Real weddings, wedding inspiration and style, gorgeous ideas, up to date trends and sometimes advice and politics

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Pretty Cool Wedding at Castillo de Santa Catalina, Malaga

I aptly name this a cool wedding as it was so sparkly and fabulous however anything but cool as the temperatures by the afternoon were sizzling, humid and hitting 50 degrees in the courtyard of the stunning Castillo de Santa Catalina in Malaga.

I could not even move without sweating, in fact not moving promoted sweating so kept making excuses to visit Farah and her girls getting ready in their air conditioned rooms!  

That was a treat in itself watching them merrily prepare for the wedding celebrations with their stunningly beautiful outfits and jewellery.

We had been introduced to Farah by Perfect Spanish Weddings to help her style and decorate her wedding day with a beautiful blush and gold theme and were hyperventilating when she sent us photos of her stunning blush wedding dress, it was absolutely beautiful. 

I worked with Farah to design the wedding decor she really wanted but within her budget constraints to achieve the maximum impact, we focused on the florals, which were very important to her, and added a few details to create an overall luxury design for her wedding day.

The beautiful bouquets were created using hydrangeas and roses along with tall centrepieces using the same florals which were placed on top of tall glassware cylinders filled with gold gypsophelia and blush dyed water.

The table seating plan was designed by us using a Hand of Fatima theme decorated with soft pink and gold crystals and we created matching Hand of Fatima paddle fans for the ceremony which can be seen on our Instagram page. A rather dodgy photo taken by me but we try!

 The tables were beautifully dressed with our gold charger plates and we finished the napkins with blush ribbons and individual place cards again with the Hand of Fatima design to compliment the paddle fans and table seating plan.

Finally we also provided props for the dessert table including a blush sequin table cover, pink cake stands and glass apothecary jars.

It was a wonderful day and our thanks to Perfect Spanish Weddings for recommending us to design and decorate Farah's fabulous wedding and to Jeremy Standley for these gorgeous photos to share with you.

You will be pleased to hear I did not steal any donuts although I was sorely tempted the opportunity did not arise to sneak up and get close to them :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Help Us to Help You, Getting Married in Spain

Here in Spain there are a wealth of fabulously talented wedding suppliers, from planners, stylists, photographers, caterers, entertainers, you name it we are brilliant at it!

We live, eat, sleep weddings and love our jobs, nurture our businesses and all work extremely hard throughout the year, often in very high temperatures, to produce fabulous events for couples travelling into Spain from all over the world. 

Clients come from the UK, US, Ireland, Dubai, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong to name but a few, in fact Spain is now so popular and such a central location with almost year round wonderful weather that the wedding industry has rocketed here in the past 3 years.

The average wedding planner will work on about 30 weddings each year, catering companies maybe double or more. Entertainers, florists, musicians, cake designers and packaged venue weddings can do up to 100 weddings each year.  We are all busy and love it!

Now some advice for couples wishing to get married in Spain :)

Firstly we want to help you, we want to create your dream wedding in Spain, find you the perfect venue and advise and assist as much as we can before you take the plunge.

Planning a wedding abroad can be a daunting prospect but we are all good at it, all of our clients come from abroad, it is our business, destination weddings, and here is how you can make your initial enquiry easier for us to respond to.

Email us with plenty of time before you decide to visit us.

Tell us what your ideal wedding is, location, number of expected guests and ideal budget you have to spend.  None of our weddings are factory led and we create dream days according to what our clients want.  

This cannot be factored and shoe horned into a package.  

If you want a 3 day wedding in the fabulous city of Seville or a relaxed stylish beach wedding we need to send you relevant up to date information including the following:

What venues are available on your dates.
The most up to date and latest prices for each service you require.
A true budget outline as to what to expect your ideal day to cost.
The pros and cons of each venue, we offer transparent advice to our clients.

We offer a pre-wedding consultancy service to do just this for you.

Yes we can send you generic and general information but if you wish us to work for you and provide all the information I have listed above this takes time.  

Time is something I have to pay my team for but it is worth it as you will receive personalised up to date information designed for you with your ideal day set out and if you are planning a visit, a personalised itinerary.

So here is my list of what not to do if you are planning a wedding in Spain :)!

1. Don't rock up here in Spain, trawl through the internet for wedding planners in Spain, find us, email us and expect us to be available at the drop of a hat, we are busy.  

I have had two emails this week from potential clients who have arrived in Spain and have decided only now to contact planners asking to see venues this weekend?!

We have a wedding this weekend and pre-booked clients visiting us so this is a complete impossibility to even begin to prepare anything in that time frame, let alone organise a venue viewing trip for you which let's face it is not going to be any good if we managed anything.  

