Real Weddings

A Cliffside Wedding on the Greek Island of Skopelos

Photography by Lisa Vigliotta.

A violinist played as Brittany and Micheal said their vows on the craggy coastline of Skopelos, where emerald water collapses against the rocks in the Aegean Sea. Raw concrete and stone contrasted with delicate florals beneath the clear blue sky made for a dramatic setting at the base of a mountain. After the ceremony, the bride and groom, and their guests dressed in all black, scaled over a hundred stairs to reach the top. The bride wore a chic modern gown masterfully crafted by Rita Vineiris, paired with Jimmy Choos.

The Greek Island destination wedding was captured by Lisa Vigliotta Photography.

“With 20 of our loved ones, we made the voyage to one of the most breathtaking locations, Skopelos, Greece. You may know the island as Kalokairi, the setting of the film rendition of Mamma Mia!  After countless hairpin turns winding around the mountain, we arrived. This stunning location was nothing short of epic.”

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Our Story

Names /  Brittany Hope & Michael Leetham

Wedding Date / October 29th, 2022

Location / Skopelos, Greece

Guest Numbers / 17

 

Brittany Michael Skopelos

How We Met

Working and living in downtown Toronto, Collingwood, Ontario was a place we’d both find ourselves on the regular, seeking some time in nature outside the city. Michael grew up on the slopes there and I’d find myself up there with friends, hanging out in Blue Mountain. It was there that a mutual friend introduced us on a night out. We’ve been together since.

 

Our Engagement Story

Collingwood plays a big part in our love story. Over the years, Michael, patiently brought me from slip sliding down the hill to an avid snowboarder. We ended up buying a house there and splitting our time between the city and Blue Mountain for the last few years. Collingwood brings us the nature we just don’t have in the city. We spend our weekends snowboarding, hiking, floating down the river, and out on Georgian Bay with friends.

On a Sunday in December, Michael and I went out on our favourite hike. Little did I know that in Michael’s backpack was not only packed with our typical top of hill refreshments, but there was also a ring and bottle of Champagne hiding in there. At the top of our favourite hike with the most beautiful lookout, Michael proposed. It was an immediate yes!

Brittany Michael Skopelos

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

Early into our relationship, Michael and I had planned a trip to Greece but never boarded the plane due to harsh weather. When the opportunity presented itself to get married in Greece, we knew it was nothing short of kismet. Adventure, travel, mountains, all are intrinsically embedded in our relationship. In this marriage, our biggest adventure yet, we knew it had to reflect that.

With 20 of our loved ones, we made the voyage to one of the most breathtaking locations, Skopelos, Greece. You may know the island as Kalokairi, the setting of the film rendition of Mamma Mia!  We chose to exchange our vows at the base of the Agios Ioannis church in the region of Kastri. After countless hairpin turns winding around the mountain, we arrived. This stunning location was nothing short of epic. 

On a perfectly blue-skied day, surrounded by crashing waves, with a solo violinist, we said “I do”. Following the ceremony, we made the trek of 110 steps to the summit. It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t throw in a big hike up a mountain! The ceremony took place poolside under the stars in Skopelos Town.

 

Aesthetic

We knew the aesthetic had to feel us but also reflect the majestic and over-the-top setting. We graciously asked our guests to arrive in all black, black tie – the more “extra” the better. And did they ever deliver!

The small guest list brought the intimacy and the idyllic location brought the romance, which was all we ever wanted. For the reception, we all sat at one long table, completely encapsulated with cascading lights, candles, and neutral florals.

Since the wedding was abroad, it was important that we included several elements that reflected our Canadian roots. We worked almost exclusively with a Canadian team that travelled with us to Greece. My wedding gown was designed by Greek-Canadian designer, Rita Vinieris. Michael’s tux was by Garrison Bespoke and our wedding bands were designed by Canadian jewelry designer Lou Goldberg. Custom bridesmaid dressed were made by Noor Alkalili of Chic Bridal and my mom wore notable Canadian designer, Wayne Clark.

