High on the list of the world’s most romantic destinations, Greece is undoubtedly the perfect place to celebrate a wedding. But Stephanie and Anthony chose the other-worldly location of Corfu, Greece, for much more than its idyllic appeal—their ancestry is actually rooted in Greece! This is why their big day was rich in tradition, and their all-white theme was nothing short of celestial.
Tell us a bit about you and Tony, how did you meet, how long have you known each other? We want the full love story!
Tony and I have actually known each other since nursery school! Our parents have photos of us from back then which are really funny to look at. We met because we are both Greek so our families went to the same church growing up. I always had a secret crush on him, but we never hung out in the same social crowd until my senior year of high school, the summer before I left for college. My cousin liked my best friend and asked Tony to play “wingman” on a movie date with me. That movie date turned into a summer-long teenage romance and the night before I left for my freshman year at college (he was going into his sophomore year), Tony asked me to be his girlfriend. Well, the rest is history! Sounds cheesy, but… he’s been my person ever since.
Why did you choose to get married in Greece?
Both of our parents were born in Greece so our culture and religion play a very big part in who we are individually and as a couple. My father actually grew up in the neighboring village of Tony’s grandma which is crazy to think about! We both have lots of family back in Greece who wouldn’t have been able to travel to the States for our wedding and we really wanted them there. Greece is also our favorite place in the world. After we got engaged, we asked a few of our closest friends and immediate family back home if they would be up for the overseas travel and got a boatload of excited ‘YES’s’. It felt right at home having the wedding in Greece and being able to share that part of us with all of our friends and family from the States. We had it on the island of Corfu, where Tony’s father was born. Tony used to go to Corfu every other summer growing up, so it’s a very special place for him.
Planning a destination wedding can be challenging. What helped to make it all come together? Any tips for brides planning a destination wedding?
It’s definitely challenging! A destination can also add an extra layer of stress since your venue and vendors are so far away. You can’t just pop into your venue to take a second look at it, or go sit down with your florist to explain your vision. The different time zones can also pose a challenge. What helped me de-stress was: 1) breaking down each planning task piece by piece – we created and organized a to-do list and tackled one thing at a time (ex: wine night and table seating – this took a whole weekend and we did nothing else, but it was super fun!); 2) we did have a planner on the island to help with the logistics so if you have a friend, family member, or a planner on site to be your eyes and ears on the ground, that can definitely be helpful; 3) honestly, at crunch time, I learned to just sit back and relax. Everyone is there to have a good time, and everyone WILL have a good time! If anything is going to go wrong, it will likely be something only you and your fiancé will notice (which is exactly what ended up happening!). BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE: ENJOY EVERY SINGLE SECOND FROM THE MOMENT YOU STEP ONTO YOUR DESTINATION SETTING! I know everyone says this, but it really does fly by!
Let’s chat about the dress! What were your inspirations for your dreamy design?
I never was someone who knew exactly what I wanted, but I definitely had a few ideas in mind. I knew I wanted some element of lace as well as off-the-shoulder sleeves. I also love a boho vibe so expected my dress to be boho, but I also wanted it to have a more formal twist to it. When I tried on dresses, I fell in love with specific aspects of a few – I loved the lace from one Marchesa dress, the fit and silhouette of another (a British designer), and the exposed corset detail from a few Berta dresses that I tried on. I also loved an off-the-shoulder look but didn’t want to be restricted in movement. So, when I went to design my dress, I was truly the perfect candidate for Anomalie. I got to combine all of these design elements while choosing laces that were unique to my dress alone (and got to have detachable off-the-shoulder sleeves!).
How was working with your Anomalie Stylist?
My Stylist… I couldn’t have asked for better! Seriously, I asked Kristi to be my Stylist because of her extreme attention to detail (which is right down my alley). Kristi and I started around the same time at Anomalie when we first launched as a company and I always knew I wanted her to help design my dress. I went through the design call process, as all of our brides do, with Lookbook photos and a Design Consultation. Kristi suggested all of the laces for my dress based on my photos and truly brought my vision to life through my inspiration images and by talking about each design element with me.
You’re an Anomalie OG, so you got to actually go to China while your dress was being made—how cool! Tell us what that was like.
