DESTINATION REAL BRIDE SERIES - WITH SIVAN AYLA


An inspirational destination wedding held on the traditional Greek Island of Naxos, with a laid-back bride who adapted and reflected the setting reminds us that it's not all about perfection and that some traditions can be broken. Doing her own hair and make up, walking barefoot down the isle in front of 60 close family and friends, Sivan gives us an insight into her unforgettable celebration.

DESTINATION: Naxos, Greece 

WAS A DESTINATION WEDDING ALWAYS THE PLAN? 
Originally I wanted to get married on a vineyard, but was finding that the rules are really strict on many vineyards and my family & friends like to party late. I also wanted to keep it really small & intimate, so it was the perfect excuse to travel to Greece. 
 
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE LOCATION? 
I first found my photographer, and he advised me against getting married on the more popular islands. I had never been to Greece so I trusted his insight and I'm so happy with my choice. Naxos is a very laid-back, beachy island, which was the perfect setting for my wedding. 
 
DID YOU GO WITH LOCAL SUPPLIERS OR DID YOU FLY OVER YOUR VENDORS? 
I went with all local vendors. Luckily everyone was on the island so it was easy to make the rounds leading up to the day since they are all in the same square in town. 
 
HAD YOU BEEN THERE BEFORE?

Nope! Took a huge chance but it paid off.

DID YOU HAVE A WEDDING PLANNER? 
No. If I had to do it all over I would definitely hire a day-of coordinator since I did not want to stress over any details the day of. However, since I spent 2 years planning I didn't feel the need to hire a planner. I took my time so nothing was ever really stressful.
 
HOW WAS PLANNING FROM AFAR?

If I hadn't given myself 2 years to plan it would have been tricky. Everything was done over email, and at times it would take 2 months to hear back from some vendors. Somehow I stayed sane / calm throughout the entire process, but I think the key is taking your time.

DID ANYTHING NOT GO TO PLAN/DID THINGS GO WRONG? 
We had a little hiccup with our seating arrangement. The map got reversed so everything was the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be. Everyone had to shuffle for 10 minutes, which felt like a massive deal at that moment, but looking back it wasn't that serious. That's the beauty of having only your closest friends and family in attendance, no one is judging.

Oh, my husband also forgot to pack half his wardrobe. Luckily his wedding outfit was with us, but he had to borrow other guests' clothing for the other events.

YOUR BIGGEST TIP TO OTHERS TRYING TO MAKE THE DECISION?

If you decide to do destination, take your time. Allow yourself to truly enjoy the process, not stress over it. Also, a destination wedding is likely going to be naturally beautiful, so don't feel the need to go overboard on decor. Simple flowers and candles will go a long way. 

THE MOST CHALLENGING MOMENT: 

Knowing that some people won't be able to make it. I had known this going into it, but you don't really realize how much they're missed until they aren't there. 

THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: 

When all our guests suddenly broke into a flash mod during the reception. I was hysterically crying from the shock. It was such an incredible moment that I will never forget. 

LOOKING BACK WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING? 

Absolutely not. I've traveled to so many gorgeous places that I love and I still wouldn't change a thing. Our wedding was so perfect for us - simple, relaxed, fun, and on the beach. 

WHERE DID YOU HONEYMOON? 
We started in Greece - Milos & Santorini. On our way home Paul surprised me and we stopped in Lake Como. It was my first time in Italy and couldn't have been a more

perfect ending to our honeymoon. 

Sivan did her own Wedding hair and make up! Watch her Wedding makeup tutorial here
See more of Sivan & Paul's beautiful Destination Wedding & Greece travel tips here

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