Ashley and Mark’s pre-wedding shoot
Oh the stresses of a wedding- making guest lists, arranging the venue, and even making millions of decisions like the color of the flowers all add up quickly. But it can be different when you elope. But don’t take my word for it, here’s what Ashley had to say:
The flowers were the wrong color, but when you are in Santorini, WHO CARES :). It was SOOO beautiful!
I’m glad I was a part of their elopement journey. I had the opportunity to see their eyes and hearts light up in their first look. It was amazing how much trust I got from the couple to capture the intimate moments. While Mark was waiting on the roof Zenith Blue Hotel in Imerovigli (http://zenithblue.gr/) I helped Ashley with the dress. When I got to the roof it was a signal to Mark – it was time. He turned away just to see his beautiful bride in front of him seconds later.
To be honest, it is hard to have bad pictures with such a radiant and loving couple. Their energy and love captured me and I just held on to this wave as I captured these. I really feel all the work paid off when I received this sweet email:
I think we definitely did the best thing :) We explored, we had fun, and it was SO romantic. We had the best time, and we still talk about it all the time. Plus, EVERYONE LOVES YOUR PICTURES. People say how they wish you lived here. :)
Well Ashley, thank you but my heart is still in the magical island of Santorini.
I wish you the very best and I’m waiting for you to come back for your anniversary.
Santorini based vacation photographer Anna Sulte
Santorini wedding photographers tips for travelling with
a wedding gown
Many of my clients come to Santorini to get married or celebrate their anniversary. What you don’t realize when making this decision is that you most likely will have to travel to Santorini with your wedding gowns. For guys travelling with a suit is not that challenging, but international air travel with a wedding dress can be a challenge.
First of all, let’s begin with a decision that could make your life easier. If you want to travel, you can also take this into account when choosing the dress. In general, a very classical wedding dress with a long lower part and corset. It will be far easier if you go for a Greek style or any other smaller dress. However, I know how it is – you just like the dress and you’re ready for anything to get it to Santorini. If so, then go for it!
OK when you have picked the dress, you can start figuring out how to get it to your wedding. There is no absolute advice for it but there are things you can do to increase your chances. One of the best and safest solutions for this is to get a separate suitcase for the dress only. There are actually companies that can pack your dress professionally into it to minimise creasing. When you arrive you can arrange a steam pressing to make sure everything is OK. Just make sure you are totally confident of the maximum carry on size of your flight operator, make calls to double check if necessary.
There is another, more risky solution. It is just packing your wedding dress as usual in a clear cover and carrying it on the plane. If you do this, it is a bit of a gamble, but it can turn out pretty good. Your wedding dress will of course exceed the allowed luggage dimensions, but most airport workers see the dress and light up. There’s actually a closet in most airplanes or a place to hang it up without creasing. If you’re on a long distance flight, you increase your chances dramatically if you fly first class.
If you have the time and are willing to go on an adventure, you can also arrive earlier and go wedding dress shopping closer to your destination. If you’re coming to Santorini, there are millions of possibilities in Greece before you board the ferry to the island, not to mention some spots in here as well. You can also use websites to plan and preview the dresses you want to try on. This is a good solution if you’re adventurous and willing to experiment a bit.
So there you have it, hope this helps and if you used a different technique, please let me and other couples know!
Santorini photo session by Anna Sulte, photographer based in Santorini
WHY SHOULD YOU USE PRINT LABS FOR BEST RESULTS?
Getting the beautiful images you want on your computer is only half the battle. Off course in this day and age many photographs remain there and are forever viewed as files on screens, but I do encourage my clients to make tangible prints to share among family or hang on walls. Such prints develop a truly different relationship with the viewers and it is a much more personal photography viewing experience. Think about the opportunities to take a stack of printed photographs and show them to your family and closest friends – what better way to remember the good times you had in Santorini? Not to mention the opportunity to hang some of these pictures on walls so that they would remind you of the good times with your loved one.
There is one general rule I urge my clients to follow when making these prints and it is that they should use a professional print lab. Print labs are establishments who have specially trained people and professional equipment for handling image printing. They’re something like modern darkrooms – printing a good print from a digital image takes as much skill as developing prints the old way with chemicals in darkness. Do not expect to receive high quality prints if you take your photos to the nearest kiosk. Please do justice to your high –quality image files and spend a bit more on printing – you will not regret it! The main reason for this quality difference is that the professional printers are operated by equally professional people who take care of color grading and the perfect printing settings instead of relying only on programmed auto modes.
Some of the best print labs that are easily accessible and handle digital files are WHCC and mpix.com in USA and Photolab.ca in Canada. I am sure a quick search online will quickly get you on track for finding the nearest professional print lab in your area, regardless of where you are located.
Remember – great images need great printing! Have fun viewing your Santorini memories. :)
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING MARRIED IN A SANTORINI CHURCH
The traditional Greek wedding ceremony is truly a beautiful thing full of traditional rituals, which I have explained in my article here. Much has been said about the Greek way of getting married; however little is known about the actual practicalities — arranging everything, handling expenses etc. I taught I could give you few tips about this today.
- First of all, I must say that there are really many chapels in Santorini, but only a few do wedding ceremonies. If you have chosen your dream spot for your perfect day, it is worth enquiring if they do these type of ceremonies. Few Santorini chapels to check –here.
- Leave the planning for professionals. Santorini has some of the most experienced wedding organizers out there, so don’t be afraid to look for help with the arrangements for your special day. They will approach it in a practical manner, suggest venues, calculate pricing and stick to your budget!
- Prepare all the necessary documents! Wedding in Santorini has its legal details — you should really find your wedding planner before arriving to Greece, so that you would be absolutely sure of the documents you need to proceed with your plans, have them translated etc.
