My Big Fat Secret Greek Wedding

Well the cat’s out of the bag now and we revealed our big surprise to our wedding guests and you that we’ve secretly been married for a month now.

Surprise!!! *throws rice confetti and releases the doves*

Here’s what people are saying about it:

“It was the best wedding I’ve never been to!”

“Most fun we’ve had at a wedding in a long time!”

“It’s so romantic and beautiful.”

“How did you keep it a secret so well? We loved it!”

We are eternally grateful that everyone supported our actions and thought what we did was romantic and dreamlike. It really was.

I mean, look where we were! Can you blame us?

DSC_0026Our wedding day in Santorini was relaxing. Since our wedding wasn’t until sunset, we actually lounged the whole morning, swimming and hanging out in our private jacuzzi with glasses of Assyrtiko wine.

I’ve heard that every wedding day has its minor glitches and mine involved my flat iron.

While we had planned ahead and purchased an international adapter plug, Joe had warned me about voltage conversion issues. So far, things had worked out when it came to charging our camera and my laptop. While getting ready for the big event, I plugged my flat iron in to use it to smooth my bangs down and planned to curl the rest of my hair.

Yes, I know that sounds weird. I use my FLAT iron to CURL my hair. Just trust me it works, and I like how the curls turn out better than with a curling iron.

I had recently just purchased a new flat iron as well. It was so beautiful, a shiny new red handle and it worked really well.

I was straightening my bangs when I heard this little sizzling noise. And about 5 seconds later I dropped the flat iron to the floor because that sizzle I heard was the inside of the HANDLE burning up and scalding my palm. VOLTAGE CONVERSION ISSUE!!!

This day is not about my hair. This day is not about my hair. This day is not about my hair.

Those are the words I repeated to myself in the mirror as I stared at my straight hair. They were followed by gratitude to the gods for the fact that I had smoothed my bangs and NOT begun curling my hair or else I’d have ended up with some half-headed poodle-ized catastrophe.

And my new straightener…ended up in the trash. :(

In the end it worked out.

DSC_0028Joe also played a trick on me on our wedding day. We’d been talking the week before we left about our wedding vows and all he’d tell me about his were that he “had a good idea” of what he was going to say and he didn’t need to write them down because he didn’t want them “to sound rehearsed.”

Okay, fine. But know that I had stepped up my game when it came to writing wedding vows. When Joe and I first started dating, I was still in college and wrote a lot of spoken word poems. Some even, for Joe. It’d been years since I’d written one. As a meaningful gesture, I wrote my vows in a spoken word poem for him.

The morning of our wedding, we both had to rewrite our vows nicely on fresh paper because we’d only packed the rough drafts. So I wrote mine out on one end of our room, and he wrote his on the other. I finished rewriting mine, meanwhile Joe is still sitting there – slightly staring into the abyss, periodically writing something down.

That worm! Is he just writing his vows NOW?!!

So our wedding time came and I was unsure what Joe’s vows would be. I was half preparing for a bulleted list of nonsense.

DSC_0032His vows were perfect. They were heartfelt, meaningful to us, and touched on the things we both love and find important.

So what the heck had he been twiddling with for so freaking long?

My twerp of a husband was messing with me. That whole time he was sitting there pretending to struggle with his vows, he was scribbling Bruno Mars song lyrics on the back of the paper!

I’ll get you for this, my pretty!

Everyone we worked with from our Grecian wedding planner’s company was wonderful. We had so much fun laughing with them, enjoying our happy moment of foreverness, taking in as much beauty as our eyes would let us, and sharing cake and champagne with them as well as our hotel staff, who felt like our long distance Greek family members while we stayed there.

DSC_0080Makin’ it legal.

DSC_0103Say Aaaaaah!

DSC_0120Something blue.

DSC_0125Cheers to our Big Fat Secret Greek Wedding!

Thank you to everyone who supported us and our big surprise!
We so enjoy sharing our 2 special weddings with you all.

Have you ever kept a big secret from your closest loved ones?
How did it go over when you finally told them?

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48 responses

  1. (gasp!) So beautiful! I’m in awe at these photos. Absolutely gorgeous! (Your hair is too) Wow, this is like my dream wedding. Big congrats to you both!