We need time and a lot of effort on our part to make sure your trip here is worthwhile.  

You have paid for your flights over here and no doubt accommodation so why leave such an important thing as a last minute fly by night decision?   

It is always heart breaking for us not to be able to jump into action and answer every query we have because the couple have left it to the last minute to get organised.

2. Don't approach wedding suppliers and expect them to be available to meet with you if you have not booked them.  

Every supplier again gets about 8 to 10 enquiries a day, many of the enquiries they will never hear from again so don't ask them to pop by and meet you on a Sunday afternoon an hour away from where they are based.  If they did this for every email they receive you can only begin to imagine how chaotic their lives would be!!

Having had an ever so slightly tiny deep sigh moan on my personal page about this, this week I got many messages from wedding suppliers sending me impossible requests from potential clients.

One that stood out was a cake maker, and a very popular one who is already practically booked out for 2016.  A potential client had just arrived in Spain, was around on Sunday and would love to meet with her......she has two weddings, a family and her husband gets one day off a week which ironically is a Sunday....I say no more!

3. Check out our busy times.

Our wedding season starts usually from April through to October, the months of May, June, July and September are bonkers, we are literally running from wedding to wedding.  
Here in Spain being a destination wedding country weddings are not nicely spaced out to one every Saturday, some suppliers are completing 7 or more a week.

Unless you have prebooked your trip and organised venue viewings here are the obstacles you may come across if you decide to visit Spain during busy wedding months.

You cannot access the venues, they are full and have weddings on.
All the event managers at the hotels are otherwise engaged and cannot attend to meetings.
You cannot see suppliers, they are booked with weddings and are too busy to attend to meetings.
If you wish to view private villas, they may having paying guests staying there so you won't be able to view the property unless the guests concede and allow access during their stay.

My summary and mantra for this blog post is be organised and be aware that you need to contact us and any wedding supplier sooner rather than later.   We are here and willing to help but we are human and running businesses that are at times so busy it does not leave us anytime to factor in last minute requests and demands made upon us.

It is not within us to want to disappoint clients as we run hospitality led businesses and our aim is to please and delight our clients but when we are given last minute demands and unrealistic timelines we just are not able to fulfill these to the best of our abilities.

Be an organised bride to be and give us lots of notice, as much information as possible and appreciate our time and efforts.

If we meet with you and follow up our meeting it would be lovely to have a response instead of nothing, we have taken time out of our busy schedules to spend time with you chatting weddings and it is just courtesy to follow up.  

If you have decided on another planner or stylist then tell us, we are not offended, usually it is one of our business buddies you have booked so we will know what you decided in anycase!

Images taken from Pinterest

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nailed It, be warned!

Here goes, probably sticking my neck out but really cannot warn our couples enough about wedding cakes and this is an actual from one of the weddings here this year, 
a classic nailed it.

So advice, warning, whatever should I call it?!

I was involved in this wedding as the stylist and designer and worked with the bride on many elements of her wedding day.

There was a lot of attention to details, colours and design from the stunning outfits to the florals.  We created beautiful paddle fans and a lovely Hand of Fatima table seating plan, had all the accessories to style up the cake table including stands and blush sequin table cover.

But, and a big but. I was not involved in the cake making decision.

On the day the planner was having kittens and whipped me down to the kitchens to show me the cake which had been dutifully copied by the catering company from the bride's photo sent to them.
There were no words to be honest with what was presented to me, it was a huge slimey pulsating mess of almost quite neon colours and was so huge it would not fit on the pretty pink cake stand we had bought to present it.  There was no way it was going to blend nicely with the blush sequin table cover our bride had hired, all I could do was pop in her cake topper and wonder what the outcome was going to be.

So my advice, if you want a beautiful wedding cake book a professional cake designer and don't rely on the catering company to create the cake of your dreams, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.

We all know it often comes down to budgets and if you think the catering company is capable of creating a masterpiece then of course this will save you a cost of approx 500 euros which a professional cake maker would charge to create something as beautiful as the above photo.

I would certainly recommend asking to see photos of previous cakes the caterers have made and perhaps photos of what was actually requested and the outcome before you commit to letting anyone other than a reputable and professional cake maker make your dream cake.

I am not going to name or shame just warn potential couples, check out the cakes!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Springtime Wedding in Seville City

I cannot quite believe we are now well and truly into October after what has been a fabulously busy and hot summer.  

I love this time of year, not only because it is my birthday month!, but now we can spend time looking back at our work, enjoying all the photos sent to us from the hugely talented photographers we work with and can share very special days and memories with you.

