Presenting this week’s #Friday Bride ELENI

Six years ago, Eleni crossed paths with Sebastian. In the summer of last year, they shared their vows at Vouliagmeni Lake, just outside of Athens, where Eleni is originally from. This gorgeous couple value spending time with the ones they love, so they organised a fabulous wedding party to celebrate the occasion with their nearest and dearests in the sweetest of locations.  

Eleni glowed wearing our Haliton dress. Teamed with a soft braid and a bright lip, this glamorous Bride looked incredibly effortless on her wedding day.

With moments caught by Arte Cinematica, you can’t help but feel the love scrolling through Eleni and Sebastian’s day.

When and where did Sebastian propose to you? Did he have a ring ready?

We were in Hawaii just after celebrating my 30th birthday in New York with my best friends and him. He told me he was skipping brunch on the last day to spend it with friends. Little did I know, they were heading to a vintage jewellery shop to buy me the ring! 

Where did you purchase your dress & why?

I got it at the Charlie Brear showroom at a sample sale. It all happened in the blink of an eye. It was the first dress I had ever tried when I started looking - I was already in love with it from the website. Everyone told me I needed to try more dresses on to have an informed opinion but I secretly hoped I wouldn't find another to love. After trying a couple more on at different boutiques, I registered for the sample sale hoping I could at least rummage through some previous collections. I arrived at the sale after a work pub crawl, slightly inebriated and on my own. When I found Haliton on the rail and in my size, I knew it was meant to be! 

What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?

Everyone has an opinion so you need to strike the balance between getting the opinion of friends that know your style but also share with the ones who will tell you like it is. The most important thing is that YOU need to feel comfortable in it and no-one else will know how that feels, so in the end, do your thing. 

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?

Literally like a weight off my shoulders. I could go on to finalise the rest of the look and could focus on the details of the day.

What shoes did you wear?

I was looking for a pair of glitter shoes forever but I wasn't thrilled with any of the options I was finding. On a weekend to Paris, I was walking to Bon Marche when I stumbled across a shop called Colisee. I had never heard of the brand before but I found the pair of my dreams. 

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?

Massively. It's all my fault though as I didn't try enough options with the dress before I took it to Greece to get it altered. I ended up running to the shops the day before the wedding & picked the most unglamorous and least sexy option but it worked. My advice: don't leave it until the last minute.

Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?

I knew I was going to get my hair done at Paris Agoropoulos by the hairdresser I used to go to when I lived in Athens. I then had to rely on friends' recommendations for make-up. The make-up artist immediately understood what I wanted so I moved quickly to book both of them for the day. 

What was the most memorable moment of the day?

There were plenty as our wedding was very relaxed. The one that probably stands out is the moment my husband realised he forgot to bring an important piece of our ceremony puzzle. We had spent the previous 9 months slowly folding 1,000 origami cranes to use as decorations. We wanted to challenge ourselves to complete this work-intensive task as a symbolism for the common life we were going to share as husband and wife - and we also thought it'd look cool! While we were finalising the ceremony, we thought we could weave that in by folding the last one in front of our guests. He was meant to put it in his pocket and bring it out at the right time but when our friend who officiated said the words, he realised he hadn't brought it with! Only the two of us and the 'minister' knew about this and started laughing but as an uber-prepared bride, I had brought a backup. I don't think anyone realised why we were laughing so much.

What Traditions did you follow? 

We wanted to break with tradition and only kept to the very basic - I wore a wedding dress, we exchanged vows and we had a first dance. I think that's pretty much it!

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?

As our main motivation for the wedding was to bring everyone we love together, we wanted to take the focus off us as much as possible on the day and celebrate our relationships with them instead. So we printed hundreds of photos to make a photo wall of happy memories throughout the years. We also used awkward and funny photos of our guests instead of name placeholders. That made for many interesting conversations around the dinner tables!

We also decided to exchange vintage wedding Swatches instead of rings. We couldn't make up our minds on getting rings or not and as we were getting closer to the day, we thought a watch would make a beautiful statement about spending the rest of our time together. We were lucky to find these on eBay.

Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?

Arte Cinematica and we couldn't be happier. They knew we preferred a candid style of photos and didn't want to spend too much time posing while our guests were around. So we did a pre-wedding day photo shoot to ensure we could all enjoy the wedding day. They stayed until almost the last guests left - which was pretty early in the morning. Our party pics are epic and so is our wedding video.

How did you feel walking down the aisle?

It was the strangest feeling - incredibly moved and also knowing that it was all going to be over so quickly. I was trying to hold on to every single moment so I could cherish it for years to come. 

Take 5 with this week’s #Friday Bride ELENI

1. Ladies, speak to your significant other and make sure you're on the same page early on. If they don't want to get involved, that's fine but then they'll need to be happy to relinquish the control of making decisions. I was very lucky that Seb and I wanted the same things from our day and we could talk about the things we wanted to do differently without creating unnecessary pressure. 

2. You will spend a fair amount of time planning your day even if you're not going for the bells and whistles. So choose wisely. In 20 years from now, when people remember your wedding, will they remember the ribbon you spent days researching for and cost you more than it should? Splurge for things that will make a difference or really make you happy - don't lose track of the fact that certain things are really not important in the grand scheme of the day. 

3. Budget: you will most likely exceed it. So again choose wisely. If you can't afford to show all your guests a good time, trim the guest list. You can save coins by taking care of a lot of the prep but be prepared to give up your time. If you need to get professional help from a wedding planner, make sure they really get what's important to you and that they're close to your style. 

4. Spend time with your partner on the day. A few people told me to get some time away with my husband to take it all in and it was a brilliant tip. It all goes so quickly and you get caught up in the moment - it's good to have a few minutes to reflect and stop the clock. 

5. Expectations: everyone builds so many around a wedding. Don't put too much unnecessary pressure on yourself, your partner and your family. Give yourself a cut-off point when you'll stop worrying about how things will turn out and switch off. A friend gave me that piece of advice and it was probably one of the best tips I got. On the day of the wedding, our planner had messed up quite a few of the smaller things we spent so much time planning. I had told myself that I would only care if the place was on fire so I shielded myself from those little details that could have shattered my mood.  

If you could do it all again what would you do differently?

Hire a different planner or instead, have asked our friends and family to set up the venue for us. It was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect day. 

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We haven't properly been yet - considering a few destinations for this year.

Did you find organising your wedding an easy process?

I spend a lot of time organising schedules and projects around events and so the wedding process didn't feel particularly daunting because of my professional experience. I think the trickiest part was planning our ceremony as we didn't want a traditional wedding and we wanted a humanist ceremony. We had to spend a lot of time thinking about what was important for us to include and how we could bring the different elements of the wedding together. It was tricky to get it right but it also made our wedding really meaningful because we really pushed ourselves to question what this day would mean for us and for our loved ones. We're lucky that it really resonated with our guests and it was a beautiful and moving ceremony.

What will you do with your dress now?

Not sure yet but I'm definitely keeping it!

What are your and Sebastian’s best memories of the day?

Our friend, who was officiating, asked us mid-ceremony to turn around and look at our guests who were present. We turned around to see all these smiling faces full of love and emotion - it was really touching and I'm pretty sure we both had tears in our eyes. The speeches from our families and friends were also among the highlights - laughter, tears and a lot of reminiscing. Finally, the moment of our first dance - I'll try anything once by the Strokes - turned to the tune of Last Nite (also by the Strokes) and everyone jumped on the dancefloor. It was finally time to party!


DRESS - Haliton by Charlie Brear

PHOTOGRAPHY - Arte Cinematica

SHOES- Colisée Paris

VENUE - Vouliagmeni Lake

CATERING - Atene Catering

FLORAL DESIGN - Fleur du jour

HAIR - Paris Agoropoulos