A blue and white destination wedding in Santorini
17 May 2019
Originally from Lithuania but now living in London, avid travellers Rasa Pasaraviciute and Remigijus Drungilas chose a destination wedding on the Greek island of Santorini for their big day
How did you meet?
We met through mutual friends. We both were invited to their wedding to be bridesmaid and groomsman however we did not know each other. They suggested for us to meet prior to the wedding as we both lived in London. We were messaging each other for around a month discussing wedding gifts, clothes etc until we decided to meet. We started dating immediately. We attended the wedding as a couple and even though we tried to hide it everyone noticed that we were close.
Tell us about the proposal.
Our engagement was beautiful. We went for a holiday to USA, it was a long trip covering California, Arizona and Nevada. Remi was acting really strange for around three weeks before the journey so I was a bit worried that he wanted to break up with me as he was not talkative and very secretive. The thought of a proposal came to my mind when he was very protective of his luggage all journey and wouldn't let me touch it. However, after we went to the Grand Canyon and the proposal didn't happen there, I dropped my suspicions.
We were in Las Vegas getting ready to go to a night club. when he told me that he wanted to take me to the top of a hill to watch the sunset. The view was beautiful there. He asked me to close my eyes and when I opened them there he was with a ring in front of me, crying. I started crying as well. It was so sweet, romantic and emotional.
We celebrated Las Vegas style by visiting numerous clubs and bars, including a strip club. We drank, played in the casino, had a limo ride…and we were gifted with the most terrible hangover the next morning. To top it off, we had to drive for five hours to LA and we were stopping in parking lots to nap. These memories are the most unique and unforgettable.
Why did you choose a destination wedding?
We always knew that we wanted a destination wedding as we are travelling couple. Initially, we wanted to get married in Hawaii but we decided that it would be too complicated for our guests to come so when we opted for Europe, it had to be Santorini. There was no more romantic place we could think of. We wanted a small and intimate wedding with our closest friends and family. We had 18 guests.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We went for a classic elegance theme. The colour scheme was royal blue, white and silver.
Tell us about the venue.
We chose Dana Villas for its unbelievable caldera views and many positive reviews. We booked honeymoon apartments for a week with an infinity pool – it was incredible. The venue itself its beautiful and the views are to die for, especially at sunset. We had the most perfect weather – no strong wind as is usual for Santorini, only light breeze and sunny, clear skies all day long. It is really hot during the daytime so all outdoor ceremonies start around 4pm.
When did you know you'd found 'the dress'?
I picked a dress from Marmaris haute couture collection by Vasylkov. I bought it in London Stratford's AG Bridal. It was a beautiful Grecian-style dress. I picked it as it was incredibly gentle and light with a transparent corset, wonderful lace applications and light chiffon skirt - exactly the dress I wanted for an outdoor wedding on the island. We made a few adjustments including a slit to show my legs, adding Swarovski stones to the corset and changing the silk lining for a much lighter one. I absolutely loved my dress.
I tried around 20 dresses before finding the one. It was not easy to find what I was looking for as I wanted a very light and breezy dress. For my shoes, I picked high stiletto sandals by Jenny Packham.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mother went for a royal blue dress that was tailor-made from light chiffon that we bought in London. All the other female guests wore dark blue dresses.
Where did you find your wedding suits?
My groom picked a jacket from Ted Baker and the trousers were tailor-made.
Who helped you with your wedding set-up?
We hired a stylist/co-ordinator and she helped us to turn all our styling/décor ideas into reality. However, all the ideas we picked ourselves. My experience with her was not 100% and I would say you can’t fully rely on someone. Communication through emails was slow and organisational skills on the day were lacking, however she did a great job of styling our dinner table. In hindsight, I think we could have done everything with the help of the suppliers.
The main lady who made my day perfect was my photographer Margarita from Mimage Creative Studio. I flew her out from London and I am so happy I had her there. I wanted to have a photographer I knew and trusted on such an important day. She made the day run so smoothly and made it relaxing and enjoyable. She also helped us a lot with the seating arrangements and guest enquiries, even giving tissues to my mother to wipe the tears.
She also stayed longer so we could have a photo shoot two days after the wedding. We had some great shots at our apartment infinity pool and then went around the island to take some more wedding shots. This meant we could fully enjoy the day and not stress about our wedding guests waiting around for us.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
My bridal bouquet was made from white roses, soft and more intense delphinium and some greenery. It was a light and beautiful bouquet inspired by our wedding colour scheme. Originally I wanted to go for peonies, but it was impossible to get them in Santorini in September.
