This wedding experience was a multi-day affair on the Greek island of Skopelos – most famous as the island where Mamma Mia was filmed. And, I feel I should start out by saying that Skopelos is every bit as beautiful as you’d hope in real life – honestly, even better than in the movie. Guests arrived on ferries and stayed in the beautiful town.
On the Thursday before the wedding, there was a traditional ceremony at the bride’s family’s house where the older female relatives of the bride and groom came together to make traditional sweets. The sweets were made of ground almonds, sugar, and rosewater, which was formed into a paste and then sculpted intricately into small birds and detailed flowers. Seeing all of these beautiful women sharing this experience was just utterly fantastic…
At the end of the night I caught this image of Panagiotis sitting outside Anastasia’s window.
We had some time to explore the island in the next couple of days, and every minute of that was heaven.
Finally, the evening of the wedding arrived. Greek weddings traditions are (no surprise here) different than what we see in the US in a number of ways…I have to say, the more I see, the more I enjoy them!
Anastasia and her family got ready at her family’s house in Skopelos. Meanwhile, a crowd gathered outside, including a trio of traditional musicians.
Finally Panagiotis arrived.
The “first look” happens when Anastasia comes out of her house to see Panos along with their friends and family.
…and then the musicians led the way through the town to the waiting cars, which took us all to the church.
At the church (which was inside a thick stone wall that was build nearly 1,000 years ago) the wedding was held just outside the tiny chapel. People waited there, and outside the wall, for the couple to arrive.
Lefteris was my second shooter at this wedding, and he did an outstanding job! Looks like his photography education paid off. This is one of his shots.
The stefana are the most important symbol in the Greek Orthodox wedding.
The bride’s mother wore her own grandmother’s earrings; I caught this moment as the bride’s mother and father whispered to each other during the ceremony…
With the stefana on the bride’s and groom’s heads, the priest leads them, along with the koubari, around the altar three times. The koubaros, or best man, holds the stefana on their heads. This was a rice-happy crowd – the rice-throwing was nonstop!
After the ceremony, the rice-throwers got ready for Anastasia and Panagiotis’s all-important steps across the church threshold.
Finally, we had a tiny window of time for bride-and-groom photos. The light was waning, but there was an absolutely beautiful corner nearby…
The reception was gorgeous too, at an open-air bar nearby. Dancing went, literally, until dawn, when we saw the sun rise in the port.
I’ll end with one more shot…I took this on the other side of the island the day before the wedding. I think this symbolizes a great start to a marriage.