This destination wedding in Paros is the sort of intimate wedding celebration we can’t help but love! A beautiful location on the Santa Maria Beach in Paros, simple and oh-so-chic wedding details (I just loved the seashell wedding favor and natural herbs on each table setting!) and a couple immensely in love… Photographer Bernard Pretorious captured every last beautiful moment and shared with us the following: “Whilst on an adventure travelling around the world, an Australian boy fell in love with a Canadian girl in Toronto in the queue of a fast food restaurant. Fast forward six years, and they celebrated their wedding with family and friends in Greece. Their wedding was an intimate beach ceremony on the island of Paros, with the details of the day carefully chosen as not to distract from the beautiful surrounding landscape. The neutral tones with hints of peach and blush beautifully complimented their venue choice…”
The bride shared with us:“Given that our family and friends are split between Melbourne and Toronto, we wanted to have a celebration where we could meet somewhere “in the middle” and spend time with everyone over a few days. It’s so rare that our families are friends are together like this! The Greek islands seemed like a perfect option because Andrew’s mom is Greek-Australian and had not yet had an opportunity to visit Greece. We also wanted a location that had many options for our guests – be it beach vacation or touring historical sites. After a lot of research we chose Paros due its beautiful beaches, and relaxed atmosphere – we wanted to have an authentic experience without the hustle and bustle of the busier islands. Our wedding planner, Mimmika from THE SECRET DOOR Weddings is also based there, so it helped that she knew the lay of the land”.
“We were initially tackling the fact that our friends and family live on multiple continents – which meant a destination wedding to bring everyone together made the most sense. It was also extremely important to us to have a celebration where we could spend time with our guests and connect with everyone. There was a bit of concern at first; some said we would regret having a small celebration, or that many people wouldn’t be able to make it. Though there were important people in our lives who weren’t able to attend, we were so happy with the celebration – it was a perfectly sized group; small enough to be intimate, yet large enough to feel like a party when we got on the dance floor! Our friends and family got along amazingly well and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. Over the course of our stay, people from different corners of our lives connected and went for yoga classes and runs along the beach together! We are so grateful to everyone for making it what it was”.Miranda chose to wear a sophisticated tulle wedding dress from Essense of Australia with romantic cap sleeves and a stunning hand-beaded grosgrain belt: “I wanted something simple and lightweight for our summer wedding. When I tried this on, I felt so beautiful – it was just the right shape and I loved the off the shoulder sleeves. How fitting that I would choose an Australian designer. I loved the slightly pink colour and the belt added a bit of sparkle. It was also the perfect size to stuff in the overhead bin on the flight to Greece!”
“I wanted my bridal bouquet to have something a bit wild and free but still romantic. I had sent Mimmika a few images and notes of what I liked, and the final result was revealed the morning of the wedding – I was so happy that I got a bit weepy! The bouquet had David Austin roses, they had also included peonies (my favorite), lavender, and eucalyptus – a touch of Australia. I also had some small charms attached to my bouquet – it’s a custom in Australia for the bride to receive favors from family and friends…”
“We met in Toronto in line at McDonald’s. Seriously. We were both there late one night with friends and we happened to be next to each other in line. Andrew started talking to me and we kept chatting until we ordered our cheeseburgers. Later that week, we had our first date and we were inseparable for the rest of the summer. We dated long distance for the next year and a half until Andrew moved back to Toronto. I visited Melbourne for a couple months, but otherwise it was a lot of trust, text messaging and Skype dates! We married the week after our sixth anniversary”.
“Our wedding bands hold a special meaning to us, as they were made by a dear friend of Andrew’s family. In fact, he made Andrew’s parents’ wedding rings nearly 30 years ago. At the wedding ceremony, we asked each of our guests to take our wedding bands and offer their good wishes and blessings over them. It was a very intimate moment”.
“We wanted the landscape of Santa Maria Beach and our beautiful family and friends to stand out – we didn’t want to overwhelm the atmosphere with bright colors and lots of busy details. We chose neutral cream and sand tones, and green and white flowers with hints of peach and blush. We had a bit of a lace theme that was echoed in our stationery, the place settings and the bridesmaids outfits. Andrew and I made the place cards and favor tags by hand – he typed each name using an old Underwood typewriter he found. At each place setting there were herbs – lavender, rosemary and olive, along with a seashell ornament from Yria Ceramics“.
“We had researched many options, and fell in love with Nava Lounge – we loved the beautiful white, open space, and it had a perfect look without adding anything to it. Best of all, it was right next to the sea and gave us the perfect beach area for our ceremony”.“We were overjoyed that so many family and friends were able to join us – it was the greatest gift ever. We shared some magical days together and will remember it always”.