Shortly after my first wedding at Agios Nikolaos, I returned to Naxos for Margarita and Minas’s wedding. Both originally from Greece, but now living in London, they decided to return to the island where her family have got roots for a traditional Greek wedding celebration. It has been really great to meet these guys – as I observed them all day through my camera viewfinder, it was very clear to see the special relationship they have. Every subtle and tender touch, look or smile spoke volumes of their love for each other. Not something you see everyday, but something incredible to witness.

So the story of their wedding day. Margarita got ready in the family house in the alleyways of Naxos Town, and it was all sorts of craziness. But good craziness. Lots of happy laughter and atmosphere of excitement as everybody was getting ready. Looking at the photos I think anybody will agree with me that she got it all right – her hair, her make-up and a stunning summer wedding dress. Really breathtaking once she was all ready. Before we left the house for the church, with music from the bouzouki players filling the house, it was time for the traditional shoe ritual – writing down the names of all single friends on the sole of her shoe.

In the courtyard of the church, guests started seeking shelter from the sun under the trees. And there came the bride – on a boat from the other side of the bay. With Minas eagerly waving and getting a peek at his wife-to-be from the cliffs. Sadly the wind was too strong for the bride to disembark at the foot of the rocks, and she ended up making her way to the church along the boardwalk. Minas waited at the entrance to the church with her bouquet, and with a big hug as soon as she reached him. A tender moment shared.

The ceremony was traditional Greek Orthodox with some added twists. Firstly, in a (welcome) surprise move, the priest offered the koubara and koubaro to drink from the common cup. And then my favourite moment of their ceremony (which is also my favourite tradition), the Dance of Isaiah and the blessing of rice throwing. It is a moment I await with great anticipation. With no exception they were pelted with rice by loved once as they made their way around the ceremony table. But it was once they were done when it happened. The koubaro, with some help from a friend, tipped an entire bag of rice over the groom! Talk about being blessed!

After some family shots at the church we headed over to Kastraki where the reception was being hosted. Amongst the green grass of Blue Myth Studios, tables were dotted around and beautifully decorated – with a fantastic view of the sunset over the ocean. Following a lovely meal, it was time for the party to start – a night of proper Greek dancing. The bride and groom opened the dance floor first as the live band performed the music. Slowly-slowly family and friends joined the circle as the dancing really got under way, with the dance moves getting more and more creative as the night progressed.

My love for the Greek culture is one of the reasons why I now live here, and it is really great to be able to capture such special moments for the couple. Minas and Margarita – I wish you a lifetime of happiness together and may you always be so in love and full of smiles as you are in these photos.

Ceremony Venue: Agios Nikolaos, Agia Anna
Reception Venue: Blue Myth Studios

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