Inspired by destination weddings in Greece, Chelsea & John married above the Aegean Sea at Agios Nikolaos Church on the Greek Island of Milos. Towering otherworldly volcanic rock, morphed into unearthly shapes, surrounded by water so still it mirrored the pure blue sky, set the scene for their minimalist wedding in Greece.
Evocative of the Greek landscape, organic shapes and earthy understated colors were used, with floral arrangements featuring dried elements, muted tones, and silvery olive branches. The bride wore a liquid-like gown by Alexandra Grecco, a long cathedral veil by Sara Gabriel, and for the reception, tailor-made sleeves crafted by a skilled seamstress.
Sydney Noelle Photo beautifully captured the couple over their destination wedding week.
Names / Chelsea & John Laspada
Wedding Date / September 1st, 2022
Guest Numbers / 60
Budget / $65,000
How We Met
John and I ended up at the same summer BBQ — we had both come with friends. A few words were exchanged amidst group conversation in the jacuzzi and ended up at a bar together as the night progressed. We sat in the corner engrossed in conversation and laughs. Two days later, he took me on an “official” date, and that’s where it all began. John still refers to me as “the girl in the black bikini” (even in his wedding vows) so needless to say, I must have left an impression on him!
Our Engagement Story
Our home is very special to us — we live in the house that John grew up in with his mom and sister. It was passed along to us and we moved in during the spring of 2019. In 2021, I came home from a morning with friends (completely unsuspecting) to a spread of rose petals and candles. Experiencing John getting down on one knee in our home was such a sweet surprise — a place that already held so many memories of our relationship. We spent the next couple of hours celebrating the two of us and then went to dinner on the beach with family and friends to celebrate. He’d been planning for months and everyone was in on the surprise with him. I was amazed I never found out and still smile when I think of how special that day was.
Marriage To Us Means…
To us, marriage is a partnership. It’s a commitment to serve and love each other, to push and support each other, and to never say no to adventure. Our relationship was built on a strong friendship and mutual respect that has blossomed into a beautiful, lifelong union.
When John and I began to discuss what our dream wedding would look like, it wasn’t long before we realized that a destination wedding was high on both of our lists. After creating a shortlist of options, a destination wedding in Greece quickly became number one. Our wedding week was based at Milos — a small island that is about a 40-minute flight from Athens. It’s one of Greece’s best-kept secrets for a very good reason. Milos was one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen and the people were some of the kindest and most accommodating that I’ve ever experienced while traveling.
Even though it’s a small island, it has so much to offer — beaches, turquoise blue water, and amazing food — to name a few.
We love the look of iconic Greek architecture and wanted to incorporate that into our wedding. We chose Agios Nikolaos Church for that very reason. It had the quintessential look and sat right on the water. Our wedding venue in Greece was simple with a breathtaking view — we were sold on that alone! It was the perfect canvas for our reception and everyone loved the vibe we were able to create there.
Our aesthetic could be described as minimal, organic and earthy, romantic, timeless and Greek-inspired.
John and I spent the evening before our wedding apart and spent the morning leading up to our ceremony enjoying rituals that were unique to us. John took a run around the island and I had breakfast with my mom and Matron of Honor. I found some quiet time to write my vows which I later read to John at our ceremony. I so cherish those quiet moments overlooking the ocean to gather my thoughts — it gave me such peace and calm. I did my own hair and makeup and just got to soak it all in before we partied the night away.
“Milos was one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen and the people were some of the kindest and most accommodating that I’ve ever experienced while traveling.”
Sydney of Sydney Noelle Photography shot our wedding week. I couldn’t have possibly been happier with our choice to fly her out to Greece to capture such a special week for us. Having followed her on Instagram previous to getting engaged, I always loved how organic and natural her photos felt. You could feel the story and emotion through each photo, and I absolutely LOVED that. Not only did she capture our wedding week beautifully, but she left John and I feeling so comfortable and happy with the whole experience. It takes a good photographer to deliver stunning photos, but it takes a great photographer to deliver an all-around unforgettable experience. Now that it’s all said and done, I consider her much more than just our photographer, but our friend.
