Costa Navarino, an exquisite luxury resort situated in a one of the most unspoiled and stunningly beautiful landscapes in the Mediterranean, definitely stands out among the best Greek wedding venues. Personally, I have the most amazing memories from the couples whose weddings I had the fortune to photograph there, so when Lindsey and Costa contacted me to discuss the details of their own wedding shooting, I was excited beyond words. They travelled from sunny Florida to get married in this dream location in Messinia, Greece. Their wedding was a milestone and a prime opportunity to celebrate with friends who came from all over the world to share their happiness! Lindsey and Costa were a pleasure to work with; rarely have I worked with such a relaxed and easy-going couple, who remained calm and smiling throughout the happy frenzy of the wedding preparations, the pre-wedding activities and the reception.
The celebrations started the day before the wedding in a rather original way: Costa and his friends, who often get together to play golf in the States too, had the chance to enjoy their favorite sport, as Costa Navarino happens to be a world-class golf destination with two signature courses set in diverse natural scenery with fantastic sea, river and mountain views, on softly undulating grounds and vast lavender fields dotted with olive trees. I must admit that I was aware of the plans of the groom, who had told me that the hotel’s top quality golf facilities were one of the reasons they had chosen it. He had even brought his own golf clubs from the States! So, this was a first for me, for although I had shot weddings there again, I had never photographed a groom playing golf with his buddies – who were truly impressed – right before his wedding! Just for the record, there were three 3-person teams and the winning team was that of the groom… And if you wonder whether Lindsey got bored while her husband-to-be was busy playing golf, I can assure you that she had a great time too, as she relaxed with yoga…
What came next was a pre-wedding dinner by the sea, where the guests danced to Greek music – although none of them were Greek – and had fun with the Greek custom of plate smashing. The hanging lights, the long, monastery style tables and the elegant decoration created a magical, carefree atmosphere that helped everybody relax and have fun. There was also a brunch at Flame restaurant. Here too, the decoration was superb, with a traditional stand loaded with all sorts of delicious fruit and other local products, blue porcelain plates and vases and rich, colorful flower arrangements.
And there came the big day. The bride and the groom got ready with the help of the bridesmaids and the groom mates, respectively. Costa and his pals, all in dark tuxedos, exchanged jokes and had some drinks, while Lindsey’s friends, in black robes to contrast with her white one, toasted her happiness. The ceremony was held in the Church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, in Pylos. Once again, the decoration was out of this world! The bride was dazzling in her splendid wedding dress, which, however, she changed later, replacing it with another, equally wonderful white dress, for the reception, in Pero, at the Romanos, a fabulous restaurant with tables that seem to be literally floating over the water. The newlyweds danced their first dance in front of four huge lit letters forming the word “Love”, while spectacular fireworks turned night into day. The decoration was majestic and the white flowers added a dreamy, romantic touch. It must also be added that the first look was staged in Westin and the shooting took place at the Romanos, where the golden ochre walls made a perfect background for the couple’s photos.
As many of the couples that I have worked with know, I generally prefer to work alone, without a second photographer or assistant, so as to better blend into the wedding and focus on feelings and emotions. But this time, it was different, for I was really thrilled and honored to work with my best friend Yiannis Alefantou! Yiannis is not just a friend to me, but a real brother, as there are many things that unite us apart from photography. I love his style and perspective, and most of all, his big and kind heart. The mutual trust, understanding and respect between us are the best guarantee for a good cooperation and the best possible photographic results. I also had the chance to cooperate once again with the very talented cinematographers WithHeartFilms and with the wedding planners 12Events, who deserve all the credit for the inspired decoration in all three setups!
Dear Lindsey & Costa, I have no words to thank you for allowing me to be part of this great experience and capture its best moments with my camera. The warmth of your heart, the generosity of your character and your genuine trust made me feel that I was actually photographing the wedding of two good friends of mine! You are a dream couple… and I sincerely wish you a dream life together!