Bella Chalmer, 33, married Ben Shearer, 32, at The Peligoni Club in Zakynthos, Greece, on 16th June 2016. She says:
The first and easiest decision Ben and I made was where we'd host the wedding. We met at The Peligoni Club ten years ago when we were both there working over the summer, so it was the perfect place. What's more, we wanted to have it somewhere warm and sunny and, in June, the weather in Zakynthos is perfect; not too hot with guaranteed sunshine and a lovely breeze.
Peligoni was also an amazing place to have a 3-day party. We wanted to draw our wedding celebrations out across the long weekend because we love being surrounded by our friends and family and wanted to make the most of having them all there. On day one, we held a Greek-dancing and plate-smashing welcome drinks party at a beautiful seaside restaurant called Nobelos. Actually, the most expensive choice we made during wedding planning was to purchase the 1,500 plates that people could smash on the floor! It's a celebratory Greek tradition, which most likely dates back to ancient times. On day two, we all gathered at The Peligoni Club for our blessing ceremony on wooden decking by the sea. This was followed by dinner and dancing in our tree-filled stretch marquee. For the final day we organised an all-day pool party at the club's Villa Figari – with lots of bloody marys and live music. One of our proudest achievements was how nicely each event flowed into the next.
We asked a local florist, called Athena, to create bouquets using blue, green and purple flowers. She included a mix of herb pots with lavender, peonies and eucalyptus inside the marquee. We wanted the colour palette to look natural and organic, so there were splashes of green and purple, which looked lovely against the white-wood decking and natural canvas tablecloths. We also had over 100 trees and plants inside the marquee, which we managed to borrow from a local garden centre! They were all different sizes, which resulted in what we called our 'secret garden'. Simple yet elegant.
Ben and I love food and drink (and dancing!). These were central to our plans across the three days. The catering provided by Peligoni was one of the best parts of the entire wedding. We chose a family-style sharing menu with big, colourful Mediterranean bowls and fresh local ingredients. Nobelos, where we held the party the day before our blessing, is also renowned for its mouth-watering Greek cuisine. Everything was completely delicious.
I wore a Charlie Brear dress, which was perfect for the laid-back vibe of our ceremony. It was made with ivory satin, had an open back and a slightly vintage-style dropped waist. It was unfussy, elegant and fitted me really well. It also felt so comfortable – just right – when I tried it on. Keeping things simple, I chose to wear a golden nugget necklace, which fell along my neckline perfectly, as well as a delicate Bvlgari bracelet.