bluegr Hotels & Resorts’ head wedding planner explains everything from traditional ceremonies to underwater celebrations!
One-in-five weddings between UK couples now take place abroad. That equates to more than 55,000 ceremonies every year where the happy couple have opted to leave the country to celebrate their big day.
Greece has emerged as THE most popular destination in Europe for a wedding abroad, so we spoke to Katerina Mamidaki – Marketing Manager at bluegr Hotels & Resorts, to find out more.
Katerina, can we really rely on a hotel to plan a wedding?
Minos Beach art hotel http://www.minosbeach.com/ has been established since the 1960s, so over the 50 years we have been here, we have developed close ties to the Cretan local community. This means we have the perfect connections to help guests plan every little detail of the day, whether it is a bouquet, witnesses, wedding documentation or anything else.
All in all, we have 3 hotels that cater to weddings: Minos Beach in Crete is our biggest and we often see the larger weddings held here, whereas Sensimar Minos Palace http://www.minospalace.com/ in the same area of Crete and Life Gallery athens http://www.lifegallery.gr/ in the northern suburbs of Athens offer a more private and romantic wedding experience for smaller wedding parties.
As a group, we also offer personalised menus, wedding cakes and a photographer as part of our wedding packages, allowing guests to have the big day they have always dreamed of. So the answer is yes – you can definitely rely on a hotel to organise your big day.
I’m sure that in Greece, there are splendid venues for the traditional approach, but I’ve heard that you also organise underwater weddings?
Yes, pristine hotel beaches are very common in Greece, especially in Crete due to the endless golden coastline. This is why the beaches within Minos Beach art hotel have proven to be a very popular venue for our wedding guests.
However, yes you are right, we always try to make the difference and this is why we are now working on an underwater wedding package, including a dive master to perform the ceremony, rings presented in a shell and a lovely decorated area on the shore for you to dry off at and celebrate with cake and sparkling wine with your loved ones.
How about after the ceremony?
With so many rich dining experiences, stunning beauty spots and breath-taking venues available, choosing where to hold your celebration may be the hardest thing you have to plan.
We have so many amazing locations for the happy couple to party into the night at Minos Beach art hotel and at the sister property Sensimar Minos Palace, they can choose to have anything from fireworks displays over Mirabello Bay to professional musicians to soundtrack their evening.
Life Gallery athens provides the perfect venue to welcome happy couples, after their traditional / civil ceremony held outside the hotel gates. If a chic, stylish reception or sophisticated dinner party is what you’re looking for - Life Gallery has it all.
Are there any more exciting perks and benefits guests can expect when organising their wedding with a hotel?
Beyond the ceremony and celebrations, you are still a guest at your chosen hotel, so service will not stop just because the music has.
Every wedding package at bluegr Hotels & Resorts comes complete with a personalised turn down service on the evening of your wedding, with a bottle of French champagne and a slice of wedding cake awaiting you in your room.
The next morning, you can awake to breakfast delivered to your room and we will also give the happy couple a honeymoon gift from the hotels. If you choose to celebrate your anniversary with us too in the future, we will provide a 3-course meal with the stay to mark the occasion, as well!
And finally, the important question: how much can a couple expect to pay for such a luxurious wedding package abroad?
People are often surprised at how affordable a wedding can be when they leave their home country. Everybody seems to think that a wedding abroad will cost more once flights and accommodation have been accounted for, but that is not necessarily the case - the average cost of a wedding in the UK is now £20,000, with costs looking set to rise further in the coming years. On the other hand, a wedding abroad is on average 2.5 times cheaper at around £7,000-£8,000.
Our weddings start from only €2,500 (£2,145), we have photographers available on request and a broad choice of evening entertainment - luxurious destination weddings have never been so attainable.
If you are planning your big day, bluegr Hotels & Resorts are the perfect choice to make it the happiest day of your life.
For more information on the properties and their wedding packages, visit http://www.bluegr.com/experience/greece-honeymoon-wedding/