From the legendary island of Santorini to cosmopolitan Mykonos to picturesque Peloponnese, Greece offers a wide variety of amazing wedding venues to suit all preferences and budgets. It’s not just the famous Greek hospitality, the Mediterranean climate and the fascinating traditions that make this country truly unique; it is also the beautiful sun-kissed beaches with white and golden sand, the thick green forests and the magical sunsets that make it so popular among couples from all over the world. No wonder many newlywed couples decide to prolong their stay here after the wedding ceremony to enjoy an intense and romantic honeymoon!
So, if you are thinking of tying the knot in Greece, below you will find plenty of ideas about where and with what criteria you can choose the ideal wedding venue for you. Here we go then! Brace yourself for a very exciting tour!
1. Costa Navarino, Messinia
Kinsterna Hotel, in southern Peloponnese, is a fully restored mansion with enchanting views of the fairytale castletown of Monemvasia, 7 km from the homonymous town. The resort, built on a slope of the impressive Mount Parnon, dominates age-old olive groves and vineyards, reminding of a rural picture of the past, with animals, lush vegetation, even natural ponds with water lilies. The hotel was named after a traditional cistern, which is also its trademark (Ki-sterna). If I was asked to describe it with one word, I would choose the word “imposing” or “mystic”. It is worth considering it as a wedding venue, especially if you dream of traditional or rustic wedding.
The charming little chapel of Zoodohos Peghe (Life-giving Spring), just a stone’s throw from the mansion, is ideal for exchanging vows and pledging undying love. The fragrant wind blowing from the orangeries and the saltiness of the Aegean on your lips create a unique feeling. This, in combination with the medieval aura of the area, enhanced by the strong spiritual energy emanating from the nearby Byzantine city of Mystras, can literally take you back in time. This is how a couple’s photoshoot and the subsequent wedding ceremony can turn into a trip to another era! The bride can imagine herself as a princess as she walks down the aisle, surrounded by tall walls, while the groom may feel like a brave warrior or a noble knight of the past…
Poseidonion Hotel, near the Harbor of Dapia Port, is considered to be the landmark and jewel the island. This exquisite boutique hotel is a beautiful neoclassical building with traditional balconies, generous high-ceiling rooms, and an impressive baroque staircase that make the perfect backdrop for wedding receptions and parties.
As a photographer I particularly appreciate the stunning contrast between the luxurious white marbles and the antique dark furniture that creates ideal circumstances for Fine Art Wedding Photography. Just think of the image of a bride, in a dazzling white floral bridal dress walking down the elegant stairs with regal grace – a vision of beauty! Or the groom and his best man in their black tuxedos enjoying a friendly chat and a few drinks in the discreet luxury of this relaxing environment. I have captured countless moments of happiness and serenity in such pre-wedding photos.
Poseidonion, apart from the usual amenities, offers an Asian spa and a hair salon and nail bar, the famous Poseidonia Hairworks, which can guarantee a unique wedding hairstyle. However, an experience that will really steal your heart is a horse-drawn carriage ride along the promenade. This would also be an excellent opportunity to admire the old mansions, the car-free cobbled streets and the delightfully colorful pebbled yards, feeling that you travel back in time to the sweet soundtrack of the horse hooves clip-clopping…
4. Casa e Campo, Parnitha
The picturesque countryside venue Casa e Campo, set in 12 acres of idyllic farmland at the foot of Mount Parnitha not far from Athens, can easily compete some of the most scenic landscapes of Tuscany!
Externally, the main building looks like an adorable traditional farmhouse, which makes it ideal for a barn wedding, while offering at the same time all the comforts of a luxury reception. You will realize this as soon as you take a little stroll and have a look around: vast grounds and lawns that could accommodate more than 1,000 people, a swimming pool, a spacious parking lot with valet service and perfectly trained personnel will make the planning of your wedding plain sailing. White hydrangeas, lavender twigs and a verdant olive tree –the trademark of the venue and a symbol with very deep roots in the Greek tradition– in the middle of the gardens will give your wedding day a refreshing rural feeling.
An outstanding feature of Casa e Campo is its color: rarely have I seen in any other Greek wedding venue such a sweet and dreamlike sepia shade that creates a really romantic, dreamy effect. In some of the prettiest shots I have taken there, the bride is holding a wedding bouquet of tulips and calla lilies against this amazing backdrop. The groom too, with his bold blazer, is the protagonist in an equally fetching portrait photo with interesting color contrasts. The same soft color dominates the interior of the Greek orthodox chapel of Saint George.
