There’s no denying bride Sim looks like a gorgeous Spanish señorita in her lace Martina Liana wedding dress, fitting in all the right places. Plus her bridal up do couldn’t be more appropriate showing off the divine low back detail of the bridal gown to perfection.
Groom Josh’s mum’s stunning villa Can Amonita, not only provided a dreamy pool side ceremony but also being a place that has brought our gorgeous couple so much joy in the past, was the only contender when it came to saying their I do’s.
There are so many moments captured by Helen Abraham which’ll have you ohh-ing and ahh-ing. So sit back relax and savour every moment.
Sim The Bride: I’ve never really been the type of girl who fantasised about her wedding so when it came to dress shopping I felt slightly out of my depth. I knew I didn’t want anything too sparkly or poufy or garish but that was about it. After trawling through what felt like endless photos on Pinterest, I finally found one which I loved. Rather unhelpfully, there was no detail to be found about this anonymous but beautiful dress. So, my hunt started with an open mind and an anonymous picture on Pinterest.
Whilst researching, I came across a small and unobtrusive boutique called Angelica Bridal I tried on lots and lots of dresses, liked many but loved none. Just as I was leaving, I showed the lady who worked there my Pinterest photo and rather surprisingly she said they had something similar. As cliché as it sounds as soon as I stepped in to the Martina Liana gown, I knew it was for me. The low back and dramatic train were everything I’d been looking for (and more).
My shoes were a delicate pair by Jimmy Choo which complemented the dress perfectly. I wore an intricate diamond pendant and earrings given to me by my grandmother. I was able to call on friend and talented hair and makeup artist Charlotte Broadbent to complete my look and make me feel fabulous.
Ironically, Josh found his (British) Paul Smith tuxedo whilst we were on holiday across the pond in New York. He wanted something a bit different to the more traditional tails. He was lucky enough to find his grey shoes at the same boutique. He looked like James Bond with his bow tie. Very handsome indeed.
Our wedding venue was perhaps the most obvious choice (apart from marrying Josh, of course). His mother lives in Ibiza in the stunning villa, Can Amonita that they built from scratch and decorated with the most beautiful pieces from Bali. The villa built in traditional Ibicencan style has been a place where Josh and I have visited many times over the years. Ibiza has become a special place for us and we’ve created our favourite memories there together. We loved the idea of being able to share this with our closest friends and family, and add to the memory bank too.
Organising a wedding at home (and abroad) really was the most mammoth task and not one I think I fully understood when taking on the challenge. The logistics of transforming a home in to a wedding venue in Ibiza, not London was hard work. However, I have to say it really did pay off in the end. It meant so much to have such a personalised experience. I couldn’t have done it without the help of one of my closest friends and bridesmaids Yasmin Atalay. Yas and I spent tireless evenings hunched over laptops, eating sushi and desperately trying to channel our inner wedding planner. She was a star.
We wanted our wedding to be simple, elegant and classic. The natural setting was so beautiful, filled with colourful flowers and endless greenery that it seemed silly to take away from our surroundings, so we decided on a simple white and pastel pink colour scheme.
Heaven Tents really helped us to set the scene and bring a bit of glamour to our wedding. The décor was simple but lovely; ornate gold lanterns dropped down beneath the white drapes which lined the ceiling of the tent while the sides were left open to show off the scenery. We were lucky enough to be able to position the tent over a water feature in the grounds of the villa which added to the whole look. It was the perfect setting for dinner and speeches.
Ibiza Hire supplied us with all catering equipment, chairs and tables for the wedding. We worked tirelessly in the run up to the Big Day to make sure everything was perfect (hard work). We laid tables, positioned parasols and tied countless ribbons (amongst many, many other things). My grandmother, Kusum (and resident wedding stylist, florist and cake maker) and I had bought material in London and turned it in to pretty table runners. For favours, I’d bought intricate wooden fans and hand written 100+ labels saying “to have and to hold” which we tied on to each one with a gold ribbon. I used easels and foliage to create the seating plan and schedule for the day. Lanterns with pillar candles and rose petals were dotted around to add the finishing touches.
