9:00 AM 7th February 2021
Wedding Bells Call The Lovestruck As Valentine’s Day Looms!
After a year when 80% of engaged couples had to postpone their big day to 2021 due to constantly changing regulations across the globe, two venues are offering a unique take on nuptial bliss for both the about-to-be-married and those keen to renew their vows.
The secluded 5-star coastal resort of Calilo, on the idyllic Greek island of Ios, has created a new picture-perfect chapel for weddings, blessings and the renewal of vows. Surrounded by water, by miniature islands growing palm, eucalyptus and poplar trees, and by giant letters that spell out LOVE
...the Greek Orthodox chapel is a heavenly coastal location for guests who wish to make that all-important commitment of a lifetime.
Greek churches and chapels are, by tradition, small and take the blue and white colours of the national flag. So, while the chapel at Calilo is small, the surrounding area has been designed to host up to 200 guests - a flexible space for a spiritual ceremony, followed by a spectacular celebration for a group of virtually any size.
Rising out of, and carved from the rocks, Calilo is set in 1,000 acres of protected land and fringed by the spectacular 300 metre-long sandy Papas beach – considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Cyclades. Whether seen as a hedonistic hideaway, a holistic retreat, or a visionary conservation project, Calilo (which stands for Create A LIfe you can fall in LOve with) is a resort like no other. From the architecture to the interior design and the striking artworks and installations, it is the creation of the Michalopoulous family, whose aim is to preserve, protect and nurture.
Commenting, Vassiliki Petridou-Michalopoulos, said, “This 70 sq mile island is renowned for having 365 churches, one for every day of the year, and we felt that Calilo was the perfect backdrop for a church to add to this collection on Ios. By coincidence, it should lend itself perfectly to this year’s wedding trend, the Second Celebration, popular with those couples who opted for a micro wedding in 2020 and wish to renew their vows and celebrate with friends and family.”
A suite at Calilo (calilo.com
) per night costs from €300. In 2021 Calilo will be open from 29 May until the end of September. Ios is reached by boat in 45 minutes from Santorini, or in two hours from Mykonos. The honeymoon suite costs from €3,667.
Calilo can provide a private 44ft Targa boat transfer Santorini-Calilo for up to 10 guests from €1,241. A helicopter transfer from Santorini to Calilo which takes just a few minutes costs from €376pp based on 4 sharing.
Wildly Romantic African Honeymoons & Weddings
Meanwhile, leading conservation organisation Great Plains is well versed in creating exceptional holidays, honeymoons, renewal of vow ceremonies and bespoke wedding celebrations in the most idyllic hideaways at their Kenya properties.
Great Plains ol Donyo Lodge, Mara Plains and Mara Nyika Camp all make extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime romantic venues to honour and celebrate a couple’s tailormade nuptials, union, and commitment to one another under the eternal African sky.
The Great Plains team is on hand to help curate unforgettable moments in the African bush for their guests - whether they are arranging a private honeymoon à deux, or renewing vows in the open with views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Guests celebrating their union at ol Donyo Lodge can celebrate their special day in true Kenyan tradition, with a traditional Maasai ceremonial blessing. This intimate affair takes place in front of a gathering of Maasai men, women and warriors all dressed in their most delicate beadwork, followed by celebratory leaps into the air and traditional song.
Wedding parties that hire camps exclusively can have a celebration late into the night with delicious food and chilled champagne catered to their every desire. More details: www.greatplainsconservation.com