How to plan a Greek or Cretan Wedding

These are some of the questions we are most often asked by brides and their families planning a Cretan wedding

What local flowers could we have?
Many brides ask for 'local flowers' - Crete in April has many kinds of wild flowers, and is very pretty. But these flowers are all gone by May because of the heat, and the only 'wild' flower available is bougainvillea, which is very bright and pretty but does not survive being cut for long - the flowers fall off the stem almost immediately. All other flowers are imported, and the most commonly used are flowers like roses, gerberas and lilies. Remember that the flowers you use must be able to survive the heat, so tulips and other fragile flowers are not really suitable. Send a photo of what you like to your wedding planner and ask her advice.
What sort of wedding transfers (or travel) are available in Crete?
Bridal transport varies from a horse and carriage, to a Cabriolet, to a Mercedes. Classic cars are available in the Heraklion area but are more expensive in Rethymnon or Chania. Your guests may need transport - your wedding planner should arrange all of this, including pick ups at different hotels and of course drop offs at the end of the night.
How can we get the best photographs to mark the occasion?
We always recommend that you use a professional photographer and if you look at our gallery page it is clear which couples have used one. A good friend or relative who loves to take photos may seem a good economic choice, but they will have little or no experience with the amazing Greek light, and may also themselves regret offering when they discover they do not have any time to enjoy your wedding!
What is the best time for the reception?
The ideal time for your wedding ceremony is about 90 minutes before sunset - this leaves time for drinks after the ceremony and then the couple are free to go off with their photographer for sunset photos. The reception meal usually starts after 8 pm.
How can we make the reception as child-friendly as possible?
It is best to advise parents to try to get the children to nap in the afternoon and then to feed their children just before the ceremony so that they are not hungry and bad tempered during photos! Ask your wedding planner to make sure that the children's menu is served immediately with the adult starters - happy children make happy parents! Your wedding planner should also be able to arrange babysitting and also entertainment for the children (e.g. face painting)
What drinks would be served with the meal?
Wine of your choice would usually accompany the meal - ranging from barrelled village wine to bottles of your choice and budget.
What kinds of desserts are available in Crete?
Usually as a dessert fresh fruit is served and/or ice cream. You could also choose to serve honey and nut baklavas.
Will I be able to have a wedding cake?
A wedding cake can be ordered here - the traditional Greek wedding cake is of a light sponge with butter cream, rather than the traditional English heavy fruit kind, although this can be arranged if required. Weddings in Crete uses the best cake shop in Chania and will send you a choice of design and prices.
What about flowers at the ceremony and reception?
Flowers, candles and the general decor of your choice of wedding venue and of your reception will depend on what you require. We are able to offer you a selection to accord with your choice of colour and of course personal taste and in accordance with your price range - we will email examples for you to choose from.
Is it traditional to decorate the bridal car?
Yes, and since you can choose from a Cabriolet to a limousine you can be sure you will arrive in style!
What kind of menu could we expect to get at a Taverna reception?
A typical Cretan wedding meal would be a starter cold plate of mixed appetizers (e.g. stuffed vine leaves, cheese pies, meatballs, Cretan cheese, salad, olives) followed by roasted lamb/pork with potatoes, served with Greek salad. Vegetarian options for the main meal are of course available.
What kind of entertainment can we have at our reception?
We can arrange live music of various kinds ranging from a guitarist and bazooka player singing with no loudspeakers, to traditional Cretan players and a performance of Cretan dancing. We can also arrange for a very talented female vocalist to sing both Greek and English popular love songs.
What sort of entertainment could we choose from for the reception?
The traditional Cretan wedding meal has four courses, one of which is cold boiled lamb with pilaf made with the lamb stock. This is followed by a roast meat course. We find that usually this is too much for non- Greeks, so it may be better to leave out the boiled lamb course if you are choosing a traditional Cretan dinner. You may want to have a more international menu; this is always an option just ask your planner. Traditional Cretan food has a lot of vegetarian options so don't worry if you have any vegetarian guests. The Greek wedding cake is more like a gateau and is available in many flavours, so ask for the options and choose your favourite! You may want a menu which offers only fresh fruit as dessert as the wedding cake gateau is also a dessert.
We want to invite a number of guests, but they will all have different needs. How can we organise this?
Weddings in Crete can provide you with a list of accommodation of all kinds in the area you choose to stay. This can range from hotel or apartment accommodation, villas with pools or just simple rooms.
I want to get married in Crete but I would like the reception to be at my villa, is this possible
We can organise the catering of your reception at your villa or holiday home for whatever number of guests you have, working with the best caterers and cake specialists in Chania.