The wedding reception area, decorated with rich garlands of fresh flowers, crystal vases, mirror sousplats, and candlesticks, is the ideal photoshoot background for every photographer. The best moment? When the newlyweds cut the wedding cake!
This is when the happy couple, the best man and bridal maids, the relatives, friends, and all the guests get together for a big party! And the secret ingredient, the sepia tone of this unbelievable place, will give your wedding photos the timeless, sentimental, dream quality that will make them unique.
5. Island Art & Taste, Athens Riviera
If you want something original and unconventional for the most beautiful day of your life, how about a boat wedding?
Island Art & Taste, in the Athens Riviera, a lacy coastline with crystal clear waters, palm-tree lined esplanades, golden beaches and luxury resorts, is a stylish wedding venue on an elevated spot over the sea. This is a unique chance to cross the azure Sounio Bay by boat –as access to the venue is also possible from the sea– and start your wedding party aboard. Just picture it: You and your better half standing on the bow of a ship full of roses as the Athens Riviera seems to come closer and closer… Just like a couple who decided to elope in Greece and turns up out of the blue for the surprise party!
Island will be there to welcome you. Golden candlesticks, elegant wedding invitations with the your monogram, exquisite floral arrangements and the infinite blue of the Aegean Sea will leave the guests speechless with awe.
As a professional wedding photographer, I consider Island Art & Taste in Athens the ideal choice for an Art Deco wedding. The luxurious decoration, the rich colors and the harmonious geometric patterns, in combination with the breathtaking view of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio and the lights of the coast and the nearby islands twinkling at night, make up the perfect setting for a ceremony and reception marked by finesse and high aesthetics. And in the end, what could be better than a wedding dance against a background that has rightly been described as one of the most beautiful Greek landscapes?
6. Nasioutzik Museum, Attica
Nasioutzik Museum, situated in an idyllic location in Spata, Attica, conveniently close to Athens, is one of the most atmospheric wedding venues I have ever seen. The estate extends over a green hill with lush vegetation.
When I first visited it, I was impressed by its architecture, which borrows elements both from northern Greece and from the Byzantine era. The stones have been collected from tobacco factories and old railway lines. The timber comes largely from the Holy Mountain (Mount Athos) and the monastery-type tables always fascinate wedding reception guests. If you plan to book your wedding in Greece then this is definitely the place you are looking for. Why am I saying this? Well, I have been many times to the estate and it never ceases to amaze me with its the numerous large, fully equipped halls, the antique treasures and art you can find exhibited there, the three charming churches and the amazing gardens.
One of its buildings, the mansion “Meteora”, looks like a monastery with huge walls. Built on the top of the hill, it overlooks the grounds, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the whole area of Mesogea (meaning “Middle Land”). If you intend to have a big cocktail party, the wonderful pool area, surrounded by beautiful plants and stone-built terraces, is an ideal environment. The antique furniture, the paintings and all the other works of art in the museum create the perfect setting for an elegant wedding.
The interior, although somewhat dark, might prove to be advantageous for some portrait photos of the bride and the groom. You may ask your wedding planner or the estate staff to add some fairy lights to the reception area so that the lighting is kept as discreet as possible. The result will be delightfully romantic, guaranteeing some fine art wedding photos that will capture the magic of your big day forever!
7. Royal Mykonian Hotel, Mykonos
Royal Mykonian specializes precisely in what its name suggests: organizing regal weddings! The luxurious decoration, the gold candlesticks, bright colors and lovely floral arrangements never fail to impress its guests, who usually come from various countries of the East. And the famous Elia Beach, right in front of the hotel, is great both for traditional wedding photography and for crazy bachelor parties.
I have seen many newlyweds prolong their stay in Mykonos after the wedding, either choosing one of the hotel’s honeymoon packages or spending their honeymoon in a private villa.
To most of us, who consider Mykonos to be a cosmopolitan destination favored mostly by singles, this might seem rather strange. However, the island of the winds boasts excellent hotels ideal for newly married couples in love who want to live their fairytale in a truly magical place that combines astonishing natural beauty with the charm of the Cycladic architecture and a vibrant international jet set lifestyle.
