Georgia and Alex first caught each other’s eye while taking an art class at the University of Florence in September 2017. “It was definitely love at first sight for both of us,” the couple shares. Two years later, the duo ventured over to Corfu Island, Greece for a relaxing getaway. One must-see destination on their agenda was the Old Fortress of Corfu. While they were inside admiring the panoramic views of the Ionian Sea and the town of Corfu, Alex got down on one knee. “From that moment, we knew our fairytale had begun,” they reflect.
With their engagement in Greece and Alex’s Greek heritage, the pair knew they wanted to tie the knot in Athens. They couldn’t wait to host their dream day, but a global pandemic delayed the process. “Planning a destination wedding in the years of Covid was definitely a big emotional challenge at times,” Georgia admits. Due to travel restrictions, the couple had to make all of their decisions overseas. Thankfully, with the help of Mariliza Grammenou of Stefanotis Weddings and their vendor team, the planning stages weren’t just manageable but also enjoyable. “They made our wedding dream vision possible and the whole experience such a breeze,” the couple says.
After two years of planning, Georgia and Alex finally swapped vows in front of 25 friends and family members on June 12, 2021 at The Queen’s Tower Estate in Athens. “I wanted it to be the most beautiful day in my life, and thankfully, reality exceeded all expectations,” the bride exclaims. Keep reading to see how their vision came to life, as planned by Stefanotis Weddings and photographed by Sotiris Tsakanikas.
The couple’s vision for their nuptials was old Hollywood glamour with a modern flair. “We designed a wedding day with an elegant aesthetic that felt like a natural extension of the surrounding landscape,” the bride explains. To introduce this theme, the duo created an ornate invitation suite with gold script and an illustration of their royal venue. They also used their invitations to establish a color palette of white, ivory, and green with pops of yellow and gold.
When Georgia first came across Vassilis Zoulias’s designs while wedding dress shopping, she had a hard time choosing just one look. The solution? Wear two different outfits! During the duo’s pre-wedding party and walk around the gardens, the bride sported a strapless jumpsuit with a sweetheart neckline and an overskirt from the designer. “I wanted to find a gown that could combine old school femininity and old Hollywood glamour with a modern creation that could be a fashion statement,” she says. “That was our vision, and it was embodied beautifully in his designs.” To complete her attire, the bride accessorized with a silk top hat, diamond earrings, and a diamond tennis bracelet.
After spending the morning drinking whiskey and smoking cigars with his groomsmen, Alex changed into a tailored navy blazer with khaki pants, a striped dress shirt, a silk tie, and a fashionable fedora for his morning stroll with Georgia. “Alex’s style is contemporary and classic, so he wanted something elegant yet effortless,” the bride shares.
As the couple drove to their venue in a rented vintage convertible, Georgia’s bouquet of white orchids and greenery swayed in the wind. “In order to accentuate my silhouette, we selected a bridal bouquet that revealed a mixture of femininity and opulence,” the bride describes of her bouquet.
For Georgia’s beauty look, she wore her hair down in loose waves and embraced a glowing complexion with a subtle smokey eye. “The main thing I had in mind was that I wanted an elegant and timeless look,” Georgia illuminates. “I wanted something classic but cool.”
“I also wore gorgeous bright yellow pumps by Manolo Blahnik for a pop of color and that final exquisite touch to coordinate with our color palette,” Georgia illustrates. The bride also tapped Manolo Blahnik because she wanted to infuse her Spanish heritage into her wedding wardrobe.
We were looking for something unique, something that could be the perfect scenery for our fairytale wedding.
Georgia and Alex decided to get married at The Queen’s Tower Estate, the royal estate where Queen Amalia and King Otto used to live. “We were looking for something unique, something that could be the perfect scenery for our fairytale wedding,” they reveal. “And, what is better than the gardens of a royal villa?” The neo-gothic architecture and manicured lawns supported their aesthetic and provided gorgeous photo ops.
Even Georgia’s bridesmaids donned two different outfits. During the pre-ceremony festivities, they wore yellow silk dresses with cowl necks and gold strappy heels, and carried smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet. For the main event, the girls changed into blush gowns in various styles.
Alex enlisted a wardrobe stylist to piece together his groomsmen’s looks. “Alex wanted his groomsmen to feel special and pampered and to take extra care of their outfits,” Georgia mentions. “He collaborated with the designer and helped them all look exceptionally sharp and match our wedding theme with their stylish tailor-made suits.”
The organic shape and colors of the ceremony site made it perfect for our dream summer wedding.
The twosome exchanged vows on an elevated altar, surrounded by white floral arrangements planted in stone urns and framed by the tower’s stately arch. For a garden-fresh feel, yellow and white roses, orchids, peonies, and delphiniums lined the aisle. “The blooms appeared as if they were growing beside the rows of chairs,” Georgia notes. Their 25 guests watched the ceremony from gold chairs adorned with plush yellow pillows. “The organic shape and colors of the ceremony site made it perfect for our dream summer wedding and was a beautiful complement to the surrounding landscape and architecture of the tower and gardens,” Georgia summarizes.
