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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Holidays & Entertaining / ZWT9 - My Big Greek Wedding
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    ZWT9 - My Big Greek Wedding

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    PaulaG
    Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:14 pm
    Forum Host
    Debbwl wrote:
    Wow what great weddings!!

    This thread is the next best thing to getting to being at such an event. icon_biggrin.gif


    The photos have been spectacular!
    Linky
    Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:05 pm
    Food.com Groupie


    A thick lemon-colored envelope arrived in the mail – it was an invitation to a dear friend’s wedding in, of all places, the island of Lemnos, Greece! How exciting!
    Coincidentally, all of the Soup – a - Stars were invited as well.

    Everyone arranged their own transportation to Athens, and from there all 100 of us boarded an Olympic Air flight for a short flight... An hour later we landed on our North Aegean destination, the lovely island of Lemnos!

    We were whisked to our resort where we would be staying and enjoying the reception.


    The history of Lemnos is lost in the mists of time. According to mythology, Hephaestus had his forge on the island and taught its first residents, the Sinties, the art of processing copper. The Island flourished during the prehistoric times. In 512BC it was conquered by the Persians, but it regained its liberty after the end of the Persian Wars. Since then, it had been subjugated consecutively by the Romans, the Venetians and the Turks, until its definitive liberation in 1912 during the 1st Balkan War.

    After a brief nap and some down time to unpack, the Soup a Stars and some of the other guests set out to the Keros beach, famous for it’s fantastic windsurfing!

    What a blast! Who knew that Celticevergreen was such a daredevil!




    We hiked up the hill and visited the castle for a breath-taking view of the island.



    We gathered on our balcony that evening for a nightcap, then off to bed to get rested up for the next day's excitement.


    The morning of the big wedding, we quickly got ready so we wouldn't miss a moment starting with the wedding procession. And what a procession it was – the bride rode a donkey through town on the way to the church.

    Then the traditional ceremony itself… The bride was lovely; the groom was serious; their parents were so proud!


    But the best part was the scrumtionous feast! Of course, some of the guests had some dietary needs, but everyone had something they could savor!
    Menu # 217013 big fat greek wedding


    Afterwards, we all joined in on the dancing - the father of the bride could really shake a leg!


    Of course, there was the Greek tradition of pinning money onto the bride and groom's clothes!



    A wonderful time was had by all, but sadly our Little Greek Vacation to celebrate a Big Greek Wedding was over. The next morning all of the Soup a Stars and the rest of our group of 100 boarded Olympic flight 773 to be whisked back to Athens and then continue on to our own homes!



    What a memory!



    Last edited by Linky on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total
    PaulaG
    Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:24 pm
    Forum Host
    I assume that you and the guests arrived in Athens and then boarded a jet for the short flight to the island. Did you all return the same way? icon_smile.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:10 am
    Forum Host


    For The Apron String Travelers, I'm doing the wedding challenge for which we chose Zakynthos, also called Zante in Italian.


    Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,
    Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take!
    How many memories of what radiant hours
    At sight of thee and thine at once awake!
    How many scenes of what departed bliss!
    How many thoughts of what entombed hopes!
    How many visions of a maiden that is
    No more-no more upon thy verdant slopes!
    No more! alas, that magical sad sound
    Transforming all! Thy charms shall please no more-
    Thy memory no more! Accursed ground
    Henceforth I hold thy flower-enameled shore,
    O hyacinthine isle! O purple Zante!
    "Isola d'oro! Fior di Levante!"
    Sonnet to Zante (1837)
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    (1809-1849)




    Last week the incredible news hit me that my best friend from highschool was going to marry her long time Greek boyfriend. She asked me to organize a hundred person trip to the island of Zakynthos, called "Zante" in Italian, where her fiancé's parents came from before they emigrated to Germany.
    I asked her if I could bring our fabulous World Tour team along, too, as our present theme was Greek cooking, and of course she agreed happily. The more, the merrier!
    So I booked the flight from Athens to Zakynthos with Olympic Airlines for 100 people - as they came from all over the world, we agreed that everybody saw for their own way to come to Athens and later back from Athens to their home country.
    Our flight from Athens was Flight OA074. Everybody made it in time, so at 1:20 PM we took off from Athens and arrived at Zakynthos International Airport Dionysios Solomos, named after the poet Dionysios Solomos who was born on the island in 1798, at 2:40 PM on Thursday.



    Luckily I had spent a two week vacation on that island several years ago, so I remembered well the wonderful hotel Matilda with it's patron, a heartwarming cheerful lady, and the ingenious manager Theo, who always had proven to be capable of organizing *everything* no matter how exotic it might be.
    A wedding for 100 people? No problem!



