How have you found the planners so far? My contact there is Eleni but I was previously dealing with Aggeliki. Eleni is very friendly and efficient, and (touch wood!) everything is going well so far!
We are getting married at Selene in Fira in a civil ceremony and also having our reception there. I did some research prior to booking the venue but I hadn't actually seen it at that point. We're having 25 guests and they'll be easily accomodated on one of the two terraces there. The reason why who chose the venue was because it seemed to tick all the boxes - right on the caldera so stunning views, contemporary ambience and good cuisine. I spent a lot of time of Trip Advisor looking at different forum comments!!
Anyway, we went to have a mooch around when we went to Santorini on holiday last year, and we weren't disappointed. If you have a look on the planners' website, you will see that they have lots of piccies of the venue
While we were over there, we saw 2 other weddings... one in a villa near Messaria. It looked lovely but not v formal. The other one was at the Santo Winery - which was absolutely stunning. Really beautiful - almost made me doubt my plans!! The winery is a beautiful location...
Where abouts is the cathedral? Is it in Fira (if it is the one that I'm thinking it might be, I think I have seen it and it is gorgeous!
I guess your decision will depend on cost, location (altho you coiuld always get a minibus) and the kind of style that you're aiming for.
I don't have a menu yet for Selene as these don't get released until Feb. I reckon we'll be spending £2k+ on food and drink for 25 guests - this is based on 2006 prices and excludes the champage that we're having. BTW, this is based on an open bar for selected drinks, sit down meal and canapes, and also cocktail hour
~There's also Amoudi Bay. There's a restaurant there (can't remember name of it sorry) that can acommodate q a large party. It has a different feeling to it. The restauratns there are more 'rustic' but the venue can be styled to suit your tastes - e.g. with dancefloor, dj, white chair covers, etc. etc.
We are planning to have the greek musicians (sounds wonderful... v evocative- not naff at all - which i was worried about!!), greek dancers, VIP car, and fireworks. These are in addition to the services offered in the package that we have selected (with videographer, photographer, etc. etc.) We were also going to ask the planners to arrange a pre-event (e.g. boat trip with drinks) but we decided against it in the end as we thought we could just organise something ourselves! (and spend more on our hotels!!)
When we had a meal at Selene, we thought the food was v nice indeed - although for an 'upmarket' type place, certain things like the toilets aren't British standards IMO (although even the nicest hotels are different in style). However, the service was the absolute best that we experienced throughout our entire stay there.
Have you thought about what package you want?
Don't worry, I wasn't referring to your wedding planner! I was actually referring to the wedding planner that both Sass and myself are using!! TBH, I take random negative reviews with a pinch of salt (although I can understand why b2bs can get anxious). My wedding planner was recommended to me and so far they have been fine. Sometimes they're a little slow in responding to emails but I do get answers in the end. Like I have said, I have organised lots of things already through them. They haven't been pushy about -upselling' or anything like that. While lots of things have been arranged by them, I have arranged my own flights and some of the accommodation (the hotel that we're staying in before the wedding). I have also arranged my own hairdresser for me and my bridesmaids. Additionally, I am flying over a professional photographer (who is a friend of my sisters) although I am also having the wedding planner's own photographer (and videographer). I wanted my own photographer to capture the -behind the scenes' and the reportage style shots (I want really arty shots as well that I can get blown up onto big canvases!).
About the time issue... I'm also getting married on a Saturday and I've had to put the time as -near sunset' on the invitations! How about that for vague??!!! Hopefully it's not going to be in the morning in that case (thus making my invitations incorrect!!). As long as I'm not getting married after sunset when it's dark, I'll be happy enough I reckon.
About guests' flights and accommodation... yeah, that was one of my worries too! I basically advised everyone to check out Kosmar for more budget options. Most of our guests are staying in Kamari, which can be a lot less expensive than certain areas such as Oia. However, most of our friends and family have booked sep flights and accommodation, as you get much more choice. Also, if you book early, doing flights and accommodation separately can be cheaper.
I think that while I have had my stressful moments, it's generally been not too bad (... well, we'll see how I feel in a few months!). It will definitely be a great idea to visit your wedding planner and speak to her face to face. I think once you've done that, you will be a lot more reassured as it'll be someone -real' that you're dealing with rather than an email persona!
What ideas have you had for your big day? (I love reading about other wedding plans - esp those that are taking place in Santorini!!! ) )