For the reception table décor we picked four big centrepieces made of white roses, hydrangeas, lisianthius, greenery and hanging ivy. They were 300 euros per piece but it was worth it. They looked fabulous and elegant. We also placed one white rose with a blue ribbon for every guest on the dinner table.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
- Our wedding invitations to guests were designed as passports to Greece
- We hired a sign board with our names for reception and it was decorated with greenery
- We bought balloons as we wanted to release them together with our guests after the ceremony. We went for blue and white biodegradable balloons to reflect Santorini's colours
- As it was a really hot day all guests had white umbrellas to shelter from the sun
- We wanted candles for the dinner reception to create a romantic atmosphere.We also hired some lanterns for the Jacuzzi area to make it even more intimate
- We hired blue goblets and silver charger plates for the tables. Guest names were laser-cut from light wood in a dark blue colour and placed on white napkins
- We also hired a LOVE light–up sign for extra romantic vibes
- For favours we wanted something Greek so we picked greenery and attached a Greek eye for each guest plus small jars containing traditional Santorini konfetsa for the ladies and Ouzo bottles for the gentlemen.
How did it feel walking down the aisle?
Very emotional, it was a beautiful moment. I was very nervous but my dad reminded me to breathe. When I saw my groom with tears in his eyes it was extremely hard not to start crying. I noticed later in my ceremony video that I was biting my lips a lot to stop myself from crying.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We included some readings in our own language to pay homage to our nationality as the ceremony was in English and we had international guests. We also chose a unity sand ceremony where we poured blue and white sand from different glasses in to one, a symbol of two people becoming one family. My godfather who is a professional singer provided a very special moment, he sang us a love song at the end of the night.
What was your most memorable moment?
The preparations in the morning. All the excitement was making it hard for me to sit still on the chair during the make-up. Also my mother’s blessing and my best friends' teary eyes when they came to see me in my wedding dress. Another highlight was seeing my groom’s face with tears in his eyes when he saw me at the altar and exchanging rings was very emotional too.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
The guest list was challenging as we wanted an intimate ceremony and we picked a small venue, however when the moment came to choose who we wanted to be there it was harder then we thought. I also helped to organise and book tickets, hotels and transport for many guests which added extra stress as people were coming at different times and staying in different venues.
What was the most important investment for you?
The most important investment for us was the venue, photographer and the rings. We also splurged on the catering as we chose canapés after the ceremony and a four-course dinner, as well as an unlimited bar for the reception.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose Perfect by Ed Sheeran because of its romantic lyrics and beautiful rhythm that was perfect for our Viennese Waltz which later turned in to Despacito by Luis Fonsi for some salsa to get everyone in the party mood. We had firework fountains emitting showers when Despacito started to play which was a nice surprise for our guests.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We had a saxophonist playing at the ceremony and for the reception we booked a DJ so everyone could request their favourite songs. I compiled a Spotify playlist, one for dinner and one for the party. We asked our guest to send their song requests before the wedding and we added them to the playlist. Everyone had so much fun dancing.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We had a beautiful red velvet cake but with a blue(!) filling to fit our colour scheme. It had white icing and was decorated with real flowers. It was delicious and looked unique.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
If I could go back and change something I would stress less over the small details. Planning can be stressful but together it is the most beautiful time and you should really enjoy it to the full. I lost a dress size two weeks before the wedding and when I look at it now I smile because this is the most beautiful day of your life and no matter what happens it is still going to be perfect even if you forget some small details.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Only a couple of things. My hotel receptionist mistakenly called my room with a wake-up call at 6am in the morning which I did not book and I wasn't able to fall back asleep after because of the excitement. Our wedding celebrant was late (he is the only one on the whole island) which caused a delay to the ceremony of 45 minutes while guests were waiting at the very hot terrace with no shade, which was not ideal.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Nothing. I loved planning, discovering, stressing, experiencing. Everything was perfect and I would not change a thing. It was the happiest occasion ever, all our loved ones in one place celebrating our love together.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to Hawaii. It was a present from my parents as it was our dream to visit this beautiful island. We spent a few more days in Greece after the wedding, flew back to London for couple of days to re-pack and then flew to San Francisco for a week and from there to Hawaii for two weeks. We had a full month of honeymooning.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
- Spend time together planning your wedding – it is enjoyable, intimate and very exciting. We also highly recommend going for dance lessons for your first dance as it is great fun and a bonding experience for you as a couple.
- If you're thinking about a wedding abroad, definitely go for it - it is a great experience, maybe a bit harder to plan, however you and your guests will have a holiday at the same time. And don't worry, your closest friends and family will come wherever you are.
- Have a spreadsheet or a planner for your budget and write every single detail, it will help you to stay within your budget and track all the spendings.
- Hire a videographer. We are so happy we did it.
- I would highly suggest to go with good old wedding traditions and spend a night before the wedding separately from your groom. It added so much more excitement for us to see each other only at the altar.
Steal their style:
Photography: Mimage Creative Studio
Venue and accomodation: Dana Villas
Floristry: Betty Flowers Santorini
Videography: Ania Shvaikova
Choreography for first dance: Sigita Bakanauskiene
Wedding dress: AG Bridal
Make-up: Beauty Santorini
Hair: Bella Santorini
Saxophonist: Fotino Saxophonist
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