If you are getting married abroad or having a beach wedding a San Unity Ceremony is a real cute and popular addition to the ceremony. We didn’t have a religious ceremony and the civil ceremonies in Greece are very short, just a few lines and the exchanging of the rings; it would be over in a few minutes! The Sand Ceremony was an add on that our planners offered and as Paul and I are total beach bums we thought it would be a nice touch and was very ‘us’.
The couple are given a vial of sand each, and take it in turns to pour it into a larger, decorative vase. It’s actually very symbolic and as your pour the sand the registrar reads words explaining how your sand is now mixed together forever, as one, never to be separated, which represents how you have become one person in your marriage and will be bound together forever. The words meant a lot to us and we were so glad we decided to have it.
If your planner doesn’t do it or you’re not using a planner you can get the vials of sand easily online, or more mean fully you could easily collect the sand yourself. If your weddings isn’t beachy I really like the idea of doing it privately on the honeymoon, like some people plant love trees, to cement your bond and you can use sand from that special place and remember your honeymoon forever.
Plus you get to keep the vase as well which is a lovely memento and looks cute in our living room.
For someone who has never taken much interest in weddings before becoming engaged the process of planning a reception seems like a long and extremely daunting one, full of terms that I had never heard of before in real life (calligraphy anyone?!) and potential pitfalls regarding having a ‘theme’ and choosing a ‘palette’ with ‘accents’ (what the hell?!). To be honest, I asked my creative mum who has an amazing eye for detail to take the reins on most of those decisions. However, there was always one thing that I knew I wanted for the reception: a long, banquet style table set up.
I wanted this look for the following reasons:
- It’s DIFFERENT. Although becoming more popular it stands out from the regular round tables with a top table set up.
- I don’t like round tables. No offence I just find them too formal and they remind me of corporate events.
- I couldn’t deal with the stress of who would sit at the top table. My brother?! Sister in law? What about Bridesmaids partners?! Minefield.
- I had seen sooo many cute pictures on Pinterest of long tables covered in jam jars full of flowers and I was won over.
Let me tell you something. I received a lot of opposition to this decision. ‘But how will people talk to each other?!’, ‘People won’t mingle!’, ‘I won’t hear the speeches if I’m on the end…’ Honestly, I had so many comments like this. But I’m so glad I stuck to my guns and had the long table.
We had 50 guests in total so 25 on each side with Paul and I in the middle. The seating plan was easy because I sat couples opposite each other and mixed up family groups and age groups. It worked really well and everyone mixed in. Plus the fact that the table looked stunning with the jam jars and all the guests commented on how amazing it looked! It gave the wedding much more of the casual, ‘big family meal’ feel that was so important to me.
Go for it girls! Break table tradition!
A few of my favourite photos from the day so far. No professional ones yet!
Brother & Sister
Dad giving me away
Sand Unity Ceremony
You may kiss the Bride
Relaxed beach wedding
The Bride & Groom
The current and new Mr & Mrs Erler
Wedding by the sea
Rain at the Reception
So what did I do the night before my wedding? I’m in Zakynthos, all our family an friends have arrived and it’s the dreaded night before. We decided to stick to tradition and Paul was banished from the villa to spend the evening having a meal with his parents and drinks with the guests, followed by staying overnight at one of the other hotels in the resort. So I was left in the villa with my mum, dad, brother and my bridesmaids!
We had pre arranged a lady to come and paint our nails as a bit of a girly treat and to make sure our nails were fresh and unchipped for the day. I couldn’t really eat anything, but I sensibly avoided the bubbly to make sure there was no sign of a hangover. I was nervous anyway but even more so because I was checking my weather app every 5 seconds. It had been uncharacteristically humid in Zante and the forecast was a huge storm for the wedding.
Amazingly, despite all the stress I did manage to sleep. We watched Mamma Mia to get us in the mood for a party and then most of the girls went back to there respective accommodation. My friend Nikki stayed overnight with me.
I fell asleep easily, but woke up at 5am. I did some yoga on the terrace and prayed to the, then clear, sky and implored the Greek Gods for no rain…
..they didn’t listen!
My wedding invitations! Aren’t they gorgeous?!
I am so pleased with how they turned out. I came across Norma & Dorothy stationary via a simple google search for ‘destination wedding invitations’. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted until I saw these invites! The map particularly stood out to me as something really different and perfect for a wedding abroad.
I also love the vintage lace look and they come with darling pearls on the band with our names on which just finished off the look when you send it as a whole.
The process was very painless. We purchased 50 (small wedding I know!) from their website which can be found here. We decided to include an extra card for additional information and a RSVP return envelope already addressed. Side note – we thought that by addressing the return envelopes in advance and making it sooo easy for our lovely guests that we would get all the replies in a matter of weeks, let alone by the deadline. No such luck I’m afraid! People don’t get back to you, even for a wedding, just saying!
Anyway after the order I was contacted by someone from the company who was designing my invitations. We spoke briefly about any wording we wanted or any extras and then the proofs were sent a few days letter by email! I was extremely happy with the proofs, and there was a teeny spelling mistake on one which was quickly and painlessly rectified before sending to print.
They arrived on my doorstep less than two weeks later!
They are perfect and I love them. Having sent them out now we’ve had loads of compliments too. Thank you Norma & Dorothy for designing an invitation which captures the spirit of our wedding perfectly!
The Norma & Dorothy website