Lifestyle Magazine

Natural Romantic Wedding in Rethymno | Melissa & Daniel

By Eleni Balkouli @Love4Wed

There is something so sweet about today’s wedding. Held at Rethymno and surrounded by olive trees, the whole day clearly emits a Hellenic style! Melissa and Daniel always wanted an intimate wedding, so they chose to celebrate their love in Crete, where the landscapes and the food are amazing. They preferred to simply decorate their venue with lots of greenery and lots of candles and let the beauty of the venue spoke for itself. One of the many special moments of this wedding is definitely the arrival of the bride to the church… with a donkey! Enjoy a wedding that will give you all the feels!

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

The bride shared with us: “We met at a wedding in Palm Springs, California in May 2014. He was the best man and I was there as a guest, watching one of my closest friends from work get married. We hit it off that night and had a great weekend together, but he lived in Texas and I lived in New York, so we really didn’t expect much to come of it. Even though I wasn’t interested in long distance relationships, we kept in touch and continued to talk after we parted ways.  A few weeks after the wedding, he decided to come to New York to visit and we ended up having a great time. Not wanting the fun to end, we kept traveling back and forth between the two states until he moved to NY in the winter of 2015 and the rest is history.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

 “I wanted a simple bouquet with lots of greenery and pale pink flowers to complement the décor and the florist executed that perfectly. I’m sometimes practical to a fault and figured that since I would barely be using the bouquet, it wasn’t that important to me that it be excessive, and it was exactly as I had hoped it would be.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“Daniel proposed in the Finger lakes region of NY in the fall of 2017. He had a trip planned to a (secret) island off Georgia but the weekend we were supposed to go, a Hurricane came through and we had to cancel the trip at the last minute. We scrambled to make arrangements to go wine tasting in upstate New York instead and after a fun weekend of hiking, checking out museums, eating and drinking wine, Daniel popped the question at our AirBnB under a sky full of stars.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“I’ve never been one to fantasize about my wedding but the one thing that I did know was that I wanted to get married in Greece. My grandmother was born in Athens and my parents got married there 30+ years ago so it had always been a dream of mine to honor my heritage and uphold the traditions that my parents had created. We both love to travel and really appreciated the idea of a small, intimate wedding so we knew that having it in Greece would create the atmosphere that we were hoping for. We wanted it to be more than just a night of fun for our guests- we wanted it to be an experience that we could all share forever.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“My wedding dress was Katie May, which I bought at BHLDN– I wanted something simple and lightweight that would go with the venue. I’m not much of a fashionista and knew that comfort was key, so I ended up choosing a dress that felt very ‘me’ (minimal and classic) and fit in with the farm setting.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“Once we settled on Greece, I got started researching all the possibilities and let me tell you- it was not easy! There were so many beautiful islands to choose from and so many possible venues- it was definitely overwhelming, to say the least. We ended up choosing Crete as our wedding location for several reasons but mostly it was because Crete is a land of amazing food and amazing landscapes and those both encapsulate the things that we love to do. We wanted to experience eating incredible food while being able to explore the great outdoors, whether it was hiking, boating or swimming in any of the number of beautiful beaches available, and this island seemed to have it all.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“After settling on the island, I started going on different wedding blogs and Instagram accounts to check out wedding locations and Agreco Farm kept showing up in my searches. It had everything that we were looking for and more so once we were able to rule out the other options, we booked the venue sight unseen. What drew me to Agreco was the natural beauty of the place and if I’m being completely honest, the food. The fact that they grow everything you eat on site was a huge draw to me- it guaranteed that the food would be delicious and that us and our guests would be happy (and we definitely were).”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“The ceremony took place in Rethymno, Crete at Agreco Farms, which is part of the Grecotel chain.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“We didn’t necessarily have a concept or style that we were going for, but we did know that we wanted everything to have a romantic and natural feel. We felt that the beauty of the venue spoke for itself and we didn’t want to take away from that with any unnecessary décor. The only direction that we really gave was that was wanted minimal décor- all we asked for was lots of candles/lights and greenery. The color palette was very much in line and we only wanted greens and pale pink/beiges.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“My favorite moment was when we said I do- and so many moments in between. It was such an amazing experience having our friends and family join us in this wonderful country and we have so many great memories from that night. From the traditional Greek dancers and musicians, to the donkey I rode in on, to the amazing food and drink- every single part of it was so unique and special that it’s hard to choose just one moment.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“Because we wanted the venue and the food to shine, we didn’t do much in the way of décor- my only direction was lots of greenery and lots of candles and it ended up looking exactly as we hoped it would. The flower and greenery arrangements on the tables and on the church were perfect and we had strings lights on the trees surrounding the courtyard for some extra lighting to make it extra romantic.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

“I definitely looked at some of the weddings featured on blogs Chic and Stylish Weddings, Love4Weddings and EverAfter… they were really helpful!”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

Advice to a bride-to-be: “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It seems overwhelming planning a wedding from abroad (and it is) but you must trust that the people you’re working with will help you every step of the way. And to that point- I would recommend using a planner. It’s too hard to do everything yourself and you really want someone who knows the local vendors, customs, people and more. It will make your life so much easier. The general feeling in Crete is that ‘everything will be alright’ and that feeling will really resonate once you’re there and will put your mind as ease. I found that little things weren’t bothering me anymore and I was able to just sit back and enjoy the small moments that will stay with me forever.”

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography

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Photography : Akis Mavrakis Signature Photography


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