Framed by towering blooms and an infinite blue sea, Jordan and Adam exchanged personalized vows in a clifftop ceremony in Oia, Santorini.
Evoking the intimacy of an elopement, the couple invited their closest friends to celebrate, and perform their heartfelt ceremony.
As night fell, a scattering of lights illuminated the island’s dramatic cliffs and the newlyweds dined on an ambient reception table for two.
Capturing every magic detail was White on Black Studio.
Names / Adam Paulsen & Jordan Hanks
Wedding Date / May 24th, 2022
Guest Numbers / 3
Budget / €20,000
How We Met
We matched on Tinder in 2018. We always say that it was Adam’s first day on Tinder and Jordan’s last. I, Jordan, was so burnt out from dating. I’d been dating for years and knew exactly what I wanted – not having found it. Adam was recently divorced and was new to dating men since coming out. We matched on Tinder, started talking that night, went on our first date the next day, and have been together ever since.
Our Engagement Story
Jordan is the biggest Kelly Clarkson fan on the planet. He’s tried meeting her for the last 18 years. We’ve had fun attending tapings of her talk show and going to her countless concerts. Adam arranged for a surprise engagement to happen on her talk show. We went to the taping, got engaged, Jordan finally got to meet Kelly, she even gifted us with a honeymoon vacation! It was the best day of our lives. For Adam, getting down on one knee on national television to ask Jordan to marry him was so exhilarating. The love we felt in that studio was exciting and refreshing; we felt it so strongly and the cheers and shouting of support was something we will never forget. It was a bonus that the guest on the talk show that day was one of our favorite actors and activists, Dan Levy—a queer icon, and he waved and congratulated us! The whole day couldn’t have been better.
Marriage To Us Means…
For us marriage means a deep level of commitment, love, and loyalty. We are thankful to live in a time where our marriage is recognized and legal. Our love is no different than anyone else’s, except perhaps ours comes with a deep layer of appreciation that we are able to publicly and legally declare our love for each other by being married.
We knew we wanted our wedding to feel intimate, private, and epic. We wanted to be married cliffside with beautiful views. We chose Canaves Oia in Santorini because it offered a certain level of privacy and luxury that felt unmatched. The views are other-worldly and offer unobstructed views of the caldera. The venue was the perfect size for our pre-ceremony cocktail hour, offering a separate area to lounge and mentally prepare with our friends. The ceremony and dinner took place right there on the Cliffside and felt extremely romantic.
We would describe our wedding aesthetic as classically elegant, romantic, and moody. We wanted the backdrop to pop against our soft colored flowers and our suits. We had bold accents in our flowers and dinner linens that created really balanced photography.
We had a really fun dinner the night before at our Airbnb where our group was staying. It was a Mediterranean BBQ, catered and set up beautifully on the terrace of our villa. There was so much anticipation about the events of the next morning that it was so fun to enjoy food and drinks with our best friends to celebrate what would soon finally be happening!
“The reason our wedding wasn’t a “true” elopement was because we brought a few of our best friends, one of them to perform our ceremony. She knows us and loves us in true form, and has been with us since the beginning of our love story. We asked her to write a uniquely beautiful and custom ceremony script to follow, and it was spectacular.”
White on Black helped us capture everything exactly the way we wanted. They fit our preferences of capturing the moody, deep landscape/hillside and helped us look our best! We were so happy with the variety of posing and perspective they shot from. We did a day-after shoot which we are SO happy we did. We loved having a slight wardrobe change from our wedding attire and the different daylight that shooting at sunset provided was perfect. We would do it all over again exactly the same way!
Ceremony & Reception Décor
We kept things fairly simple. We wanted all of our floral to be the same, from the large pillars used for our ceremony, to the centerpiece on the dining table set for two. We used light, soft tones for the greenery and cream roses, accented with deep, vibrant pinks and fuchsia colors. Burnt orange accents added some really nice contrast, and rusted vases and glass candle holders were simple and understated, which we loved.
“We did a day-after shoot which we are SO happy we did. We loved having a slight wardrobe change from our wedding attire and the different daylight that shooting at sunset provided was perfect. We would do it all over again exactly the same way!”
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Our wedding Planner was Stella and Moscha, who were delightful! They helped ease every stress and worry the day before and day of our wedding. They handled every detail and we couldn’t be happier.
Food & Beverages
The food was extraordinary. We opted for a private wedding dinner for us two immediately following our ceremony and photoshoot. When we arrived back at the venue the dinner was set up so beautifully. The menu was incredible and the drinks even better. The staff made us feel so special and the romantic night backlit by Santorini, lit up in lights, was something we’ll never forget.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
We opted for coordinating wedding rings rather than matching. Adam’s is solid rose gold, and Jordan’s is Tantellum on the outside and the inside was rose gold to coordinate with Adam’s. We had the exact coordinates for our wedding location engraved on the inside of both bands. We are so happy with them! We had a custom ring box made that held both rings together and was engraved with a map of Santorini and our wedding date. One of our favorite keepsakes from the wedding!
Our 3-piece suits coordinated, with Jordan in a dark jacket and light cream vest, and Adam in the matching light cream jacket and vest combo. It looked amazing in the photos, and we loved how they weren’t matching. We tailored our pants to be slightly shorter in length and paired them sock-less with black loafers. Our shirts had our initials embroidered on the cuff, and “A+J May 24, 2022” on the inside of our suit costs. We loved the personalized touches!
We flew in through Athens and spent a few days there. We arrived in Santorini 2.5 days before the wedding, which we thought was perfect. It gave us the time we needed to meet with our planners and coordinate final details. We used private transportation everywhere we went in Santorini which was both expensive and very convenient, something we’d do again.
Once our wedding was over, we left Oia and transferred over to Thira to stay at Sophia Suites for a few nights. It was incredible, our suite was unique and beautiful, and it was nice to spend time on a different part of the island. We left Santorini after a total of 5.5 days and island hopped for 7 more days, spending time on Milos and Paros.
Because we were essentially eloping, we didn’t register for actual gifts. We did create a fund for loved ones or those who chose to donate to support our goal of using surrogacy to have our own children.
Wedding Songs & Entertainment
We walked down for the ceremony to begin to “Simply The Best — Schitts Creek Version”. Our first (and only) dance at the end of our ceremony was to “Imagine” – Accoustic by Ben Platt. During the pre-ceremony cocktail hour and during our wedding dinner we played a Spotify playlist curated by us, using our favorite songs. I loved doing it this way because now when we hear those songs, we’re immediately transported back to our wedding. Such great memories!
The reason our wedding wasn’t a “true” elopement was because we brought a few of our best friends, one of them to perform our ceremony. She knows us and loves us in true form, and has been with us since the beginning of our love story. We asked her to write a uniquely beautiful and custom ceremony script to follow, and it was spectacular. The script is something we’ll forever look back and read when we want to be reminded of that special day. We trusted her to do a good job and she captured every feeling perfectly. It was pure magic.
We wrote our own vows, which we knew for a while we wanted to do. We started writing them about a week before our wedding. We revisited them on the plane ride over and finalized them the morning of our wedding. We are really glad we each wrote them in our own handwriting. We didn’t share our vows with each other until the wedding, and that’s a decision we would make again and again. It was so special and really added to the emotion of the day to hear them for the first time in the actual ceremony. We also had custom books ordered that were simple and easy to hold. They made for a nice detail to have photographed and are now added to our collection of fun memorabilia to keep from the wedding.
A memorable moment…
A few memorable moments stated below:
- Asking our best man to share a few words during our pre-ceremony cocktail hour. It set the tone and set everyone’s hearts in a good, calm state.
- Our entire ceremony, from start to finish.
- Our wedding dinner, sitting alone with each other looking at the night sky, sipping champagne. A moment we’ll never forget.
- Not a part (officially) of our wedding, but we went on a spectacular picnic while in Santorini that I (Jordan) planned for Adam with the help of Santorini Secret. It was as romantic and special as our actual wedding. The food, the setting, the decor and attention to detail, it was impeccably done. It was a private picnic, right on a Cliffside next to an abandoned church, and with a direct view of the sunset, a night we will never forget. We actually cried because it was so beautiful. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Santorini before leaving the next morning.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
We didn’t worry about the details so much, because our wedding planner allowed us to make some final decisions even once we arrived. We didn’t need to be stressed at all!
If I could give other couples to be one piece of advice…
Don’t leave your personalized vows until the last minute. Give yourself time to write, revisit, revise, revisit again, and finalize. Also create a personalized playlist of music ahead of time.
Wedding Venue / Canaves Oia Suites
Wedding Stylist & Planner / Stella And Moscha
Photography / White on Black Studio
Videography / White on Black Studio
Florist / Wedding Wish Santorini
Honeymoon Destination / Sophia Suites
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