If you are planning a wedding abroad during Covid-19, then flexibility is key!
As the pandemic continues to cast a grey cloud over weddings in 2021, there are some very real lessons we can learn from those couples who have successfully navigated the planning challenges since the arrival of Covid. The first being that, a pared back wedding and a reduced guest list can work in your favour. It provides you with the opportunity to focus on what’s important to you as a couple, with the bonus of allocating a greater portion of your wedding budget to these elements.
Ionian Islands Wedding Planning & Covid-19 – Connie & Rich
Connie and Rich had a unique and intimate wedding in the Ionian Islands. For them it was all about the location and showcasing what this beautiful part of Greece has to offer. A morning ceremony gave them time to enjoy an afternoon cocktail cruise, lunch and swim with their guests, before heading back to dry land for their evening reception. The couple literally jumped into married life off the M/S Christina into the Ionian Sea! Below, Connie answers questions on having a wedding abroad during COVID-19.
How did you feel when you realised that the original date in May was going to be postponed?
Devastated! So much preparation, strict dieting etc felt like a wasted effort.
Why did you choose to move from May to September over a 2021 date?
We wanted to get married as soon as possible, especially hearing that a second spike in the virus was a possibility. We went with the first date we could and we are so glad we did.
Did you ever consider cancelling the Greek plans altogether?
Never! It was Greece (Meganisi in particular) or not at all.
How easy was it to re-arrange travel plans / wedding plans?
Rearranging the wedding plans was fairly easy for us as Claire, our wedding planner, did all of the hard work for us! It was very difficult however trying to get people to RSVP to a new date with all of the virus uncertainty, and with the fact people were still waiting on refunds from their original accommodation and flights before they rebooked. Flights also only operated from London in September, rather than Bristol etc which would have been more convenient for some family and friends. Completing the passenger locator form each time a flight changed was definitely not a highlight!
Did the postponement impact with the guest list?
Massively! We were originally having 51 guests and we ended up with 18. Our best man and the bride’s brother, who was going to give the bride away could no longer make the new date which was devastating. Nevertheless, we had a beautifully intimate day and wouldn’t change it for the world.
How did you stay positive throughout?
It was difficult but following the minuscule number of cases in Lefkas (and Greece as a whole) certainly kept us hopeful – keeping in touch with our Claire our wedding planner who arrived in Greece in June from the UK also kept hope alive.
Did you have to make any changes to plans because of covid or last minute worries about plans changing?
We promoted our maid of honour to “best woman” to make a speech as our best man couldn’t be there, I also asked my mum to give me away since my brother could no longer make it. Aside from that, we were very lucky that little else had to change.
Were you nervous to travel, did you feel safe in Greece with the measures?
We weren’t nervous at all to travel, especially not to Greece where cases were so much lower than in the UK. It felt like a relief to be leaving the bad news for a couple of weeks to be honest. We felt very safe in Greece with the measures in place, all restaurant staff wore masks and you needed to wear masks in the shops etc but it felt less scary than at home. On the island, everybody ate outside anyway, and the weather was so much warmer so it just felt like a better place to be.
Any advice for another couple thinking to plan a unique wedding in Greece in the current world situation?
Do it! Just keep your eye on the number of cases but for us, it felt much more likely that we would get married in Greece than we would have at home.
You can read more about Connie and Rich’s fabulous wedding here and then pop over to view their gorgeous Wedding Film here. If you would like the support and guidance of other couples and wedding professionals during COVID-19 and beyond, join our Weddings Abroad Guide Community.
The Perfect Partners
Wedding planner: Lefkas Weddings // Wedding Photographer: Maxeen Kim Photography // Videography: Lense2Lense // Private Boat Hire: M/S Christina // Brides Boat: The Aggelos // Reception Venue: Mikas // Flowers: Gourioti Flowers // Wedding Stationery: Vistaprint // Wedding Cake: Patisserie Il Sapore // Make-up: Kourbei // Brides Dress: Kenneth Winston // Brides Shoes: Mago Sisters // Ring Box: Forever Keepsake Co // Brides Ring: The Beautiful Company // Grooms Attire: Moss Bros // Bridesmaids Dresses: Moonsoon // Bride & Groom and Guests Villa: Exclusive Meganisi