Thursday, April 6, 2017

Wedding and family

A wedding is the symbol of the creation of a new family. It's a celebration of the love that two people have for each other, their common goals and happiness. A wedding is a new beginning, the beginning of two people joining their lives together to share all what is to come.

Photo from www,
Naturally, the wedding is all about the couple that is getting married. Still, that does not mean, that your family, especially your parents, don't wish to get involved in your special day. It is really nice to have your mother, the original wedding planner, to help you organize your wedding, but the generation gap can make this task a bit difficult at times, and stressful. Still, there are ways to make your parents and siblings feel involved in the wedding planning process, without any unnecessary disagreements.

Family traditions:

When it comes to weddings, every family has its own traditions. It can be wearing the same wedding dress your mother, grand-mother, grand-grand-mother etc., wore on their wedding day, or putting on a piece of jewelry or charm, which has been passed from generation to generation, or even the choice of the entrance song when walking down the aisle. Take some time to speak with your parents, and your future spouse's parents, to learn about the interesting traditions that have been in the family. Your parents will love it, and will feel like they offered something to the wedding.

Wedding attire shopping:

Photo from
A wedding requires a wedding dress and a wedding suit, meaning that you will have to look for one. When starting to look for your wedding attire, ask your mother, and if you feel comfortable, your future mother-in-law's opinion, on the wedding dresses that you like. Even better, take your mother and mother-in-law with you, when you go wedding dress shopping! Not only you will make your mothers feel part of your wedding, but you will also give them a chance to bond.

The same goes for the groom. Arrange a day with your father and future father-in-law, during which you will go looking for your wedding suit. Combine that with a lunch or a beer, and you will get a great, meaningful day with your parents.


Speeches are the ultimate way to make you family be part of the wedding. Ask the fathers to prepare a speech for the wedding. They will love to talk about their lovely children, tell some funny stories, and share a word of wisdom for your freshly beginning life together, as husband and wife.

Mother-Son and Father-Daughter dance:

Every couple has its first dance. Such a lovely moment to witness! Want to make it an even more special moment? Have a mother-son and father-daughter dance, before your first dance. The mother-son and father-daughter dance, can represent how your beloved parents are giving you away to your future life-partner, by having one last dance with you. To make it even more touching, have the father-daughter/mother-son dances together, at the same time, and then let your parents give you to your spouse for the first dance.
Photo from

Old Photos:

Photos are a great way to memorize our life moments. By looking at older photographs, we dive into our past, our happy moments. Your parents probably tried to capture a lot of your childhood moments, so they could always remember the days of your youth. Create a "memory table", full with pictures of you with your family. Everyone will love seeing your childhood adventures, and your parents will be moved that you chose to include your family moments to your wedding. To make it even more special for your parents, include a picture from their wedding to the table, as without their wedding, you wouldn’t be having yours!

Thank them!

Of course, the best way to make your parents feel a great part of your wedding day is to thank them properly for everything they have done for you so far. They've supporter you all your life, transferred their life wisdom to you, were next to you at your worst and best moments. Also, they probably helped you have the wedding of your dreams. So, don't forget to dedicate a minute to thanking them during the speeches. They will appreciate it!

Thank you very much for reading! I wish you a lovely day!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Random Saturday #15: Let's talk about horses!

Hello my dear Readers,

Welcome ones again to my Random Saturday. Hope you have all been well this week and I'm glad to see you again, and if you're visiting Random Saturdays for the first time, nice to meet you.

This R.S. I would like to talk about an animal that I love and admire with all my heart and soul - horses! I've started working full time at the Santo Horse Riding ranch, and as a result I've been meeting more and more people, who either wish to go to a trail ride, take a picture on a horse, or impress their friends or girlfriend with how good riders they are.

Worth noting, that two out of two persons, who came to us just o impress their friends/girlfriend, did not know a thing about horses, and wouldn't listen to me, when I tried to tell them that they cannot just take a horse and run, without first learning how sit straight on a walking horse! Thankfully, we didn't have any bad incidents.