My wonderful grandmother was my wedding florist, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do the job. Ever since I was little, my grandmother has been taking me to flower demonstrations and doing floristry courses – I always knew that she would be the one to do my wedding. That was a given. She has a real eye for colour and instantly knows which flower varieties work together (unlike me, who is a complete novice). We went hunting for tall vases in London and sent them over to Ibiza for the centrepieces. Our colour scheme consisted of lots of pastel pinks and whites. The centrepieces were full of pale pink long stemmed roses, alstroemeria, lisianthus and spray daisies with ruscus for foliage. The centrepieces looked glamorous but with a bit of a wild feeling about them. We had longer arrangements for the head table made up of large white lilies and the flowers we used for the centrepieces. We decorated myself and Josh’s chairs with white organza, tied at the back with greenery and a couple of flowers from the table arrangements.
The wedding ceremony took place in front of a gazebo at the end of the pool. The structure is a really beautiful Balinese piece but we wanted to do something to it to make it look a bit more special. My grandmother and I bought beautiful silk flowers from London and she made a huge garland out of rope wrapped in silk ivy leaves. We attached the garland to the gazebo that created an arch of wisteria, roses and chrysanthemums which would be the backdrop for our ceremony.
We also used flowers to represent my Indian heritage in the ceremony. No Indian marriage is considered complete until the bride and groom exchange the heavily weaved jaimala of flowers. In ancient times, it was considered as the acceptance of marriage by the bride and groom. It is thought that the garlands represent the sharing of spiritual energy and respect. And it is this bestowing of spiritual energies which symbolises the union of two souls in marriage. For our exchange, we used pale green carnations which my mother strung together. Feeling like a bit of a florist shop, in my arms I cradled a bridal bouquet of white calla lilies and Singapore orchids.
The Wedding Party Fashion
It was quite a difficult task choosing bridesmaids dresses (lots of people/shapes to please…) However, I was certain that I didn’t want anything too structured or bridesmaid-y from a traditional bridal boutique. Also, as our wedding was in Ibiza I wanted something light and summery but glamorous too. After lots of failed attempts ordering dresses online (including a head to toe gold sequin number), we eventually found a floor length dress from Miss Selfridge which fitted the bill perfectly. The dress was pale pink and pleated which looked really lovely on all three of them. You could see the cut-out back detail of the dress beneath their loosely pinned hair, beautifully styled by Kc Clarke I gave the girls a string of pearls each with matching earrings to complete their elegant look.
I was really excited to have my two youngest cousins as my flower girls. They live in New York so finding a dress was a bit of a gamble. There’s a few years age difference between the girls so their dresses needed to not be too grown-up or extremely kiddy either. I found the perfect ivory dresses from BHS which were in the same pleated style as my bridesmaids. The dresses had a pearl embellished collar which matched the bracelets I gave them to wear. Luckily when we arrived in Ibiza and the girls tried on their dresses, they fit like a glove!
The groomsmen’s grey suits were from Suit Supply which Josh picked out with some help from my brother. The boys had matching dark grey ties and a white pocket square. Their look was finished with corsage made from a white rose and ruscus. They looked very smart indeed.
My father and I walked down the aisle to a song written by John Legend and performed by Rayon Nelson and guitarist Milan Maru. All of a sudden I was overcome with this rush of emotion and the experience was much more intense than I had initially thought it would be. Rayon’s soulful voice set the scene beautifully for the ceremony.
Our celebrant was Josh’s mother’s good friend, Joel Rice. We had met Joel on the island a few times and instantly clicked with him. He was fun and had a great energy about him. We knew he would add something special to our ceremony. Joel scripted the ceremony and delivered it rather elaborately – it was light-hearted and fun, as well as being sincere and profound at times. I don’t think anyone was bored with Joel’s flamboyant delivery! He also included a ring blessing, where our mothers were invited to come to the front and say a little prayer for us. It was a really nice touch which meant a lot to us.
My aunt (dad’s sister) and uncle (mum’s brother) had both flown over from New York for the wedding. They each chose their readings for the ceremony. My uncle’s was a poetic passage written by Khalil Gibran and my aunt’s quite the opposite, a reading from Carl Sagan’s A Pale Blue Dot which spoke about loving each other in humanity more broadly.
We chose to write our own vows and keep them a secret before the Big Day. Both sets were simple and to the point, but filled with love. I found saying my vows the hardest part – it was a really personal moment and I felt quite exposed in front of everyone. But, I’m really glad I persevered and said what felt natural to me when putting pen to paper. We also exchanged our Indian flower garlands after each of us said our vows which made it even more special.
To end the ceremony we finished on an upbeat note, walking back together to Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together. It was the perfect happy ending to a heartfelt ceremony.
