Turning a welcome party into an experience is the right way to go when considering a destination wedding, especially when one finds themselves on Rhodes island. It is by far the largest and most historically steeped of the Dodecanese islands, and its cultural diversity has been influenced by an alloy of peoples that have inhabited the island under different guises. Medieval charm, oriental opulence, and Italian finesse are omnipresent.
And these various elements were selected, filtered and finally re-invented with a very distinct local character for our wedding welcome party inspiration. Instead of having welcome bags delivered to their rooms, the couple invites their loved ones to join them for cocktails, snacks, and goodies.
Each guest can pack their own basket with a selection of items provided in a traditional welcome gift, like Rhodian artisan tiles, coasters and jewelry dishes, calligraphed postcards, gourmet treats, Koriandolino, a Rhodian liqueur whose characteristic feature is the sugar-coated coriander branch that is inside the bottle and looks like a small tree, a nod to the couple's new roots together. Then there's “melekouni”, a pastry made of toasted sesame seeds, thyme honey, whole almonds, orange zest and cinnamon..
Decent bar and their mixologists set a wonderful niche for cocktails in the garden of the luxurious villa for the guests to enjoy two signature Rhodian cocktails, one flavored as the traditional "melekouni" sweet and the other made of Koriandolino which were also included in the couple's gifts. We do believe a bespoke sling is a must to stir up a great party and nod to the destination the bride and groom to be have chosen.
We wanted to create an intimate rustic-styled dinner under the pergola that would contain Rhodian and Mediterranean accents. The charger and dessert plates, as well as the tiles we placed in lieu of a table runner, were made to order from Nassos Keramik, a native ceramics artisan whose legacy and craftsmanship have made their way into several European aristocracy homes.
For the florals, we kept things vibrant as no welcome dinner should feel overwhelming or too formal, yet it has to exude exuberance and playfulness. We worked with lush arrangements of ranunculus in fiery shades of orange, amber, and marigold, Asclepias Beatrix, wine leaves, hypericum and spray roses for all the freshness they evoke.
Manousenia Design created beautifully calligraphed menus employing Italian borne patterns we come across the Mediterranean, the Amalfi Coast and Rhodes itself, which all share the same verve and spirit.