Laura + Christopher
A TIKI TORCH-LINED PRIVATE BEACH CEREMONY…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEX GIOTOPOULOS
High school best friends who became sweethearts; Laura and Christopher have the love story that most people dream of. “It’s hard to pinpoint a first date because we did so much together as friends first, but we’d both say going to see Night at the Museum in the cinema was the probably the first thing we did as a couple” Laura tells us.
“I had no idea at all that Chris was going to ask me to marry him when he did. We’d spent six weeks staying with friends in Australia while on work placements and Melissa, our friend, kept talking about rings and engagements and asking for my opinions – little did I know this was to inform Chris! On our way home over our six-year anniversary we spent three nights in Malaysia. After dinner we returned to our hotel and he told me to close my eyes and wait outside. When I opened them he was down on one knee with the Petronas Towers lit up behind him, rose petals just about everywhere, and two cushions on the bed – one said yes and the other said no. I asked him if he really meant it and then said an excited yes before we celebrated with drinks at the rooftop bar!”
Laura discovered her dream Morilee dress in Dan Kerr Brides, Preston.
“I went with a definite style in mind that I wanted, but when I tried it on it actually didn’t do anything for me so I started to experiment.”
When the lady at the boutique pulled out my Morilee dress I said I didn’t want to try it, but my mother asked me to and when I did I loved it! Mums obviously do know best!” The full-length gown featured Venice lace overlaid on chiffon and a little train. The bride added a teardrop veil that sparkled and caught the sun at their beach wedding perfectly.
“My mum gifted me a Swarovski necklace with pearls and crystals; my brother and sister-in-law gifted me a Tiffany bracelet for my something blue, and I added pearl earrings and a blue lace garter, also from Dan Kerr Brides.” Laura chose flat sandals embellished with pearls and diamantes running from the toe right up to the ankle, the perfect choice for her Greek beach ceremony.
“Chris is quite laid back, so he reflected this in his outfit, choosing a linen blend suit in sage from Next. He also opted for a Ted Baker shirt and premium white leather Vans, but the best bits were his bow tie and pocket square. These were custom made from a vintage world map fabric to show his love of travelling, with the bow tie showing Greece, our wedding destination, and the pocket square showing Malaysia in a nod to our proposal. He topped it all off with a straw trilby hat. He surprised me with it on the day and he looked great, the outfit was amazing!”
Laura was attended by three bridesmaids who wore Greek style dresses from Bride & Groom in Preston.
The floor-length gowns were in shades of turquoise and pink chiffon fabric and featured a single shoulder.
The couple’s wedding planner, Claire at Lefkas Weddings, arranged the hair and makeup for the bridal party. “Angie Korre did our makeup using MAC products. She was very good and listened to what I wanted while also advising me on how to look my best. My hairdresser, Anastasia Ninou was equally lovely. She was very bubbly and made me feel very special during the trial and on the day.”
Laura and Chris tied the knot on the Gerakas Beach in Lefkas – a beach only reachable by boat!
“All of the guests, groom and groomsmen met at the harbour in Nidri, before boarding the Ionian Star and setting sail for the beach!”
They enjoyed a 30-minute cruise to get there with a welcome drink in hand, making the day even more special! Lefkas Weddings had gone all out to ensure the beach was beautifully presented for the ceremony.“My bridesmaids and I then took a speed boat to the beach where my husband-to-be and guests were waiting!”I could see them as we got closer and had so many butterflies, it couldn’t have been more perfect!”
During their civil ceremony, Chris’s mother read a poem she had written herself for the occasion. “It was about both of us growing up, meeting and falling in love. It was beautiful and made me cry, she did an amazing job!” gushes Laura. “My brother also read a Bob Marley quote which was perfect for Chris. We wrote our vows in secret and it was a wonderful moment when we could finally share them. they reminded us how alike we are and why we are just meant to be together.”
Beachside prosecco and canapés followed, with the couple opting for a relaxed beach barbecue-style wedding breakfast too.
“We both adore Greek pitta gyros, so they designed a menu to include them! We tucked into pork and chicken souvlakis, pitta triangles, chicken fillets, salads, feta cheese, Tzatziki, the pitta gyros we love, rice and lots of sauces!”
While they didn’t choose a strict theme, travel did inspire many of their reception details. A globe formed the guest book; chandeliers were made from shells, and driftwood, wildflowers and candles made up the centrepieces. “As our beach venue is only accessible by boat, all of the furniture and items had to be delivered by boat. Jane from Lefkas Weddings designed the area and set it all up for us and Tulip Catering provided the equipment.” Tulip Catering also supplied the couple’s two-tier Greek style wedding cake in chocolate and vanilla flavours.
“Chris is a graphic designer and we decided to make messages in a bottle invitations. We sourced small bottles and Chris designed long, thin invitations.”
“We attached string to the corner and a brown Kraft card tag, then rolled them up. Slipping them into bottles and putting in the corks were the final touches! The only oversight was that they didn’t fit through letterboxes so we had to deliver a lot in person.
Our planner also arranged our flowers for us, which were arranged by Gourioti Flowers. The bouquet featured stargazer lilies and roses, the bridesmaids carried posies of roses and peonies, and the buttonholes were made from shells.
We made our own playlists which were played through a PA on the beach. This worked really well because we could choose songs when we wanted to and include something that everyone would enjoy. Our first dance was to ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz. We sang along to it one night while planning our wedding. It just felt happy and perfect for our beach setting.”
Laura and Chris haven’t yet organised their official honeymoon since their wedding was abroad and they enjoyed a luxury villa while they stayed, but they did treat their guests to a fantastic day out afterwards. “We booked a boat through Trident Boats in Nidri Harbour and went out for the day with all of our guests. During the trip we saw caves, went for lunch over at Meganisi and enjoyed a swim. We even saw dolphins!”
“Our planner also arranged for us to go parasailing over the beach. It was an extra surprise for Chris’s 30th birthday while we were away.”
V E N U E Gerafkas Beach, Lefkas, Greece
W E D D I N G P L A N N E R Claire at Lefkas Weddings
P R I V A T E B O A T C H A R T E R
& E V E N T S E T U P : Jane Flinders – The Ionian Star
D R E S S Morilee at Dan Kerr Brides, Preston
B R I D E S M A I D D R E S S E S Bride & Groom, Preston
G R O O M Next, Ted Baker and Vans
A C C E S S O R I E S Swarovski, Dan Kerr Brides and Tiffany & Co
H A I R Anastasia Ninou
M A K E U P Angie Korre
F L O W E R S Gourioti Flowers
C A K E Tulip Catering
P H O T O G R A P H E R Alex Giotopoulos, V&A Giotopoulos