When we think of an elopement in Santorini, we imagine a spellbinding love story — two people passionately in love fleeing to a far-flung location, declaring their devotion for one another and exchanging vows in secret. That’s true! Elopements today are still intensely romantic, with couples choosing to celebrate their love in a deeply intimate way with a wedding experience that is as unique as they are.
For Rhiannon and Lucas, who wanted their wedding to be romantic, special and intimate rather than a big, traditional affair, an elopement set among the white-washed, quaint villages and cerulean vistas overlooking its famed Caldera, Santorini, Greece held just the promise of the enchanted wedding of their dreams.
After choosing Santorini for their elopement, Rhiannon and Lucas searched online for wedding planners, and eventually engaged Tie the Knot Santorini to be “their feet on the ground.”
Because they wanted a wedding planner well-versed in elopements, they chose them because “they looked like they did unique elopements and weddings that were suited to each bride and groom, and that weren’t necessarily stock standard,” Rhiannon explained.
Their choice proved to be one they don’t regret. Just like planning a traditional wedding, they were able to personalize the details, including the “rustic-elegant” theme of the wedding, the cake and the flowers. Maria of Tie the Knot “worked hard” for them, organizing, planning and making everything “seamless and like clockwork” — even the selection of the photographer.
When Tie the Knot sent Rhiannon and Lucas Thanasis’ portfolio to look through, it was immediately apparent to the couple that Thanasis “had a gift for photography.”
“The photography he does is like out of a wedding magazine,” said Rhiannon. His photos were “unique” and he captured many different angles that appealed to the couple’s sense of creating a one-of-a-kind experience.
The other element of Thanasis portfolio that “made him stand out” was that he had photographed a lot of of elopements. Similar to selecting a wedding planner, they wanted the photographer to be experienced with elopements and capturing the moments of the day, especially since family and friends wouldn’t be present for the special event.
A Memorable First Look Above the Caldera
On June 4th, Rhiannon dressed in a sleek Delila Fox wedding dress and Stewart Weiztman shoes in the romantic Honeymoon Suite of the Remezzo Villas at Imerovigli. Once a winery set among the cliffs of Santorini, the Remezzo Villas offer luxurious suites, or “cave rooms”, with intimate private terraces overlooking the ruggedly beautiful Santorini coastline and azure waters of the sunken volcano known as the Caldera.
Among this charming setting, Rhiannon and Lucas anticipated the moment when they would meet for the first time as bride and groom on their private terrace.
Their first look was intensely emotional as Lucas, who was standing looking out over the Caldera when Rhiannon approached from behind, turned around to view his bride for the first time. Rhiannon stood breathtakingly beautiful, her veil floating gracefully out behind her when she twirled.
“It was very emotional,” said Rhiannon. “I started crying … he hadn’t seen my dress — so it was special.”
At a loss for words at first, the couple held each other close, exchanging gazes of admiration and adoration, the world falling away to just them — two people about to become one as Thanasis looked on and captured forever this sacred moment they both agreed was the most memorable of the day.
Photographing Their Romantic Elopement in Santorini
The next few hours were a blur of love and laughter as Rhiannon and Lucas joyfully traveled the streets and villages of Santorini with Thanasis leading them to dramatic and exotic locations, capturing the beauty of their romantic elopement set among the backdrop that is Greece.
“He took us to spots maybe not necessarily as well photographed as other places. He took us to a little village where all the locals live, so there were really cool angles and passageways, and just standing on the Caldera. We got a really good mix. We got rustic, authentic Greece as well as that classic tourist shot, which was awesome.”
“What we really loved most about him is that he was really good at instructing us on what to do,” explained Rhiannon. He made them feel comfortable and at ease, giving them directions and explaining along the way why he wanted them to look this way or lean that way.
“He was very structured, but also … it was fun!” said Lucas.
A Romantic Elopement on a Private Terrace Overlooking the Caldera
At sunset, the couple returned to their private terrace for the wedding ceremony.
As the wedding party of Lucas’ twin brother and girlfriend and Rhiannon’s best friend looked on, Rhiannon, veiled and mysterious, met Lucas standing before the luscious floral arch. They exchanged the vows they each had written and became husband and wife underneath the painted evening sky, kissing as rose blossoms floated all around.
Afterward, the cozy wedding party sat down to a catered five-course dinner of fresh, Greek food amidst the simple, yet elegant setting Tie the Knot created for them on the secluded terrace.
“It was beautiful … It was a really long day by that stage, so we were both really glad to sit down … It was really nice to be able to sit down with our guests and let it all catch up. It wasn’t anything structured or formal.”
Romantic and special, their wedding was exactly the intimate occasion they envisioned when they embarked on their elopement — two people in love coming together in unity to commemorate their devotion for one another in a memorable and distinct way they will cherish as much as they treasure each other for the rest of their lives.