“I first saw my red Vera Wang wedding dress on the designer’s website. Before I had even tried it on, I decided that was the dress I wanted! My dress was made in two colors, white and Cardinal red. As soon as I saw it in red, I fell in love with how amazingly beautiful and grand it was that I just had to have it! I didn’t even think twice about having a red wedding dress! I had to fly back and forth from Sydney to Melbourne to have dress fittings as Vera Wang only has a bridal store in Sydney in Australia. I have been told by the store that I am the only person to have ordered the dress in red!”
Belinda’s cardinal red Vera Wang wedding dress was a strapless ballgown in red with layers and layers of tulle and organza. The color red symbolizes love, good fortune and joy. A hands down stunning and one of a kind dress!
“Everything revolved around the wedding dress! Everything was to be white or soft pastel colours so that my dress would really stand out. White roses, white linen on the tables, white pearls, bridal party girls in white dresses with soft pastel colored bouquets for the flower girls, bridesmaid and myself. “
“John and I met in Melbourne, Australia while I was out for a friend’s birthday one night. I noticed John from across the room and clearly he had noticed me too! In fact, I had said to my friend earlier that night, “I’m going to make that guy my boyfriend.” And then sure enough, John approached me and we began talking, we went on a few dates together, became boyfriend and girlfriend and in 2012 got engaged and then in 2014 got married! We actually met on 12 January 2008, got engaged on 12 May 2012 and got married on 12 July 2014. So you could say that 12 is our lucky number!”
“John and I do everything together as a team, so getting engaged was not a surprise but a joint decision. We picked the ring together and we went to the jeweler together to get it made! I was so excited to know when it was finally ready! Though John had hidden the ring from me for about a week in a secret location in his house, teasing me that he had it! Then on a Saturday night, on May 12th, he finally gave it to me and proposed! “
Belinda told us that her most favorite highlight of the wedding was the fact that her family and friends traveled all the way from Melbourne to Athens: “Spending time with them, showing them around and sharing beautiful Athens with them before and in the lead up to the wedding was very special for John and I.”
“The best decision we made about our wedding was to get married overseas. This meant that all our guests got to holiday in beautiful Athens and attend our wedding too. I think that everyone was more relaxed and enjoyed themselves”.
“John and I had many DIY projects I would say! Getting married overseas is a DIY project in itself! Transporting dresses and 6 suitcases full of wedding stuff half way across the world was a massive project for us. Then once we got to Athens, completing and lodging all the required Greek paperwork needed for us to officially get married in Greece was another huge job. From the paperwork for the Church, to the Greek Government paperwork, to lodging notices in the Greek newspaper, John and I had the massive task of running around Athens getting all these forms certified and lodged one week before for our wedding!”
The bride’s advice: “I would advise a bride to get a wedding planner if you are getting married overseas. They make everything so easy, from choosing the reception food, to the cake, to the flowers and decorations, to hair and makeup, to transportation on the day, to the choosing of the DJ and entertainment for the evening, our wedding planners assisted us with it all!”
For Belinda and John having a destination wedding in Athens was an easy decision for them. “John took me to Athens for the first time in 2010 and I just fell in love with it. It’s an amazing city. It has amazing architecture, amazing culture, an amazing vibe and sense of life! There is no place like Athens. Since 2010, John and I have come back every two years and stayed at Hotel Grande Bretagne. So in 2012 while staying at the hotel, we thought, what a better place to get married than the gorgeous Hotel Grande Bretagne in our favorite city! It was set, we had decided that we would get married right in the middle of the European summer, in July in 2014. And so the planning began….”
“Our wedding reception took place in our favorite hotel in Greece, Hotel Grande Bretagne. Hotel Grande Bretagne is so classical, stylish, exclusive, grand and luxurious. It has the most breathtaking views of the Acropolis ,Syntagma Square and the Parliament and the original Olympic Stadium. It is a landmark hotel and was the most perfect venue for us to have our wedding reception”.
“Our wedding concept and style was to have a grand, luxurious and stylish wedding. A small wedding in terms of size, but a on a grand scale and where else better than the Hotel Grand Bretagne. Our wedding was to be traditional with everything in classic white with me being the only thing in color (red) and not traditional!”
“We had a wonderful wedding planner that the hotel provided us with, Mrs. Maria Koutzabasi who is the Groups & Events Executive at Hotel Grande Bretagne. Maria was also assisted by Mr. Dimitris Brazas. The hotel was amazingly supportive and understanding of all our requests. Maria and Dimitri made our job of getting married in Athens so easy. They were there helping us every minute when we needed them, offering us advice and guidance and organizing things that we hadn’t even thought of or had the chance to organize. They were just wonderful!”