In our continuous search for European vibes here in the US of A, this Santorini inspired elopement is the stuff of dreams! Overflowing with pastel hues and pops of fuchsia, we have officially been transported to a Mediterranean wonderland planned by Aly Ann Events. We almost could not believe our eyes when we saw Madeleine Collins‘ photos and all of our beach elopement dreams are coming true in San Diego. We cannot stop gushing over this intimate setup so instead of crossing the Atlantic, just pop on over to the West Coast.
From the photographer, planner and florist: Our inspiration originates within a summertime longing to travel, to explore distant lands and taste flavors from unique cultures. The bride and groom for our shoot, a real couple and friends of the vendor team, have family ties to Greece but have never been, so we invited them to celebrate their dating anniversary with us bridal-style beside the sea with traditional spanakopita and other bright, tasty Mediterranean fare.
With being in the middle of winter and the urge to travel rising like the heat, we were inspired by the architecture and cool color palettes of the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini. San Diego has so many beautiful beaches, so why not conjure a similar aesthetic at home? Although a heavy marine layer rolled in on the day of our shoot, our photographer Madeleine worked her magic to beautifully capture the natural grace of the Southern California coast with our Mediterranean twist.
We focused our color palette primarily on pastels, drawing from Santorini’s white-washed architectural glow, the silver underside of olive tree leaves, and the pops of fuchsia that echo the graceful bougainvillea and flowering nerium bushes that scatter across Greece’s islands. The combination, showcased in our bride’s bouquet, makes a lovely compliment to the rugged cliffs and silvery swaths of California coastline and lends itself to a beautiful representation of a destination affair.
The bride’s gown, provided by Archive Bridal and designed by Mikaella, featured romantic lace and figure fitting shape, reminiscent of the gowns of Greek goddesses turned modern paired with a nod to the lacy spray of sea foam. We loved the delicate slit in the front of the gown, a growing trend in current bridal fashion that made a nice compliment to our Santorini elopement vision. In addition, we have observed that many brides abroad prefer simpler designs, which we are fully in love with as well.
We’ve always enjoyed Seniman Calligraphy‘s attention to detail in her invitation suits and vow books. The semi-custom invitation suite that was featured in this shoot is elegant and so romantic!
Our floral designer Jen, of Nectar and Bloom, had visited Santorini previously, so she created the ceremony arch to suggest the rolling cloud formations over Greece’s sea-surrounded archipelago using layers of hydrangea intertwined with wildly graceful branches of curly willow. We loved that the installation was floral-foam-free to keep to a green and environmentally responsible promise in her design work.
One of our favorite elements of this styled shoot was the sweet tablescape the team curated together. Set for two where the waves spread silk on the shoreline, this table displayed two gorgeous spreads of Mediterranean flavors from Cheri’s Vintage Table. Set with a centerpiece to cull together our color palette, we were especially fond of the pairing with ivory taper candles and the mist-like ghost chairs.
All in all, our aim was to conjure our own airy, light-filled and white-washed look of the famous Santorini island of Greece here in San Diego, with a twist that celebrates the unique moody beauty of a beach shrouded in the light-filled foggy marine layer that can swallow our coastlines.
We are still shook that we found such cozy Mediterranean vibes on the beaches of San Diego, and this elopement is the proof in the pudding that it can be done! If you’re looking for a tropical twist then this wedding should do the trick!
Photography: Madeleine Collins Photography
Planner: Aly Ann Events
Florals: Nectar and Bloom
Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy
Rentals: APR Boutique Event Rentals
Dress: Archive Bridal
Tux: Friar’s Tux
Rentals: Cheri’s Vintage Table
Hair + Makeup: Beauty Bespoken
Catering: Sage Bleu Catering