From a photographer’s viewpoint, there are far more advantages. If you are planning your destination wedding in Greece, Mykonos offers the best possible setting for a photoshoot. Just picture the scene: You are exchanging vows under a wedding arch with the Aegean sparkling under the Greek sun in the background! Or you are happily strolling hand in hand among cute whitewashed houses with blue shutters and colorful yards with flowers in full bloom!
I have noticed that, day by day, hour by hour, visitors to this island tune in to its calm and tranquillity. So, photos gradually become more and more spontaneous as couples start feeling more relaxed and carefree and by the end of the photoshoot I have the feeling I see in them all the joy and innocence of childhood! This is what I like most about each and every one of my pre-wedding sessions.
On the other hand, the magic and the intense light of the Cycladic scenery is a beast that every experienced wedding photographer needs to tame. He has to be very careful about overexposure and use a fill flash on the dark spots. Take a look, for instance, at the photo below (one of my favourites, actually) from an elopement in Santorini:
In the same frame, the bride is bathed in intense light, whereas the groom is in the shade. Despite the final artistic result, this kind of photos can be tricky for most photographers. So, when booking a wedding photographer, make sure he knows how to handle the intense light of the Greek islands!
8. Grecotel Mykonos Blu
As soon as you step foot in this extraordinary resort, you have the impression that you are in a small Cycladic village. Picturesque archways, dazzling white walls, a cobbled path leading to the entrance and vintage decoration elements from the Greek islands make Mykonos Blu one of the best wedding venues in Greece. The hotel overlooks the turquoise waters of Psarou, the famous Mykonian beach of celebrities, just 4.5 km from Chora. It is so popular that during the high season there is a waiting list! Champagnes pop and dozens of fireworks light up the night sky at every important event, such as dinner wedding receptions. So, if you dream of a… sparkling wedding album, then I definitely recommend Mykonos Blu!
The hotel trademark is the sculpture of a cute blue donkey. Donkeys were the main means of transportation on Greek islands in the past. They were used for transporting all sorts of goods, including the material part of the bride’s dowry at weddings. Handmade carpets, embroideries, clocks and other wedding gifts were carried by donkeys to the couple’s new home.
Whether you are planning a civil or religious wedding or you simply wish to renew your wedding vows, this unique hotel can be the perfect setting for photographing both the ceremony and your most precious moments. The island of the winds offers excellent opportunities for lifestyle photography and the camera lens can capture the couple’s happiness and mutual love and all the tenderness and respect they have for each other as if there was nobody else present and they were totally free to express their feelings.
Of course, it is not always easy to achieve spontaneity and naturalness in photography but fortunately there are certain techniques that can ensure the best possible shots. To me, there are four magical ingredients: the eyes, the smile, the hands and the pose. Although it is not my intention to talk in detail about the wedding poses of the bride and groom or photography techniques here, a very general rule is that what matters most in a wedding photo is the smile of the bride. A smile that can be triggered by the sight of her soon-to-be-husband, a happy thought, a friend who does or mouths something funny or simply the knowledge that she is in an awesome wedding venue and will soon tie the knot with her beloved! I can’t think of anything more beautiful than the smile of a happy, relaxed bride; and Greece is the ideal place to inspire peace and serenity with its blue and white colors and the warmth of its sun. And your happiness will shine in your photos too!
9. Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort
Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, an amazing 5-star hotel only 4 km from Chora, the island’s main town, is built on a smooth hill overlooking the crystal clear waters of St John’s (Agios Ioanis) Beach, named after the homonymous charming white little chapel. One of its greatest advantages is the view over the sacred island of Delos, which lends an ancient Greek aura to this part of Mykonos. In addition, the interior of the hotel is clearly influenced by the architectural style of ancient Greek temples: mosaic details, marble surfaces and decorative elements with olive leaves revive ancient Greece.
So, if you are looking for original ideas, why not organize an Ancient Greece theme wedding? I was once fortunate enough to shoot such a wedding and the sight was unique and mystagogical. The wedding arch consisted of Ionic columns, like those of the Parthenon. The decoration included golden patterns portraying the ancient goddess of fertility Demeter and Artemis (Diana), the goddess of hunting and wildlife. The bride, wearing filigree earrings and a wedding gown with floral details embroidered with golden thread, was a vision of beauty. Majestic candlesticks partly covered with transparent veils completed beautifully the picture.
