Zoe and Rory first met in 2011 while working at the Metro newspaper in London. But it wasn’t until three years later that Rory asked Zoe out on a date. “We’d been good friends the whole time, so I was surprised by how nervous I was,” she remembers. But something clicked that night, and three years later, Rory brought Zoe back to the same place where they’d had their first date to propose. “My family and our friends all met us at the bar for champagne to celebrate,” says the bride.
Zoe is half Greek and has spent most of her life traveling to Mykonos, so she introduced Rory to the idyllic destination. He, too, fell in love with the island's gorgeous sunsets and local octopus—so much, in fact, that they soon booked there wedding there. (It was also the perfect place for their guests to meet as his family was coming from the U.K. and hers from Australia.) On September 22 2017, the couple and their 130 guests gathered at a beachside restaurant for a wedding celebration that was true to the setting. “The location is what makes the venue so special, so we focused on a blue and white palette, local flowers, and lots of candlelight,” says Zoe. The 12 Events (who had planned Zoe’s friend’s wedding in Mykonos the year before) took care of the details, dressing the venue in just two hours and creating a sense of glamour in the relaxed space.
The couple wanted to showcase their unique setting so they made sure both the ceremony and reception sites had clear views of the surrounding Aegean Sea.
Zoe had had her eye on a Mira Zwillinger dress for a long time, and couldn’t wait to try on the Israeli designer’s creations at Browns Brides in London. “When I tried on the Lynn, my sister had tears in her eyes. We immediately called my mother, even though it was 2am in Australia, to get her approval!” says Zoe. The dress featured a hand-embroidered bodice with flowers and feathers on the sleeves above a silk chiffon skirt. “It was light, delicate, and perfect for a hot Greek wedding,” she says.
The bride paired her gown with an all-white bouquet of peonies, accented with olive leaves.
Guests gathered on the restaurant’s deck for a ceremony overlooking the ocean. The couple stood beneath a canopy draped in white roses and ivy.
Rory, in a bespoke navy dinner suit, and Zoe exchanged vows in a ceremony inspired by the bride’s Greek Orthodox faith. “We included the crowning ceremony, where crowns joined with white ribbon are placed on the bride and groom’s heads,” Zoe describes.
Following their vows, the couple posed for pictures by the water before making a candle-filled entrance to the reception. “We had candles on the tables, the floor, and hanging from the ceiling to enhance the sunset,” says Zoe.
Zoe’s sisters and best friends served as bridesmaids, and she let them each choose their own floor-length pink gown for the occasion. They selected a range of dresses (from sleek and simple to intricately embroidered!), and each woman wore a crown of baby’s breath to tie their looks together.
Guests sat at tables beneath hanging plants and votive candles. “We arranged all of the seating around a central dance floor, where everyone stayed until 3 a.m.,” the bride recalls.
Tables were dressed with greenery garlands, blue glassware, and linen napkins printed with each guest’s initials. At each place setting, the final touch was a sparkler that they couple asked each guest to light during their first dance.
During the meal, everyone sipped Aperol Spritzes, mojitos, and frozen passion fruit martinis as they enjoyed Greek dips, saganaki with honey, and whole local sea bass. “The brilliant chefs at Hippie Fish grilled, fileted, and plated fresh whole sea bream for 130 guests," she says. "It was incredible!"
In addition to a spread of Greek desserts, the couple served a Victoria sponge cake in honor of Rory’s British heritage. The night ended with lots of dancing, mostly to Greek tunes! “Having dance lessons before our wedding day really helped Rory and myself feel comfortable during our first dance," explains the bride. "It was also a great way to spend time together and ease the stress of wedding planning!”
Wedding Planner: The 12 Events
Venue: Hippie Fish
Bride's Dress: Mira Zwillinger
Bride's Veil: Browns Brides
Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Groom's Attire: Hackett
Groomsmen's Attire: Hackett
Engagement Ring: Taylor and Hart
Wedding Bands: Taylor and Hart
Floral Design: The 12 Events
Paper Products: Paper Marc
Catering: Hippie Fish
Cake: Hippie Fish
Rentals: The 12 Events
Favors: Hand-Printed Linen Napkins by Zsuzanna Nyul