Charlotte & Edward | Kinsterna wedding in Monemvasia
Charlotte & Edward's Wedding at Kinsterna, Monemvasia
Down in the south-eastern corner of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece lies the Byzantine fortress town of Monemvasia, nestled on the end of an impressive island, a "ship of stone" as poet Yiannis Ritsos called it. It's one of those places that counts as a discovery the first time you visit, its historic and cultural heritage impeccably preserved. In fact the relative remoteness gives this whole area a mystic quality, as if something magical is waiting amidst the olive groves and cypress trees. It's an ideal backdrop for a unique destination wedding, and home to one of the most enchanting venues I've come across in my travels, Kinsterna Hotel.
Charlotte and Edward's wedding was in fact my second trip to Kinsterna, having shot the already amazing wedding of Penny & Dimos there in 2013. From Charlotte’s descriptions this sounded like it would be a whole new experience, with an early afternoon ceremony at the church of Elkomenos Christos in Monemvasia, returning to Kinsterna for poetry readings and songs on the resort's new terrace, followed by dinner and speeches around the old cistern. British weddings generally end earlier than Greek ones, so I assumed that these cultural elements would conclude the procedures.
What I hadn't anticipated however was the party passion created by the confluence of Edward’s Cypriot family, especially their adorable matriarch Yiayia Marina, Charlotte’s theatrical entourage, and all their university friends from various parts of the world. Infused by the love, laughter, comedy and drama, the merged traditions and emotions, this was one if the most memorable weddings I have had the utter joy of capturing, in one of the most stunning settings in Greece. From the welcome dinner all the way to the early hours of the wedding night, this was once again a Kinsterna classic worth cherishing for years to come.
Footnote: In the Greek Orthodox wedding the priest will lead the couple around the alter three times, known as the Dance of Isiah. Charlotte and Edward however made their own wonderful variation whereby all their bridesmaids and groomsmen joined in on the circling ritual.
Photography & wedding film: Marq Riley
Venue: Kinsterna Hotel & Spa
Church: Elkomenos Christos, Monemvasia
Decorations and coordination: Ioanna Vamvakari
Second shooter: Lambros Papanikolatos