    1. Remember I picked the photos I wanted to show. LOL There are PLENTY that have my hair blowing all over the place because of how windy it was.

      But yes, it was a dream. So wonderful to have that moment to ourselves. Thank you! Hope you and hubby get a dream vacation someday!

  2. HA! Very cool! If I could do my wedding day over – I’d have eloped! Sounds, and looks, like you two planned the perfect wedding.

    1. So glad we did this. Felt so intimate and wonderful and all about us.

      You could still do it! We had 2 weddings. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Too precious! Your wedding photos are some of the loveliest I’ve ever seen — and the straightener mishap and Joe’s Bruno Mars goofiness are what make weddings awesome. In hindsight. ;)

    Hmmโ€ฆ.secretsโ€ฆ A few years ago my bro and I showed up at our parents’ 40 year anniversary party dressed as hula dancing gorillas. It was a throw back to the singing telling gram all of us kids bought them for their 15th. The funniest part was the very quiet Minnesotan response. We were jumping all around making ape noises before a near-silent crowd of smirking faces. :) Your story so beats that! lol

    1. Um pictures please! Your story warrants pictures! LOL

  4. Seeing the pictures I don’t know how you could have NOT had the wedding there. The photos transcend romantic. Of course, if you’d told me ahead of time I’d have kept your secret. All you’d have to have done was fly me to Greece so I could have been in the background in all these great pictures. What could be more romantic than that? :)

    1. Hahaha! If we’d have told anyone they ALL would have wanted to be in the background of these photos!

  5. Oh, there are a few things that happened back in 2010 that I’d never share with my parents. No dead bodies buried in the crawl space or anything quite so dramatic, but still. Some secrets were made to be kept secret. And some secrets are strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.

    Your wedding was perfect! Good job, and congrats again.

    1. Thanks Mark! (I still wish we had voodoo donuts for our cake though. Yum!)

  6. Love this! My husband and I almost did the same thing in Ecuador. We had our wedding license and were all set to go. Then we chickened out. During every subsequent moment of wedding stress, we’d look at each other and mutter “Ecuador.”

    1. Aww that’s adorable. And I think it means you’re destined to go there someday now. โœˆ๏ธ

  7. Beautiful!!! Congratulations to both of you.

    1. Thanks Alica! So happy I can finally share with all the WANAs!!!

  8. Awesome. Your wedding looks beautiful. Mediterranean scenery beats all. Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

    As for my secrets, I have none; they’re still buried. Literally ;)

    Cheers

    1. Nigel, I miss you! How’s book number 2 going? Do you think you’ll do fast draft again with Kathy Owen? I’m thinkin about it.

      1. Book 2 is getting close, been too slow. Hence, YES, I’m going to do a fast draft in October timeframe. Hope you’re going to join in!

  9. What a beautiful wedding. I think it’s really cool how you had that wedding then showed pics of that one at the”other” wedding. I’m the kind of person who would have gotten a kick out of it rather than feel hurt. :) I hope everyone else felt the same way.

    1. I believe everyone did, but it took some people awhile to catch on and they first wondered how we got pictures from that day (the stateside wedding) up in our slide show so fast?! … Surprise!

  10. Just lovely! Thanks for sharing this all.

    The only secret we really kept from family was the gender of our first kid. When it came time in my pregnancy for that ultrasound during which the tech can usually tell boy or girl, I wanted to know, but my husband didn’t. He’s a practical man, so we decided to do all of the usual looking at the baby, and then he left the room and the tech told me what I was having. The rest of my pregnancy, I was the only one who knew, but I couldn’t tell anyone else because we thought my husband should be the next to know. My family kept hoping hubby would crack, but I made it all the way to delivery day. Surprise! It’s a boy! :)

    1. Oh gosh, I don’t know if I could do that. At least I had Joe and our MC to conspire with about the fun. You are a really good secret keeper, Julie!

  11. Love the romance!

    1. Thank you Sharon! So do we!

  12. Jess, you totally rock. This was such a fun post to read and even made me tear up (I was at the doctor’s thanks for that. Now he thinks I’m afraid of allergy shots). I love your Big Fat Secret Greek Wedding! Much happiness to you and your awesome husband.

