Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ok, I need help

There was a big wedding expo in Athens this weekend which I missed because I was out of town, but anyway I doubt it would have been much use to me since none of the businesses there were likely to just let me have their venue and nothing else in the package, no catering, no decorations, no DJ, since I can get all that done through friends for nothing.

On top of this all three of my sisters won't be able to come if the wedding is in September, and we can't move it to August because then none of Mr Zeus's pals will even be in Athens. As those who live in Athens know, the city empties in August as everybody heads to the islands.

So that leaves me with the end of July, and even less time than I had planned. Most of my friends live overseas in non-EU countries and the pressure is mounting to find a venue and give them a date so that they can secure their visas and tickets in time.

I'm getting desperate! I currently don't have enough free time to go coasting along the beach hunting for somewhere to host a party for cheaps. Also, I'd probably get properly robbed with my rickety Greek. So I need your help, my dear little buttercups! Help me find a venue that is simple, no strings, has a bathroom and a roof and some space for dancing, and is either on the beach or has a nice view wherever it is. Just send me suggestions, maybe you have an aunty or uncle who runs a beach taverna in Athens in the area between the centre and Glyfada.

I'll pay you your weight in chicken curry!


Sesi said...

It will not be much help, but here is how I managed my own wedding on a low budget:
1. Myself, my mother and our family friends all helped with the decoration of both the curch and the party area. We picked and shopped the items and the kind ladies then set everything up according to our plans. You can get cheap deco items at packaging shops (one very big and very nice shop is placed on L. Alimou, near the huge Jumbo, you will find everything you need in there). We put two huge candles in the church, on tall candle holders, which we decorated with fresh garden flowers, ribbons decorated with paper flowers and such items in the church, and put on the tables at the party area basic whiskey glasses with beach sand and candles every 4 guests.
2. I made my favours myself: I bough little silver paper boxes, put in there the candy almonds we give out here, wrapped in rice paper, then glued pretty little paper flowers on the boxes with hot glue, and wrapped the boxes in a pretty white-ish satin ribon. Cost per box, app. 40 cents.
3. Flowers: the only flowers we bought were the car decoration, my bouquet (long cream roses with a large cream ribbon), and two large pots with rose trees in them. That went cheap.
4. DJ+Photographer: you don't need a dj. Just assign 4-5 friends to play music in turns. You don't need a photographer. Assign 2 friends to take candit pictures, and also place one use cameras on the party tables so that your guests can take pictures as they like. Someone then just needs to gather those up and you will have the second weirdest wedding album of all times (mine would be the weirdest). I honestly do not regret having picked not to have professionals at my wedding, it all just seems more vivid and realistic.
5. Food is an issue, as it is the centerpiece of every Greek celebration. My mother had set up an elaborate wedding buffet, which my father later regreted because "we should have just barbequed 10 lambs on coal". Just remember that your guests do not need chaviar and lobster to be happy to party your happy moment, count 250 gr. meat per guest, 200 gr. side dish and 200 gr. salads and you should be set for good. Also, if you have friends and family that would feel like helping out, you can spare yourself the pain, setup a cold buffet with the help of these people and reduce your cost by a lot. As for tables and chairs, most huge wedding tavernas will rent out their gear for cheap prices on nights their shop isnt rented. It's what we did. I'm sure you can even find specialists here in Athens.
6. the Venue: avoid all "Ktima" this and that, they will suck your bone marrow dry. Also, avoid the clubs along the coastline between P. Faliro and Glyfada. Most of those sell packaged deals, and I am uncertain of whether they would allow you to run your own show. There is this beach bar at the Ag. Nikolaos Beach near Lagonisi, called Bolivar. It has a roofed area that could maybe house about 60 seated guests? And it is right on the beach, with a beautiful view outfront. You will find it if you google it. And if not this one, around that area you can find enough beach bars, which have the bulk of their business during the day till early afternoon and maybe could be rented for the night. You wont loose anything by trying. Only problem is they are a good 35 kilometers away from Glyfada city center.