    When we stepped out into the bright mediterranean sun, I thought about Zakynthos being called "Fior di Levante", flower of the Levante. From what I had seen before, that definitely was true.
    A small bus transfered us from the airport to the hotel Matilda on the Vasilikos peninsula on the southeastern side of the island.
    During the trip, a tour guide educated us about the island and its history.
    Zakynthos has already been inhabited 110.000 years ago by Neanderthal men, displayed by findings of stone tools of that age.
    Even though today the island hardly has any woods except for olive trees, in classical antiquity it often had the byname "hyleeis", meaning forested, sylvan. Homer listed it as a part of the kingdom of Odysseus.
    Being an independant democracy from early on in antiquity, Zakynthos joined the Delian League during the First Peloponnesian War sometime between 459 and 446 BC, being important for the alliance as a main source of tar for ship planking.
    During the Middle Ages, it belonged to the Byzantine Empire, and in the 12th century it became part of the kingdom of Naples. After a short period of Turkish rule between 1479 and 1484, it became an overseas colony of the Venetian Republic until 1797.
    In 1864, Zakynthos finally became a member of the Greek state.
    Just in time with our arrival at the hotel, the short history lesson was over and we got out to enter the hotel.
    Theo, the manager, welcomed us and started to assign the rooms for the other one hundred guests while I hurried to the kitchen to meet with our team and instruct the chef about the menu which we planned for the wedding.
    Our Captain Bayhill called cookbook Guru Maryland Jim to help her gather all her little lambs, and finally First Mate loof, Team Mentor Debbwl, MomLuvs6, ChefPotPie, Marcasite Queen, domestic angel, alvinakatz and me were there.
    It's a gorgeous menu that we have planned, perfect for the hot weather and including dishes for those among the guests who are vegan, too.
    ZWT 9 Greek Wedding Menu for The Apron String Travelers
    For an appetizer, we had Shrimp Baked With Feta, Ouzo and Cognac, nearly a dish on its own!
    For the salads, loof made Greek Pasta Salad vegan, and for cooling down a bit after the appetizer we also added Greek Marinated Tomatoes.
    There was soup, too, for those who can't go without: Greek Tomato Soup (Domatosoupa).
    Two main dishes, Broiled Fillets With Kasseri and Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken, Greek-Style, With Salad and Warm Pita Bread For, with Herbed Greek Roasted Potatoes With Feta Cheese as a side. For the desserts finally we picked Almond Crescents (Kourabiedes) and Walnut and Ricotta Stuffed Figs, a very elegant dessert.
    There werde also two refreshers, Citrus Cream Smoothie made vegan by loof and Greek Iced Coffee veganized by alvinakatz.
    What can I say - the wedding was terrific, and the meal was a huge hit with everybody.
    The next day, to recover from this big event, I organized a sailing trip around the island for all the exhausted guests.
    Zakynthos is the prime nesting area for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean. Every year at the beginning of June, the female turtles come to the southern beaches of Laganas Bay in order to bury their eggs in the sand.





    With all the tourists around, and all those many boats filling the shores, it's nearly impossible to spot one of the turtles.
    We didn't spot any but visited Navigio Beach, the most famous landmark of Zakynthos, a shore isolated by high cliffs and only accessible by boat, where around 1980 a ship sunk that had smuggled cigarettes. The smugglers were caught except for the captain, and the ship wreck is still sleeping there in the sun, attracting tourists to the beautiful beach.



    Also we admired the lovely blue coves, which are cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari and, like the shipwreck Bay, only accessible by boat.
    They have this beautiful colour because the white rocks in the water only reflect the blue parts of the light.



    I always used to think that only a blind poet like Homer could call the Greek sea "wine-coloured", but gazing directly down into the water from the rail, one has the impression that it has indeed the colour of a very dark red wine.
    Even though we didn't see any turtles, at least we met some dolphins who merrily followed our boat for some time!



    We spent a relaxing evening on the hotel's patio, and on Sunday we took the flight AO075 at 2:45 PM from Zakynthos to Athens, where we arrived at 3:40 PM and merrily parted to get back to our home countries, carrying with us the beautiful memory of the Fior di Levante and the Parting Gifts:
    Fluffy Artoulakia With Chocolate Chips (Greek Breakfast Recipe) made by loof, Greek Honey Cake made by ChefPotPie, and Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins made by MomLuvs6.