So, let's talk about horses.

The first and most important thing to remember about horses, is that they are live animals, they have their own brains, which means they have their own thoughts. Each horse has its own character, and just like you and me, they have their bad days and good days (yes, it's true!). Treat horses with respect, especially if you don't want to get hurt by them!

A lot of people think that riding a horse is the easiest activity in the world. Yes, it is not really hard when you are just going for a walk, on a well trained horse, that has been desensitized to everything that can scare it, accompanied by an experiences rider. But if you want to run on a horse, and you've never done it before, don't just assume that you will do fantastically great! If you really want to run on a beautiful white horse on a beach, invest time (and money) into horse riding lessons!

Don't use the horse, as a way to impress your friends and boyfriend/girlfriend… unless of course you are a great rider and can do amazing things on and with the horse. Don't just go to ranch, asking for the wildest horse there is, to ride it freely in an open field!! Do you even realize what will happen to the owner of the ranch if you fall down and get hit real bad? And I'm not talking about a broken hand… Just… don't do it…

You should also know, that the horse does not really care how cool you believe you are. If you cannot control the horse, if you hurt the horse too much, and if you don't do what your instructor is telling you do, you will most probably, like 70-90%, fall of the horse. Wanting to impress someone by riding a wild horse without having any riding experience in the past, is like wanting to impress someone by break-dancing without knowing how to do it! In both cases, you'll just end up making a fool of yourself…

Want to impress your girlfriend or boyfriend, with something that has to do with horses? Ask him or her to start horseback riding lessons together! After all, it is not bad admitting that you don't know how to do something…

I guess that has been bottling up…

Never go behind the horses hind legs, especially if you don't know the horse. All horses kick, some of them on purpose, because they don't trust people, some of them because a nasty fly has been bugging them, and you were standing too close to the back leg that was trying to get rid of the fly at the wrong moment.

Horses used for tourist rides, don't mind being pet… they might not enjoy it as much as we (want to) believe, but they don't mind it. Don't start pulling on the horses ears, nose, main though…. they will mind and will show it in a painful way.

Horses love treats, so if you plan visiting a ranch or horse riding center, you can bring an apple or a carrot with you. Before giving the horse a treat thought, ask its owner if he/she doesn't mind you doing so.

Horses feel everything!! I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Sometimes they know better what you feel, that yourself! I don't mean feelings like love, passion, hunger, but feelings that fear, insecurity, anger. You might be able to hide your panic from your trainer, but you will never hide it from the horse you are riding. Better inform you trainer that you don't feel really comfortable on the horse, so he or she could help you overcome that fear, before the horse bucks you of.

Horses are amazing, smart and beautiful animals. Be gentle with a horse, and it will reward you with all its trust. J

That's I felt I wanted to share with you about horses!

As always, thank you very much for reading! I wish you all the best!

And the song of the week will be:

Friday, March 31, 2017

A guide to wedding decorations

Picture from -
Wedding decorations is a basic part of a wedding. They give the whole celebration a unique character, your character.

Wedding decorations consist of both floral decorations and non-floral decorative items. It’s the mix of those two, that make thefinal result look amazingly beautiful.

So, how to choose the wedding decoration style?

The first, which you should do, is to choose the color theme for your wedding day. You can choose between vivid colors, such as bright yellow, red, blue, purple etc., and pastel and blush tones, such as blush pink, cream, ivory, light peach etc. You can, of course, add bright colors to a pastel pallet or vice versa. A good idea is choosing a main color or two, and then adding some similar tones to the mix.

The next step would be deciding whether you are a flowers person or a candle person. In other words, you need to choose between having mostly flowers for your wedding decorations, or filling up the place with candles. If choosing between two options seems hard, no need to worry. Just balance candles and flowers in your decorations!

A helpful piece of advice for any candle lovers out there, would be using fake, LED candles for windy locations, as real candles will be blown out all the time. Santorini is such one location.  

picture taken from
If you choose to go with flowers, you should be prepared to set a big decoration budget. Flowers are undoubtedly really beautiful, but they can also be quite costly, especially if you wish to fill the entire wedding venue with them.

