sivan ayla wedding greece

I have to be a little selfish / honest here, sometimes I write posts just so I can look back and have documentation of every last detail of what I’m doing in life. I also shared that I blog about significant life events in order to provide vivid memories and images for my children (in the future, thank you very much) one day. So here we are, witnessing the aftermath of what was the best day of my life. There are endless details that contributed to this day being perfect in my eyes and because of them, it will always be sacred in my heart. Today I am going to share all (meaning: a large amount since ALL would be 1000’s) my favorite images and memories from June 19th, 2015, the day I married my best friend.

The day began rather hectic–everyone was scrambling to get things done. Without a coordinator we were pretty much left to our own devices and delegating was not optional. My mother, sisters, and maid of honor handled everything without question. I had planned to go down to the beach to make sure all looked good but never actually made it down. I was such an emotional mess the day of the wedding. Everything and anything made me cry. When I was getting into my wedding dress the girls began awww-ing and I had to tell them to remain in silence. Yeah, it was that bad.

However, we did enjoy a girls-only day filled with music from a playlist my sisters put together (think: Hilary Duff, Britney Spears, Alanis Morrisette, etc.), and pranced around in our white robes as we took turns doing each others hair and make-up. It was a mellow day inside my room, but I just know that outside that blue door there was chaos. Maybe one day I’ll find out.

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greece wedding bridesmaidshuppah florals

If you’ve followed along on the blog this week, you already know we had a beautiful evening on the water, a magical day exploring a castle in Naxos, a white themed rehearsal dinner party, and finally, our wedding. A lot of energy and planning went into each event, but this one was easy. We had all programmed our minds to grasp the concept of ‘less is more,’ simple elegance, natural beauty. I didn’t want my wedding stuffed with decor or clutter of any sort. We were getting married in Greece, after all, how much decor would we really need?

The short answer is, none, actually. White peonies and white pillar candles would be it. My mother made our chuppah (the fabric that is draped on the canopy) out of lace from her wedding dress and part of my mother-in-law’s dress. We plan to pass this down to my sisters when it is their turn to add parts of their new family, as a new tradition.

I had brought a small suitcase with wedding stuff that went a long way–DIY table numbers, place-cards, and menus for the food. I stuck to a very simple color palette of all white with a hint of blue for the decor. The outfits of our bridal parties, though, those were BLUE!

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placecard ideas
custom wedding menu

Our ceremony will never be something I can forget. For starters, my father and father-in-law officiated. My dad did a few Jewish blessings in Hebrew, and my father-in-law translated. They opened with really sweet words that included mentions of my dogs (aka my life), my obsession with donuts, my blog, fantasy football…really personal. We all walked down the aisle to Lana Del Rey’s “Young And Beautiful” and it gives me chills just thinking about the moment I heard the music start.

We did not do a run-through of the ceremony so everything was pretty much a surprise. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony is when we were told to each pour wine from our glasses into one to form a union bound by the wine. After that was done (and I spilled) I accidentally dropped my wedding ring in the wine. Thankfully I have 2 bands (long story…if you want to know leave a comment!), so we used the second.

Deciding to write and recite our own vows was unthinkable to me prior to the wedding. I had so many questions that my then-fiance refused to answer. How long are we making them? Are we going for funny? Serious? Poetic? Is it more of a list of promises, or a story? Do I make it about my vows to you, or our relationship as a whole? And then there’s the whole I’m-too-emotional-to-function aspect. Pretty much, I was just a hot mess. Of course, in the true nature of weddings, everything worked out. My vows were sentimental with a hint of humor to keep the mood light (and me from crying). Paul’s vows included an excerpt from Lana Del Rey’s song “Videogame.” Oh you know, just my favorite song ever.

When it came time to smash the glass it was a little terrifying. I was barefoot and pretty sure glass was going to destroy my feet, which would in turn bloody my dress. Oh hellllll no. You will notice that our first kiss as man and wife is a little distant…for good reason!



When we returned from wedding photos our guests all held sparklers as we made our entrance. It was a last minute addition I’m really glad we made work, as I really do not like so many eyes on me (especially when I’m doing something uninteresting like walking); this was a sort of distraction to keep people busy. Apparently, while we were gone taking pictures for an hour everyone sipped on cocktails and enjoyed some appetizers while watching the sunset.

Upon arriving back at the restaurant I was stunned to see how beautiful the place looked. It was so elegant and crisp. All white everything. The lighting was dim and the place had a lingering peony fragrance all night. I honestly had no clue it was going to be so stunning.

Our first dance was followed by the traditional Father-Daughter dance before we all sat down (not before playing musical chairs for a minute) to eat. All the food was served family style, allowing all guests to taste a little of everything without having to stand up. I have personally never been to a wedding that’s served food that way and I highly recommend it. Signature cocktails were created for us based on what Paul and I had been sipping during our time on Naxos and they were all delicious. A special mixologist was brought in from Athens to prepare all the cocktails for our sunset sail as well as the wedding. He was unbelievable.

One of my favorite memories from the reception happened while we were dancing to one of my favorite songs “Dancing Queen.” My dad decided to pull me off the dance floor for a selfie, which I thought was really strange at the time, and suddenly noticed my mom and her 2 friends were doing a choreographed dance to a Mamma Mia mash-up. I thought it was really cute that they memorized a dance from the movie but when gradually almost ALL guests joined in I just about had a heart attack. I was screaming. There’s video, lol. I was so overcome with emotion that so many people collaborated to surprise me like this I was crying (shocker) instantly. I cannot wait to get my wedding video back simply to watch that part of the wedding!

Finally, after all the traditional parts of the wedding were complete–speeches, cake cutting, official dances, etc. the party got crazy. The incredible owner of the Banana Restaurant knew how much I wanted to Greek dance at the wedding so she ensured that happened. But, she took it to a whole new level. She taught us a few traditional dances that had us nearly running in a circle and then led all the ladies to the bar, where she proceeded to kick anything in the way off (shattering tons of glasses!) as we did a sexy little dance as we all walked on the bar. It was something straight out of a movie.

Looking back on all the images it melts my heart seeing so many smiling faces. The dance-floor was a sea of blue with the flowing bridesmaid dresses and the amount of dancing we did could last me a lifetime.

I didn’t get to bed until 4:00AM, and there are guests that continued partying even after that. The party truly never stops in Greece. Or actually, my DAD never actually stops partying (see shirtless man below). Overall I am so happy I decided to do a destination wedding, and more importantly, a wedding in Greece. It is such a special place to me and the people who live there made it all possible. Their hospitality and kindness is unmatched and I look forward to the next time I can visit again. It is a sad reality that this magical time is now in the past for me but I can honestly say I made the absolute most of it, was present the entire time, an genuinely happy with every part of it, and wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.

Random facts about my wedding:

-We had 60 guests.

-I wore a Galia Lahav dress and veil, and Aquazzura shoes.

-I did my own hair and make-up.

-I changed into a second dress because my long-sleeved lace arms could not be raised, sadly.

-The girls all walked barefoot down the aisle (including me).

-My husband lost almost all his wedding clothes for all the events and had to borrow clothes from a lot of different guests.

-When it came time to do my bouquet toss I had to do it twice because it got caught in the wires in the ceiling.

-The Best Man got seriously injured while we were on Mykonos and had to hop on one foot down the aisle (and continue to stand on one foot during the ceremony).

-There were 2-3 times I walked into a flash mob rehearsal and had no idea. Now as I think back to the strange grouping of people together it all makes sense.

-Both of our parents walked us down the aisle.