Dan The Man… Part 2

Part 2 para usted…

That means “part 2 for you…” and at that point I’ve exhausted my spanish vocabulary (which is pretty shocking as one of the words I used there was clearly English and another was a number).

Part 1 went down like free tapas on a warm Mediterranean evening, so now prepare for the entertainmnet, the celebration and the party.

Dan and Rommalee were married at Vejer de la Frontera earlier this year and the whole Spanish shebang was shot by Love Lust member Mister Phill, and rather uniquely reported by the groom, who we join once more.

Theses Aren’t Just Flower Girls…

We decided against bridesmaids but couldn’t resist getting our daughter Molly and her two cousins (Lauren and Daisy) involved as flower girls. Their dresses were actually skirts from Marks & Spencer that Romaleee loved so much, she had them converted by the same lady who made the adjustments to her own outfit. They also wore simple flower headbands made by Rommalee’s sister Etta

High Street Honeys…

Given our plan for a laid back wedding, we didn’t originally intend for the groom and the best men’s appearance to be themed in anyway but in for a penny, in for a pound and we all ended up going for a kind of ivy league/boaty style. All the shirts were from Next. Grooms shorts – Farah, hat – Debenhams, and shoes – Clarkes. Best Hombre Mats shorts – Ben Sherman, hat – Top Man and shoes – Ralph Loren. Best Hombre Jims shorts – Primark, hat – unknown shop in nearby town and shoes – Zara. I also wore a custom made wedding ring that I ordered from a Jewellers in Brooklyn.

Snap Happy

I can’t say enough good things about Mister Phill. You’ve seen his photos so you don’t need me to tell you how good they are. But I will anyway. I’m really fussy when it comes to photography. I enjoy taking pictures in my spare time and the nature of my job means I come across a lot of great work in my day-to-day business. We checked out loads of quite mediocre and very uninspiring online portfolios before serendipitously stumbling across Mister Phills blog and instantly ending our search. His photos were technically brilliant, beautifully processed and they also captured the really important moments – the bits we knew we wouldn’t get to see and didn’t want to miss. And he doesn’t just take pictures. Each wedding that had been posted on his blog was not only well considered in terms of visual appearance but it was also accompanied by a superbly written and keenly observed narrative. As sappy as it sounds, Phill manages to make every couple feel a bit special, like theirs is the best and most exciting wedding he’s ever attended. He was undoubtedly the man for the job.

We met Phill a few times before the wedding and the more we talked, the more it became apparent that this was a man who loved taking pictures as much as his clients loved examining them. And he was up for a challenge too. When we booked him, our chosen venue was the barn in Corfe Castle and a less intrepid individual might have been scared off by the ridiculous change of location. We dropped the news into a conversation over dinner one night and he barely flinched. Anyway you get the message, we loved his work and we loved his attitude, we knew we were lucky to have found him. We booked him a ticket, gave him the GPS co-ordinates of the hotel and told him to leave his suit at home. Our next meeting was a couple of months and a thousand mile journey later, in the place we had chosen to get married. Phill spent every spare minute soaking up the new surroundings and reconnoitering the grounds of the hotel and the surrounding town to help build up the backdrop for the story he was about to tell.

We had really high, unreasonably high in fact, hopes for the photos of our wedding day and Phill still managed to exceed our expectations. Despite having to lug around his cumbersome equipment (sorry, I couldn’t think of any other way of wording it!), he proved to be extremely stealthy on the day of the wedding and if it wasn’t for an occasional glimpse of his newly acquired lightweight linen trousers disappearing up or down one of the many sets of steps around the hotel, we wouldn’t have known he was there (not until we forced him to have a beer anyway). We had no idea how much snapping he’d managed to squeeze in but we hoped that he would at least have recorded a handful of the days highlights. In fact he didn’t miss a single thing. Not after the encore anyway. We were eager to see the photos as soon as we got back but it was probably about a month before they were ready to be published. The wait was excrutiating but the anticipation and the build up to big reveal only served to intensify the impact when we finally got to see them. We were blown away by his stunning photos and the story that unfolded around them; all the things we wanted to see and then some. The people and places in the photos looked so good, so stylish and dramatic that it was hard to believe it was us. The post on his site was just as, if not more, enticing than anything that Rommalee had come across during her months of wedding blog browsing and it was ours! If it wasn’t for Phill, we wouldn’t be writing this for Rock My Wedding now and we wouldn’t have such a spectacular collection of beautifully composed words and photographs to remind us of our day. We love Phill.