You can go with seasonal flowers, which are usually less expensive, and non-seasonal flowers, that can cost a bit more, but offer a greater variety. When it comes to weddings in Santorini, the seasonal flowers are usually roses, lysianthus, baby's breath, gerberas etc, and non-seasonal flowers are considered peonies, ranunculus, David Austin Roses, orchids etc.

A way to save something on flowers, is to mix the floral compositions with greenery. The more greenery you add to the mix, the lower the cost will be. As with the flowers, greenery offers a great variety of choices, meaning you can always find a tone that will match the whole wedding color theme.

Candles, as a piece of decoration, can give the place a really romantic feeling, whether used outdoors or indoors. You can choose to have cylinders, to put your candles in, floating candles, beautiful candle holders etc. Candles can be used with pretty much any wedding style you might - from a minimal wedding, to a chic wedding.

Candles and flowers are the major parts of the wedding decoration list, but you should not forget about the details, which will add that personal touch you are looking for. What details am I talking about? Well, about all those little things that can be easily ignored, but have a great input to the final image of your wedding decorations.

photo from
The first, and most important decoration detail, are the wedding invitations. They will set up the whole mood for your wedding day. Say you wish to have a music themed wedding. Get creative and shape your invites into vinyl disks. Your friends and family will love this unique approach, and will get the hint on what to expect on your wedding day.

The guests' tables can have a ton of fun decorative details to play with. Choose table clothes to much your color theme. Fold the napkins into interesting shapes. Have creative table names. Include your guests' favors to the decoration.

There are so many ways to get creative with your wedding decorations and a million different ways to make your wedding reflect your own unique personality. All you need is to engage your inner artist and free your imagination.

Thank you very much for reading! I wish you a lovely day!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Random Saturday #14: The Random Saturday that unexpectedly came on Sunday!

Hello my dear Readers.

How have you been?

I did not forget to post the Random Saturday #14 yesterday. I got it ready, almost ready to upload, just to realize I have no internet. Taking internet connection from the phone didn't do the trick, so I postponed the R.S. 14 for today.

I also had another topic in mind for R.S.14, but today I got a sudden inspiration to write a short story. I used to love to write, and still write stories from time to time, but this will the first one the world will see. Enjoy J

The Girl and the Horse she never owned

There once lived a girl who fell in love with a horse she never owned. They met by accident, or by fate, and a strong friendship between them begun. They spent each morning together. The girl would come to the stable, say good morning to the horse, share her morning apple with the horse. She would groom the horse, while telling her news. She would ride the horse, where the horse would teach her to be patient, respectful and understand without words.

The girl didn't have a home she could call her own. She didn't have many human friends, didn't have any fancy clothes or habits. She didn't care about loud companies, flirting with boys or trying to find a husband and built a family. The girl didn't dream to become rich and powerful. All the girl needed was that white horse she really loved.

The girl shared with the horse her deepest secrets, her happy moments and her regrets. She would confess to the horse what she was really afraid of. When she didn't want to spend time with the humans, she would hide in the horse's stable and read her book, or just look at the beautiful white horse. The horse didn't mind having the girl around. Although the horse didn't understand much from what the girl would say, the horse was kind enough to make the girl feel like she had the best listener to talk to. The horse always let the girl cry on her shoulder, and never told anyone that the girl cried.

And while the girl's and the horse's bond grew stronger, the girl and the horse got separated. As unexpected as their meeting was, their separation was expected even less. The girl could not see the horse anymore. The girl could not groom the horse anymore, nor ride the horse. She didn't have her friend to tell her secrets, or a shoulder to cry on. The girl was devastated…

But there was nothing she could do, as she never owned the horse…

The girl decided not to love again someone that wasn't her. The girl decided to forget about horses all together. She got married, then she got divorced. She moved far away and got a good job. She would buy beautiful clothes and drink cocktails at a bar. She would laugh at stupid jokes and take selfies with her friends. But nothing filled the void.

