The world is an incredibly inspiring place. It is our goal to see as much of it as we can, not only for personal reasons, but also because of our jobs. People always think wedding planning is about pretty tablescapes and well-presented cocktails. It is, but it's also about families with different backgrounds, religions, and cultures coming together. About 75% of our weddings are either Jewish or non-denominational at this point, but we also do a lot of Indian and Greek weddings. We've done Macedonian weddings, French weddings, Australian weddings, weddings blending Catholic/Muslim families, and the list goes on. More often than not, one person is something and one person is something else. This doesn't just affect the ceremony, but also the reception too. There are many dynamics that come into play when blending cultures, and it's important that we have a comprehensive understanding of what these differences and challenges are. It does come out in the planning process and, simply put, it makes us better at what we do.
Now back to the pretty tablescapes and cocktails. We've also learned that the key to designing authentic experiences is to know what these cultures grow to expect. What impact should colors have on a celebration? Ask someone in India. How important is the meal? Ask someone in Italy.
We are working our butts off on our events this year - officially booked for 2016. Woo! - and on the side we are soaking up as much of the world as we can. We look forward to sharing more of our travels and adventures with you, in hopes that it allows you get to know us on a personal level when we aren't planning weddings, as well as perhaps inspiring your honeymoons.
Which leads me to Greece. Ahh, Greece. Last September, we ended our season early so we could take a 3 week trip to Europe. We traveled to Paris, London, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Barcelona, and eventually to Montreal (because fall in Montreal). Greece was a dream that we didn't want to ever wake up from. I'm sure we'll post about Mykonos soon, but for now let's talk about Santorini. Read on...
We flew from London directly to the island of Santorini. There are very few cities that fly non-stop to Santorini. London is one of them, and our flights were only $80 via Easyjet. Tip: book these flights ASAP because there aren't a lot of them.
We arrived at night and were picked up at the airport, where a baggage handler was to be waiting for us "by the post office" in Oia, and from there we were to be escorted on foot to our Airbnb. They say it's best to fly in by day, but we didn't listen and while we didn't get the views, we did feel as though we had the village to ourselves. Super cool!
When searching for places to stay in Santorini, I knew two things: 1. I certainly didn't want to spend $1,000+ a night, especially for an environment that didn't inspire me, and 2. I wanted a place with character. So many of our clients look to honeymoon here, and I wanted to have great recommendations for them. I just wasn't that in love with the design of the majority of the hotels in Santorini. Don't get me wrong - some are okay, but there were few that were totally bonkers from a design standpoint.
So, we decided to rent an apartment. We struck gold with a place so unique, it has been in our Airbnb host's family for generations. It isn't luxury, but it's authentic. We awoke in the morning to this view from our balcony.
Nothing could prepare me for this. Santorini is so wonderful and so special, I can see why it is one of the top honeymoon destinations! Despite the many tourists, I wouldn't hesitate to go there. And because a photo simply cannot do it justice, here's a video. As you can see, a little to the right and you have the Aegean sea. NOT. BAD.
Deck of our place with a few apartment photos.
B kicking back with a book of recommendations from our amazing hosts.
It was a tough view to leave, but as we are not ones to sit around in a new place, we took off exploring the town of Oia, known for its sunsets and incredibly romantic atmosphere.
Right outside our Airbnb was bougainvillea galore. An absolute favorite that we can never get for our events, so we take it in when we can. Off to explore!
The local bookstore...
Now this is a good happy hour spot...
I'm not going to lie - I visit pretty much every floral shop I stumble upon when traveling.
The day views are amazing, but the night views are equally fantastic. Make sure to stop by the Lioyerma pool bar to watch the sunset.
Take in a cocktail at the Meteor Cafe.
At one point we even met up with our clients who were there honeymooning. We had just done their wedding a few weeks prior and ended up getting together for an epic double date. How cool is that? Thanks so much, Kate & Pat!
Soon it was time to switch out our place for a new one. See that marina to the left at the bottom? That's Ammoudi Bay. Although the view from the top is certainly hard to leave, I had the thought that it could be a unique opportunity to experience what it's like to stay right on the water as well. So 3 days into it, we did.
A short truck ride to the bottom (you can walk but it'd be hard with luggage), we'd arrived.
Our airbnb was the red brick building on the left, with the view from our patio and kitchen below.
Staying below gave us the opportunity to do what could never happen up above - waterfront tavernas, cliff diving, and swimming!
On the last day in Santorini, we sat on the beach all day until the sun set. It was a really tough day, but we made do.
Ultimately, Santorini was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life. I had seen it in photos, but it did not do it justice! GO, GO, GO! Have a "donkey" craft beer, eat some gyros and greek salad without lettuce (true story - we Americans have had it wrong all along), enjoy the Santorini wine, the views, the charm, the wonder. You won't regret it! Does this face look like it regrets a thing?