Imagine spending one of the happiest days of your life, surrounded by sun, sand and family. Sound appealing? That’s why 45,000 British couples are tying the knot overseas each year. Wedding planner Donna from Kefalonia Weddings reveals her experiences of getting married on the Greek island of Kefalonia.
Often called ‘the jewel of the Ionian Sea’, Kefalonia is an exquisite island with a spectacular countryside of mountains, golden beaches and sparkling seas. The island itself still holds many of its Greek traditions throughout history, helping it to remain an unspoilt Mediterranean paradise. Being the largest of the seven islands, Kefalonia remains relatively quiet and relies on quality rather than quantity of its tourists each summer.
“When getting married abroad, having confidence and relying on your wedding planner is essential.” Donna from Kefalonia Weddings explains. “You have to be very patient, listen and be calm and reassuring, especially when the bride’s wedding nerves kick in.”
As the only wedding planner on the island of Kefalonia who is certified and a registered member of the National Association of Wedding Planners, Donna takes it upon herself to organise the weddings. “Couples usually book a year in advance, allowing time to send out their ‘save the date’ cards to their guests.”
Processing the documents take the longest time and a wedding in Kefalonia can be arranged reasonably within two to three months. “Keeping in contact is not at all hard; we initially talk over email and then we have a lot of telephone conversations before the couple arrives.”
Donna has experienced many memorable moments during her time as a wedding planner for Kefalonia Weddings. “There was one wedding which I will always find memorable, it was very bizarre.” A Norwegian couple approached Donna whilst she was in a chapel decorating for a wedding that day. They asked then and there if they could get married. “I said it would be lovely and to take my card, they replied they wanted to get married next week! The couple pulled out a folder of their bag with the documents in and I had discovered that they had been on my website to see what was needed, and bought it all with them on the off chance they could get married.” Donna phoned the mayor to see if they could be fit in, everything was confirmed and she was given a week to arrange everything. “It was all done in time, I think that has to be the quickest wedding arranging ever!”
The progression of Kefalonia Weddings has improved tremendously compared to its initial start up in 2005. “People want different things now, they have different expectations. My ever growing experience gives me the confidence to try and suggest new things”