Receiving an enquiry is always very exciting for wedding photographers. Receiving an enquiry from someone who was a guest at a wedding you photographed is always a huge compliment and also, very exciting. Receiving an enquiry from someone who was a guest at a wedding you shot who also then wants you to be their Santorini wedding photographer is just jump around the room doing the worm exciting, and that’s exactly how we felt when Tori and Ben got in touch.
Having seen us photograph her cousin’s wedding, Tori felt we might be just what she was looking for in her Santorini wedding photographer. Tori had been looking at local Greek photographers and felt the style of what they were offering was not what her and Ben wanted. This was particularly as they were being asked to give up 1 or even 2 hours on their wedding day to visit other parts of the island for a photo shoot mid-wedding and away from their wedding venue Le Ciel in Imerovigli.
Many of you will know this is totally not our style, as we value how fast a wedding day goes and that you’ll not want to miss precious moments with your friends and family during your destination wedding. On meeting them, they could totally see how booking a destination wedding photographer from their home country allowed us all to get to know each other better, and it was like hanging out with old friends on their wedding day.
Landing in Greece
We arrived on Santorini 48 hours before their big day, which is standard for us to allow any travel problems – we don’t want to miss your wedding abroad for the world. After checking in with Tori and Ben that we’d arrived safely, we went to a lovely little taverna down the road from our hotel for beers and souvlaki, excellent stuff. The next morning we met our happy couple to check out Le Ciel and immediately know why Tori and Ben had chosen it for their Santorini wedding – the view of the caldera is just stunning.
After the venue visit we all heading to the Kamari Sky Lounge to kick off the celebrations as friends and family started to arrive. We LOVE this part of a destination wedding, everyone gets so excited and it’s a lovely way to meet everyone over a few cocktails. This is why we include pre wedding drinks in our destination wedding coverage. The sun was shining and it was late afternoon, but that didn’t stop the dancefloor kicking off perfectly! As dusk started to fall we grabbed our couple for a few romantic beach shots to round off the day.
The big day
The next day after a hearty Greek breakfast, Lina headed down the road to the stunning Xenones Filotera Hotel to join the girls for bridal preparations. Tom jumped in a cab to the other side of the island to capture the boys in Kamari. Tori and Ben chose Kamari as a base for all their guests as it has more bars and a great beach, and therefore provided a coach from Kamari for all their guests to come over to the West side of the island to Le Ciel. This is a great idea for any destination wedding planning.
As the boys and the guests made their way to Le Ciel Santorini, Tori got into her dress on the patio of the Imerovigli hotel with the cool blue sea in sight. After an emotional reveal to the father of the bride, it was time for the short stroll back to Le Ciel, and for a glorious wedding ceremony under the Greek sun.
Saying I Do
An abundance of flowers adorned the ceremony space, looking fresh and pretty yet amazingly all courtesy of Paper Flowers Cyprus, a great alternative when you want lots of flowers that might wilt under the heat. Tori looked incredible in a Pronovias dress and cape combination. Santorini can be very windy for a typical wedding veil; a wedding cape is a genius way of getting the same look as a long veil but with less of your hair being pulled out by the wind… Ben went classically handsome in a black tuxedo.
Wedding guests supped champagne to keep cool from the heat before heading into the main space for a delicious four course greek dinner which included some amazing souvlaki and ouzo wedding favours. As the sun started to dip, an emotional yet funny round of spaces took place with that incredible caldera view that Le Ciel offers as a wedding venue as the backdrop.
Despite the incredible sunshine earlier, the clouds rolled in as we headed out for sunset. No matter, there were some incredible tones in the watercolour sky mother nature had offered up to us. Santorini wedding photography is usually so focused on the sunsets, but as we went for a short stroll with Tori and Ben to allow them some time together; to talk, laugh and cuddle up away from the glare of the wedding, it was still more than beautiful. Tori’s Pronovias cape came into its own when we were creating their portraits over the caldera. It would have been very easy to just take these shots right outside the door of Le Ciel, but we looked for a different view to what we had seen.
Thinking we were finished, we spotted the black and white wall, Tom and I pointing it out at exactly the same time making Tori and Ben laugh. Which incidentally, is what they do to each other, a lot. So despite us being in front of this famous Santorini view for wedding pictures, arguably the shot of the day came as Tori and Ben relaxed in front of this black and white wall. We know they love it and we adore it too! It even has won a few photography awards for Tom too.
We headed back to the courtyard to find the guests in jovial atmosphere enjoying the fading sunlight, and then it was time for the first dance. Floor fireworks were set alight to get everyone excited for this fab couple. Greek dancers then burst in to lead everyone back into the hall to get the nights dancing underaway. So much fun was had by all into the small hours of the morning before our couple waved their guests onto the coach. And who was then left, the four of us, and being beckoned over by the super lovely bar manager at Le Ciel, we shared a final shot together before heading back for a good night’s rest. What a day and a huge privilege to be Tori and Ben’s Santorini wedding photographer.
We love that this wedding was also featured on international wedding blog Zankyou. You can also see their wedding video edited by those great folks at Shoot It Yourself. But there’s more… keep an eye out for the second part of Tori and Ben’s wedding adventures as we headed to the northern town of Oia for their stunning post wedding shoot, included in all our destination wedding packages, and see if they finally got their Santorini sunset…