    1. Oooh. Sorry Tameri! Wipe those eyes! Take comfort in the fact that there was sparkle on our day! Did you see my hair bling, girl?!

  13. Absolutely amazing! Great, great decision.

    Our biggest secret was when we got pregnant. We found out around Thanksgiving and decided to wait and tell our families at Christmas. We wrapped pacifiers and had the soon-to-be grandparents open them. Everyone was completely shocked, mostly because we didn’t think I could get pregnant due to some female problems I’d had since I was a teenager. They were blown away, but man it was painful keeping that secret.

    1. I love that! What a fun way of revealing happy news. And I’m so happy that it worked out for you. Thanks for telling me one of your secrets.

  14. Beautiful, Jess! And your train is amazing!

    1. Thank you! Yah I planned ahead for something light that would travel well.

  15. You are just the most amazing couple! I’m so glad you pulled off the first wedding (mostly) the way you wanted it to be. (It really isn’t about the hair. ;-) My condolences for your flat iron loss.) Then your second “wedding” was more about celebrating with everyone who loves you.

    I know a few people who had two weddings because of location, but none who managed to keep it a secret so they could create an amazing reveal video. Genius!

    When my husband and I got engaged, we told everyone. It was not secret, but people didn’t believe us over and over. Maybe it was because we’d met just 2.5 months before… Hmmm… That was 22 years ago. I think they believe us now.

    Congratulations, Jess!

    1. Diana Beebe, scandalous!!! The heart knows, huh? Happy 22! You two are magical.

  16. Aw, you guys are cute. How beautiful does Greece look? Congrats again, Jess.

    1. Have you ever been? We heard 60% of their tourism comes from the UK. English is pretty common. And yes, it was gorgeous!

      1. Yes I went island hopping a few years back. Flew to Athens and hopped on one ferry after the other to Ios,Paras, Santorini and Mykonos. I’d love to go back.

        1. How was Mykonos? That’s on my list to go see sometime!

          1. It was beautiful, though I do remember the people we encountered living there weren’t as friendly as the other islands.

  17. Thanks for sharing all these gorgeous pictures with us. Love them! I would have felt the exact same way about my hair! You gotta be a woman to get that. :)

    1. Gracias chica! Thanks for sticking up for the ladies!

  18. Talk about a wedding destination. Holy cow! Who could ask for more? Or better background pictures! It certainly beats Elvis in Vegas, that’s for sure. Now, about the “something blue.” Where on Earth did you find powder blue sandals that matched everything? And the blue polish! That was just too perfect, you little fashionista, you!

    Congratulations to you both! And thanks for sharing your special day with us! :)

    P.S. Sorry it took soo long to get here, but crazy things have been happening in my atmosphere.

    1. Hi Karen! Hope the craziness in your neck of the woods is the good kind of crazy.

      And the shoes did take some effort. I may have ordered 5 pairs before finding and keeping these. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. […] It seems the winds of change weren’t done for me after just one year. I took on the task of planning an international wedding. I continued working on my book. I had a secret civil ceremony abroad. And then my family and I laid my brother-in-law to rest. Four days later, Joe and I had our stateside wedding ceremony and revealed our big surprise. […]

  20. An unforgettable day. Congratulations, Jess.

  21. Oh my God Jess….you we’re soooooooooo beautiful!!!!! Happy tears, for you!! What beautiful pictures and utterly gorgeous scenery! Cuz if you have to have a view at your wedding…why not that one! lol ;) I loved your blue shoes, so pretty; I loved your train, (she sucks in holding her heart.) Gorgeous!!! And I even loved that hubby used Bruno Mars lyrics as his vows!! lmao ;) I wish you all the happiness in the world my dear. You truly deserve nothing but that!!! ;) xoxoxo <3 <3

    1. Awww, you’ve gone and made me feel all mushy. Thanks sweets! It was a truly happy day and one we’ll treasure ever after. <3

  22. […] she recently tied the knot.ย (swoons)ย That post is a beautiful, romantic one that we highly recommend you check out.ย MY BIG FAT SECRET GREEK WEDDING ~ http://jesswitkins.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/my-big-fat-secret-greek-wedding/ […]

  23. WOW!!!! Congratulations! What a cool thing to do and fun start to an exciting life together.

    1. Thank you Nina! We loved our time abroad!

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