A couple of weeks back I realised that it had been 2 years since Sam & Lee’s Gentilini Retreat Wedding. I also realised that I hadn’t yet blogged the wedding and so today I rectify that! This was the second wedding that I’ve had the pleasure to photograph on the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia. In fact, Sam found me through seeing images of Tanya & Aaran’s Kefalonia wedding on Instagram. When we met up for a consultation meeting their plans for the day sounded amazing and I was extremely excited to be asked to photograph their wedding celebrations.
Tina and I arrived in Kefalonia on the Sunday one day ahead of the wedding day. Once out of the airport we met Sam & Lee, picked up our hire car and then made our way to the Gentilini Retreat. Not only was this going to the be the venue of the wedding but it was also going to be mine and Tina’s home for the next few days.
The Gentilini Retreat is an olive grove in Mitakata. It’s one of the most beautiful settings for a wedding that I’ve ever photographed at. With the added bonus of this being our base for our stay in Kefalonia we were lucky enough to have wonderful breakfasts outside each morning and explore the vast grounds.
The Sunday we arrived we headed into the town of Lassi to meet up again with Sam & Lee, along with many of the family and friends who had also arrived earlier that day. We also met up with the wedding planner Rachael of Cephalonia Concierge and had some time to chat through timings and details for the next day. Our day of arrival also happened to be the day of the 2018 World Cup Final which we were able to watch in the bars and restaurants we visited that evening. France beat Croatio 4-2, we were supporting France on this occasion having recently photographed Stevie & Chris’s in the South of France so was very satisfied with the result. After the game, plenty of local Ouzo was drank by Sam & Lee’s friends and family giving a little glimpse of the partying to come. We headed back to the Gentilini Retreat for the night to get some kip ahead of the big day ahead.
On the morning of the wedding following an amazing breakfast in the olive grove we headed over to meet up with Sam and her bridesmaids. They were all getting ready at the villa where Sam and Lee were staying whilst in Kefalonia. A stunning luxury villa with amazing views out to sea. Once we’d got a few shots of the bridal prep we headed back up to the Gentilini Retreat to meet up with Lee and his groomsmen. Soon after we’d taken some formal group shots guests started to arrive at the olive grove.
Once Sam and her bridesmaids had arrived they were accompanied by traditional Greek musicians to serenade them as they made the walk down the long aisle through the grove to where the outdoor ceremony took place. The weather was glorious, I’ve my memory serves me correctly we were having temperatures of mid 30s and blistering sunshine. After a short and personal ceremony guests had plenty of time to relax in the grounds whilst enjoying some drinks and nibbles.
The speeches and wedding breakfast took place in a clearing out in the olive grove area. Lit by festoon lighting the details and layout was about as perfect as it gets. Guests were entertained by some cracking speeches before being able to tuck into some fabulous Greek food and plenty of drinks.
Into the evening it was time to party hard around the pool. Traditional Greek dancing as well as a DJ providing music and entertainment long into the early hours of the next morning.
The day after we had some free time exploring parts of Kefalonia which I didn’t get chance to see on my previous visit to the island. Having the hire car was absolutely perfect to razz around and visit some of the key tourist towns as well as small villages dotted around the island. Later in the day we met up with everyone to capture the pool party back at Sam & Lee’s villa.
Below I’ve collected a few of my favourite photos from Sam & Lee’s Gentilini Retreat wedding. And if you scroll a little further down you’ll see the short film that we created. Tina was busy filming clips whilst I photographed – it even includes a few moments from the pool party.
As mentioned above Tina was busy filming the day whilst I photographed. From the footage we created this short film from the day. This is equivalent of our Jelly Option over on Neon Trifle Film.