Be prepared to be swept off your feet with this intimate Venetian Fortezza wedding in Crete captured gorgeously by HannaMonika Wedding Photography. With a chic color palette of blush pink, ivory, beige and soft greys and the ceremony taking place in the unique and mystical setting of the Venetian Fortezza, trust me when I tell you… this wedding in Crete is absolutely charming!
“We had been dating for over 9 years when he proposed. We had discussed marriage and doing something very private and small, without an engagement, just a small local ceremony. Little did I know, Liam had been designing an engagement ring for the past year with a jeweler friend. Liam is an architect and wanted to design something elegant, unique and personal. It was a white gold ring with a beautiful sapphire stone (both our September birth stone). The ring had been burning a hole in his pocket for a few months until he finally proposed in our Brooklyn apartment after a lovely dinner out, “it was the perfect moment”. They took a few days to enjoy the blissful feeling of being engaged before spreading the news to friends and family…”
“We love art, architecture and European culture and have wonderful memories of traveling around Europe throughout the years we’ve been together. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg Russia and have family that moved to Greece… We researched the island extensively and fell in love with the rich history, maritime atmosphere of Rethymno. We we’re especially attracted to the narrow medieval streets filled with boutique shops and restaurants. We also discovered Rimondi Boutique Hotel which was beautifully renovated with a contemporary vibe juxtaposed to the historical textures of the Rethymno’s ancient streets…”
The beautiful bride shared with us: “We met before our last year at college in Rhode Island, while taking summer classes. We had a few run ins on campus and at parties with mutual friends, not looking for anything serious. We had a great summer and a great year getting to know each other, again not looking for anything serious. After graduation in 2005 we each moved home and continued our long distance relationship, meeting up in New York city almost every weekend. Our love for the city was undeniable and a year later we both moved to Brooklyn. We’ve been through ups and downs, multiple apartments, jobs, life changes, growth etc… but never stopping to enjoy each other’s company and having so much fun together…”
“From the start whenever I thought about my dress, it wanted something simple, elegant, a little bit of lace and a bit sexy. So naturally when I found it I was immediately in love, it was quite a bit over my budget but somehow I was able to convince myself that this was the right choice, and I’m so glad I did. Since we planned the wedding in 6 months there wasn’t much time for dress alteration, I found a sample dress and had it altered, we picked it up the day we were flying out to Greece. The dress traveled with us through the airport security, luggage rooms, taxies, hotels, apartments, beaches and finally made it to Rethymno…”
Yelena mentioned about the wedding color palette she had chosen: “We knew the vibrant Mediterranean palette would be a factor no matter what. So we wanted to compliment it with light grays, neutrals and beige”.
“We toured the ancient Venetian Fortezza in Rethymno with our wedding planner and the wedding party the day before the wedding to choose the exact ceremony location. The intimacy and simplicity of the vaulted Christian temple and former mosque was most appealing. The ceremony was situated in front of the mihrab niche for its rustic texture and architectural detail”.
“The emotional ceremony was officiated by one of our best friends, Billy Thomsen. It was filled with laughter, tears and joy. The plan was to have the ceremony inside the temple followed by a cocktail reception right outside in a shady tree grove on the Fortezza. But things don’t always go as planned… it was especially windy that day and the gusty off shore breezes kept the cocktail party inside. Our wedding planner made that decision and it could not have been a better one!”
According to the bride, the best best decision they mady and the worst were: “Getting married in Greece and getting married in Greece! We knew it would be difficult for some of our close family and friends to attend a wedding in Crete and the planning process was certainly the most difficult part. The thrill of getting married combined with the thrill of getting married somewhere we had never been was really exciting for us. Being able to have 40 of our closest friends and family travel so far to join us in such a beautiful place was such a blessing for us. None of it would have been possible without our wedding planner, which was definitely one of the best decisions we made”.
Yelena shared with is that the best moments of her wedding day were: “The Ceremony! The champagne reception! Walking through the streets of Old Town Rethymno with our guests! It was so much fun to stroll through town with everyone arm in arm smiling, laughing and clapping, we felt so much joy and love. The first dance as a married couple. The cozy courtyard dinner reception”
“We found our wedding planner Annika Schneider of MOMENTS Weddings & Events online after we chose Rethymno. She had beautiful photos and venue options and she was the very responsive and accommodating. We would not have been able to fully enjoy the magical experience we had without her!”
“The culture and architecture of Rethymno was the perfect backdrop. The natural textures served as immediate decoration. We included a small guest gift bag with parts of NYC and Greece: iconic pictures of NY, a bottle of Ouzo, an evil eye and a welcome card hand drawn by the bride and groom”
The bride’s advice: “I know this may sound cliché… but you should do your best to enjoy the planning process, embrace the challenges, acknowledge everyone’s opinion but really think about the things that YOU want and ultimately decide what is right for you and your groom. Because when all is said and done, those are the memories you’ll have and cherish together forever. Pay attention to the little things but don’t get too caught up in them, allow yourself some flexibility to enjoy the natural unfolding of these special moments. Don’t be afraid to be opinionated, it is after all your wedding!”