Our wedding film was produced by Cole Johnston of Cole Johnston Co. and is yet another example of someone who helped make our wedding week extraordinarily special! Cole and his wife, Emily, joined us in Greece and came along for all of our events to capture footage. There were times when we forgot they were even there to film since they just fit into our group so seamlessly.
When Cole and I first connected on the vision for the video, I told him I wanted something unique to us — a video that captured the story of a week in a way that felt like a movie. I knew that was a tough task but he absolutely nailed it. I’ve likely watched our video over 30 times at this point and it still hits all the emotions in the most perfect way. I loved the special touches like the Super 8 film they included to capture the scenes in a timeless way.
Our ceremony decor was very simple and organic. Since we were married outside at a Greek church, I wanted the iconic white and blue architecture, checkered tile, and view of the sea to do all the work. Our guests sat on benches overlooking the water and we used two large pots with florals as our ceremony focal point where John and I stood between to exchange vows.
Our reception was held on a cliffside venue called Kipos which overlooked the sea. The views were as absolutely stunning as the sunset. The venue was very minimal, so I wanted to bring in very earthy and neutral elements to compliment the surroundings in a way that would amplify the setting.
Three long family-style tables under a pergola formed our reception, spilling with oatmeal-colored linen tablecloths and finished with napkins. From the pergola hung seagrass pendant lights of different styles that illuminated the tables subtly as the sun went down. We had ribbed glassware and used candles and flower arrangements as the centerpieces. On each guest’s plate sat a driftwood place card with their name on it — a small detail that made a beautiful impact. We also used some oyster shells that I sourced as salt and pepper pinch bowls throughout the table.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
We owe everything to our wedding planning team at Think Happy Events. Considering we’d never been to Milos, they acted as our ears on the ground and gave us all the information we needed to coordinate the events leading up to September. Chrysoula and her team are the cream of the crop and our wedding would not have been what it was without her!
I’m very detail-oriented and everything was perfect because of Chrysoula’s keen eye. Communication, connections to wedding vendors, knowledge of the Greek islands, and a true eye for design and beautiful event details are only some of the things that set this team apart. If I could plan my wedding all over again with Chrysoula, I wouldn’t hesitate! She made the process very enjoyable even though we were thousands of miles away and in a different time zone.
Inspiration for our wedding florals came from the climate in Greece. We went for dried elements and neutral colors with touches of olive branches.
For our save-the-dates, we used Minted cards that featured our engagement photos captured by Cole Johnston.
We co-created our wedding invitations and day-of graphic items with Love Me Do – a boutique design studio in Greece. We wanted a very minimal approach with colors inspired by our wedding palette. Everything they created was stunning and of great quality!
We wanted to provide a gift to all of our guests during our welcome celebration in Milos. We landed on custom bags filled with a Turkish towel, a custom ouzo bottle, and an itinerary for the wedding events throughout the week. We loved the personal touch and our guests did too. All items were designed and sourced by Love Me Do.
Traditional Greek desserts were offered to our guests but we had a small wedding cake for us to cut in lemon with sleek white icing and a sprig of dried florals for decor.
Food & Beverages
For cocktail hour, we had a signature Greek Spritz to welcome guests. Throughout the night, there was an open bar with some signature cocktails chosen by John and me. Dinner was served family-style to our guests and there was so. much. good. food. Of course, we went with Greek food, and we were not disappointed.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
The Lotus Gown by Alexandra Grecco was my wedding dress – an off-white color and features a cowl neck and backline. The ease of the silhouette drapes seamlessly on the body and was perfect for the warm beach setting. During the ceremony, I wore a long cathedral veil by Sara Gabriel, and during the reception, I slipped on some custom sleeves made by a local seamstress.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses & Shoes
Jewelry / Accessories
My jewelry was minimal and timeless — much like what I prefer to wear every day. I wore pearl drop earrings by May Martin in my first and second piercings, plus my everyday Cartier yellow gold love ring on my right hand.
