An Outdoor Rustic Destination Wedding in Greece

Nancy and Elias

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Nancy Salumbides, the textile designer behind Rare Bird, and Elias Manousos, the founder of a security technology company, met on a boat in the San Francisco Bay. About 10 years later, they decided to wed. On June 25, 2011, they journeyed far from their home in the city by the bay to Chania, a small town on the island of Crete, Greece, to get married.

Taking a cue from the groom's Greek-American heritage, the destination wedding infused Old World traditions, historic surroundings, and a fresh color palette that took its cues from the setting.

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The Invitation

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day created the letterpressed stationery suite. It was painted in a range of soft pastel watercolors and mailed in envelopes calligraphed by Emilie Friday.

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Extra Details

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The suite also included a booklet with a map and travel and lodging information. The couple's initials and wedding date were letterpressed on the front. A quote by Robert Browning, "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be," graced the back.

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The Welcome Bag

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Totes silk-screened with a design created by the bride were stuffed with programs and local treats (Cretan herbs, Greek chocolates, and pumice stones). The female guests also received handwoven white-and-blue-striped summer shawls.

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The Location

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The couple visited the island the year before and knew it was the place to wed. "Crete offered everything," Nancy says. "Its rich history, beautiful beaches, and lush setting were ideal. And Chania was the perfect merging of village life and modern-day living." Plus, the island boasts an international airport, which made travel easier for guests.

They chose to say "I do" in Mitropoli Church, an Orthodox cathedral in the historic town.

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The Fashions

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Nancy paired her Amsale gown with Alexandra Neel shoes. She wore earrings from her maternal grandmother -- they had been passed down through the generations.

Elias donned a Gucci tuxedo.

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The Bouquet

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Peonies, olive branch, dendrobium orchids, pincushion dahlias, lisianthus, and dusty miller made up Nancy's bouquet.

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The Arrival

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The groom and 80 guests waited outside the church until the bride and her family arrived. Escorted by her parents, Nancy crossed the courtyard to where Elias stood waiting for her. They entered the church together, followed by everyone else.

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The Ceremony

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The Greek ceremony included a number of important rites, such as the "stefana" (crowning). "The recitations of our priest, his cadence, and the language were musical and magical," Nancy recalls.

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The Reception Venue

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The cocktail hour and reception were held at Metohi Kindelis, a centuries-old estate that formerly housed an olive oil factory. It was a stunning backdrop for the celebration.

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A Warm Welcome

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

When the newlyweds arrived at the reception, guests tossed rice to greet them.

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Photo Display

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Photos affixed to mat board were displayed during the reception.

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Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Chloe Browne, of Caught the Light, photographed the couple on the grounds of the villa right before sunset.

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Escort Cards

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Boxes from Bella Terra were filled with the traditional wedding favor of "koufeta" (known as Jordan almonds around the world) and doubled as escort cards. Guests' names and table numbers were written by Nancy's mom onto labels from Bell'occhio.

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The Photo Booth

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Strung ribbons created a backdrop so guests could take portraits. Here, Nancy's friend (and makeup artist for the day) Robyn Ayers-Lee and her husband, Maurice Ayers-Lee.

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Local Sparks

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Matchboxes foil-stamped with the wedding date and "Opa!" were ordered from ForYourParty.

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The Menu

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

A watercolor dinner menu showcased the local fare prepared by Tzedakis.

Bianca Mascorro of Little Miss Press calligraphed the place cards.

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The Reception

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The decor was simple: Tables were topped with taper candles in brass candlesticks and small arrangements of large, blooming peonies. A traditional Cretan band played during dinner.

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A Special Touch

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Swags and small floral arrangements adorned the backs of the bride and groom's chairs.

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A Cozy Moment

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Handwoven blankets and pillows designed by the bride brightened up a nook near the dance floor.

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The Reception

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

The last course, served alfresco, was a traditional Greek dessert table of fresh fruit and "kataifi" and "galaktoboureko" pastries.

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First Dance

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Mr. and Mrs. Manousos danced to "Sea of Love" by Cat Power.

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Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

Photography: Chloe Brown of Caught the Light

Wedding Planning: Sara Pavlatou of SP Weddings

Stationery: Oh Happy Day

Hair: Janice Arnold of Elevation Salon

Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Conroy & Wilcox

Florist: Andreadakis Andreas

Entertainment and Lighting: Sound Design

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