An Elegant All-White Destination Wedding at Celestia Grand Executive Villas in Santorini, Greece

Joyce Roque (26 and an ICU nurse) and Nathan Simmons (37 and the owner of an auto-body shop) originally wanted a big wedding, but they started having second thoughts after getting engaged. “Our idea of a perfect wedding day was sharing it with close friends and family and having enough time to talk to, take pictures with and thank every guest personally,” Joyce says. “We just couldn’t shake the dream of a destination wedding.” After visiting Santorini on a cruise in 2012, the unforgettably beautiful location started taking shape as a possible wedding locale, further cemented by wedding photos of Greece they saw online. Their theme was an all-white wedding (even the guests were asked to wear formal white attire), contrasting beautifully against the deep blue of the Aegean Sea. Sixteen guests flew in from Los Angeles and Scotland for a vacation in paradise, a vacation that included a welcome party on the beach (complete with a fire dancer), a rehearsal dinner in Fira, the ceremony on a private cliff at Andronis Luxury Suites, the reception at the extremely secluded Celestia Grand Executive Villas and a private catamaran cruise after the wedding. The celebration exceeded the couple’s wildest dreams, with Joyce looking beautiful in a stunning backless Katie May gown, a harpist playing at the ceremony, white David Austin and garden roses accented with olive branches, and a five-course alfresco dining experience, complete with champagne, island wine, Greek beer, a guitarist playing catchy '90s alternative rock, a performance by traditional Greek dancers and a private five-minute fireworks show. “We wanted everything simple but elegant,” Joyce says. Her advice? “At the end of the day, if you have each other’s back, then everything will fall into place,” she says. “And continue to have fun together.” —Chrissy Sorenson