive at the Vows before the exchange of rings.  If the rings are a tangible, physical signature to the agreement, then the spoken words of your vows are the fine details.  So you don’t want to get them wrong! Continue reading “How to write wedding vows”

Get your Greek on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

It came as no surprise to me that my Greek brides would want to include some significant Greek wedding traditions into their ceremony – they may have been second generation from parents that emigrated to the states and Australia, but there is nothing more Greek than a Greek that lives outside of the motherland!  At both weddings we incorporated the wedding crowns (you can read all about these in my guest post for the Celebrants directory here) But it wasn’t just the Greek brides that wanted to include it Continue reading “Get your Greek on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”

40 years on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

What an inspiration! A vow renewal on the day of their 40th wedding anniversary, arranged by their children.  it’s quite a milestone isn’t it?  40 years, that’s 4 decades, 14600 days!  Vow renewals come about for a variety of reasons, Continue reading “40 years on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”

Flashmob reading – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

Flashmob style happenings are quite a thing in weddings these days whether they involve the bridal party in a  secretly choreographed dance routine or bursting into song.  I love the element of surprise and delight these offer as well as the obvious dedication and time spent rehearsing by all involved, and as I’ve said before I’m a huge fan of audience participation in wedding ceremonies.  So I was wondering how I could include something similar into an intimate beach ceremony where the guests were all a big group of friends and really close family.  I seized the opportunity when I met the maid of honour, who was obviously well up to helping me organise the task. I took her to one side and explained my plan.  She thought it was a great idea and set off to find other willing participants.  So during the ceremony where I had included an 8 line reading about soulmates by Richard Bach for me to read, at the point where the reading started I gave the nod to the maid of honour and she toned out: Continue reading “Flashmob reading – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”