Photography by


Liz Kelly & Cris Erdtsieck

June 3, 2015 in Santorini, Greece


Only a year out of college, at the age of 23 with “brains not fully developed,” Elizabeth and Chris met at a dingy dive bar in LA during happy hour. As they put it, “It was… mutual attraction at first sight; because, well, we all have to start somewhere.”

A few weeks later, Chris asked Liz out on their first date to The Lobster–a restaurant on the Santa Monica pier overlooking the ocean. She tactfully told him that it was an overpriced tourist trap where you end up just paying for the view of a really expensive sunset. Chris then told her he had forgotten his wallet and that she would be paying for that expensive sunset.

“We’ve come a mighty long way to wanting to get lost in each other’s eyes while whispering sweet nothings to each other in Santorini,” they joke.

Fast forward to December of 2014–seven years into their relationship, brains fully developed, and complete with an adorable French bulldog–Liz and Chris ventured back to the same dive bar where they first met.

“An Uber then picked us up and drove us to The Lobster, where we watched the sun set over the Pacific and ate mediocre crab cakes for old times’ sake,” the couple describes. “Later that evening, at the restaurant where we had our first disastrous Valentine’s Day (again, 23 year-old brains), we got engaged.”

After their engagement, Liz and Chris decided upon two things. First, they wanted to have a day that celebrated both their future and the life they had built together, but nothing that would distract them from one another.

“We wanted toothache-sweet, ugly cry-inducing, get lost in each other’s eyes kind of stuff,” they describe.

They also wanted to have an “eight years in the making party” with family and friends, which would involve celebrating their past happiness and the start of the next phase of their lives. Upon realizing that she would be the person responsible for the wedding planning process and party, however, Liz started her “let’s just elope now and have a wedding celebration later” campaign. Just before it would have been too late to obtain the various certificates, notarizations, apostilles, and official translations necessary to officially be married in Greece, Chris agreed to extend a previously booked trip to Istanbul to include a destination elopement in Santorini.

For the wedding planning process, the couple agreed that photography was the most important aspect, and booked the location and date after they secured the perfect photographer, Vangelis Beltzenitis.

“Since we decided that we were going to have the wedding celebration at a later date, we wanted our actual wedding day to allow us to be fully present and focused on each other,” the couple says. “No guests, no frills, no strict timeline–just us, two bottles of Krug, and a ceremony where we recited our own vows on our hotel balcony on a Wednesday afternoon.”

Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their photographer roamed around the gorgeous town of Oia. Later, they enjoyed dinner at a tavern on the caldera while marveling at the fact that they could officially call each other “husband” and “wife.”

>Written By: Lauren Malamala

Location: Oia Castle Luxury Boutique Hotel Santorini, Greece; Planner: Santorini Glam Weddings Santorini, Greece;