By the way, Happy New Year to you, and happy preparations for your Oh So Big Fat Greek Wedding!

bollybutton said...

Sesi this is the deal:

1. Me and my friends and sisters can do all the decorating ourselves. Favours are coming from the Home Country, nice and colourful, and will cost me next to nothing.

2. Music is going to come in the form of a music system and a selection of CDs compiled by a DJ friend, including all my choices of Indian wedding songs.

3. Food is going to roasted lambs, and bits and pieces like salads. Our plan was to buy a few large disposable aluminium trays and hand them out to friends, ie. come with this tray filled with cheese pie, you do salad, you do crisps, you do sandwiches. That sort of thing. Paper cups, paper plates, we're really non-fancy types so we don't care, so long as people have fun.

4. Photographer - going to be done for free by two friends so we have a selection.

The thing is, all we need is a venue because my party won't be fun for me without all my best pals, and they won't be able to come unless I can give them a date soon around which to plan their travel documents and book hotels. We can't put people up in our place, we don't have room! It's more a party as opposed to a wedding, and this whole ktima white wedding stuff is my idea of hell on earth. I can't think of a bigger waste of money.

But i need a venue and I'm starting to despair and wonder if I should just call it all off. If my friends can't come and if the ktima's have got a monopoly, I'd rather not bother.

Psofofeggaro said...

Hmmm sirry i cant be of any help today as i dont live on Athen's area and know mostly nothing about it. Also i went as a lamb going on execution on my wed, having mothers aranging things for me, things i tottaly hated and ended up almost fighting with in law, on the wedding party infront of the guests. I was maybe the most unhappy and depressed bride :(
I was in a wed at late may, done in an little chappel in the mountains,and the party was done outside the church. and the fammily had a buffet with trays of food with candles underneath to keep em warm. They had around 20 plastic tables around and many fancy lilac plastic non disposable dishes (matching the bride's flower bouquet color) and people would pick what they wanted and stand close enough to a table to leave the plastic disposable glasses or dishes if the wanted to. Food included was around 4 diferent chichen ones (the soya chicken was dominating the scene), some pork chops, lamb, 2-3 pies, cold salads like potato salad etc. it was one of the most interesting wedings I've been, at least for me. Hope I've given some ideas.

bollybutton said...

You know what, I'm trying to combine two big, brash, loud cultures into one occassion, each thinking it's better/morefun/more hospitable than the other. No wonder I can't hear myself think! Luckily Mr Zeus being an alternative type is all up for the Indian style wedding as it'll be something totally different. Now where does one rent an elephant in Athens?

Sesi said...

Then, dear girl, check out the Beach Bars along the Saronikos coastline. I'm sure they'd be happy to serve. I've given you one name, if you go to that area you will find that there is a few valid choices.
Also, just an idea, near the Glyfada bars, between Glyfada and Voula, there is a municipal park with lots of green and stuff. Maybe you could ask Mr. Zeus to go ask the Voula Municipality if they'd be willing to rent some of that space for the day? Just an idea..:) I got a feeling that if they'd agree to this, it would be way cheaper than the Ktima.


Bollybutton I'm so happy for you and your Mr.Zeus!

Unfortunately, I will not be able to collect the chicken curry (curses!) because I don't know of any venues at that region.

Last October, however, I was invited to a civil wedding at Tavros Public Hall, where the ceremony and reception/buffet were held outside in the garden/entrance of the Municipal Hall.
The couple had their DJ friend playing music, there was plenty of room for dancing and a catering service took care of the hassle of keeping the food warm and the drinks cold.

Of course, Tavros is out of your range and I have no idea whether you're going for a civil wedding but in case you are, well.. I'm just adding my two cents.

I hope your wedding is everything you hope to be. Sorry I can't be more useful.

Psofofeggaro said...

An elephant.... hmmm that's something i'd really want to see and I'm sure you'd had the media (especially star channel) showing your wedding on tv....
Yep, trying to please everyone for everything is a bad habbit, especially for weddings. Wish you the best wedding :)