A simple Greek wedding using blue, white and green
20 Apr 2021
Olivia Hogan and Oliver Gates went back to Santorini where they got engaged for their wedding, which they kept simple and Greek
Photography: George Pahountis
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We only had to reschedule once thankfully. We had originally booked our wedding to take place on the magical island of Santorini, where we got engaged, on the same date (15 June) the year before. We were lucky to get another date in October instead, we were also very lucky that out of the 120 invited guests that 30 people were still able to travel from Ireland, England, Scotland & Wales.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme was to keep everything simple, Greek and in the Santorini colour scheme. So, olive leaves and plenty of green, candles and white roses (my favourite flower). The bridesmaids’ dresses were blue and my bouquet had white roses and seasonal greens and blue flowers.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose Cavo Ventus Villa as it was private and on the cliff face. It had everything we wanted, especially the stunning views.
Tell us about the dress
I’m originally from Dublin, but I live in Scotland with my husband. So I booked a weekend in Glasgow with several bridal shops. My mom, sister (my maid of honour) and my aunty Mary flew over to visit me for the busy weekend. The first shop we visited was Eleganza Sposa and I remember being so nervous, but really excited to try on the beautiful dresses. The first dress I tried was slightly blush and I wanted something more traditional in colour. She brought out an ivory dress and my face lit up. When I tried it on, I cried. It was an in house Eleganza Iconica dress. I wanted to say “yes” there and then but thought I need to try on some more to make sure. I then proceeded to drag my aunt, sister and mom to another four shops! 18 dresses later I was back at Eleganza and I said yes to that dress. This time I wasn’t the only one crying.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
My sister Louise was my maid of honour and my sister-in-law Phoebe and my lifelong friend Carol who introduced Olly and I were my other two bridesmaids. They wore a simple baby blue dress with some diamond detail on the straps. We had two flower girls, my niece Nyla and Olly’s god daughter Heidi in white dresses and flower crowns.
What did Team Groom wear?
The groom, best man, father of the groom and father of the bride all wore a navy suit and waistcoat from Moss Bros, while Olly wore a sandy coloured waistcoat as the groom. We had one ring bearer Olly’s god son, Hammish
Did you hire a wedding planner?
Yes we did. We used Stella & Moscha, they were amazing from start to finish and helped with everything. Stella and her team took the extra stress out of rearranging the date and on the day made everything flawless.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
We had simple flowers everywhere, loads of green garlands and white roses.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
We loved the idea of the Greek evil eye (Nazaar Eye) which offers protection, so we used this as the table name settings. It was also a keepsake for people to take with them. When the night was over we offered people personalised chocolate M&Ms in white and blue with the wedding date and a picture of us on them.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was so nervous beforehand. I gripped my dad’s arm so tight and just as my dad and I started walking I saw Olly’s face waiting for me, and I was overcome with joy and emotion.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
I’m Irish and my husband is English, but we live in Scotland. We had both our mothers do a reading called ‘On Your Wedding Day’ which was beautiful and talked about couples, love and family becoming one. My friend Hannah sang two beautiful songs at the ceremony, one for walking down the aisle and the other just after our vows. We also used the Irish tradition of lighting candles. We individually lit one each at the start of the ceremony and at the end used them to light one large one. This shows how two individual people started off and together we start our lives as a married couple sharing our lives.
What was your most memorable moment?
This has to be seeing Olly at the end of the aisle waiting for me. He was just as emotional as I was. My dad and Olly shock hands and we both were so happy to finally be there and were so overcome with emotion that we immediately embraced and kissed each other.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Covid 19. Planning a wedding is never an easy task - two people always have different ideas for some parts of the wedding, so throwing a worldwide pandemic on top of that isn’t an easy one to take. Once Olly and I had finally decided on what we both wanted and were on the countdown to our original date we, like many couples had to deal with the uncertainty of Covid-19. Not only did we have to worry about the ever-changing rules in Santorini, we also had to contend with rules in Scotland where we live. England where Olly’s family live, Ireland where my family live and guests traveling from other countries too. Although this was extremely stressful and did get to us at times, when we finally got to Santorini and it actually happened it made it that much more special. We both couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We had an electric violinist after the ceremony. Then a DJ and sax after the meal.
Tell us about your wedding cake
Again, we wanted something simple. We opted to keep it in our colour scheme so it was a white cake with Santorini blue splashed on top. The cake itself was coconut and milk chocolate.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
The weather! This still makes me laugh. When you see Santorini wedding pictures you see bright blue skies and sun. We had had sun all week and the day of the wedding it was windy and overcast. Luckily the villa was sheltered from the wind and it was still warm so the day was still a success, apart from not having the sun out. At that stage it could have snowed and it wouldn’t have bothered us. We loved every minute.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Make sure you enjoy every single minute. You think you have so much time it all passes by so quickly and become the best memory.
Steal Their Style
Photography: George Pahountis
Venue: Cavo Ventus
Dress: Elegaza Iconica
Hair: Marianna Nomikou
Make-up: Eleni iliopoulou
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Quiz Clothing
Groom’s outfit: Moss Bros
Cake: Alexandra Cakes
Flowers: Wedding Wish Santorini
Catering: Spicy Bites
Videography: Mont Videography
Wedding Planner: Stella & Moscha
Sound & Lights: Events in Santorini
Saxophonist: Fotinos Tsakopoulos