    PaulaG
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:59 am
    Forum Host
    Mia, how beautiful and what a wedding feast. You can plan for me anytime. icon_smile.gif
    PaulaG
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:03 am
    Forum Host
    PaulaG wrote:
    I assume that you and the guests arrived in Athens and then boarded a jet for the short flight to the island. Did you all return the same way? icon_smile.gif


    and I was right! Thank you Linky.
    Mia in Germany
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:31 am
    Forum Host
    PaulaG wrote:
    Mia, how beautiful and what a wedding feast. You can plan for me anytime. icon_smile.gif


    wave.gif
    You're very welcome icon_biggrin.gif The more, the merrier!
    Linky
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:20 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    PaulaG wrote:
    I assume that you and the guests arrived in Athens and then boarded a jet for the short flight to the island. Did you all return the same way? icon_smile.gif

    Sure did! Check it out!
    PaulaG
    Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:08 pm
    Forum Host
    Linky wrote:
    PaulaG wrote:
    I assume that you and the guests arrived in Athens and then boarded a jet for the short flight to the island. Did you all return the same way? icon_smile.gif

    Sure did! Check it out!


    Thank you much. icon_smile.gif
    rosie316
    Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:53 pm
    Forum Host
    "Our Big Greek Wedding…"




    Hello, my name is rosie316, and I would like to tell you the story of our friends wedding…

    [img]Wedding Logo Here[/img]

    It all started long ago, when our darling friend, sofie-a-toast, met the love of her life, Zues. They were high school sweet-hearts, and have been together for many years. One cold, winters eve, while relaxing in front of the fire, Zues pulled the ultimate surprise on our dear friend! While sipping on wine and watching the DVD of “Mamma Mia”, the song “Take a Chance on Me” (by ABBA) played. He dropped to one knee and popped the question! Of course she said “YES”... and so the wedding went immediately into planning.

    sofie-a-toast called all of her long-time, closest friends, via ‘video chat’ (everyone had since moved to different states and countries since high-school). While we were all on video chat, she told us the news! Immediately, Baby Kato suggested that we all should help our friend with the wedding plans, and so we did! sofie-a-toast said she wanted a destination wedding. Everyone in our little group made suggestions (and all were approved by the bride-to-be). Here is the outcome after many months of planning…
    Tisme suggested Skopelos Island in Greece for a wedding destination. It is the greenest, most beautiful and attractive island in Greece. It is approx 13 miles in length and 5 miles wide. So very easy to navigate. Known for its quaint churches/chapels… which was famous for the setting of the film “Mamma Mia”, which is why everyone started thinking of this location (after all, he did propose during a cold, winter evening 6 months prior while watching the movie).
    And of course, it be would not be complete if Karen Elizabeth hadn’t mentioned the “Agios Yiannis Chapel” (the Rock). Brilliant! The perfect wedding coming into action!

    We found out that you can have a civil marriage at the base of the rock, then you may take photos at the top by the chapel. (Only Orthodox weddings are allowed inside the chapel). And our wonderful friend Karen Elizabeth offered to take care of the arrangements for the wedding! She planned the floral arrangements for everyone and for the tables. She even chose the time of day (3:00p.m… which was perfect… not too hot or breezy) and even scheduled a cocktail hour on the beach (at the base of the rock), for all our guests.

    sofie-a-toast asked Michelle to be her Maid-of Honor and then asked me and our beloved Pimped Panther to be Brides-Maids! What an honor to bestow upon us! sofie-a-toast asked her Maid-of-Honor, Michelle, to go dress shopping with her for her bridal gown & those for the wedding party. They picked out the most beautiful dresses!
    In the meantime... our dear friend, Susie D., was planning out a tour of that little island for all of us (after all, she is a professional tour guide). She didn't know what I had planned to surprise my dear friends and all the guests with... ha ha!

    Chef Jean went about making our travel arrangements (you'll never guess what she went ahead and did?). But she did book 2 of the best hotels in the Glossa Region of Skopelos. We are all so glad that Tisme suggested this island and that Karen Elizabeth picked a great location.

    morgainegieser was planning the musical entertainment for the cocktail hour and the reception, which she did an awesome job at! She booked the DJ, known world-wide as "Sasha" for our cocktail hour, and also to announce the bride and groom upon the formal entry...you know... "Introducing... Mr & Mrs ???..."
    morgainegieser also suprised everyone with a live band called "BJorn Again" (a very popular ABBA tribute band) to play during the reception.
    Our darling friend, Alligirl, got her hands on all our secret recipes (that were given to Baby Kato to hold for such a special occassion). She got busy planning out a 5 course meal immediately
    And then there is our leader... Muffin Goddess, who is stressing over the cake that she volunteered to make upon arrival! (So sorry to make you bake on holiday, MG). Just think of poor MG, baking away in her suite, while we all relax on the beach, sipping cocktails.
    Oh, and also poor Baby Kato... in a cast, having to travel by the strangest means of transport (compliments of our travel agent Chef Jean). (BK broke her heel right before our trip). Everyone made sure she could travel comfortably!

