I know you are probably expecting a few winter wonderland weddings in the period between Christmas and New Year. Well… At RMW we don’t always like to give you what you might expect.
So… Jenny and Dave got married. In August…. In Ibiza
Jenny is in fact no stranger to the blog, she is the Sub-editor of Red Magazine and wrote an article for us back in January about her search for a wedding dress.
A Delicious Destination
Jenny The Bride: We really wanted to have a beach wedding but didn’t want to go anywhere too far-flung, as it was really important that our friends and family could celebrate with us. Ibiza was perfect, as it was a gorgeous location, only a two-hour flight, and guests could choose whether they came for a few days or the whole week (plus you can pick up some really cheap flights if you book far enough in advance.) In the end, we had 70 of our beautiful friends and family with us, which I’ve heard is quite a large number for a destination wedding!
A White Wash Wedding
We had our catholic ceremony in San Carlos church, a beautiful white-washed building in a traditional Ibizan village, and the reception at Pura Vida beach restaurant (puravida-ibiza.com), in between Es Cana and Santa Eulalia, on the north-east of the island. We completely fell in love with our venue – a picture-perfect little cove, off the beaten track, with a gorgeous restaurant that served the most amazing food (I definitely recommend having lunch or dinner there if you’re in Ibiza). Deciding to have our wedding there was the easiest decision we made throughout the whole of the planning process – and the in-house planner, Alexandra, was fantastic and so helpful throughout.
I had a bit of a nightmare finding a wedding dress, as I wrote about in Size Matters, on these pages. I couldn’t believe how rude some bridal store owners could be, and I was really worried that I wouldn’t find ‘The One’. Until the lovely Charlotte from Rock My Wedding recommended Mamfii Bridal who unfortnately recently closed. Mamfii director Sam Neville made me finally feel like a proper bride, and I was in awe of the beautiful dresses in her shop, and her amazing customer service. I tried on about 15 styles (in addition to the 20 that I’d tried on in other stores) before I finally decided that my ‘One’ was Essence D1174. A beautiful strapless A-line dress, with sweetheart neckline and floral applique on the bodice and bottom of the dress. It was the most flattering dress I’d tried on, and the perfect mix of traditional for the church and light and flowy for the beach so it was an easy decision for me. Plus, once I’d been to Mamfii, I really didn’t want to go anywhere else!
Lace and Studs
Originally, I had my heart set on a lace dress, but they didn’t suit me, so I compromised with a lace-trimmed veil instead, also from Mamfii. I always knew I wanted a cathedral-length veil, and it was the one item that really made me feel like a bride. I wanted to keep it on for the whole reception, but it was just too hot on the back of my neck! My dress didn’t have a long train, so the extra-long veil made up for it – and it looked great going down the aisle.
I wore my hair down, as I do every day in my normal life (why change the habit of a lifetime?!) and just wanted something simple to go in my hair. I’m not a tiara kind of girl, so Sam at Mamfii custom-made a gorgeous pearl hairband, that was inspired by a vintage piece I’d seen. I complemented this with some simple white gold diamond studs.
Shoes To Choose
I had three pairs of shoes! Ivory 4-inch heels with a lovely corsage detail for the church (from Next, they perfectly matched my dress); I went barefoot on the beach, then changed into some tan and raffia wedges for the reception (still 4-inch, but a lot comfier than the heels). I also had some white sparkly flat sandals for when the comfy wedges got too much!
One of my best friends, Justina, is also my hairdresser (she owns a brilliant salon in Luton, called Shampoo) so it was a no-brainer who would do my W-day hair. In fact, she did the whole of the wedding party. She spent four hours with me, my mum, sister and bridesmaids at my parents’ villa in the morning getting us all glammed up, before running off to get ready herself before the ceremony (she also did a reading)! She was an absolute star, and it was so nice having another friend there with me.
I debated whether to do my make-up myself, but in the end, I decided that a professional would know how to make sure my foundation didn’t slip and slide in the heat. And it was such a great decision. Corina and Sara at Smack Ibiza used Mac airbrush foundation to create a flawless base on me and my four bridesmaids, which didn’t budge all day, even in the 30ºC heat. I went for smoky bronze eyes, while my maids’ eyes were lined in a funky violet – they looked amazing! On my nails, I had Chanel Frenzy, a cool greige. And my toes were bright turquoise.
Organising a wedding abroad isn’t as hard as you might think – especially when you have great suppliers on hand to offer much-needed help and advice. This was certainly the case with our florists, Gary and Holly from Floral Dreams Ibiza. They were a dream to work with from start to finish, and totally understood our vision. We really wanted to have a relaxed, bohemian vibe to our flowers, so they used hydrangea, freesia, million star gypsophila, lisianthus, veronica, and avalanche roses in shades of cream, white and green. These were arranged in small jars, which had twine and brown paper luggage tags tied on to them (our overall theme was ‘vintage travel’). The bouquets followed this same theme, and were hand-tied with lace and secured with pearl-headed pins. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of mine, with pale pink roses included, to make them a bit different and to complement their dresses. The flowers were so beautiful that I cried when I had to leave my bouquet behind!
Dave works for Moss Bros, so another no-brainer for him and his groomsmen. We bought beige linen suits for the men, beigey-gold ties and they bought their own white shirts. Having a beach wedding, we thought the linen suits were much more suitable than the traditional tails. Although my dad did change into beige linen shorts, a white short-sleeved shirt and flip-flops after our father-daughter dance! (Loudon Wainwright, Daughter – not a dry eye in the house, and a really special moment for me – my dad does so much for me and really is my hero).
