Yes, my first Greek wedding was big and a little bit fat but in a super cute way!
I met Eleni when I moved to Santorini thanks to Instagram and we became friends. She is a beautiful soul and young woman, very sweet and bright. She is a sommelier which makes her your best friend when you live in Santorini where wine is more natural than water.
The first time we met for coffee on the caldera and she was with her two big loves, Thomas and Frankie.
Thomas is such a fun guy and I always look forward to our meetings because I know that we will laugh a lot. He is the kind of man every mum would love to see beside their daughters: handsome, brilliant and dedicated.
To me, they look like the perfect couple (ftou ftou) and they even get my Italian sense of humour which brings them on top of my favourite people list: with them no awkward moments when people look at you as if you just said something weird!
And Frankie? Frankie is the cutest dog and always around Eleni and Thomas, even at the wedding.
One year ago Eleni told me about their future wedding and I got immediately very excited: that was going to be my first Greek wedding! Till then I had only seen weddings on TV.
Months after I discovered that my first Greek wedding was going to be Big and Fat because Eleni was expecting twins!
The day of the wedding was just about perfect.
For the first time in three years in Santorini, I had the chance to wear my ‘heels’ (well, I started the day with my Birkenstock because of where my friends live…). I arrived at Eleni and Thomas’ place first.
When I say first, I mean it! They were not there. I still don’t get the Greek time interpretation.
I even got lost in their village and saved by other guests!
Anyway, at some point, other people arrived and the couple too.
I got the unique opportunity to see the groom getting ready under a bright sun and in a beautiful setting.
I was very moved when I got to assist Eleni with her preparation.
And of course, I could not resist and took some pictures, becoming one of those guests that all the wedding photographers hate (including myself).
I loved that they invited a local orchestra to follow the party to the church, something very traditional and uncommon (at least for me).
I have been to quite a lot of weddings both as a guest and as a photographer and planner, but I had never experienced a Greek one.
It is a lot about music, drinking, food, dancing and loving each other. I strongly believe that Greeks make it better when it comes to celebrating something.
Eleni and Thomas are from Naoussa and almost all their guests came from the North.
It was great to meet them and I was also very proud to be one of the few ‘locals’ representing Santorini!
I was very curious and excited to finally see the religious celebration as I knew there are lots of rituals very different from a catholic wedding.
I was almost inside the church when Eleni’s sister came to me and ask me to take care of Frankie. Of course!
That is when I lost all the ceremony!
Towards the end of the church, a young man came and took the dog; as he looked a good guy I handed over Frankie. But after ten minutes I saw him around again without the dog. ‘Where is Frankie?!’ I asked him with my not so sweet tone of voice. That is when I discover he was part of the family, being Eleni’s sister boyfriend!
After the church a lot of food, music, wine, dancing (Thomas went over and beyond, well done!) and fun!
It was a pleasure and honour to be part of this unique moment of the life of Eleni and Thomas, I am really glad and thankful they invited me.
BUT I still need to see the church ceremony now (hidden message for Eleni’s sister…).
©Nicoletta Barbata/One Quarter Greek