From the team: The Concept: When the Secret Owl Workshop team came together to discuss our Rhodes Island edit our initial thought was that contrary to what is seen on most destination weddings in Greece and the Greek Islands, we had to go for something native. We hallucinated the dining experience in our childhood homes and the voices of our mamas talking about meals, art, stories of their own weddings, about gifts they had received and decor pieces they chose to pretty-up their Rhodian homes. Mothers, as they say over these parts “rule the roost” so the female taste in our culture runs deep. Our conviction grew stronger that this wedding inspiration should marry not only two different cultures but also several Rhodes borne elements, the pairing of which brought our vision to life. After all, what is a destination wedding without incorporating statement local elements into the concept?
The Venue: Don Mansion on The Hill is a modern luxury villa with enough stretch to accommodate any kind of wedding, from the most intimate to the grandest affair. Decked with a pool, a helipad, two exceptionally large gardens, dotted with palm trees and with the most amazing view on the island, it was our venue of choice to have our inspiration soar. We staged an intimate feast in two corners of the elegant home, one on the back deck and one by the pool where the light comes in its most perfect after sundown. Our ceremony took part in the front garden while a cocktail bar was set between the ceremony area and the dining nook. We loved how much breathing space this particular home allows for, making it perfect for those who adore easy living.
The Florals & Bouquet: According to the language of flowers originally published in Charlotte de Latour’s Le Langage des Fleurs back in 1819, the orchid means “you’re always in my thoughts.” The cascading quality and sweet hue and of blush Phalenopsis orchids but also the thoughtfulness towards the future spoused and the couples loved ones, made these symbolic and botanically-stunning blooms the star flowers of the celebration. We paired them to bold Anthurium andraeanums, known as flamingo lilies, and quieter Calla lilies, garden roses and mini spray roses. For the bridal bouquet we opted for a heart-shaped creation that would complement the bride’s dress and still accord with her ceremonial arch.
The Stationery: Manousenia is a very talented calligrapher and bespoke stationery creator. Inspired by our palette, blush, teal, gold, and carmine, she created watercolor suites, frames, place and escort cards made of hand-painted, molded cast, as well as wax seals to pair the hand-drawn maps of the island, making sure nothing went amiss from the couple’s stationery.
The Arch & Ceremony: The symbol of the circle is of grand importance in Rhodes. Representing unity, sacredness, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, female power and the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth it had to be part of the ceremony. As Don Mansion’s garden already carry naturally blossoming honeysuckle arches along the aisle from the pool to the garden we wished to keep our end of the aisle, the circular ceremonial arch intentionally incomplete with lush florals cascading at the right foot and crowning the left top. We framed the ceremony scene with velvet furnishings, sofas, and armchairs as well as Georgian satinwood tables.
The Wedding Car: We were extremely thankful for this rare finding. The 1909-established Morgan Motor Company of New England is rumored to be producing 850 sports cars per year all ensembled by hand. Imagine our joy to discover that Don Mansion comes with a spectacular Morgan V6 Roadster in cream and green leather seating. It was just the perfect addition to our couple’s big entrance!
The Ceramics & Tablescape: Rhodian art expands well beyond exhibiting fretworks and embroideries. Ceramics, Rhodian plates, and everyday life furnishings carry a strong nurturing for the land. Vivid colors and the Rhodian “speveri”, the heavy silk embroidered curtain that the locals used to hang over the bridal bed inspired us to create a tablescape in unique dinnerware in lieu of what is usually seen in weddings. Nassos Keramik, one of the oldest potter families on the Isle created a collection with the history of the knights of Rhodes and the symbols of Dodecanese for the reception table, set with 19th-century private-collector cutlery and glassware, as well as fine silk and linens from Allegoria Textile Delights. The velvet teal upholstery seating was matched to our ceremony sofas and armchairs to add a pop of color against the blush tones of the dinner table.
The Bar, Cocktails, Cake & Finger Food: Decent bar created bespoke wedding cocktails, fusing native Rhodian herbs and tastes, like the famed Coriandolino, the sugar-coated coriander liqueur, to the accustomed bubbly as well as Rhodian-grown fresh fruit squeezed into colorful punches. Giafkarnd Studio’s chefs brought about Mediterranean flavors into tasteful and pretty looking bites for the cocktail hour, adorned with local trimmings and florals, while Pavlov’s Lab drew on the blushing palette to create a tiered wedding cake to match Manousenia’s escort and place cards.
The Fashion: From the groom’s Lanvin boutoniere, Hermes scarf, Rolex watch and Louis Vuitton cufflinks, to our bride’s diamonds by Kousvelaris, the Mrs Box and Layout Collection velvet ring boxes, the Cartier bands, and fine shoes by Giasiranis Napolitana and Aqua Di Parma perfume selections the brand-laden trousseau edit came to compliment the fashion, curated by Anna Jill of Kiss From Fleur who dressed our bride in a 1914 Made Bride by Antonea gown and Heart of Gold Designs headpiece. Setty Lepida our workshop editor curated the groom’s looks in Navy & Green suit paired with Gucci Loafers. Agis KP gave our bride a relaxed signon to accentuate the shape of her face while Mika chose a fresh makeup look in glowing peachy tones in perfect accordance with the wedding gown.
We were so thankful to be able to work with so many talented crews to bring this vision to life which shone thanks to the all-seeing lens of our photographer Sotiris Tsakanikas who snapped the beauty on film.
Wedding planner: Golden Apple Weddings // Photographer: Sotiris Tsakanikas // Florals & Rentals: Kay Creations // Paper goods, stationery, escort tags & calligraphy: Manousenia Design // Venue: Don Mansion The Hill // Ceramic plates, tiles, coasters and trays (flatware): Nassos Keramik // Cocktail bar & mixology: Decent Bar // Textiles: Allegoria Textiles // Catering: Giafkarnd Studio // Bride Styling: Kiss From Fleur // Bride’s dress: Made bride by Antonea // Groom Styling & Editorial: Setty Blade // Makeup: Makeup by Mika // Hair: L’epoque d’Agis // Cake: Pavlovs Lab // Headpieces: Heart of Gold Designs // Cigars: Partagas Cigars // Cigar case: Carven and Daily Press // Groom’s bowtie & boutonniere: Lanvin Official // Ring boxes: Layout Collection, Joy Proctor Design and The Mrs. Box // Bridal shoes: Napolitana Giasiranis // Groom’s scarf: Hermes // Cufflinks: Louis Vuitton // Groom’s Watch: Boss // Wedding bands: Cartier // Vehicle: Morgan Motors// Groom suit and shirt: OGGI