 

Preparation

I got ready in our pool-side villa with my sister – also my maid of honour, and best friend/ bridesmaid. We sipped on Champagne in silk pyjamas and danced and sang to 2000s girl band hits. The morning was perfect, filled with love and laughter. Michael got ready with his groomsmen, both childhood friends.

We exchanged gifts at the villa, without seeing each other. I gifted Michael custom cufflinks inscribed with the wedding date, location coordinates, and our initials with a note that said “see you there”. Michael gifted me a stunning pair of custom white gold diamond and pearl earrings that I wore throughout the day.

In the weeks leading up the wedding, Michael had a recurring dream that he’d go to get dressed for the wedding, but instead of his tux hanging in his suit bag, a completely sequinned ensemble took its place. As a prank, on the day of the wedding, I replaced his tux with a sequinned blazer I found online. After his worst nightmare was realized, we had a few laughs and Michael was returned his real tux.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Photography

We were so lucky to find our wedding photography team. Lisa Vigliotta Photography has such romantic vision. Her uniquely trained eye finds beauty in the smallest moments. We loved her fashion editorial, atmospherically cinematic style of shooting that is achingly romantic, unlike your typical wedding photography. The composition and use of light was spectacular. Lisa is not only an artist, but the best human and a joy to be around. The entire team was made up of true professionals who captured the most important moments flawlessly throughout our wedding day.

 

Videography

Videographer, Jayson Manalang, is so incredibly talented! We loved his cinematic and grand style that was perfect for this vast and epic landscape. From sweeping drone footage to capturing our most intimate moments, we were so thrilled to have Jayson on our team.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

Wanting the natural landscape to take center stage, we kept our decor minimal and elegant. An outdoor reception lit only by twinkle lights, candles, and the moon, we sat poolside at one long dinner table. Waterfall florals and candles covered the table scape. Lucite menus and sea glass placards reflecting the natural elements of the island and surrounding sea resembled our wedding invitations.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Wedding Planner & Stylist

Kalli of Majestic Events in Volos, Greece and Hilary of Wildwood Floral & Events in Toronto, Canada jointly planned our wedding from opposite ends of the world flawlessly. Their vision perfectly aligned with mine. Kalli was so helpful, kind, professional and persistent in helping make my dreams come true – such a kind soul. Hilary has the perfect amount of clarity and decisiveness that is needed in a Floral and Event Planner and she was a complete joy to work with. Together, my wedding planners were a dream team that were all hands on deck from day one.  Planning a destination wedding in a foreign country wouldn’t have been possible without such a truly spectacular team to help make the day be so magical for us. 

Seeing our wedding table for the first time, my jaw dropped. Seeing the vision come to life was the moment I realized that it was even better than I could have ever imagined!

 

Flowers

Hilary of Wildwood Events & Florals and I wanted a bouquet that had different textural elements featuring my favourite flowers, orchids and white roses. She created a unique waterfall shaped bouquet with no greenery.  It matched my gown and stood out perfectly against the moody and natural landscape. All of Hilary’s floral installations and creations were perfection: from the ceremony arch, the delicate chair florals, and the stunning floral arrangement at the reception table. We were so pleased with the beauty she brought to our wedding.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Stationery

Melissa of Statue Rue designed a clean and minimalist wedding invitation suite for our wedding. The stamp was our favourite detail as it had a picture of our unique wedding location, the Church of Agios Ioannis in Kastri at the top of the cliff.

The neutral pearlescent palette of the invitations reflected an ongoing theme in both my bridal accessories and wedding decor. The beauty was most certainly in the details. The invitation suite set the tone for the wedding. From the moment our guests received the invitation, we wanted them to feel like this was going to be an experience like none other and Melissa’s talent helped communicate that!

 

Cake

Our wedding cake, made by Glyko Styllas was custom-designed to emulate the natural and rocky location of the island. Sculpted to resemble the cliffs, the interior was chocolate with vanilla butter cream icing – Michael’s favourite and a definite crowd pleaser.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

Designed by Greek-Canadian, Rita Vineiris, my wedding gown was from the Rivini collection. The simplicity and elegance of the silhouette is what drew me to the gown. It was classic with the perfect amount of drama with the open-back and exaggerated train. After trying on many dresses, this one made me truly feel like a bride.

We knew that we would be scaling a Cliffside and hiking up 110 steps to the summit. So you can imagine, shoe choice was important! I wore Jimmy Choo Pearl Platforms. Those Choos were made for walking! And I danced in them all night!

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

My “something old” was Michael’s late grandmother’s platinum and diamond eternity band, designed by his grandfather. My “something new” was the stunning white gold, diamond, and pearl earrings, gifted by Michael and designed by Lou/Daniel Goldberg. My “something blue” was Michael and my initials and wedding date embroidered into the hem of my dress.

 

Hair & Makeup

We were unsure of what the weather would be, but suspected it would be very windy.  I knew I wanted to wear my hair up in a high pony tail to accentuate the open-back of my dress. It was the perfect choice for the sea-side ceremony, to hike up the mountain, and for dancing the night away. It was an elevated ponytail with pearl accessories throughout created by Allyssa of Allyssa Helm Beauty + Co. Allyssa also did my wedding makeup which was absolutely flawless. Allyssa, a part of our Canadian team, is a true professional and a joy to be around, truly the sweetest person.  The day of my wedding, as we sat in the morning light on the patio to the Villa, we chatted and laughed while making magic happen. She carefully listened to all my requests and the result was perfection.

 

Bridesmaid Details

The striking bridesmaid gowns were custom-made by Noor Alkalili of of Chic Bridal. I wanted the silhouette to mimic my wedding gown. With the extra long train and structured ruffles, I loved the drama created in these gowns! Noor was able to not only take my vision but elevate it, creating the high-fashion bridesmaids dresses of my dreams.

The Details

 

Honeymoon

We continued to eat and drink our way through Greece, hitting Athens, Santorini, Crete before heading to Croatia and exploring Zadar and Zagreb.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Wedding Songs

A solo violinist played sea-side at the ceremony before plugging in and playing an electric set with the DJ at the reception. Our first dance song was Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs.

 

Entertainment

DJ, Vagglelis Sidas, and Violinist, Jason Toufexis, were our wedding entertainment and welcomed the guests to the reception with live electric violin over organic house music and we made our entrance under a tunnel of sparklers. Following dinner, we danced the night away to all our favourite songs.

 

 

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

Arriving to the wedding ceremony for the first time and seeing my future husband standing at the altar with a background that was so jaw-droppingly stunning will forever be engrained as one of the happiest moments of my life. Following the ceremony, the entire wedding party and guests hiked the 110 steps up to the top of the seaside mountain cliff, which had breathtaking views and made for an unforgettable moment with everyone all together. From the winding drive to and from the ceremony to climbing to the top of the cliff, the day was filled with excitement and adventure. It was so very us.

 

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

Getting married overseas required quite a bit of legal paperwork to be done ahead of time, including taking out an article in the local newspaper two weeks in advance, written in Greek. Thankfully, Kalli of Majestic Events was able to help with the lengthy process. From the administration, red tape, and speaking to all the local vendors, she was our saving grace. We could not have had the wedding we did without all her expertise and assistance.

 

Sources of inspiration…

Our love of travel, the outdoors, and hiking led us to this perfect location. We were able to draw inspiration from natural beauty of the island and the breathtaking views in Greece to embody the romantic seaside wedding of our dreams.

Brittany Michael Skopelos

Our Contacts

Wedding Location /  Skopelos Island

Wedding Stylist & Planner /  Majestic Events

Photography /  Lisa Vigliotta

Videography /   Unfolded Tales

Bride’s Dress /  Rita Vinieris

Bride’s Shoes /  Jimmy Choo

Wedding Rings /  Lou Goldberg

Hair & Makeup /  Alyssa Helm

Stationery /  White Lilac

Florist /  By Wild Wood

Catering /  Anna’s Restaurant

Entertainment /   Jason Violin

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