I went to an event at the Roundhouse in Camden and heard Rayon Nelson sing and fell in love with his voice. There was something special about his soulful tone and the incredible range in his voice – it really touched me. I knew I had to have him at my wedding. In the interval, I hunted him down and managed to get his details. Rayon luckily agreed to come out to Ibiza for the wedding. We worked together to compile a song list, some covers and the others his own. Rayon came with talented guitarist Milan The duo played at our welcome drinks, during the ceremony and for our first dance. Our first dance was an amazing mash up of John Legend, All of Me and Bob Marley, Is this Love crafted by Rayon and Milan – we loved every moment of it.
Our lovely friend Deniz, one half of the Menendez Brothers https://soundcloud.com/ themenendezbrothers flew out to Ibiza to get the party started for us. We knew we could rely on Deniz to get the crowd warmed up and before we knew it everyone was flooding the dancefloor. Deniz’s sets always have a great vibe and are so much fun that it wasn’t surprising everyone had such a great time.
Karla from Cherry Catering did the food for our wedding. We were dining al fresco so we wanted lots of light, fresh and colourful food. Karla was amazing, she was so calm and knew exactly what she was doing. She worked so hard with the help of her husband Jack and Josh’s stepfather Dominic to make the most amazing food for us. Karla was such a pleasure to work with, she made everything so easy.
We had lots of different canapés ranging from prawns and chargrilled vegetables to melon and prosciutto skewers. There was a variety of different options to make sure we had something for everyone.
For the main course, we wanted a tapas style of food so that there was lots of variety. Josh and I love tasting everything on the menu so this was a good way to incorporate our favourite kind of dining in to the wedding. There were lots of fresh salads and seafood that Karla had decorated beautifully with brightly coloured petals. We had bread from the local bakery and traditional aioli on offer too. The slow cooked lamb was delicious too. It was a fantastic experience to be feasting outside with our favourite people.
We had lots of fresh fruit for dessert with Karla’s famous brownies and ice cream. We also served our three tier wedding cake at the same time. Our cake consisted of three different tiers, one was raspberry and white chocolate, the other apple and ginger, and the last carrot – all with a delicious buttercream filling. My grandmother spent months in the lead up to the wedding making intricate sugar flowers and bows for each tier of the cake. Lucky for me, she has always been really creative and has even done a City and Guilds qualification in sugar craft. All my childhood birthday cakes (from nursery rhyme themed to toadstools and Pocahontas) were made by my grandmother and so my wedding cake was to be no different. The centrepiece for each tier consisted of sugar craft orchids, roses and neatly tied ribbons in our wedding colours. She even wrapped the cake stand in ivory ribbon. It was a laborious task, but so much love went in to that cake.
By a stroke of luck, Helen Abraham had been recommended by another photographer who was already booked up on our date. When I visited her website, it was clear that she had the best portfolio of photos in my (extensive) research. I instantly loved her style and her use of colour. The photos were natural, but still beautiful. They were vivid, but not overdone. I rang her hoping she’d say yes to flying out to Ibiza to shoot our wedding – and she did. Helen was great to work with – she was calm and unobtrusive. She had a wonderful eye and took a variety of creative shots in the little one-on-one time we had together. I loved how she managed to capture so much emotion in a single shot. Whenever I look back at the photos, I remember exactly how I felt and I think that’s a real testament to the quality of her work. Thanks to Helen, we have a set of photographs that we will always treasure.
I came across Martin Walsh’s work whilst looking for a videographer based in Ibiza. I liked his documentary style footage. Lots of the other videographers I came across were very polished and the finished piece looked more like a music video than real life footage of the day. Martin was easy to work with and knew what he was doing without much guidance.
Photography by Helen Abraham Photography
- Dress Designer Essense Designs – Martina Liana
- Bridal Boutique Angelica Bridal
- Bridal Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Beauty Charlotte Broadbent
- Grooms Suit Paul Smith
- Venue Can Amonita
- Tent Heaven Tents
- Table & Chair Hire Ibiza Hire
- Bridesmaid Dresses Miss Selfridge
- Bridesmaid Hair KC
- Flower Girls BHS
- Groomsmen Suit Supply
- Entertainment Rayons Official Music
- Milan Maru
- The Menendez Bros
- Catering Cherry Catering
- Videographer Ibiza Wedding Films