Spongy Cream Delight

Ordered through the hotel and for a stupidly small amount of money, we had a traditional spanish cake (spongy creamy delight) from a small bakery in Vejer. It was plainly decorated with ribbon and rikrak that we took in our luggage along with a cake topper that we had custom made for us by a lovely lady in the states.

A Burst Of Entertainment

Spanish guitarist and flamenco dancers. These were also organised through the hotel and they performed, much to everyone’s amusement, in a few short bursts (and some interesting outfits) during the drinks on the terrace and in bewteen some of the courses of the meal. The music for the evening consisted of an itunes playlist played through a sound-dock that we packed in our luggage. I really enjoy my music and I slaved over the playlist for many late night hours but to be honest, I don’t think many of the guests were paying attention!

All I Want Is You

We had given this some thought in the months leading up to the wedding and narrowed the music down to four songs. We also decided that we didn’t want to find ourselves aimlessly swaying backwards and forwards (like a couple of teenagers at a school disco) in front of a crowd of people on our wedding day. Rommalee cut out an advert from a local magazine and next thing I know, we were in the function room of a local hotel with a pair of dancers quizzing us over our choice of music. We soon realised that nothing we’d shortlisted would suit the balmy rooftop setting where the dance would be taking place and went back to square one. Ten anguished minutes later and we’d settled on a song called ‘All I Want is You’ (by Barry Louis Polisar) which we’d liked ever since we’d heard it on the soundtrack of the film ‘Juno’. It didn’t have any deep significance for us but it was much better suited to the upbeat tone of our wedding and contained equal helpings of sentiment and humour in the lyrics.

Cool Gifts

For favours we dished out various Vejer de la Frontera fridge magnets from local gift shops. What can I say – we’re a classy couple!

La Vida Loca

We’d always wanted a bright colourful wedding to help encourage the guests to get into the party spirit and to contrast with the all white backdrop provided by the Vejer de la Frontera skyline. The hotel were unable to provide much in the way of decorations so this was left entirely down to us. Rommalee found some simple (but hopefully) effective ideas for DIY tissue paper flowers and cardboard birds and then we picked a bunch of vibrant colours to bring them to life. These were scattered around the venue together with various bits of signage (place settings, table plan and table names etc) that used the same colours and theme from the wedding invite and were displayed in bespoke wooden stumps made by my dad. To help provide a focal point and backdrop for the ceremony (and the head table later on in the day), we made some bunting (adorned with the meaningless but awesome and ever so slightly Spanish influenced Ricky Martin lyric ‘Livin La Vida Loca’) that was strung up between a couple of bits of bamboo. We also bought some colour themed glass paint and sploshed it on some cheap tealight holders from Ikea for additional decoration in the terrace bar for the evening doo.

As well as all the visual fluff, we provided a few little bits to help keep people entertained throughout the day. Hand-made moustaches courtesy of RMW, goody bags for the kids (with loads of stuff collected by Rommalee and tied with ribbon in hand decorated paper bags), 3D glasses with love heart vision by American Paper Optics, a photo wall featuring at least a couple of photos of each guest from over the years, and a personalised hand drawn guest book fingerprint tree.

A Hugely Rewarding Experience

Although it wasn’t necessarily something we would have chosen to do, the DIY ceremony really helped set the tone for the day. Much more informal than your usual church service, we injected quite a lot of humour (without being inappropriate or irreverent) into the wording and it also gave us the opportunity to say some much more personal and heartfelt words to each other. It wasn’t in the least bit legally binding (we’d already done that back in England a couple of weeks previously), but it was completely unique (apart from the bits I stole from the internet) and very special to us.

From our point of view, hand making all of the decorations was also a hugely rewarding experience. I would never, in a million years, volunteer to do it again but I’d definitely recommend it to others. The venue didn’t really need any decorations, it was beautiful enough as it was, but the little touches we added enabled us to put our own stamp on the occasion. The fact that we’d invested so much of our own blood, sweat and tears just meant that the results were even more satisfying.