    Well anyway... we all took flights from our home cities and landed in ??? Then we boarded a private plane that had a capacity of 106 (which was perfect for our group, if you count the crew). After landing in ???, Chef Jean told us how we will be transported to our destination. UGH! Here's how we got to the ferry... and then from the ferry to our hotels... (Thanks a lot, hun)



    Chef Jean arranged for us to travel by a mule team (which we allowed to bring on the ferry). We safely arrived at the Port of Glossa, and while resting our lazy asses, we had a couple cocktails. We got off the ferry upon arrival at the port and made our way to our respective hotels.

    We all soon relaxed... except Muffin Goddess... she made the most beautiful cake you have ever seen!

    The next morning (quite late morning), the girls all started primping for the big day. Michelle was busy helping sofie-a-toast in their hotel, and we were busy in ours. Everything was falling into place. All things were covered. Whew!

    Her wonderful fiance, Zues, was waiting for her anxiously for her arrival. She looked stunning walking down the aisle. Pretty as a picture! The day was perfect.


    After the beautiful ceremony, the bride and groom took time out to have photos taken at the top of the rock. We all had a great time during cocktail hour, but couldn't wait to see what Alligirl had planned for dinner. I'll tell you what, it was delicious!!! Greek food galore! (all recipes that Alligirl used from our treasured cookbooks!)

    Before the sun set upon this awesome day, the bride and groom decided to honor their vows to one another, and chose to part from our little gathering and start their own memorable night.

    The night was just beginning for the rest of us!... We heard the DJ during the cocktail and dinner hours, but the band was just warming up!!! And morgaingeiser did an excellent job on the entertainment planning. We even did the "Chicken Dance". Too much fun! rotfl.gif
    After a long and eventful day, all the guest were on their way (around 2 a.m.) and were given wonderful parting gifts that some of us girls had made. Everyone left in their respective vehicles (the wedding party and sofie-a-toast's friends had donkeys to handle... yikes).

    Morning came way too early. I had a great adventure to surprise all our friends with... but they were all still sleeping! I woke them and told them to get up and put on some comfortable clothes... we were going out! I even woke sofie-a-toast and ??? also. Luckily the package deal that I lined up for our excursion included transportation to and from our hotel! Baby Kato was thrilled to hear that! Susie D was wondering where we were going also (since she was our tour guide for this trip)...

    Surprise for my dear friends...



    I planned for us to do an entire day trip along Skopelos Island. The guide and his wife have packed everything we will need... including a picnic lunch to have on a deserted beach along the coast. They even threw in snorkel gear, so away we went! After 8 or so hours of enjoying the beautiful views from the sea (and paddling like heck, we were returned to our luxurious hotels, where we had one final toast to the bride and groom, and then retired for the evening. What a GREAT weekend!

    I'm tired, but I just wanted to let you know the story of our friends wedding.
    Have a great night, all wave.gif[/b]
    PaulaG
    Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:57 pm
    Forum Host
    Beautiful but did you leave out the menu?
    alligirl
    Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:00 am
    Forum Host


    I'd like to say that we've definitely made this a *group* challenge! icon_biggrin.gif icon_lol.gif

    Tisme suggested Skopelos Island in Greece for sofie-a-toast's wedding destination. It is the greenest, most beautiful and attractive island in Greece. It is approx 13 miles in length and 5 miles wide. So very easy to navigate. Known for its quaint churches/chapels… which was famous for the setting of the film “Mamma Mia”, which is why everyone started thinking of this location (after all, he did propose during a cold, winter evening 6 months prior while watching the movie).

    And of course, it be would not be complete if Karen Elizabeth hadn’t mentioned the “Agios Yiannis Chapel” (the Rock). Brilliant! The perfect wedding coming into action!


    And our wonderful friend Karen Elizabeth offered to take care of the arrangements for the wedding! She planned the floral arrangements for everyone and for the tables. She even chose the time of day (3:00p.m… which was perfect… not too hot or breezy) and even scheduled a cocktail hour on the beach of, (at the base of the rock), for all our guests.


    sofie-a-toast asked Michelle to be her Maid-of Honor and then asked me and our beloved Pimped Panther to be Brides-Maids! What an honor to bestow upon us! sofie-a-toast asked her Maid-of-Honor, Michelle, to go dress shopping with her for her bridal gown & those for the wedding party. They picked out the most beautiful dresses!

