Intimate weddings abroad on the rise - Ionian Weddings

For all the pomp and ceremony on the day, Kate and William’s nuptials reflected pure love and understated natural elegance.
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June 21, 2011 - PRLog -- With the bridal gown and wedding cake to be displayed at Buckingham Palace in July, renewed ripples of Royal Wedding excitement are bound to get couples in love thinking about their own blissful day...

The seasonal hornbeam and maple trees; Kate’s dainty bouquet and modest-length veil; Pippa’s simple, refined column dress and the small accompanying wedding party of bridesmaids and page boys - all were perfectly in tune with a modern generation which seeks less excess than that of recent years.  

Today’s couples look for value when planning their wedding day – the average cost of £20,000 to get married in the UK is simply too much for many. Whilst, currently, only one in ten consumers is aware that weddings abroad are cheaper than those in the UK, this figure is set to rise.  According to research, ABC1s getting married abroad are forecast to increase by around 7% this year*; this is also reflected in statistics that show that weddings in the UK have fallen by 11.5%, mainly due to budget constraints.

The average cost of getting married abroad (long-haul and short-haul destinations) is £6,585, whilst getting married in Greece can cost as little as £1,500. And, with the help of a specialist wedding planner, modest expenditure can stretch to a blissful, bespoke wedding. Imagine a tailored, intimate ceremony in a rustic chapel surrounded by lemon trees or in a former opera house; leave the legal paperwork to somebody else and let your personal wedding co-ordinator arrange the flowers, photographer, bridal car, reception and music – all included in a blissful, tailor-made package.

Ionian Weddings, bespoke wedding specialists for Greece and Cyprus, forecasts a 100% year-on-year increase compared with 2010 as almost 20% of UK couples now choose to get married abroad. The vast majority of their clients are getting married for the first time, some for the second time and others are wishing to renew vows or would like a same sex blessing. As some Ionian Weddings clients point out, getting married abroad can deter hundreds of guests from coming to the wedding, meaning that the celebrations can remain intimate – and, usually, the weather is more reliable in Greece than here!

Two of Ionian Weddings’ clients give their rationale for marrying abroad:  Nicky will soon marry Dan on Rhodes. Nicky wanted a small and intimate ceremony and is more than happy with her seven guests - immediate family plus one bridesmaid. She says: “The reason more people aren’t coming is due to the cost of travelling abroad. But that’s perfect for us - the fewer people, the better. We wanted to make sure that we spend our wedding day together and not entertaining others all day!”  She continues: “The cost of getting married in the UK is extortionate, and you have to do everything yourself unless you’re very well off, which can be very stressful.”

Another client, Laura, contacted Ionian Weddings on recommendation: “People we know who got married abroad said it was truly amazing. I think everything just looks so much prettier abroad.”  Laura and her fiancé will get married on the island of Zante. She says: “We did look into some English weddings but the one we liked was coming out at around £18,000 so we decided this wasn’t for us; we really didn’t want to spend that kind of money.” After Laura’s wedding, some of the guests will stay on in Zante for a week or so, meaning that the wedding celebrations will merge seamlessly into a holiday for Laura and her nearest and dearest in a most cost-effective way.

Ionian Weddings’ location suggestions:  Imagine a private island off Zante, where you can hire the beach entirely for you and your guests; or what about nearby Turtle Island, the perfect eco-chic location, where ceremonies are conducted barefoot and furniture is not allowed, in order to minimise disturbance to the resident turtles? Think about Samos (lush and covered in pine trees), or the green archipelago of Lefkas (connected to mainland Greece by a 50m floating bridge), and get married by a waterfall or in a sea cave. For a more British feel, how about UNESCO-protected Corfu Town, overflowing with colonial style and British influence, with its cricket pitch and ginger beer? Hold the ceremony at the historic town hall and a reception at the stylish Yacht Club at the foot of the Old Venetian Fortress, which houses the church where Prince Philip was baptised.

For couples considering a Greek island or Cyprus wedding, Ionian Weddings offers a two-hour consultation meeting for a small fee which is fully refundable if the couple makes a booking. Additional services include assistance with booking accommodation for the wedding party and a full documentation service.

For more information, visit Ionian Weddings at, or call 0208 892 7556

*Mintel Report October 2010

21 June 2011

Notes to editors:                                                          
1. Ionian Weddings was founded in March 2007 by Greek-born Andreas Palikiras and his English wife, Jane, who were themselves wed in Corfu and who have over 15 years’ experience in the travel industry.

2. To date, Ionian Weddings has arranged over 300 weddings in the Greek Islands and Cyprus, from simple barefoot beach weddings, chapel blessings and exclusive use of private islands to Mamma-Mia inspired nuptials or a ceremony by a waterfall, to name but a few.

3. Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Civil, Greek Orthodox, Jewish and Protestant weddings can be arranged.

4. Client testimonials can be found here:

5. Images and case studies are available on request.

Media enquiries: For further information on Ionian Weddings, case studies/photography, or to interview Jane or Andreas Palikiras, please contact Mika Bishop or Julia Farish at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email or

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