She never could forget the horse completely. At nights, she would lay in her bed, in the dark, and think about the beautiful white horse. She would wonder if her friend would remember her, if they would ever met again. Would the horse still let her share all her secrets? Would the horse want to hear all the stories the girl had to tell?

So the girl decided to wait, the girl decided to hope, that one day she would be reunited with the horse, and she would once again have her best friend by her side. She went back to working with horses, and found some new good friends. She would tell to the other horse about her beautiful white horse she never owned.

When those really sad days would come, the girl would look through the pictures of her beloved white horse, and dream of the moment she would be able to see her again. That thought made her smile and she did.

The end.

That's all J

Thank you very much for reading! I wish you a great beginning of the week.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fun activities in Santorini: Wine tours!

Venetsanos Winery vineyard
The island of Santorini is famous for various different things, one if which are the wines that are produced there. Half, if not more, of the island is filled with vineyards, that look amazingly beautiful during summer when they have blossomed. In August, when it is time to gather the grapes, the whole place smells like wine. The reason is that part of the grapes are left to ripe in the sun, so that they could be used to produce the sweet, dessert wine Vinsanto.

Because of such a rich wine making history, and the fact that the island still produces one of the best wines globally, it is only natural for Santorini to have a great number of different wineries. There is the Venetsanos Winery, the Boutari Winery, the Sigalas Estate Winery, the Koutsogiannopoulos Wine museum, to name a few. All located in different areas of Santorini, and with each winery offering a different wine tour and wine tasting.

Wine making machinery at Venetsanos Winery
Taking a wine tour and wine tasting is not just an interesting activity to do when visiting Santorini, alone or with your family and friends, but is also a great idea for a "cocktail hour" at your wedding. Agreeable, a wine tour is not your traditional cocktail hour, but from my experience your guests will find such a tour really interesting, amusing, and unique for a wedding.

Don't wish to have your guests spending too much time in a bus on the wedding day? Arrange the wine tour to be part of your pre-wedding gathering on the island. Your guests would love to visit a Santorini winery anyway, since it is a really popular activity on the island, so why not give them a chance to do so all together? A great advantage of such a pre-wedding gathering, is that your guests will have an interesting topic to discuss on the wedding day! You'll give them the best ice-breaker ever!

My two personal favorite wineries of Santorini are the Venetsanos Winery and the Koutsogiannopoulos Wine museum, each for different reasons:

Wine stating at Venetsanos Winery
Venetsanos Winery is located on the cliffside of Megalochori, over the Athinios port, making a winery with amazing caldera views. The winery was built in 1947 by the Venetsanos family, and it was carved in the mountain. A tour there is really interesting, as you get to learn the history of the place, go through the different cellars and tunnels in the mountain, and get to know how wine was produced there and distributed. They even a corner, which used to serve as an office, where they kept some of the instruments and notes of the founders of the winery.

Of course, as with every winery, you can choose to finish the tour with a wine tasting of the Santorini wines, enjoying at the same time the magnificent views of Venetsanos Winery. A wine expert will describe you how every different wine is made, sharing interesting information about the wine making culture of Thira.

A useful information is that Venetsanos Winery is also available for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Its location is such, that you will be treated with the famous and wonderful views of the caldera. The black volcanic rock, from which the terrace is made, gives the place a unique character, perfect for the "one-of-a-kind" weddings we are all looking for.

The Koutsogiannopoulos winery was founded in the 19th century, and has been ever since producing delicious Santorini wines. The winery is located in Vothonas, on the road to Kamari. Nowadays, it is an astonishing museum, which is absolutely worth visiting when coming to Santorini.

Koutsogiannopoulos Wine Museum's exhibits
What makes this winery so special? Its museum! It is an underground, 8 meters deep, labyrinth like museum (don't worry, you won't get lost). You will dive into the history of the wine making of Santorini, from the very beginning. The cave museum is filled with small cavern like rooms, where you can see the wine making process for yourself. The figurines, used at the cavern rooms, give you the feeling that you have travelled a hundred or more years back, and you are participating in the ploughing, harvesting and stomping of the grapes.