John and his Best Man both wore custom linen suits from The Grotto Menswear. They were a sandy-beige color with a relaxed fit. John sported Vince Camuto loafers in a cognac color.
Hair & Makeup
I did my own makeup and hair, so I wanted to keep things simple. I wore my hair with loose, beachy waves in a ponytail pulled back at the nape of my neck. My makeup was very glowy and natural.
A shuttle service was coordinated to get us to our ceremony and reception on the wedding day. Our guests were transported via bus.
Our honeymoon was spend in Santorini and Cairo, Egypt. We wanted to visit one more iconic spot in Greece before departing, and we really enjoyed getting to relax in Santorini. We had a beautiful Airbnb in Oia. We spent a couple of days there — we rented a cabana at a beach club, drove ATVs around the island, and went to Selene for a culinary experience in an old monastery. Egypt was the more adventurous portion of our honeymoon. It was just an hour and a half flight from Athens, and with how much we both love visiting new places, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We visited beautiful mosques and markets, rode camels at the Giza Pyramids, and explored the desert. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
We had a registry for my bridal shower that we hosted on our Knot wedding website. John was particularly excited about receiving a set of Shun chef knives — and I get to benefit from all his great cooking while using them! We asked our wedding guests joining us in Greece not to forego gifts considering the investment they made to celebrate with us.
Our first dance was a very special song to us — Beyond by Leon Bridges. This was a song that we always played while dating so it came top of mind.
We had a DJ from Music Essentials in Athens and he was amazing! The Greeks really love their disco music (something we learned throughout our conversations during planning) and our DJ really knew how to keep the energy throughout the night. And of course, we wanted him to include some Greek music which was a fun touch.
My dad officiated our ceremony. It was SO special to have someone so important to me officiate and special day. It was such a personal touch and I couldn’t recommend enough to have someone special to you as a couple marry you.
John and I wrote our own vows and exchanged them during our ceremony. It was a really surreal moment and felt like no one else was around except the two of us. I was so touched by the words he shared and am really glad I had the chance to hear his love for me in such a personal way.
A memorable moment…
There are more than we can count, but one stood out for each of us —
- John: Seeing Chelsea for the first time on our wedding day walking down the aisle. It got me emotional and made me fall in love with her all over again.
- Chelsea: We went to a stunning Milos beach to take photos after our ceremony and it was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments. The sun was setting and creating a pink-ish tone on the white stone cliffs, and John and I were on a total high after the ceremony. It was such a blissful part of the day.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
I don’t know if there was anything I would have changed, but now that it’s all over, I actually miss the excitement of the planning process! If I were to do it all over again, I would enjoy every little moment knowing that it will all go by so quickly.
If I could give other brides to be one piece of advice…
Find the time to sneak away on your wedding day. Whether it’s a personal moment during your photos or just 10 minutes to slip away during dinner, it’s so sweet to have that interaction during the energy of the day. You’ll both be pulled in many directions during the reception, so take a moment to soak in the excitement of it all.
Sources of inspiration…
I spent a lot of time on Instagram, Pinterest, and drew inspiration from magazines. I was specific about my vision so I started by creating a mood board and used that as my guide when looking for additional ideas.
Wedding Venue / Kipos
Wedding Planner / Think Happy Events
Photography / Sydney Noelle Photo
Videography / Cole Johnston Co
Bride’s Dress / Alexandra Grecco
Bride’s Shoes / Steve Madden
Bridesmaid’s Dresses / Bec + Bridge
Groom’s Formal Wear / The Grotto Menswear
Wedding Rings / Mejuri band
Jewelry & Accessories / May Martin earrings
Stationery / Love Me Do
Florist / Jim Labraco
Celebrant / Ken Perry
Honeymoon Destination / Greece & Egypt
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