With a cold winter upon us in England and Spring seeming so far away, I cast my memory back to one of my 2015 summer ceremonies and Gemma and Stuart’s beautiful beach wedding in Skala, on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. The couple were delighted that some 40 friends and family joined them to witness them say “I Do” and celebrate an island BBQ style well into the evening, accompanied by traditional Greek dancers and a Bouzouki band.
Inspired by the colours of the beach, their navy and white ceremony setting was minimalistic and stylish. Set under an open gazebo with the sea as a backdrop and a mandolin player as background music – what could be more welcoming? As Stuart waited patiently for his beautiful bride to arrive, spectators started to gather as they realised that something special was about to happen. So much for a private ceremony – but this in no way put either of them off as they only had eyes for each other. As Gemma arrived with her bridal party, her groom was under strict instruction (by me!) NOT to look until he was given the go ahead. The go ahead arrived in the form of one of the little pageboys strutting his stuff down the aisle with a piece of note paper, tugging on the groom’s sleeve, who was told to open the message which read, “You can look now….” The groom’s face said it all.
The ceremony was filled with love, laughter and a few tears as we made special mention of those in heaven sending their good wishes. Having got to know Gemma and Stuart after multiple meetings over several months (usually at the pub over a wee drink!) I was able to share their love story in the most personal way as part of their ceremony. They commemorated the marriage by way of a Sand Ceremony – perfect for a beach setting. I had a fun time explaining to the airport customs when singled out by the Xray machine as to why I was carrying bags of fine white sand to Greece! They (Stuart and Gemma) blended two different bright colours of sand into a large engraved keepsake jar as a memory of their day. A third colour (white) represented their friends and family. The individual sand represents the bride and groom as individuals, whilst the blended sand represents their lives as marriage partners. Just as the grains of sand can never be separated, so will their marriage be.
The signing the wedding certificate formalised the ceremony, but more celebration followed to close the ceremony as we incorporated a local tradition that also has a Scottish connection (family ties). All guests were given a glass of Prosecco, and joined in as the bride and groom took three sips as they:
- Drank to their past
- Drank to the present, the gift of their wedding day
- And drank to their married future!
- A toast to love and laughter, and happily ever after!
In Greek tradition, the owners of the venue greeted the wedding couple as they entered the reception, offering them a silver spoon of walnuts & honey and so that they marriage would be sweet….. Gemma and Stuart were legally wed at the Town Hall earlier in the day with just two witnesses. They entrusted the organisation of their Big Day to Alexis of Alexis Walker Wedding Planning and Design