Yes, I was very lucky to be able to go to China and see my dress in person. That’s a trip I will always remember! I waited until this trip to see the final dress (I didn’t see any final photos beforehand). When I arrived and met our team, they sat me down on a couch while they got my dress in the back. When it came, I was seriously in awe at how stunning it was. I also got to meet the person who hand-stitched my entire dress which was the highlight of the trip; he stitched each piece of lace and each sequin on my dress! It was humbling knowing the amount of hard work and dedication that went into making this dress just for me. Even after nearly two years of working at Anomalie, visiting our workshop in person was an eye-opening experience – I saw what goes into making each of these wedding dresses.
What was your favorite thing about your dress?
One favorite thing… that’s tough. I loved the detachable off-the-shoulder sleeves. I was able to change up my look for photos, and also not worry about being restricted by the sleeves while dancing (the sleeves were really important to me). I also have to say, the handwork. I recently took out my dress for the first time since my wedding to show it to a recently engaged friend and we were both staring at it in awe. Each lace appliqué and sequin was so thoughtfully placed and hand-stitched throughout the dress – it’s really beautiful.
Your wedding party is stunning! What made you decide to style the wedding party in white?
Thank you! I loved the idea of all white from the start. First, I don’t love being the center of attention, and well, on your wedding day, you are definitely the center of attention! I had 12 bridesmaids all in white with me – it was stunning. Second, being on an island where white and blue are the predominant colors (white buildings and blue water), made white a perfect choice for photos. My now husband and ring bearers were also wearing white dinner jackets with navy pants and bow ties, so the entire wedding party was themed in white and navy which I loved.
After all the planning, how did the wedding turn out?
The wedding day turned out better than I had imagined. Seeing all of our visions come together in real life and having everyone we love travel so far to celebrate this day with us was really magical.
What was your favorite unexpected moment of your big day?
My favorite part… this is tough! Nothing unexpected, but I would have to call out a couple of favorite moments: 1) daddy-daughter dance – it was an extremely challenging year for my dad’s health so this was the best moment; 2) the cake cutting – everyone got a sparkler and surrounded us in a semi-circle so when we looked out, it was a sea of sparklers, smiles and tears, and Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” playing in the background; 3) the balloon send-off on the beach next to the water – that was special and everyone loved it.
What Greek wedding traditions did you incorporate into your wedding?
Our entire wedding day was based around Greek traditions. At the church, we held a Greek Orthodox ceremony and provided a detailed pamphlet for our friends and family to understand what was going on since a lot of it was in Greek. A big part of this ceremony is the exchange of the two gold crowns called Stefana (the origin of my first name, actually); they’re connected by a single strand of ribbon and symbolize two people becoming one (we have them hanging in our bedroom now!). We also had a traditional bouzouki band playing music at the church, and there was a lot of rice coming at us as we exited the ceremony. The reception was also very traditional – Greek dancing, traditional food, late night gyros, and money throwing. The rice and money throwing are meant to celebrate a happy and prosperous life for the couple. Opa!
Any tips for future Anomalie brides?
Of course! I think trusting the process is most important. If you know your vision, Anomalie will bring it to life. Don’t start your design until you know what you want, and once you have your design call, keep in mind that you have an amazing team behind you that is your eyes and ears. Your Stylist is honestly just as invested as you – your dress is her baby! Given our process is not the traditional route and that you don’t see your dress until that big white box arrives, it’s important to remember you have an army behind you making sure your design is coming to life just as you envisioned it. I tell you, when dresses arrive at our office, there are a lot of tears and smiles – it’s like Christmas morning!
Pro-Stylist Tip: Just like Stephanie married the boho and glam aesthetics, you too can design a gown that blends different styles. Schedule a call with an Anomalie Stylist to bring all your ideas to life!
- Photography: Aristotelis Fakiolas
- Videography: George Zorbas
- Floral design: Rizos Garden
- Venue: Pazuzu
- Wedding cake: Cake boutique
- Bridal makeup & hair styling: Nasos Grammenos
- Rentals: White Lilac
Check out these posts for more #RealBrides inspiration:
- An Overskirt Paired and Gorgeous Lace Gets an A+ for This Anomalie Teacher Bride
- Rustic Elegance + a Custom Dress for a Canadian Bride
- A High-Low Hemline on This Anomalie Gown is Tailored for Dancing the Night Away