Other quick tips:

  • Don’t do anything for the sake of it.
  • Don’t try to keep everyone happy.
  • Don’t let children play near cactus’.
  • Don’t let the bar staff choose your round of shots.
  • Do get a good photographer.
  • Do remember that you’ll only do this once.
  • Do your own thing.

Destination – Vejer de la Frontera

Photography – Mister Phill

Stationery – Dan (the groom)

Grooms ring – Digby and Iona

Cake topper – Etsy

3D Glasses – American Paper Optics

I honestly have nothing to say. Ok that was a lie, I have lots to say but I’ll try to be succinct. I think at this point we all know that Dan has done Rommalee proud by writing one of the most enjoyable accounts ever to grace our blue polka-dotted pages. The wedding is an absolute gem, and Mister Phill? You are the daddy.

Quote of the day/week/year:

Dan …”it was completely unique (apart from the bits I stole from the internet).”

That’s what it’s all about people 😉


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

32 thoughts on “Dan The Man… Part 2

  1. Is it possible? Part two actually EVEN more filled with awesome than part one? Oh my goodness it is.

    LOVE the 3D glasses, love all the DIY, the photography is insane, I can’t say enough. This wedding is AMAZING. The quirks and humour are pitched just right to give personality without being too much, and it all feels fresh and orginal. It really seems to be a true reflection of Rommalee and Dan as couple – that’s what makes it magic.

    ARGHHH too amazing.

    Can I also say I spent blimmin’ MONTHS on our playlist, working on it every single day, and nobody paid a bit of notice either. Glad it’s not just me – I have actually spent the last six weeks being very fed up about this, and now feel a bit better!


  2. Ach – there is just WAY too much to love about this wedding! Seriously, it’s peeing it down outside and I’ve been transported to a hot, sunny happy hacienda where people are just having the best time – I feel like I’m right there!!

    The photos are incredible – well done Mr Phil. I love those dancing shots towards the end too – just magic. Other things I love, the bride’s dress, the gorgeous yellow bouquet, the cake topper, the PARASOLS! yay! Anyway, I could go on… Huge congrats to Dan and Rommalee and thanks for the awesome write-up! xx

  3. Love the dress, perfect for the occasion, and I also LOVE the cake topper! So cute! So many pretty details, and everyone really looks like they’re having a great time.


  4. These are some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen – summer holiday light, mixed with WDay love is a magical combo.

    Can the bride have a Best Hombre?!x

  5. this is my favourite write up ever. fact.

    mrs r.now x x x

    PS when I win the lottery, I’m going to pay mr phill to follow me round and take AMAZING pictures all day long

  6. With mrs r.now all the way. I know I went a bit mental yesterday over how much I loved this wedding, but Dan The Groom, you have well and truly elbowed your way to my top wedding write-up ever. You NEED to write a book. No, seriously. Go! Write!

    The whole day is staggeringly beautiful and affecting. You must both be so proud. Huge congratulations!

  7. This wedding is truly amazing, beautiful …. the stationary/graphics are beautiful and i would like them for my wedding!!! …… i hope the photographs from my up and coming wedding are as gorgeously happy and sunny as these Xx

  8. Wow. Wow. Wowsers!

    What a beautiful, relaxed, love-filled, fun-filled wedding. A.Mazing.

    Cracking photos, and a brilliant write up. Definately my favourite so far!

    Congratulations to you both!

    PS – Molly is adorable!

  9. Part one – epic.
    Part two – I’m speechless. This doesn’t happen very often.
    There is nothing not to love!

  10. Laughed my socks off at those last little Do’s and Don’ts. Genius. Particularly the advice about children and cactus. I generally love all the weddings on RMW but this is just awesome. Great shots, great words, gorgeous family and such happiness and love shining through. Thank you for sharing with us Dan. x

  11. Love it!!!! Maybe groom write ups are the way forward! I wish I could have been a guest at this wedding, Everything is so personal, that takes lots of effort on a destination wedding.
    I am in love with that cake topper and think I may have to trawl Etsy til I find it.
    Love the brides dress, the badges, the photography, the parasols, all the colour, but mostly I love the feel of this wedding.
    It looks like it was a beautiful, heartfelt, relaxed day. Just perfect!! xxxx

  12. ALexK – just click our Etsy link and it’ll take you straight there 🙂

    Glad everyone is loving this wedding… but then again who wouldn’t?


    p.s im off down Debenhams to buy a hat.