    Chef Jean went about making our travel arrangements (you'll never guess what she went ahead and did?). But she did book 2 of the best hotels in the Glossa Region of Skopelos. We are all so glad that Tisme suggested this island and that Karen Elizabeth picked a great location.

    morgainegieser was planning the musical entertainment for the cocktail hour and the reception, which she did an awesome job at! She booked the DJ, known world-wide as "Sasha" for our cocktail hour, and also to announce the bride and groom upon the formal entry...you know... "Introducing... Mr & Mrs. icon_smile.gif

    Our darling friend, Alligirl, got her hands on all our secret recipes (that were given to Baby Kato to hold for such a special occassion). She got busy planning out a 5 course meal immediately. Everyone was more than pleased to be enjoying this My Greek Wedding

    And then there is our leader... Muffin Goddess, who is stressing over the cake that she volunteered to make upon arrival! (So sorry to make you bake on holiday, MG). Just think of poor MG, baking away in her suite, while we all relax on the beach, sipping cocktails...



    Well anyway... we all took flights from our home cities and landed in Italy. Then we boarded a private plane that had a capacity of 106 (which was perfect for our group, if you count the crew). After landing in Greece, Chef Jean told us how we will be transported to our destination. UGH! Here's how we got to the ferry... and then from the ferry to our hotels... (Thanks a lot, hun)



    And we have to do all this to get back to the mainland of Greece again!! How else will we make it back to Italy to catch our flights home?!

    Chef Jean arranged for us to travel by a mule team (which we allowed to bring on the ferry). We safely arrived at the Port of Glossa, and while resting our lazy asses, we had a couple cocktails. We got off the ferry upon arrival at the port and made our way to our respective hotels.

    We all soon relaxed... except Muffin Goddess... she made the most beautiful cake you have ever seen!

    The next morning (quite late morning), the girls all started primping for the big day. Michelle was busy helping sofie-a-toast in their hotel, and we were busy in ours. Everything was falling into place. All things were covered. Whew!

    The wonderful Groom was waiting for anxiously for the brides arrival. She looked stunning walking down the aisle. Pretty as a picture! The day was perfect.


    After all the the wedding festivities all the guests took the next day to relax.




    I planned for us to do an entire day trip along Skopelos Island. The guide and his wife have packed everything we will need... including a picnic lunch to have on a deserted beach along the coast. They even threw in snorkel gear, so away we went! After 8 or so hours of enjoying the beautiful views from the sea (and paddling like heck, we were returned to our luxurious hotels, where we had one final toast to the bride and groom, and then retired for the evening. What a GREAT weekend!

    We all helped with this challenge, but couldn't have done it without our Rosie! icon_wink.gif

    Alli icon_cool.gif
    rosie316
    Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:39 am
    Forum Host
    PaulaG wrote:
    Beautiful but did you leave out the menu?


    Hi Paula, and everyone wave.gif
    I could not find which page the menu was listed, and only having moments to post, I blew by it. I didn't get to post the marriage banner, either. I also did not add the first stop on our flight, or where we landed after our private jet ride (I couldn't find them either with the few minutes that I had to spare). I do know that they all are posted somewhere around the mid 30 pages on our team thread. Can I go back & correct it?
    Also, I did mention my name, rosie316, in the intro (BK told me to), but I think that when one of the other gals on our team tried to post the story for me, the begining 2 paragraphs were deleted. I posted the somewhat complete story before the deadline (the top one, that I posted at 23:53, is unchanged). Please use that one, because it tells of how our bride and groom became one. (It also includes my name).
    Thanks for all your help, Team Panthers! This round was truely a "team effort"!
    You all "rock" (get the pun?) rotfl.gif
    PaulaG
    Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:44 am
    Forum Host
    Good morning rose. I do agree that your team did an awesome job of pulling together and getting the post posted. The challenge was designed to be a team effort. The challenge states:

    For the My Big Greek Wedding challenge players will:
    [b]1. Select an island from the list above, post in this thread the island of choice, which team member will be posting for your team (remember to include your team name).
    2. Plan a destination wedding to the island of choice making travel arrangements to and from the island for 100 people.
    3. Plan one activity for the guests attending the wedding. This can be either pre-wedding or post-wedding. The activity should be a point of interest on the island.
    4. Using the menu feature develop a menu for the wedding dinner. There must be a minimum of 5 courses. Recipes used must be from the ZWT 9--All Players Cookbook Greece.
    5. One member from each team will be responsible for developing a post and posting in this thread the details of the wedding.


    Your team did not include the travel arrangements as asked for in #2. I am giving your team 10 points for this challenge. Hope you understand.
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