We wanted to stick to a neutral, vintage-inspired palette, so the bridesmaids wore TwoBirds full-length dresses in rosewater, and they bought their own flat sandals. They each decided how they wanted their hair styled, and I loved that they were all different. They received so many compliments. My sister, Sarah, stood out as the maid of honour with a crystal and pearl brooch from Liberty in Love.
One Of My Favourite Moments
Dave wore the same beige linen suit as his groomsmen, with a white Calvin Klein shirt, Italian tan leather brogues and a pale pink tie, to make him stand out – he looked so handsome. I was really nervous before entering the church, but as soon as I saw him standing there, I completely relaxed – and walking down the aisle, seeing all my friends and family smiling at me, was one of my favourite moments of the day.
Our photographer was Gypsy Westwood. We met with a few different photographers when we went over to scout locations the year before, but we really clicked with Gypsy. Her photographs were stunning, and were in the reportage style that we really loved. Everyone commented on how great she was and, of course, we’ve got some amazing photos of the whole day. She even started editing them on the night, and we had the finished edit before we flew home!
Pale Pink Roses
Our venue, Pura Vida, has their own bakery, so we just told them what sort of cake we wanted and they made it. We had a three-tier white chocolate cheesecake, decorated with pale pink roses, which was served as dessert and was absolutely delicious – best cheesecake I’ve ever had.
The woman who helped us organise the church aspect, Sam Hocking, is also a really talented singer, so she sang two solos during the ceremony (her husband was also the organist). A beautiful rendition of Camila Kerslake’s Rule The World, and Songbird by Fleetwood Mac. Her voice was amazing, and was a real highlight of the ceremony.
The church had a lovely area outside, so we provided sangria and San Miguel for the guests after the ceremony, before making our way down to Pura Vida. Dave and I left half an hour before, so we could have some photos taken on the beach, and we organised for the guests to arrive on the island’s mini train. It was a great talking point, and everyone loved it – not just the kids!
After dinner, we surprised everyone with a fire show on the beach. It was spectacular, and a great way to start the party.
We had our first dance straight after the fire show – Michael Bublé Everything. We both loved the words of the song, and had it chosen for years (we were engaged three and half years before we got married).
We didn’t have traditional table favours, but we gave out wooden fans at the church, as we knew it would be really hot inside – these went down a treat! I did a basket for the ladies’ bathroom, filled with beauty goodies and emergency supplies that I’d been collecting for months. And I also decorated pink stripy straws from notonthehighstreet.com with hand-made ‘drink me’ and other assorted flags for the aperitif.
Working in magazines, I had really firm thoughts of how I wanted our day to look. I bought so many wedding magazines, read RMW every day, and filled a scrapbook with ideas. Sticking to my ‘vintage travel’ theme, I designed and printed our postcard-style invitations, matching table numbers and orders of service (inspired by a design I’d seen on RMW). My friends and I spent a fizz-filled afternoon tying the orders of service with twine, and I was really pleased with the end result. The table plan also fit the theme, with large luggage tags that I designed myself, tied to an old, vintage-style cream suitcase (bought from Matalan years ago!) with mini wooden pegs, and decorated with large fabric flowers. It was really effective, although getting it to and from Ibiza was a bit of a mission! There was a smaller suitcase for cards, and, instead of a guestbook, we had postcards from Cavallini & Co for people to write messages.
Getting married in Ibiza, we couldn’t have the photo booth that we wanted, so some of my uni pals helped us compile a prop box of fancy dress bits, which we raided after the first dance. It added an extra layer of fun, and we’ve got some crazy, hilarious pictures to look back on. The gorilla mask and stick-on moustaches were particularly popular!
The location was so stunning that the venue didn’t need a lot of decoration besides the flowers – the only thing we added was some fairy lights in the trees, in tribute to my wedding inspiration and favourite film, Mamma Mia!
Over The Moon
Our day was ultimately made so special by the people we were surrounded by. It meant so much to us that everyone there had made a special effort to be with us on our big day – we feel truly blessed to have such amazing friends and family. We were engaged for a long time, so when the day finally arrived, we were just over the moon – and it’s true that no matter what happens, what minor hiccups happen along the way, you will still have the best day of your life, as you are marrying the one person you can’t live without. For example, the family wedding photos that I’d brought over with me weren’t assembled on the table in the position that I wanted them in, but they still looked great, so I let that one go! And my hair dropped and went a bit frizzy in the heat, but who cares?!
I really enjoyed the whole planning process and didn’t find it at all stressful – although I probably did talk about it all a little too much! My mum and I joked that we’d have nothing to talk about when the wedding was over! Sometimes, I did wonder if I’d given myself too many DIY projects, but at the end of the day, they made our wedding so much more personal to us.
The only advice I can give is something that was said countless times to me: Enjoy every moment – all the planning, preparations and the big day itself. Time goes so fast, and even though I still can’t believe it’s over, it’s so amazing to be able to look back at the wonderful memories we have. Now it’s time to start our new life together, and that really is what it’s all about.
Dress: Essence D1174
Makeup: Smack Ibiza
Flowers: Floral Dreams
Venue: Pura Vida
Photographer: Gypsy Westwood
Sunshine on a rainy day, makes my bloggers soul drift away… To Ibiza!
A Really great report there from Jenny that may well inspire confidence in all of you who maybe be considering a destination wedding. And don’t forget to check back on Jenny’s earlier post about choosing a wedding dress.