Heading back now to the gorgeous month of May, before our rather extreme heatwave took a grip on Spain this summer, we spent most of this month in the vibrant city of Seville.  In fact I was even beginning to search the real estate agents and thinking of buying a crash pad there!

Who cannot love this city, the capital of Andalucia, a hotbed of flamenco, passion and tapas bars, stunning architecture and one of the most beloved places here in Spain so where better to host a wedding!

K and K contacted us as they wished to host their intimate wedding in Seville with close family and friends.  With a Spanish family already here and the rest of their guests travelling with them from the States, Seville was the perfect location for everyone to make the journey to celebrate their marriage.

Casa Guardiola is a stunning palace house located just opposite the Alfonso XIII hotel and was the ideal location for K and K's wedding celebrations.

The afternoon started with a lovely ceremony in the garden room followed by a longer than usual cocktail in the Patio de Caballos where the guests were entertained with a jazz band, jamon cutter and a wonderful cheese table.

Dinner followed in the stunning Patio de Columnas with some lovely touches organised by the family as a surprise for the newly weds such as a wonderful video and some beautiful favours of chocolate and photo frames for each guest.

Whilst K and K wish to remain private we had to share such a stunning location with you and some of the details of their gorgeous day of which we have very fond memories.

Thank you to Joseba and Mar from Romance Weddings for, yet again, taking such lovely images of such a beautiful day and thank you to my team, especially Isabel, for working so hard to create yet another stunning wedding and dashing around the city to buy cake stands!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Magical Fairy Woodland Garden Wedding Sotogrande

As the Andalusian summer heat has finally left us behind and autumn arrives drawing 2015 to a close, we are super excited now to be sharing our year's work with you having created many fabulous weddings during what has been an incredibly hot and busy summer.  

Some of our weddings seem to take forever to get photos and sadly a handful of clients do not like to share their wonderful weddings which is such a shame but of course we have the relaxed clients that are happy for us to share their gorgeous days otherwise we would have a very barren blog :)!

Only last weekend we were busy working on Anna and Jeff's beautiful fairy woodland wedding in Sotogrande and are delighted to be able to share these photos with you so quickly thanks to Anna Gazda, the super speedy photographer!

Anna and Jeff met with us last year at their chosen venue, having already been recommended us, we were hired immediately to help them create their dream day.  Anna wanted a fairy woodland theme to blend with her romantic venue and she knew we were the right team to do this for her with our renown fabulous rustic signs, fairy lights and attention to the details and styling of our dreamy weddings.

We had a lot of fun working with Anna, Isabel quickly put all the planning logistics into place so whilst the majority of everything was done there were a few last minute details to sort out as the whole wedding came together and resulted in a completely perfect magical day.   

The ceremony was set under the cool shade of the trees by the polo grounds and we decorated this area with a rustic aisle runner using just gypsophila for the arch with silver buckets full of gypsophila to line the aisle.   We used our vintage table for the ceremony which was beautifully conducted by Allan Davies and the whole setting was just beautifully pretty and romantic.

A lemonade station was set up to greet the guests along with our hand crafted paddle fans and we used moss and some of our signs to style the area along with some very cute woodland floral arrangements.  Anna and Jeff had organised for a surprise polo match to be played out on the fields for their guests during the cocktail hour which was a huge hit and had a charming air of peace about it as we all watched the horses.

In this day the wind was really quite strong and we were aware that gusts of up to 40 miles per hour were predicted so just as we were setting up the ceremony we had to abandon any ideas of the floral straws in the lemonade jars and everything was being glued and nailed down having had our table seating plan crash which was quickly re-stuck and assembled!  

By this time with a gale practically blowing my stress levels were pretty high having already had a crash on route to the wedding and when my team arrived to greet me in I was not in the best of moods so you can imagine how it got when the table seating plan and arch blew over but we quickly rescued everything along with some heavy rocks, very strong double sided tape and long nails!

We hired in wooden tables which worked beautifully with the rustic venue and dressed these with our gold sequin table runners to add some glamorous sparkle and created a stunning tablescape using florals in gold pots created by Loraine along with our gold hurricane lanterns and tealights.

Dancing under the stars is always permitted at this venue and the party carried on until the early hours in the garden under a starry sky and lots of magical twinkle.  Rob the DJ kept everyone on the dance floor and our chill out was created using local haystacks covered with throws and some glittery cushions.

The beautiful cakes were designed by Sweet Things by Fi and our thank you to all our suppliers who worked hard to make this wedding come together.

Finally our congratulations to Anna and Jeff and we wish we could work with you both all over again!