These are some of my remarks to help you along the way — I find that handling all the practicalities get a bit confusing sometimes, so I hope this helps! But the most important thing is — let yourself go and enjoy this amazing experience in Santorini!
I’m working on mini-series of posts on Santorini villages. There are 15 villages on the island and plenty to explore/choice from for.
Here I add link to my previous blog post about Greek wedding traditions and here.
Santorini portrait photographer Anna Sulte, based on the Island of Santorini.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OF YOUR SANTORINI TRIP WHEN FLYING FROM SINGAPORE
Throughout the years I have met a lot of wonderful people from Malaysia having a good time here on the island and most of them are looking for some advice. The biggest problem for people travelling from a far is how to save some money and not compromise on entertainment. I thought I could sum up some of the topics they’re most interested in and offer my advice for everyone here online. I’ve broken it down into three categories:
FLYING TO SANTORINI. Minimizing your travel expenses is an important thing to consider, especially if you’re flying to Santorini from across the Globe. I would go as far to say that this is the most important thing to research. There are no direct flights from Singapore to Santorini, so make sure to pay attention to your layover times. Generally you’ll need at least 2 layovers — one somewhere outside Greece, and the other in Athens. How about spending a day in Athens as well since you’ve come so far? Around 30 airlines operate the Santorini airport, so you have a wide choice; I suggest you look up at least 20 offers before buying your tickets. The most popular airlines are Great Western Airlines, Olympic Airlines and Aegean Airlines — start with those, but do not buy the first tickets you find, trust me. Look for package deals, but consider how they fulfil your travelling needs.
STAYING IN SANTORINI. All the general rules apply here. You can check out my posts on best Santorini hotels with amazing pools and 5 things your perfect Santorini hotel should have; the thing I would like to add is that it is important to book your rooms really early to make sure you get your perfect hotel. The flight from Malaysia to here is quite a long one, so you really need to plan some extra rest time in your comfy hotel room before starting your active Santorini adventure.
EATING IN SANTORINI. People from Singapore usually really enjoy the local Greek cuisine — it is very different from the dishes eaten in Singapore, so be prepared to explore some new tastes! The thing to remember is that the best seafood can actually be found inland, not at the beach restaurants — most of them charge very high prices for not-so-great food. Find some extra tips in my post on the best Santorini restaurants with authentic food.
There, that’s it! You could save some of your travel budged and have a wonderful experience if you do your research and stick to this advice. One final advice is to have fun and enjoy everything the island has to offer. I hope to see you soon!
Photos from session in Oia with my beloved Singaporean people Cheryl and Lucas!
Santorini photo session, photographer Anna Sulte 2015
SOME THOUGHTS ON SANTORINI PRIVATE DESTINATION WEDDINGS
Hey, I’m glad you stumbled upon this post! If you’re reading this you’re most probably considering your Santorini private destination wedding. Let me give you just some quick pointers before your decision. These are just some things to consider.
- Total freedom to do what you want on your wedding day
You don’t have to adhere to any norms or other official ceremonies, what you do on your wedding day is really up to you! Since you’ll be the only wedding guests, you can get very wild and creative. Maybe you want to get married and go diving all day long? Or maybe you want to spend the whole day in a restaurant or hiking the island? There are no limits, really.
It will be less stressful as there are no official strict schedules to follow etc. It’s just about you two and the things you enjoy most
- No family and friends by your side
This is simultaneously the best and the worst thing of such a type of wedding. You’re not so stressed because you don’t have crowds of people; however, you won’t have your closest friends and family by your side as well. There is a solution to this, see point 4.
- You can organise a small pre-wedding ceremony back home!
Lots of couples opt to take the best from two worlds and just make a small celebration the day before they’re coming to Santorini. It is usually a small gathering of the closest friends and family and it is quite relaxed. Off course, you can get really formal — it’s up to you!
- Getting creative with your look and wedding photos!
Who says you have to have a white dress and tuxedo? We usually tend to stick to tradition when we’re holding big ceremonies, but this could be the occasion to get creative! Maybe you want a ping Greek style dress? The same goes for your wedding photo session; you could go on a hike to a mountain and have it there if you want to!
Hope this helps you make up your mind. Regardless of the type of wedding you want to have, Santorini is definitely a good choice for romantic trips, weddings and honeymoons — this is probably one of the most romantic spots on earth!
Thank you Marissa and Nick for an amazing Santorini photo shoot.
I wish you all the best!
Photo shoot by photographer located on Santorini Anna Sulte
MAKE YOUR SAVE THE DATE INVITATIONS UNIQUE AND
HAVE A ROMANTIC TRIP WHILE YOU’RE ON IT
Are you finally ready to take that final step and have the romantic wedding of your life? How about having a short (or long) romantic trip while preparing? :) Consider having a relaxing time in Santorini, Greece AND get some really unique photographs for your SAVE THE DATE invitations.
Santorini really is the romantic place for you to visit while planning your special day. Whether you plan to actually have your wedding on this island or not, you won’t regret paying this gem a visit. Plus, you have to get ready mentally as well, and this little island is a very relaxing place for you to enjoy special moments together. Even the photo shoot itself is a special event which once again helps to create that special bond between you and your loved one and reminds that the wedding is really about you two, and you should not forget to have fun. Or maybe you’re on an your engagement trip and want some special photographs from your trip together that you can later use on your wedding invitations as well? The possibilities are endless, just don’t hesitate to contact me and we’ll figure everything out. :)
Have a look around in my website and get inspired. Just don’t hesitate and have yourself a little adventure before the big day!
Photography by Anna Sulte, Santorini based photographer.