Holly and Thanasis met in the summer of 2014, whilst having drinks in Soho and hit it off immediately. "We spent the next few hours laughing and discovering shared interests and similarities," Holly recalls. "We'd arranged the second date before we'd even finished the second round of drinks!" It was obviously meant to be because five years later, Thanasis proposed. "It was a complete surprise, albeit a lovely one after a long work week!" she says.
They celebrated with Champagne before heading out for dinner. "Amusingly if anything I might have expected Thanasis to propose the following week as we were going on holiday to St. Lucia. However, I got to pack my bag with lots of wedding magazines and we enjoyed kicking off the planning process from our sun loungers with cocktails instead," says Holly.
Having a church ceremony was important to Holly and Thanasis, and All Saints Church and Fulham Palace provided the perfect location next to the River Thames. "It's rare to find a location in London where the church is next to the venue, and where there's so much beautiful greenspace so it really hit the mark," Holly recalls.
"The church service was beautiful, and the choir provided gorgeous moments to really pause and take it all in," she says. "Walking up the aisle with my dad will be a memory I treasure forever and thinking back to the moment I saw Thanasis stood with his brothers at the alter always makes me smile," she adds. Two of the duo's great friends agreed to do speeches, each reading 'Song of Solomon (2.10-13, 8.6-7)' and 'The Art of Marriage' by W. A Peterson. "They were brilliant, and we were so happy that they played such an important role in our day," Holly says.
Holly wore an Alma Novia, style Turiol gown that she altered to include an organza insert for the cut out back with button detail for the ceremony. This was then removed for the reception. The satin buttons continued to run the full length of the train and she accessorised with a cathedral-length crystal embellished veil that sparkled in the sunshine. She wore a crystal hair pin, diamond stud earrings and a diamond bracelet which were a gift from her father. "I also wore Manolo Blahnik Hangisi shoes in blue, which I'd wanted for years and always longed to have as my 'something blue' on the big day."
Thanasis and his groomsmen wore matching navy suits with pastel Hermes ties and their bridesmaid looked gorgeous in a eucalyptus green full-length dress with a satin bow tied at the back and a small puddle train.
"Our venue was a lovely marquee overlooking a path that was overflowing with giant hydrangea blooms, so we kept the décor clean and elegant," Holly says. Green, white and blush floral centrepieces mirrored the flowers from the church, a hanging ivy wall framed the top table and stunning blossom trees were placed around the courtyard for the drinks reception and in the marquee.
The table plan and place card designs were elegant and simple and continued the floral theme and the marquee sparkled with fairy lights strung from the canape. "For the evening reception we had more lighting outside where guests were relaxing and added extra gravitas with uplighting in the hallways, the back of the building and in the main reception hall where the band were playing," Holly explains.
"Our cake was delicious! We had three tiers of different flavours that included lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge and salted caramel and all of them were utterly divine," says Holly. "We kept the top tier for ourselves to enjoy the following week whilst our guests demolished the rest of the cake in quick fashion," she adds. The design was clean, elegant and simple. It was dressed in brilliant white icing with an iced ribbon bow that draped down the cake and finished with iridescent pearls dotted around each tier. "It was just a joy to look at and eat!" As if that wasn't enough, guests were treated to raspberry and pistachio meringue kisses to take away as a memento of the day.
Holly and Thanasis spent time in the months ahead of the big day curating the music that played in the courtyard for guests during the reception. "It was a selection of acoustic jazz covers of recognisable songs. We've listened to it a few times since, which is a nice keepsake," she says. For the evening reception a band called 'the Real Kudu' had everyone up and moving. "As a surprise Thanasis' parents and close friends boldly took to the dance floor for a traditional Greek dance, which was a delight for everyone," Holly remembers.
"Our first dance was also a very memorable moment. We both have two left feet, so the thought of dancing in front of everyone didn't thrill us, but it was actually very special. Much to the dismay of some family we didn't take any lessons in advance and essentially were winging it," she says. "We danced to Elvis Presley's 'Can't help falling in love', which when surrounded by friends and family was a great feeling."
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