The Wedding- Part III

Monday, December 3, 2018

After taking some photos in beautiful Arkadi Monastery, Anna Roussos took us to a beautiful empty field to do a few more portraits...not pictures is my sister lovingly hoisting up my dress while I awkwardly hopped over a wire fence through some weeds and mud in high heels, but hey, that's what Maids of Honor are for, right?

I think one of my (small) wedding regrets was not springing for either a second shooter or videographer. At the time we were planning the wedding we had no idea how we'd be able to stay within our very modest budget, and since my parents were paying for the wedding I was fine with a few compromises. We ended up under budget and used the last of the wedding funding to make a donation to someone in need, but the result of having only one photographer is we don't have many photos of the venue, table decor, and scenery at our reception. Which is a shame because it was truly a stunning place.

It's hard to get the full panorama from these photographs, but Panakron Estates is surrounded by rolling hills and fields and in the distance, Crete's beautiful mountains, including Psiloritis, its highest peak and the one we hiked to a few days before for my bachelorette party. Peter and I had stumbled on it when we took two of my great Aunts on a volta, or walkabout, through the village where my family is from and where we eventually married. It was such a beautiful, sunny day and we chatted about what it was like for my Theia Alexandra and Theia Hara to be little girls in this place where time seemed to stand still. How they'd sip the nectar from this flower, or turn this one inside out to make it into a fairy doll. It turned out to be one of the last times I saw Alexandra before she passed away, and is a memory I'll forever be grateful for.

That afternoon we stopped at Panakron on the drive back to Rethymnon. We had a lovely meal looking out over their lawn and the breathtaking mountains behind it. I remember turning to Peter (we'd only be seeing each other a few months) and saying, "wouldn't this be such a nice place to get married?" Probably a little premature, but he agreed and was nice enough not to point out that such statements at that stage in our relationship probably sounded a little bit nuts.

Fast forward to a few months after our engagement. We had decided to marry on Crete, but had no idea how to go about finding this beautiful place again. My Aunt does not use email well, nor does she drive, and at the time there was no website, nor any sites pinned on google maps. Luckily, my husband is bit of a nerd and had used a GPS watch that day we spent with my Aunts in the mountains. He pulled up the data, crossmatched it with google's street view and (insert heart eye emojis here) found the place nestled on the road between our village and Arkadi.

They were a bit baffled by some of our requests (unclothed tables, taking our meal outside under the stars- bistro lights??) but regardless complied with our strange American requests. The result was everything we'd hoped for.

We kept some American traditions (like father-daughter and mother-son dances, above) an a few Greek ones (being serenaded by my aunts with an old Greek song, and traditional Greek and Cretan dances, below...)

We somehow managed to keep everyone on the dance floor, even without a DJ (we went for an incredible live Cretan band fronted by a friend of a friend)

One of my favorite parts of the wedding was seeing friends and family from every part of my life interweave with friends and family from every part of Peter's life.

All in all, an incredible day. All photos are by Anna Roussos, who did an incredible job.

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