Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (2024)

The Story

James:

Alex and I met on Tinder. I was 30, and he was 26 and to begin with both of our lives were up in the air, so while we dated, we didn’t really know if it was going to turn into something meaningful. I was waiting to hear back about a job which might have meant I was going to move to Lebanon and Alex was just coming out. But then a job in London materialised, and after eight months, I think we both realised that we were onto something good. The uncertainty at the beginning probably took the pressure off, in a great way!

After three years together, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Alex and decided to propose after the first Covid lockdown in June 2020. Surrounded by his family in our favourite place – Alex’s parent’s garden – and caught it entirely on the film, I proposed with a gold bracelet from Chanel. I had read somewhere that braces were meant to signify the securing of your bond with someone. Luckily Alex said yes!

Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (1)

Venue

James and Alex:

We love Greece. And we had initially intended on getting married in Mykonos where we had been on vacation and James had been a number of times over the years. But then we remembered we weren’t billionaires, and when we found some wedding planners through a friend who are based in Athens, they suggested Paros. Slightly less obvious than Mykonos, more relaxed, much more in keeping with the vibe we were going for. Claire and Fenia were the most extraordinary wedding planners. They found the venue, a beach club called Monastiri. And actually Paros turned out to be a much better option. We really wanted to make sure that everything on the day would be in one place and we didn’t have to worry about moving guests from location to location. Monastiri has its own amphitheatre which looks out over the ocean and it really couldn’t be a better place to get married. We then had a welcome drink there, followed by dinner and then dancing till 3am.

While planning we realised because more than 160 people from around the world were flying in, we wanted to have some other events too. So Claire and Fenia found a really fun restaurant right in the middle of the port in Naousa where we danced until 3 o’clock in the morning on the Thursday night. Barbarossa has this tradition where everyone gets up and waves napkins in the air to the music…it was a lot of fun. On the Friday, we booked out another beach club, Cabana, where all our guests could spend time getting to know each other. That meant that by the time the ceremony came round in the evening of the Saturday, all our guests had spent a lot of time together, and as soon as they met in the port to get boats – which would bring them directly to the venue – they all felt really comfortable and relaxed. It also meant every night in town, walking around the narrow streets and the shops, we would bump into loads of our guests – and they eachother. It really all brought people together.

And on Claire and Fenia: we can’t describe just how brilliant they were, coordinating three events completely seamlessly. When James’ mum got detoured briefly to Rhodes because of a major storm over Athens, they calmly booked alternative travel and found her a hotel in no time. If you’re getting married in Greece, you have to have them plan it!

Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (2)
Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (3)

Fashion

James:

I was quite quick to find what I wanted to wear. It was a black embroidered cupro relaxed dinner suit from Armani. I wanted something elevated, but also fun and comfortable and crucially not too hot. We love a party shirt, so I found a blue silk shirt from Dries Van Noten. I wore it with a pair of black woven Manolos. Thursday night, we wanted something more fun for the party atmosphere, and so we both wore Co-Ords. I found a silk embroidered dark blue Dries van Noten outfit, with beading all down the front. Castaner do really lovely espadrille loafers, and the blue ones went great with it.

Alex:

My style is a little bit edgier than James’, and him finding his suit before I could find mine made it harder for me to filter down what I wanted to wear. But I knew I wanted to be contrasting to his dark colours. When we were on a reconnaissance trip to Paros in May, I came across an amazing Amiri suit on Matches. I ordered it to arrive for when we got home.

The original proportions were pretty crazy, but the amazing team at Pinnas & Needles did a wonderful job of altering it to my body. Im not one to blow my own trumpet, but i have to say that I don’t think I’ve ever looked better; going through the photos afterwards I said numerous times ‘the fit is just so good!’

James:

Alex never says this!!

Alex:

For the Thursday evening I wore a silk co-ord from Delos, which I also found on Matches. It just so happens that Delos is the name of a small island next to Mykonos, which was birth place of Apollo and Artemis. It all felt rather fitting.

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Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (5)

Jewellery

We did our legal ceremony last year, and for that we had two pinky rings commissioned by Sophie Breitmeyer, a Notting Hill based jewellery designer. We love green and had wanted Emeralds, but it’s far too delicate for a pinky, so we had Tsavourite stones in a simple gold casing. On the day itself in Greece, we exchanged simple Tiffany wedding bands to wear on the ring finger next to the pinky.

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Bridal Party

We like the idea of a bridal party to all kind of match, but we didn’t have specific dresses or outfits for them to wear. We wanted our maids of honour to wear a similar tone, and so they both wore minty blue. Alex’s sisters wore different shades of pink and red. All the dresses were from the high street – Reformation, Rewritten and ME+EM were favourites. We gave the maids of honour, best women, bridesmaids and other key people bracelets from Luis Morais. He is known for his cord bracelets with gold charms, and we had cream coloured ones made with a little sapphire in each gold bead, which had the effect of the evil eye – which you see everywhere in Greece. Alex and I had matching green ones.

