This Couple's Magical Oia Elopement Will Make You Want to Get Married in Santorini
Nicole and Chris love a good scavenger hunt (they've tackled many as a team over the course of their relationship), so when it came time to plan his proposal, Chris knew that a romantic version of their favorite activity was in order. The result was a day-long adventure that took the duo all over Los Angeles and Hollywood. The hunt's final clue landed them on Rodeo Drive, looking for a jeweler "who used to have the Hope Diamond, but now has an even more precious diamond on display."
When Nicole figured out that the jeweler in question was Harry Winston, the security guard outside told her and her then-boyfriend that the shop had closed for the day. They asked to speak with a manager, who, when asked if he had a stone more precious than the Hope Diamond, ushered them straight into the store. The cases were barren except for one diamond ring in the center display. The manager handed Chris the ring saying, "I believe this is the diamond you were looking for." Nicole was confused until her now-husband took the ring, got down on one knee, and asked her to be be his scavenger hunt partner for life.
The couple knew from the start of the planning process that they wanted a destination elopement. "We wanted a romantic experience with just the two of us that we would remember forever," says the bride. The couple's choice in Santorini was an easy one ("Santorini was always on our bucket list," adds the bride)—deciding to hold the private nuptials in Oia, an enchanting village on the island, was even easier. One of Santorini's most famous locales, Oia is situated on the top of a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, Palia volcano, and island of Thirassia. The small town spoke to the couple—and with its majestic beauty, picturesque views, and idyllic sunsets, how could it not?
Nicole's Harry Winston engagement ring, the treasure at the end of the couple's engagement scavenger hunt, features a cushion-cut diamond; the couple purchased their wedding bands from the retailer, as well.
Ooh La La
It's easy to understand why Oia was on the newlyweds' bucket list—the village, filled with charming houses, blue-domed churches, and meandering paths, is famous for its architecture, unparalleled sunsets, and tranquil beaches.
Nicole chose a silk Grecian-style wedding dress by Elizabeth Fillmore. It was one of the first gowns she tried on and perfectly encapsulated the simple, but sophisticated vibe of her nuptials. Jennifer Fox, the couple's planner, noted that the ensemble also "reflected the majestic Santorini light," tying the bride to the majestic landscape.
Tie the Knot
The Groom's Look
Sunrise Photo Op
The duo began their wedding day with a sunrise portrait session around Oia. "They chose to begin early as to not be distracted by the crowds," says Fox. "It was as if they had the island to themselves!"
The Vow Books
Their his-and-her vow books were personally engraved with their spouse's name—the bride's booklet read "For Chris," while the groom's read "For Nicole."
Sealed with a Kiss
The service took place at the Oia Canaves Suites on a private balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea. In lieu of a traditional ceremony arch, a floral half-circle—comprised of hydrangeas, delphinium, roses, astilbia, aster, and foliage—was positioned against the balcony. After exchanging their vows and wedding bands, the couple sealed their union with a kiss.
Following their romantic ceremony, the couple took off for another photography session before their dinner for two.
Chris and Nicole kicked off their evening celebration with a Champagne toast.
The Epitome of Romance
Dinner for Two
The sweetheart table's décor spoke to the rest of the intimate affair's soft, refined elements. Adorned with muted linens (including sea-foam napkins), lemon-hued taper candles, and marble dinnerware, the tabletop also featured a natural centerpiece. The most special dinner accent, however, had nothing to do with the design: To surprise his bride, Chris presented Nicole with a sentimental love note, which brought her to (happy!) tears.
For Nicole and Chris, their Santorini elopement was everything they hoped it would be—magical, meaningful, and romantic. As for their best advice for brides- and grooms-to-be? "Marry your best friend and nothing is challenging," they say.
Photography, Molly Carr Photography
Event Planning and Design, Jennifer Fox Weddings
Catering, Mystique Hotel Santorini
Flowers and Rentals, Betty Flowers Santorini
Stationery and Calligraphy, Shasta Bell Calligraphy
Bride's gown, Elizabeth Fillmore
Bride's accessories, Gianvito Rossi (shoes)
Groom's attire, Armani
Groom's accessories, Ferragamo (shoes)
Hair and Makeup, Harold James