It doesn’t take much effort for such a photoshoot to be crowned with success, of course. The bride and the groom posed confidently, as if they were taking part in some ancient ritual. The guests too, including the best man and the bride’s maid of honor, even the flower girls, had the feeling they were living a unique experience in Ancient Greece! Jack & Lauren’s wedding was indeed a unique event that I will never forget. Neither will they, as they will relive it every time they look at their wonderful wedding photos!
10. Choosing a Private Villa
Photoshoots also tend to go very smoothly in a private villa, as all possible spots are more or less in the same place. The wedding photographer may shoot some portraits of the bride and the groom as they are having a good time with the bridesmaids or the best man and the groom’s friends respectively. He can also take some traditional photos of the couple with their families in the pool area, where a cocktail party is to follow. The same goes for a beach wedding, since the wedding ceremony and the reception, as well as a fantastic photoshoot, can take place on the beach right in front of the chosen venue, against a breathtaking backdrop: the infinite blue of the Aegean Sea.
So, you should book a private villa if you want to have full control of your budget, organize your wedding at your own pace and adapt the available areas and every other detail to your dreams!
The popularity of private villas as wedding venues has been steadily increasing, especially in Mykonos. Talk to your wedding photographer about your plans and desires; he will certainly be able to give you lots of valuable advice and practical tips not only about your photos but about the overall planning of your wedding in general!
11. Cavo Tagoo, Santorini
Cavo Tagoo, an up-and-coming luxury hotel in Imerovigli, only 10 minutes from the volcano, with 13 amazing suites, some of which are especially designed for an unforgettable honeymoon, and a 20-metre infinity pool, offers a breathtaking view and the magical sunsets Santorini is famous for. At first glance, it seems to be perfectly suitable for a fashion wedding, but on second thoughts it might give you some even more interesting ideas…
As a wedding venue that combines an environment of discreet luxury with an atmosphere of absolute serenity and relaxation, it can also host simpler, less informal ceremonies and would be ideal for romantic elopements or boho style weddings as well. Just think of it: you, in an ethereal, flowy wedding dress, radiantly happy and surrounded by oriental rugs, macramé hanging details and lots of flowers, exchanging vows with your sweetheart against the spectacular backdrop of the Aegean Sea… Imagine your friends and all your guests, dressed in ethnic style and earthly colors with a nostalgic touch of the 60’s just like you, dancing their hearts out to celebrate your big day! Can you think of anything better?
And then you could continue with a fantastic wedding dinner party at Ovac restaurant, which will start with divine classical Mediterranean specialties to culminate in gourmet sushi dishes from the Japanese cuisine.
The hotel infinity pool area can be one of the best dance floors you have ever tried! And it would be a great scenery for an after wedding party photoshoot.
My advice for your wedding photoshoot: if you have decided to tie the knot there, make it boho like. Try to convey the simplicity and beauty of your special theme wedding to your wedding portraits. Behave naturally, enjoy the delightfully romantic environment and let the energy of the island flow through your whole existence! Pay attention to small details such as the hands, which should be ideally at waist level for the best photographic results. It is also advisable to lower slightly your chin in every photo, so as to allow more emphasis to be given to the angles of your face. And of course, don’t forget to highlight your photos with your own unique smile that will reflect your carefree boho attitude and the happiness blooming inside you!
12. Rocabella Hotel & Spa, Santorini
Rocabella, a scenic hotel perched on the caldera, is probably the best choice for some illustrative wedding photography. The rare natural beauty of Santorini (officially known as Thira or Thera), which can ensure unique close-ups and panoramic photos against the spectacular backdrop of the Aegean and the volcano, makes this island the best destination for this type of photography.
Take a look at the picture below: Anthony, holding Rebecca in his arms, is standing on the dome of the Church of Anastasis. This background may be the most popular image of Imerovigli. There are no words to describe the passion and energy that this picture overflows with! I believe that this is the view that has made many couples wish to say “I do!” at a wedding destination in the Cyclades.
Trust me, you will love Rocabella Hotel the moment you see it. Apart from being an exquisite wedding venue, it is one of the few hotels on the island that can offer you a stay in one of its luxury suites during the organization of your ceremony. Famous vendors and talented professional planners are ready to help you with all wedding details, regardless of the length of your guest list. So, in addition to your awesome floral arrangements and dream decoration, you may have your own wedding band or even your own professional DJ! Music choices are literally endless… Just think what it would be like to dance with your better half to your favorite song under the starry night sky of Santorini!
