Denise & Aaron’s epic week-long destination wedding in Athens

Wedding: 28/7/2013

Posted by Rebecca | 20 March, 2014

When organising a destination wedding, even one within Australia, most brides expect a fair few RSVPs in the negative (which for some, may be the point!) So when we’re talking passports and hours over land and sea, you’d tip the guest list to be even smaller.

Not true for Melbourne couple Denise Poupouzas, 27, and Aaron Paras, 28, who sent out invitations to their a-maz-ing Greek wedding held on July 28, 2013, thinking that maybe 50-odd guests would be able to attend.

Denise says, “Each day after the invitations went out we had more and more friends ringing and saying they would love to join us and were so excited. As our guest list kept on growing, we had 207 guests all making a holiday out of it or making a detour from their holiday to join us!”

Friends and family from all over the world weren’t the only ones to make the trip to what was an epic week-long celebration. Denise’s 10-tier wedding cake – created by her family’s award-winning cake business, Oakleigh Quality Cakes – made an appearance also, surviving beautifully the 20-hour journey from Melbourne.

“I thought it was a crazy suggestion [to transport the cake]… and was picturing something very small and manageable. I walked in to see one of the tallest, most intricate cakes ever.”

Portraying this grand celebration are the magnificent photographs of Yervant International.

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Aaron was initially against the idea of a wedding abroad. “I was quick to remind him of the amazing city that was Athens,” recalls Denise. “One of the oldest cities in the world with the most perfect backdrop for the wedding of a lifetime! How could we resist the opportunity to marry in our amazing motherland?”

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A traditional Greek ceremony was held at the Greek Orthodox Church of Panagia Faneromenoi, in Vouliagmeni, Athens, surrounded by an ancient Greek open air theatre where photos were taken afterwards.

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Designed by Melbourne couturier, Oglia-Loro, Denise’s “larger than life princess dress” had three skirts. The bustier of French lace and Swarovski crystals was partnered for the church and first dance, with 850 metres of hand-gathered Italian tulle taking up half the dance floor.

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Aaron wore a bespoke silk and linen Tom Ford suit and shirt perfect for the warm European weather.

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At the reception, Denise changed into skirt number two, a high split skirt in layers and layers of silk georgette. “At 3am I slipped into my eeny weeny version of my princess skirt,” says Denise, …which I wore until 6am!”

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Unwinding from their ultimate wedding day, Denise and Aaron honeymooned for three weeks in the south of Italy.

Photos courtesy of Yervant International.

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