MEDITERRANEAN WEDDING WELCOME PARTY INSPIRATION IN RHODES
"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. The local cuisine has acquired elements from the three continents that surround Rhodes, borrowing from Asia, Africa, and Europe, but is above all Mediterranean.
And these various elements were selected, filtered and finally re-invented with a very distinct local character for our wedding welcome party inspiration. The idea was to bring together local specialties that brilliantly combine traditional, fresh ingredients, native flavors, and hues that would serve as an appetizer for the couple's guests. 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, Ritseli” a sweet preserve made only on Rhodes of grape-must, dried figs, quinces, and watermelon peels, and “talagoutes”, pancakes made with honey, walnuts, sesame seeds and cinnamon. And of course, the gifts would be remiss if there wasn't for the Rhodian extra virgin oil, jars of honey, fresh fruit and florals that can be combined to arrange a unique bouquet for each guest.
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.
Allegoria Textile Delights from Italy added to the setting with fine linen and silk fabrics while cutlery and furnishings belong to one of the rarest 18th-century collections on the island, courtesy of a private collector.
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.
Our bride to be was styled by Anna Jill - Kiss From Fleur in a Greek designer caftan by Ancient Kallos, golden low heel sandals and Heart of Gold headpieces featuring golden bees and fleurettes, for her morning-looks. For the cocktail hour, her Zoya gown was a volume of silk and ruffles in copper. Our groom-to-be styled by our creative director Setty Lepida was dressed in head to toe Navy and Green smart casuals and Gucci loafers.
Agis KP and Mika worked seamlessly to give our couple spruce day and evening looks in Charlotte Tilbury and Mac Cosmetics peach-toned makeup, a relaxed updo and gorgeous loose curls for the evening.
We were thrilled for the opportunity to have our worked lensed by the talented Sotiris Tsakanikas whose fine images bottled up the beauty in perfect light.