How could the camera best capture a wedding in Rocabella? Let me give you some tips. To me, it would be preferable if the decoration did not include balloons, sweet tables and flower girl baskets, which would be better suited to a traditional wedding. Rocabella is ideal for modern weddings, with metal motif elements prevailing everywhere, from the reception tables to the wedding arch. In this case, the bride should ideally wear an elegant, fine line bridal dress embroidered with Chantilly lace that would give her appearance an air of modern elegance perfectly matching the stylish hotel scenery. You could also prepare your guests for your modern decoration with a wedding invitation written in fine calligraphy fonts in a cool metallic color!
13. Dana Villas & Infinity Suites, Santorini
Dana Villas, situated in Firostefani, about 4.5 km from the island’s capital, is one of the first wedding venues I had the pleasure to work at when I started visiting Santorini as a destination wedding photographer. The hotel, literally hanging off the edge of the caldera, overlooks the world-famous volcano and the azure infinity of the Aegean. Its most striking feature is its earthy cave interior. It looks like a real cave with white walls reflected on the tranquil water of the infinity pools. I was actually told that this water comes from a natural river! On the suite balconies, pool edges seem to merge into the blue of the sea, like an endless sky. And when darkness falls, the night lights from the nearby village of Imerovigli complete perfectly the scenery –probably the most romantic picture you will ever see in your life…
Le Ciel offers elegant indoor and outdoor spaces, unique wedding menus for your wedding banquet after the ceremony, and a full range of top-notch wedding planning services that can meet the requirements of any wedding, from elopements to extravagant celebrations and receptions. Wedding ceremonies are held on a spacious terrace with spectacular views and a capacity of 80 seated guests, ideal for intimate weddings too. Following arrangement with the clients, the hotel also offers transfer to and from many places on the island, including the airport. This might seem like a trivial detail in planning a wedding, but it usually turns out to be particularly convenient, if you take into consideration how many times you, the best man or the bridesmaids might need to go from one hotel to another, especially during the pre-wedding preparations.
As I am writing these lines, I happen to have in front of me several pictures of couples that decided to elope on some Greek island. Many of them chose Santorini and Le Ciel for their elopement. Excellent choice! Le Ciel, although not so famous, is indeed a dream wedding venue in a dream location in picturesque Imerovigli.
15. El Viento Villa, Santorini
Walking through the mazy alleys of Megalohori village, among sparkling white houses, charming blue-domed chapels and blooming bougainvilleas, you will find El Viento, one of the most amazing private villas in Santorini.
The villa itself is a pleasant surprise, as it happens to be the oldest stone-built windmill of the area, which was recently renovated and is now a true architectural jewel. It offers all the comforts and standard amenities of a private villa plus a stunning view of the traditional village of Oia and splendid sunsets over the Aegean Sea.
What I particularly like about this place is the feeling of the wind on my face and through my hair; the salty sea air is filled with fragrances from the many vineyards around you. Megalohori has a rich winemaking tradition, so it would be a great idea to get your wine from a local producer. Though not widely known as a wedding venue yet, El Viento is absolutely perfect for small, informal weddings. The pretty little chapels of Saint Nicholas and Panaghia (Virgin Mary) of Plaka are built on the edge of the cliff, with a panoramic view over the island volcano.
To me, El Viento is the ideal venue for those who dream of fairytale ceremony!
How should I choose my wedding venue?
Although at first it might seem difficult to choose the right venue among so many possible options, in the end you will feel perfectly satisfied for all the time and effort you have dedicated to it. Just remember that what matters most is to decide about the type of wedding you desire (rustic wedding, romantic vineyard, museum wedding, etc.) and the number of your guests. More specifically, if you plan to have a big wedding, it might be preferable to book a venue for exclusive use. Extra spaces will ensure guest comfort, especially if some of the guests have young children. An important detail that you should remember is that not all venues are available throughout the year. If you wish, for instance, to tie the knot in winter, it would be advisable to look for an indoor venue in some nice mountain location in Greece.
Bearing all this in mind, you will easily choose the best place for your wedding. Take a look at the suggested wedding venues and discover the one that is perfect for you. And don’t hesitate to contact me! I’ll be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have concerning the photoshoot and the overall planning of your wedding. I am here to give you advice that will help you create the most magical moments of your big day and capture them for you forever! Together we can plan the wedding of your dreams. Your dreams are my inspiration!