The exhibits of the underground museum are presented in a chronological order, making it easier for you to understand how the wine making culture began in Santorini. To help you understand even better the wine science, you will have the opportunity to see old machinery, which was used in the wine making process.

At the end of the tour, you will have the chance to taste four different Santorini wines, gaining a new appreciation of the hard work of all those people who are involved in the wine making process.

Koutsogiannopoulos Winery offers its premises for a wedding as well. It is a perfect choice, if you love being close to nature, as the winery has a wonderful garden for magical weddings!

Whether you came to Santorini for your summer vacation, for your own destination wedding, or for your friend's wedding, make sure to include in your program a visit to one of the Santorini's wineries. You will most certainly enjoy it, and will leave the island with new and interesting knowledge.

Thank you very much for reading! I wish you a lovely day!

Monday, March 20, 2017

10 reasons to have your destination wedding in Santorini!

Photo by
Santorini is a popular location for a destination wedding, and it's no secret. Some people may wonder, what makes Santorini so special? A great number of things! Santorini is a beautiful, unique island, and is suitable for probably any type of wedding. Let's go together through some of the reasons Santorini is such a famous wedding location!

1. Mesmerizing views

Oh yeah.. the famous caldera views. I've been going on and on about the views of Santorini's cliff side, I know. If you have been to Santorini before, you understand why. If you haven't, then you definitely should. Is it the white houses hanging from the cliff, that look like snow from far away? Is it the color of the cliff side's volcanic soil? Is it the volcano and Thirasia? It's the combination of all the above, which make Santorini's views so wonderfully amazing!

2. Magical sunset
Photo by

True, we have sunsets in every country, but Santorini's sunset have that something special, that makes everyone want to see again and again. Now, combine that with your wedding, and not only the guests will have a lifetime experience during their sunset cocktail hour, but you will get the most amazing and romantic wedding photos, that a couple could ask for!

3. Beach Weddings

If you are a person who always dreamed of a beach wedding, then Santorini is again a perfect choice for you! You will not only have the beach wedding of your dreams on such a romantic island, but it will also a one of a kind beach wedding. You see, Santorini is famous for its black beaches, made from volcanic rock. You can easily find a white beach to host a wedding, but Santorini is one of those unique places, where you could a black beach wedding!

4. Honeymoon and Wedding together!

Santorini is a wonderful and romantic island, with a lot of interesting activities for couples. So why not combine your wedding with your honeymoon? After saying goodbye to your friends and family, have a luxurious honeymoon suite booked just for you, and enjoy your first vacation as a married couple! Want to travel and visit other island? You are in luck, as Santorini is located right next to a lot of other wonderful Greek Islands, that you can visit after your days in Santorini!

5. On a budget

Santorini is considered a "on a budget" destination wedding location. A lot of couples come to get married on the island, to cut down on their wedding expenses. Also, it is a great way to combine your vacation and your wedding, thus saving some extra money on hotels and rooms, and air tickets to fly to a different vacation location.

6. Different season, different beauty

photo by
From season to season Santorini transforms. In spring the island is blossoming and is full of vivid colors. In summer, the vineyards start to blossom, giving Thira a different reason to stay beautiful and green. In autumn, the sunset can be seen from the beaches of Santorini, meaning that you can have a sunset beach wedding! As you can see, each season has its own beauty, and you will certainly find the perfect scenery for your wedding, when choosing Santorini.

7. Unique traditions

Santorini has some great traditions when it comes to weddings. Santorini has great traditions in general. In particular, the island is famous for being the donkey island, so why not incorporate that into your wedding? What a better entrance to the ceremony, but with the bride on a donkey and local musicians playing a traditional Greek wedding song. Just make sure that the donkey is not mistreated when booking one.

8. Wine tour cocktail hour

Another thing that the island is famous about, is its wines. If you don't wish to have the usual cocktail hour, while you will be away for your couple's photo shoot after the ceremony, take your guests to a winery for a wine tour and wine tasting. Your guests will have a great time, and will get a chance to learn more about the wine history of Santorini.

