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Love is the thread (Part 1)

The beautiful Greek wedding of Anna Maria & Vince, Hydra Island.


 

Note: Having started to write this and realising it was becoming far too long, I thought I had better split the post into two parts!



Holiday romance

It's always exciting when family come to visit from overseas!


We were particularly excited when my husband's Australian Uncle announced his trip in summer 2022 as we were going to meet his partner for the first time whom he had met through his work in the United States . Little did we know that there was to be a proposal on the trip and when Vince arrived were were introduced to his now fiancé, Anna Maria from Tennessee!


Glasses were raised, proposal stories recounted and vintage stones admired. We had a few days to get to know Anna and show her a little of the South East. Our contribution to this was a swim in the cool waters of the Thames Estuary at Chalkwell and whilst we played with pebbles and chatted on the beach, we quickly discovered how lucky we were that such a creative and beautiful person was joining our family. Cockles and beer at Old Leigh and a few pubs later, we sadly said our goodbyes and Aunty Anna was added to the family chat!


As you can imagine, we were over the moon when a few months later we received a 'save the date' for their wedding ceremony the following year and, in keeping with Anna's family heritage, the wedding would take place in Greece!


Us Brits get particularly excited to go anywhere with below average rain fall, and Greece is much easier for us to get to than Tennessee (!) so we were very excited to be able to accept the wedding invitation that followed.


I wrestled with offering my services as wedding photographer for a few days. You obviously don't want family to feel pressured into having you take their photographs but also the creative pressure felt rather huge. Anna is one of the most artistic people I have a ever met (her holiday sketch book was a absolute work of art) and as a pretty well known artist/ fabric designer/ author!!! (so many exclamations required), I felt that the likes of a laid back wedding photographer from Essex might not cut the mustard! However, I ended up convincing myself that it would be more rude not to offer and they could easily have found someone already.


When they accepted, I was totally excited and absolutely terrified. But I needn't have worried at all. Vince & Anna's wedding was right up my street and as Anna told me, the Greek way of life could not be any more laid-back.


So here it is. My view of this extra special, beautiful, Greek wedding.




Hydra

Hydra, Idra or Ydra, is one of the beautiful Saronic Islands, located in the Aegean Sea. As you arrive in Hydra Port, the main town on the Island, you are immediately struck by the beauty of the harbour. Restaurants, shops and bars line the azure waters encompassed by steep hills. No vehicles are allowed on the Island; you are greeted only by the sounds of the bustling waterfront, waves lapping on boats and the occasional braying of the mules which transport people and supplies.



The Cathedral of Hydra, the Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, sits centrally in the harbour and this was to be the stunning location of the wedding ceremony.



We were incredibly lucky to spend a wonderful evening before the wedding, sitting beneath the clock tower of this beautiful building, meeting our new family and making new friends. Kindly hosted by Anna's brother and Sister at wonderful Piato, we enjoyed a taste of the incredible food the Island offers to its visitors, as we began to try and learn the names of Anna's pretty large family. With her seven children to meet before cousins, friends, and the rest of the family, it could have been very overwhelming but we were welcomed so warmly it was easy and relaxed and I was put totally at ease ahead of the wedding.




Bridal Preparations

Planning a wedding from the other side of the world, getting a family of 9 and all their luggage on a plane (not all of which arrived in Greece!) and hosting all the guests on arrival could have been no easy feat. However, when I arrived at Vince and Anna's stunning accommodation on the day of the wedding, Anna was as cool and calm as ever (despite the fact that the air-con had not been on!). Within this beautiful house, surrounded by incredible artworks and with stunning views over the sea, bridal preparations were well underway. Whilst Vince kept cool in the pool, Anna's talented girls had started creating the most beautiful half-up, braided and twisted style for Anna's hair and she was about to begin on her make-up.



All the girls seem to have their mothers creative talent and as I watched Isabela, Eleni and Mary Anna work on their own make-up, with industry expert Juliana to check everyone's lines and lashes, I was in awe of their unique approaches and individuality. The thread between mother and daughters was so clearly visible as they admired, advised and assisted each other in the most effortless way.


Anna's customized Grecian wedding dress was stunningly effortless also. Although I know it took a great deal of work and a fearless attitude to slice up and alter a Tom Ford gown, no-one I know could have pulled this off with such ease. After applying her own flawless make-up, Anna dressed, accessorized with the most beautiful, personal jewellery and was helped into her gorgeous Chie Mihara shoes by Mary Anna.



It was no wonder then, that Vince was totally blown away as son, Roman escorted her down the staircase in true gentlemanly style.




Anna's flowers would not have survived the journey to the house in the heat and so Anna had 'thrown something together' from the garden as a temporary bouquet. Is there nothing this woman cannot create?!

And so, surrounded by youngest son, Roman and the girls in dresses of their own choosing in different shades of blue, Bride and Groom to be headed downhill through the pretty cobbled streets of Hydra to join up with the rest of the family.






The whole family were now together at the midway point with number two and three sons, Joseph & Nick, looking incredibly handsome in blue shirts and trousers matching their younger brother. There was a quick toast of native Mastiha before the whole bridal party continued en masse to the harbour to complete the last part of the journey together.





It was so special to be a small part of this journey. People coming together from all over the world; relatives and previous strangers, newly bonded in celebration of the happiness of their loved ones.


Ceremony still to come!


To be continued...


Suits: Canali

Dress: Tom Ford (customized by Anna Maria)

Bridal prep Venue: House of the Shooting Star








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