The bride’s stepfather escorted Georgia down the aisle to meet her groom. “My stepdad has been the strongest support system throughout most of my life,” she shares.
For the main event, the bride changed into a strapless A-line Vassilis Zoulias gown with an oversized bow in the back, which she describes as “an aristocratic style that matched completely with my personality and our wedding concept.” Meanwhile, Alex looked dapper in a white double-breasted suit with black shoes and a black bow tie.
One of the couple’s close friends officiated the ceremony, and they asked him to integrate a few Greek traditions. In addition to writing their own vows, the duo personalized their ceremony by selecting a special reading—the bride’s favorite Greek poem called “Ithaka.” To Georgia, the poem is meaningful because it “speaks of the importance of enjoying the journey and not only longing for the final destination, which is the perfect metaphor for the purpose in life, one which we never stop pursuing.”
After sharing their first kiss as newlyweds, the pair walked back up the aisle while basking in the success of their ceremony, all thanks to their planner, Mariliza. “Working with our planner and her team was the best decision my husband and I made in regard to planning our destination wedding,” Georgia gushes. “From the first communication we had with Mariliza, she made us feel at home, and she gave us the confidence that she will be able to deliver up to our expectations.”
“While guests moved to the cocktail hour space following the exchanging of vows, we strolled through the gardens to relish each other’s company and appreciate some time alone,” the duo recalls.
Georgia recruited a Greek jeweler to custom-make her round-cut diamond engagement ring and matching wedding band. To highlight her dazzling jewels, she decided to forgo nail polish.
The final outcome was so much better than what we could wish for.
While wandering around the scenic setting, the pair snapped photos and reflected on their day. “The final outcome was so much better than what we could wish for,” they share.
The wedding party lined up to lead the newly married couple out of the ceremony and into the reception. Towering floral arrangements in oversized urns stood at each end of the aisle they formed.
To give their friends and family a taste of authentic Greek cuisine, they served a Mediterranean menu. A large wooden table boasted a wide array of appetizers. After filling up on finger food, guests enjoyed an intimate seated dinner. For the entrée, everyone selected either tenderloin smothered in Champagne sauce or Milokopi fish filet coated in lemon sauce.
The food didn’t stop there! To satisfy their sweet tooth, guests nibbled on French pastries from the dessert spread. Madeleines, macarons, religieuse (two choux buns filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache), and baba au rhum (rum cake soaked in syrup) abounded.
Their wedding cake also channeled French flavors. Georgia and Alex savored a slice of a St. Honoré cake, which contains layers of puff pastry, balls of choux pastry, and smooth pastry cream.
Guests washed down the abundance of sweets with glasses of Champagne. Later in the night, the newlyweds offered “his” and “hers” cocktails: an orange mojito for the bride and an apple martini for the groom.
“We wanted to create an elegant fairytale atmosphere for the dinner reception,” Georgia notes of their décor. An aisle lined with white larkspur and yellow flowers led to a dreamy gazebo. Twinkle lights, white flower garlands, and a grand chandelier covered the ceiling and painted a picturesque scene.
To create their fantastical fête, the couple had the space filled with a combination of high and low tables and gold chairs topped with feather cushions. Lush floral arrangements of hydrangea, orchids, roses, and ferns sat in the center of each table.
The duo had deckle-edged menu cards complete with a gold wax seal and the couple’s logo perched atop antique gold-rimmed chargers and marble dinner plates. Each place setting had gold and white flatware, gold-rimmed glassware, and linen napkins affixed with a white flower.
Guests found their names calligraphed on white deckle-edged escort cards, which were fastened with a gold wax seal and placed on an antique gold frame.
The wedding party formed another procession and welcomed the couple into the reception. Once the pair saw the setup, they marveled at the attention to detail and the way every element reflected their relationship and vision. “Through our planning process, we were given the chance to be creative as well, to understand our common identity as a couple, and find a way to portray this to the world,” Georgia explains.
I am so grateful for this life-changing experience. It was more than perfect. It was a dream!
The bride and groom shared a few words of gratitude to their friends and family. “I am so grateful for this life-changing experience,” the bride reminisces. “It was more than perfect. It was a dream!”
A live jazz band played “City of Stars” by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling from the musical La La Land for the couple’s first dance. Fog surrounded them to create “an illusion as if we were dancing on a cloud.”
“The groom has a love for cigars, so he wanted to surprise their guests with an intimate lounge party, complete with premium liquors and an exquisite cigar station,” Georgia shares. The antique furniture played into their overall vision.
The duo had another escort card wall set up, this time with Champagne coupe escort cards.
At the end of the night, everyone gathered around the lounge area to enjoy one another’s company and listen to the live band. Looking back on their wedding, the couple couldn’t have envisioned a more special day. For anyone else planning a wedding, Georgia advises, “Try to enjoy the process. Try to enjoy every moment, from when you first start planning to the end of your wedding day.”