The boutique event planning company Kallina Wedding & Event Designers set on the gorgeous island of Naxos was started by two lovely sisters Kalliopi and Katerina. Combining their passion for creativity, style, entrepreneurship and love for their island Naxos, led them to start a wedding planning business.
I’ve met both sisters by chance a few years back at a Greek tourism exhibition, and since day one we’ve kept in touch and I always enjoying seeing their beautiful wedding pictures on social media. For those who are considering a Greek wedding, Naxos is a truly special place.
How did you start your Wedding Business on Naxos?
Well, we started in February 2014 when we held our Cocktail Launch Party for Kallina Weddings & Events, on the island of Naxos where we live all year round. We come from a business oriented family with a Greek Canadian heritage, so it was like a calling for us. It was a turning point in our lives as we were looking for a career change.We also wanted to get involved in the tourism/hospitality industry because we have a strong background in public relations, food/beverage and we have a knack for organising parties and celebrations.
At the time there was not a destination wedding planning business on the island so we just reached out and grabbed the opportunity. Also speaking fluent English, French & Greek was a major asset for us. We started working out of our homes and today we have an established office in the centre of Naxos Town.
How much time does it usually take to plan a destination wedding on Naxos?
It depends on the size and the demands of the wedding. It usually takes 8 to 10 months but we have also planned a large destination wedding within 4 months.
Tell us some of the most popular wedding locations in Naxos.
Well naturally beach locations are very popular, such as Agia Anna, Plaka, Orkos and Alikos. Olive orchards in Chalki and Potamia are very popular for more rustic weddings. Some clients opt for the village of Apeiranthos in the mountains. The Castro in Naxos Town is a popular spot as is the Portara.
What was the most creative wedding you’ve worked on until now, and why was it special?
The most creative wedding we have worked on was with a couple from the US living in the UK. The groom had Palestinian Heritage while the bride had spent many years in Greece so there were many cultural backgrounds at their wedding. They gave us the leeway to be creative and incorporate both Greek & Arab Cultures.
Our couple requested a band to play zaffe music, so Melodima company happily accommodated us by providing us with traditional Palestinian Zaffe, a tradition which was beautiful to experience.
The couple were real foodies as well, so along with our collaboration we created a flavorful traditional Naxian Menu with a variety of local delicacies and served wine from wooden barrels.
The reception took place under a beautiful vineyard at Villa Paradise on Orkos Beach. We had Ramatanis Bar Catering service who provided us with fabulous cocktails, food catering service from Antamoma who did an outstanding job and Mike Vekris Wedding Entertainment who kept everyone on the dance floor all night long!
The florals (by Anemona Flower Shop) , lighting and decor accents were beautiful and all the fine details came together in this very unique and rustic atmosphere. We even created a a hookah lounge which everyone really enjoyed as well as the best ice cream provided by Vicky’s Ice Cream from Paros. The elaborate wedding cake was beautifully done by the exceptional Aktaion Pastry Boutique.
Gastronomy is a big part of the Naxian heritage, what are some of the key elements that are always part of the wedding menu?
Yes Naxos is quite renowned for its gastronomy, popular specialties are obviously cheese. We once had a 3layer actual cheese cake instead of a wedding cake! Local Lamb and Beef are very popular as a Main Courses. Of course seafood like calamari, prawns & Cuttlefish as well as Grilled fish are very much in demand. Most couples also opt for a nice variety of starters so that their guests can taste Naxian/Cycladic cuisine.
Do you see petite weddings being the new norm now?
We have always organised intimate smaller scale weddings and consider them just as special and as important. Based on the current situation this year, clients will have fewer guests for the time being but we are hoping that the Wedding Industry will be back to normal soon because from our experience people really enjoy larger destination weddings. They remain to be very memorable celebrations where guests enjoy the landscape, Greek hospitality, the culture and the Greek Island party spirit.
Which is your favorite wedding location in Naxos and why?
There is no particular location that stands apart, as we are attached to the island as a whole and every area has a different uniqueness and meaning for us. So you really can’t compare, as each location is special in its own distinct way. We are very fortunate to be based on an island like Naxos for the reason that there are so many options and variety as far as ceremony locations and venues are concerned.
However, being from Apeiranthos, this picturesque village has a very special place in our hearts as we have spent many childhood summers there.
Cover photo credit: Nian Photography