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Transportation

One of the things we were most excited about was the guest entrance, and that was via three traditional Greek fishing boats, bringing them across from Naousa port directly to the venue, which has its own jetty. We think it made for a really spectacular way to arrive at a wedding. We had minibuses ready from midnight until 3 o’clock in the morning to take people home wherever they needed to go across the island.

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Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (9)

Tablescape

We wanted the tables to be packed or covered with flowers and food, big tables of family style, sharing platters. We really love Greek food and it was one of the reasons we chose Greece. One of our favourite books is ‘Song of Achilles’ by Madeleine Miller, and so we chose characters from her book as names for each of the tables. The top table was called Hera, the goddess of marriage.

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Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (11)

Food & Drink

It was all Ottolenghi style sharing food. We had a series of appetisers, like fried zucchini, aubergine with minty yoghurt, and an aubergine ragu with polenta. We had a selection of salads, including a divine beetroot and peach salad with cashew nuts. We had couscous with pistachio and raisins through it, and a pasta salad too. For mains we had pork meatballs with a pea and mint purée, chicken leg with a molasses sauce and sweet potato mash as well as a vegan gnocchi.

James has a serious sweet tooth so was most excited about dessert. We had big sharing bowls of tiramisu and Banoffee pie plus some fresh fruit.

Later in the evening we had a midnight snack of chicken and pork souvlaki, with an option of halloumi as well as ice creams and sorbets. James had a big pot of chocolate ice cream at about 2 o’clock in the morning and it’s one of his favourite memories. They also put out little tasters of the banoffee and tiramisu because there’d been so much of it. We had local white and rose wines from Paros. And then we designed two co*cktails which were part of the open bar for the rest of the night, one named ‘The Alex’ and another ‘The James’.

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Entertainment

While guests waited, Andrew Bird’s ‘Epilogue’ played. It created a really calm atmosphere but kind of set the tone.

Then Max Richter’s re-composition of Vivaldi’s four seasons played to focus the guests.

Then we had a violinist and cello player, and they played Spice Girls ‘Two Become One’ as we walked in.

As we left they played Adele’s ‘One and Only’ – Alex’s favourite.

The classical duet continued playing their pop classics through the welcome drinks.

We came into dinner to Mariah’s Fantasy and our first dance was Becky Hill’s I Could Get Used To This – instrumental to begin with and then mixed into the dance version to get everyone down onto the dance floor, which was on the beach.

The DJ Dimitris Rigas is a local DJ who works in one of Paros’ big bars. He was incredible.

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Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (14)
Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (15)

Beauty Regime & Wellness

We went to our local spa, The Aesthetics Club in Westbourne Grove before we flew to Greece. They do wonderful hydrofacials. But apart from that, not a lot!

Favourite Wedding Gifts

We opted to create an ‘Art Fund’ which our guests could contribute to if they wished. With the money that people kindly contributed, we are going to buy a piece or series of pieces of art for our home that we will always remember the special weekend by.

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Honeymoon

The wedding was in Paros and opposite is Antiparos, which is a beautiful small island. The Rooster hotel was a perfect retreat for four nights. And since we had chosen to have a wedding abroad, a lot of our friends made holidays out of it, and so it turned into a kind of Buddymoon, where we saw friends for dinners or days out. We just wanted to keep the party going.

Advice

James:

My only advice would be once everything gets going just enjoy it. Don’t think about what’s happening next. If you’re having a few days of parties, just focus on what you’re doing there and enjoy it. It all goes so quickly so make the most of it all. When it comes to planning finding a good planner is obviously really important. The reason we gelled with Clare and Fenia, is because we could tell we had similar tastes. So it wasn’t about which contacts she had or what suggestion she was making. It was more about whether or not we had a broader taste level in common and we think we did. We didn’t find it stressful at all.

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With Thanks…

Groom: James and Alex

Venue: Monastiri, Barbarossa, Cabana

Caterer: Aliprantis

Grooms: Giorgio Armani, Dries Van Noten, Amiri, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Delos, Officine Creative, Jacquemus

Florist: Jim Labraco

Stationery: Designed by Melissa from A Circle Back

Photographer: Andrew Leo

Videographer: Jim Grillas

Wedding rings: Sophie Breitmeyer,Tiffany & Co.

Bridesmaid gifts: Luis Morais

Wedding Planner: Claire Papagrigoraki & Fenia Lagoudi

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Inside: A Breathtaking Amphitheatre Wedding In Greece The Wedding Edition (2024)
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