9. Professionalism

Santorini has been the capital of destination weddings for a long, long time. This means, that the people who work in the industry, know exactly what they are doing. When having your wedding in Santorini, you are guaranteed on having a stress-free, best organized wedding you could ever wish for.

10. Experience of a lifetime!!

photo by
Santorini is a beautiful island in a lot of different ways. By having your wedding on the island, you and your guests will most certainly have an experience of a lifetime. Give you, your family, and your friends a reason to visit this wonderful island, and witness firsthand what it has to offer. Everyone will be thankful and you will have a memorable wedding!

Those are 10 reasons, why you should have your destination wedding in Santorini. Still need something more to convince yourself to host your wedding in Santorini? Visit the island this summer, and fall in love with it yourself.

Thank you very much for reading! You have my best wishes!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Random Saturday 13: Everything happens for a reason…?

Hello my dear Readers.

A love salad from Katerina from Secret Cafe! 
Hope all of you are well and everything is going good in your life. As you are reading this, I'm having a small vacation in Athens. Decided to fly there for 3 days, to see my family before the summer season begins.

This past week was a great week for me. I've been spending my days at the Santo Horse Riding's ranch in Akrotiri, interacting with the horses, sitting in the sun, reading my book, and contemplating on life. The horse that I'm currently training is having some great progress, which makes me incredibly happy, and I've had the opportunity to make some really interesting thoughts about life.

I've been thinking mostly about those small incidents in life, that can greatly influence ones future. Isn't it amazing, how meeting one person in your life, a person that you might not even see more than a couple times more after your first meeting, can change your whole life?

I've been thinking about my own life. I met a person seven years ago, let's call him mr. D., that made me come back to Greece (I lived in Moscow at the time of the meeting). By coincidence, that person had a friend who knew my childhood horse riding trainer. I started going horse riding again, after I met up with the trainer, which resulted in me getting my first horse riding students.

Because of Mr. D., I followed my then dream and studied sound-engineering, where I met ex-husband. Because of him I came to Santorini, as he didn't have a job at the time, and I was willing to let my horse related dreams on the side, just to be with him. In Santorini, again by coincidence, I got a wedding planning job. A couple years later here I am, trying to make my own wedding and event planning company.

Furthermore, my ex husband worked for a short period at a hotel, who's owner had a horse, and had it at the first horse riding facility in Santorini. From there I met my current colleague in Santo Horse Riding, who later introduced me to the person I'm working for at the moment, and the guy I'm happily dating at the moment.

All those completely unrelated meetings and events, ended up in me having a great progress with my life dreams and goals! If you just think for a moment, that if seven years ago, I decided to ignore mr.D when I first met him, I wouldn't be having my own wedding planning company, nor I would go back to horse riding and now have the job of my dreams.

No wonder there is a saying that everything happens for a reason.

Why am I writing all this, you may ask? Simply because I want to prove a point. No matter how hard times may seen, or if you feel that you are at a "dead end" point in your life, you should always remember, that this is not the end of the road, and that whatever you gain at that particular period of your life, can influence your future for the very best.

Life gives you opportunities all the time, sometimes they just lay there for everyone to see, sometimes they hide behind really stressful and unpleasant situations. Still, they are there for you. A simple decision, like going for a walk instead of staying at home, can end up in you meeting the right person or getting the best idea for a better future! Don't miss out on opportunities, just because you think (although you might feel the opposite), that they will be a waste of time. They might end up being the breakthrough in your life!

No matter how bad a situation ion life may be, you should always take it as a lesson. However bad it might seem, it will be part of your life experience and can prove to be of great help in the future. Try to stay positive and keep an open eye for any life lessons there for you. Life lessons, that will help you succeed in the future.

I guess, what I want to say is, don't focus on the bad times but think about what good can come out of it ;) 

This is all I have to say this Random Saturday. Be happy and don't miss the little opportunities life gives us!

Thank you very much for reading! I wish you a wonderful weekend!

The song of the week: