How to plan your Santorini wedding reception – an issue that most of the couples planning their wedding are scared of! To explain this process better I will use as an example one of our weddings that took place in September 2016. The reason why I chose this wedding- besides the fact that the couple is one of the sweetest couples – is their choice of the reception venue, Sigalas winery.
Melissa and Marc had a very clear vision of how they wanted their wedding reception to look like – a relaxed and authentic environment with Greek elements. They were lucky to be able to visit Santorini 1 year prior to their wedding and what they liked the most about our island was its wines. The first step when planning your Santorini wedding reception (and usually the most difficult one) is finding the venue, and we already knew the style – it had to be at a winery!
Ceremony/reception venue choice
The next step is to consider whether you want to have both ceremony and reception at the same place. There are advantages and disadvantages when changing venues, but what we always say to our couples is not to compromise on a reception venue that doesn’t cover their wishes, just because it has the Caldera view. Keep in mind that after sunset you cannot see anything!
One of the main disadvantages most venues overlooking the Caldera have is the noise restriction. This part of the island is full of hotels which means no loud music is allowed after midnight, the maximum is 1AM (if you are lucky!).
In our case, Melissa and Marc decided on a ceremony venue with a Caldera view and then we moved to the most beautiful winery on the island for the reception, Sigalas winery.
The right menu is an essential element of making the wedding reception flow smoothly. My advice when planning your wedding menu is:
– Decide on the type of service
Whether it is plated dinner, buffet, family style, cocktail style or even food station style, go for an option that suits your wedding theme.
Melissa and Marc decided on a family style dinner which fitted perfectly to the relaxed atmosphere they aimed for and the venue style!
– Go local and seasonal
Not only will you have the freshest meal but you will also try the best the land has to offer.
With Melissa and Marc this was an easy thing to do, Sigalas winery uses only local and Cycladic products!
– Do not offer too many options
– Think of your guests’ dietary restrictions and allergies
Planning the decoration of your wedding reception takes a lot of effort and if not planned carefully it may be costly. The elements you need to consider before starting with the decoration are the venue and the type of the reception, and in our case we had:
Reception venue – Winery
This already guides you to an organic and casual setting, and the main colours to consider are white and green (of course you can spice things up with adding other colours).
Type of reception – Family Style
Never use flower runners or lots of table decorations when having a family style dinner. Keep it classic with a pretty centerpiece and save space for the platters.
Because what’s a wedding without a party! After the dinner, speeches, cake cutting, and the first dance it’s time to party. Music is of course a main component to your party as it will set the right tone for the rest of the evening.
Questions to ask the venue and the DJ – the logistic part leave it to us 🙂 :
– What’s the time limit? (for the venue)
– What are the noise restrictions? (for the venue)
– Have you worked before at my wedding venue?
– What genres can you cover?
– Do you take requests from the guests?
– Can we work together on the playlists?
– What do you do to motivate crowd if nobody is dancing?
– Do you take any breaks?
As I have said before, pick the vendors you choose for your wedding carefully. As a wedding planner I have the opportunity to witness both backstage preparations and being behind the scenes, but also being part of the reception and the party. Our aim is to ensure the whole night runs smoothly and to create the ideal environment for vendors to work in and for the guests to enjoy!
Event planning & design: Santorini Glam Weddings
Photographer: Thanos Asfis
Reception Venue: Sigalas Winery
Ceremony Florist: Betty Flowers Santorini
Reception Flower arrangements: Santorini Glam Weddings
DJ & Lighting: Multimedia Events
Wedding Cake: Alexandra’s Cakes