Romance and business are an unusual combination. I am looking to amalgamate the international success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the ideals of another Hollywood winner, the Wedding Planner while working at home on the beach.

The incomparable Greek island of Santorini has long been the site of magical weddings. There the high caldera rises straight up from the crystal clear Aegean to a height that makes the cruise ships look like toy boats on a pond. Add the Cycladic blue and white architecture, the moustachioed violin players and a donkey or two to produce a ceremony that will outshine anything in the glossy celebrity magazines—without paying for event management security.

The beauty and dramatic location, however, have a dark side—it is called church and state. There can be no Las Vegas style impulse here; the bureaucratic manoeuvres take weeks to complete. There is a long list of documents that must not only be obtained from your home town, they must be translated into Greek by an officially certified translator. Just one example is the Non-impediment Certificate issued by a Vital Statistics Officer. Can you see yourself explaining that to your local county clerk.

Aha, that is where entrepreneurialship comes into play. The Santorini wedding planners have put together a complete package from blank forms through food, drink and hotels up to and including sweeping the rice up after the procession. Of course the same thing can be done by a Greek speaking friend but a true professional will save you more money than you pay him or her in fees.

Other islands have much to offer as well; each has a distinctive character that will give each wedding a unique feeling. Paros is known as the all around island with something for everyone. You could get married on a windsurf board in the water or one of the 1,000 plus chapels nestled into nearly every nook and cranny of the coastline. Available is a simple civil ceremony or the traditional celebration that goes on for 3 days of eating, drinking and dancing. This includes a dressing of the wedding bed to insure a fertile marriage.

This article, however, is meant to be less about the joys of wedlock and more about forming a business partnership. From our art workshops we have plentiful experience in providing full service hospitality for groups. What we need is a fluent Greek speaker who also knows how to cajole church and state bureaucrats into doing their job of granting marriage licenses. On our small island that usually means you have to be related to the officials because most people here are cousins it seems. Of course I am obligated to follow that comment with the statement that Greece is a modern European Union country that provides equality for all under the law and that even the Orthodox church is making progress. The point being that you don’t have to be a criminal defence lawyer or use job scheduling software

So if you either want an idyllic Greek isle wedding or have the ability to make it happen for others, contact us. Consolidate student loans or refinance home loans whatever it takes to support yourself for a season in the sun; maybe together we can earn a living in a Paros paradise.

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At May 25, 2006 2:35 AM Chana said...

what a beautiful place to have a wedding....and i guess all that paper works does have its positive. No one will have the opportunity to just rush in to things without much thinking....


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