Bride and groom read wedding vows to one another standing on the top of a cliff in front of a small village in Crete

Cliffside Elopement in Crete

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As a wedding photographer herself, Paige knew the moment she was engaged to Michael that she wanted their wedding day to be as focused on the two of them as possible. Never having left the country together before, they started dreaming of cliffsides overlooking European towns as a place to read their vows. They settled on Crete, Greece, and started planning. They knew that they didn’t want a lot of frills or logistics, just a relaxed wedding day and a go-with-the-flow vibe to ensure that they really could spend intentional moments together. 

They spent the wedding morning making breakfast together, exploring Heraklion, and prepping for the evening. Paige wanted to make sure that her jewelry and flowers were local, so they walked around town to find the perfect earrings and bracelet and met the sweetest Greek man who constructed Paige’s bouquet. 

Just by happenstance, the cliffside they had originally dreamed of only was a few blocks away from the villa that Michael had chosen. The sun started setting as they climbed to the peak and recited vows, placed rings, and were officially married.  They ended the evening with an outfit change as they walked around Heraklion with gelato in hand and the absolute biggest smiles on their faces. The best part? They chose to continue their elopement by staying in Crete for another two weeks as a honeymoon, exploring the island, relaxing by the pool, and just soaking in that they were finally married!

Bride and groom sit on the rocks overlooking the sunset and the ocean outside a small village in Crete

Why did the couple elope in Crete?

Crete was a fantastic location for an elopement because it is the largest island in Greece, with easy access to airports and ferries.

It was large enough that Paige and Michael could honeymoon and explore the island there for two weeks afterward but small enough that they weren’t completely overwhelmed. They had never been out of the country before so they wanted somewhere that was easily driveable, was used to tourists, but wasn’t an overrun or overly popular spot. 

The Ceremony

They chose a symbolic ceremony and initiated their own vows and rings! My husband is ordained so he signed the marriage license before we all left the USA and administered the appropriate prompts for the ceremony. I’m unsure if people can legally get married here!

Bride reads wedding vows while standing facing the groom. In the background you can see the ocean and some sandstone cliffs

What About Permits?

No permits or permission was needed for a symbolic ceremony! It was a little small town about 30 minutes outside of Heraklion and everyone was so welcoming and happy we were there! 

I’m not sure about considerations that are common or needed in the area, but we made sure that we only chose legitimate paths and locations that were on a map. There’s SO many beaches and trails on Crete that are public but aren’t populated which is so nice. We spent the day prior exploring the area to get a feel for what was going to be the best fit, and turns out the public beach down the road from their villa was perfect! 

How did you choose the location?

Paige and Michael truly leaned into the spontaneity of it all, so we didn’t pick out a location until the morning of the elopement. I’m glad we arrived a few days before the elopement to acquaint ourselves with the locals, get a feel for the area, and make sure we were choosing the perfect location. The locals are SO welcoming and were so willing to assist  Paige and Michael with finding jewelry, local perfume, and florals which was just beyond sweet and unexpected.

Text by Morgan, their photographer

How this couple made their elopement more sustainable

  • Purchased their flowers and accessories from local businesses
  • Enjoyed their honeymoon in the same location

Vendor Credits

Photographer: Indigo Lace Collective
Dress Store: One Fine Day Bridal Boutique
Accommodation: Kokomo Villas

The Photos

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