An Outdoor Rustic Destination Wedding in Greece
Nancy and Elias
Nancy Salumbides, the textile designer behind Rare Bird, and Elias Manousos, the founder of a security technology company, met on a boat in the San Francisco Bay. About 10 years later, they decided to wed. On June 25, 2011, they journeyed far from their home in the city by the bay to Chania, a small town on the island of Crete, Greece, to get married.
Taking a cue from the groom's Greek-American heritage, the destination wedding infused Old World traditions, historic surroundings, and a fresh color palette that took its cues from the setting.
The suite also included a booklet with a map and travel and lodging information. The couple's initials and wedding date were letterpressed on the front. A quote by Robert Browning, "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be," graced the back.
The Welcome Bag
Totes silk-screened with a design created by the bride were stuffed with programs and local treats (Cretan herbs, Greek chocolates, and pumice stones). The female guests also received handwoven white-and-blue-striped summer shawls.
The couple visited the island the year before and knew it was the place to wed. "Crete offered everything," Nancy says. "Its rich history, beautiful beaches, and lush setting were ideal. And Chania was the perfect merging of village life and modern-day living." Plus, the island boasts an international airport, which made travel easier for guests.
They chose to say "I do" in Mitropoli Church, an Orthodox cathedral in the historic town.
Peonies, olive branch, dendrobium orchids, pincushion dahlias, lisianthus, and dusty miller made up Nancy's bouquet.
The groom and 80 guests waited outside the church until the bride and her family arrived. Escorted by her parents, Nancy crossed the courtyard to where Elias stood waiting for her. They entered the church together, followed by everyone else.
The Greek ceremony included a number of important rites, such as the "stefana" (crowning). "The recitations of our priest, his cadence, and the language were musical and magical," Nancy recalls.
The Reception Venue
The cocktail hour and reception were held at Metohi Kindelis, a centuries-old estate that formerly housed an olive oil factory. It was a stunning backdrop for the celebration.
A Warm Welcome
When the newlyweds arrived at the reception, guests tossed rice to greet them.
Photos affixed to mat board were displayed during the reception.
Chloe Browne, of Caught the Light, photographed the couple on the grounds of the villa right before sunset.
The Photo Booth
Strung ribbons created a backdrop so guests could take portraits. Here, Nancy's friend (and makeup artist for the day) Robyn Ayers-Lee and her husband, Maurice Ayers-Lee.
Matchboxes foil-stamped with the wedding date and "Opa!" were ordered from ForYourParty.
The decor was simple: Tables were topped with taper candles in brass candlesticks and small arrangements of large, blooming peonies. A traditional Cretan band played during dinner.
A Special Touch
Swags and small floral arrangements adorned the backs of the bride and groom's chairs.
A Cozy Moment
Handwoven blankets and pillows designed by the bride brightened up a nook near the dance floor.
The last course, served alfresco, was a traditional Greek dessert table of fresh fruit and "kataifi" and "galaktoboureko" pastries.
Mr. and Mrs. Manousos danced to "Sea of Love" by Cat Power.