The wedding of blogger Miss Portmanteau was just beautiful! Lara and George travelled from London to the beautiful island of Mykonos just to get married by the sea. Wedding decoration was simple and classic with blue and white colors to match Mykonos’ colors. Candles and lanterns at the reception venue created a romantic and warm atmosphere!
The bride shared with us: “I met my husband in London. I was invited to a house party of two brothers I had never met before, Alex and George. So I looked them up on facebook and decided to contact George without knowing the life-altering decision I had just made! George was very polite and said I should definitely come by. That night he showed everyone at the party my profile photo saying how I was going to be his next girlfriend. But I never showed up. Instead we met for the first time in a Greek club called Elysée, and after a month of friendship I began to realise that there was something there I could not pass up. We began dating and made it official on November 5th under a spectacular Guy Fawkes firework display somewhere in Little Venice (London). My heart was pounding and I called my mother the very next day to say “I’m sorry, mum, but I won’t be coming home for Christmas. I’m in love and we’re going to Barbados!”
“George is from Mykonos, so I always knew that he would propose there. He is a direct descendent of one of the most famous figures in Greek history, Manto Mavrogenous, the Greek heroine who spent her fortune fighting the Ottoman invasion. George told me the story of Manto during my first trip to the island as we stood and admired her statue in the central square named after her. We were staying at his family house in Agios Ioannis, a beautiful neighborhood overlooking Delos Island. We were already talking about marriage seriously by the second time we came and on my third visit he proposed outside the church where we would marry. I had been expecting a proposal all night but as it got late I figured it would come another time, so I ordered a Long Island Ice Tea and got into the holiday spirit. At the end of the night, George suggested a little walk by the sea. It was such a beautiful night it seemed like a nice idea. So when he started his proposal speech and got down on one knee, I was totally taken by surprise.”
“The concept for our wedding was Natural Beauty. Since we already knew the venue and church, we decided to style everything according to the location. Mykonos is simplicity, white walls, blue sea, pink, orange and purple sunsets, natural beauty in its purest form. We were careful not to distract from that. I wanted everything to compliment the location. We also hired a Greek graphic designer who I knew through a Portuguese friend of mine who came up with the Portuguese azulejos (tiles) theme for the details, such as the wedding favors, name cards and menus in white, blues and yellow, to insert a little something from my background. I also did my own make-up while my sister styled my hair as I wanted to look natural too.”
“I went for a classic, elegant bridal bouquet, a delicate mix of peonies and roses in white, pale yellow, pink and peach, and baby’s breath. The bridal bouquet is such a focal piece, I highly recommend spending that little extra for something special. “
“My wedding dress was called Hyppolite from Delphine Manivet. I found it at a bridal boutique called Mews Bridal in Notting Hill that only deal with a few French and British brands, like Rime Arodaky and Laure de Sagazan. Originally I had my heart set on being a Rime Arodaky bride. I love their modern, party chic style. But when I tried on Hyppolite it was definitely the one (despite my panics over if I’d made the right choice). I thought the silk and chiffon would be beautiful on the windy island of Mykonos. So naturally, we married on the one day of the year with no wind. I also loved that the dress was named after the Amazon Queen in Greek mythology, which seemed fitting for my Big Fat Greek Wedding. But the dress held one more secret. It is the same dress that Kiera Knightly wears in Atonement in emerald green, one of the most famous on-screen dresses ever.”
“We got married at the little church in Agios Ioannis, the one down by the sea on the road to Kapari. This place has so much meaning to George, but was also a chance for me to become part of a tradition and heritage that we will continue to pass on to our children. In order to have a church wedding I was baptised Greek Orthodox back in London, which was actually very important to me as I was never baptised before. I grew up knowing little of my parents cultures, since I was born in Holland to a Norwegian mother and Portuguese father and we moved country on average every other year. The connection George has to Greece and to Mykonos is something I admire and value and want for my future children. So I learned Greek, completed my catechism, and was baptised. In doing so I found myself becoming part of a Greek family, heritage, and way of life.”
“A Myconian tradition is that the bride is escorted to the church by musicians. This turned out to be the highlight of the wedding. The musicians were fantastic, two Greek men in traditional dress whose beautiful music helped put my nerves at ease, it was a sound I shall never forget. The whole ceremony was also incredibly special. The Greek Church have the best word for it. They call it the Mystery. I love that. The priest read and sang the ceremonial hymns while holding our hands and looking into our eyes. It was a moment I will never forget.
“A lot of our wedding inspiration came directly from our story. The choice of the venue and church, the Swarovski necklace I wore that George gave me last Valentine’s day. His Montblanc cufflinks that I bought for him on the first birthday of his that we celebrated together. Our song, Leila by Eric Clapton, from that whirlwind trip to Barbados. Of course, I also scoured Pinterest and did my research for months beforehand, which is where I got the idea to buy an Instax Polaroid camera for the guest book. But I also took the time to discuss with each vendor their ideas and what they could offer. There is no point dreaming up a wedding full of roses if they will be out of season on the date of your wedding. Inspiration is great but if you’re planning a destination wedding on a little island, it’s worth thoroughly checking out what the vendors can offer. The biggest help was seeing past weddings that Hippie Fish and the wedding planners had done in Mykonos. That’s where I got the idea for the hanging lanterns and the canvas tote bags with towels for wedding gifts.”
“It couldn’t have been anywhere else… Right from the beginning we both wanted to marry in Mykonos, and Agios Ioannis specifically where George is from. His connections also meant we would get a good deal, which is a huge help given how expensive the island has become. Hippie Fish is my favorite beach restaurant on the island and the owner Nikos is a childhood friend of George, who was extremely helpful in making our dream wedding come true. The whole neighborhood was amazing. Michael from Bellissimo took fantastic care of our guests while Eva from Delight upgraded us to the best room in the hotel. George grew up with these people and we are incredibly grateful for their generosity and friendship. “
“The venue and church are so naturally beautiful they barely needed any decoration. We kept our flower decor to the minimum, a single glass vase and two candles for each table. We hung 200 tea light lanterns from the ceiling over the dinner tables, which gave the place a magical glow, like in a fairytale. It was expensive, but 100% worth it. We had also bought hand-painted tiles during a trip to Sintra (Portugal) for the table numbers and propped them up against Greek beach stones. And spent a little extra on our incredible naked cake, decorated with a macaron cascade from N’ice Cream.”
“…I was incredibly touched by the wedding dinner speeches by our family and friends. So you see, my favorite moments were the ones that barely cost a thing.”
“I have a lot of advice for brides now that I wish I’d had! You don’t need more than 1 year to plan your dream wedding (I was engaged for two). Make sure you eat properly the day and night before your wedding, because on the day chances are you won’t be able to eat (I know, I didn’t believe it until it happened to me). A train on the dress is beautiful but incredibly inconvenient. It had to be carried a lot and later my bustle broke! In hindsight I wish I’d skipped the train and just gone for a veil with a train (which later comes off). Don’t spend any more money than you are comfortable with, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors. Choose a good photographer and videographer, Nikos Psathogiannakis and Nikos Fragoulis were fantastic and worth every penny. Stay firm to your choices. You can hear other people out, but at the end of the day don’t forget that it’s your wedding, and only the bride and groom should make the decisions.”