  13. What really struck me about this wedding is, the prettiness, enthusiasm and energy aside it clarified for me the fundamental needs that people have to express themselves through ritual, symbolism and decoration and how all those forms of expression are wholesome and nourishing things when they’re dealt with honestly and purely.

    My understanding of the story is that everything was stripped back then things were added back in as their genuine importance became apparent.

    As for play lists, indeed I more often than not sense at weddings that the guests aren’t paying any particular attention to the significance of the music choice; if they’re going to dance they’ll dance to pretty much anything that’s danceable to. Do keep putting the thought into those playlists though as I will notice (if I’m there) and it will tell me things about you and those things about you will in turn tell me how to make images that reflect who you are. I might even dance. Well I did at this one. Intimate dance floors require a deep cover approach though.

  14. A M A Z I N G!
    What a fabulous wedding, easily one of my favourites ever to be featured on here and so beautifully told! x

  15. Congratulations Dan & Rommalee!!! Love that your wedding has featured on Rock My Wedding too!

    The details are amazing and so well thought out – surprisingly you didn’t look stressed at all when we saw you just before the wedding??

    Looking at the comments here just go to show that even strangers recognise you are both genuine and lovely people!

    p.s. if you want to rent any of your DIY details out now you have finished with them, you know where I am… 😉

  16. What an amazing wedding! LOVE the destination – it looks beautiful. May have to do some research and get myself there!

    Gorgeous details too, love all the decor and DIY ideas. Fab photography. This wedding makes me wish I’d have gone abroad for mine! Just sent the link to my hubby and he replied saying ‘Amazing to be able to get married in shorts!” He would live in his shorts if he could.

    Really well written too. One of my faves on here so far 🙂

  17. I bloody love love love this wedding and Dan, what a write up. Sir, you did your missus proud 🙂

    Ps my ring was made by Baroque too – they are fab!!

  18. Seriously cool and chic wedding – I love this! And loving the fact that the groom is clearly so into his own wedding too – big thumbs up! Such amazing photography… would have loved to have been at a wedding like this that conveys love and laughter with a lot of fun.

  19. Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who’s commented on our wedding, the response has been brilliant. It was a long time ago that I was sifting through the RMW pages looking for ideas and I never considered that ours might one day feature on it’s pages. People think we’re cool – how did that happen?!

    I’ve told Dan for years that he should put his writing skills to better use but he refuses to believe he’s got talent. I only wish you all could have heard the vows and the speeches, just the right amount of laughter and tears from the guests and he made me feel like the luckiest girl on earth. I’m sure if you (Sukai) really want some help with writing your ceremony, Dan will be able to give you some ideas if you contact him through his website (he’ll kill me for saying that!) And I’m so happy that lot’s of you picked up on his amazing stationery, he toiled over his computer for hours trying to get it just right and it seemed like such a shame for it only to get used on one day.

    Thank you to everyone who commented on my dress. It seemed completely inappropriate when I tried it on for size but thankfully it felt just right against the backdrop of the Spanish hilltop town. I was a bit worried that Dan’s shorts and outfit might make us look like a bride and groom from two separate weddings but I’m glad we stuck to our guns and went with what we felt comfortable in. Although it might have been easier to follow tradition, the fact that we’d invested so much of our time and passion in doing the wedding our way definitely helped make our day that bit more unique.

    I think one of the biggest compliments we’ve had is to have people say that they’d have liked to have been a guest. I was thinking the same thing myself when I saw the pictures! Our wedding day was amazing, and there was nothing I’d do differently if I had a second chance (asides from maybe budgeting for a wedding co-ordinator!). I’m hoping that maybe one day I’ll get invited to a similar wedding so that I can sit back and take it all in properly!

    Having said that, I couldn’t have asked for a better set of photographs to remember our wedding day. Mister Phill managed to capture every single detail, all the things we’d worked so hard on and all the reactions and emotions from the people who were there to share it with us.

    Thank you to RMW, not only for providing the inspiration behind some of our ideas but also for featuring our wedding on your blog and letting your lovely readers comment on it. I never dreamed it would be so popular and despite not even crying on the day, I actually had tears in my eyes as I read through all the responses. We always felt like we’d achieved the kind of wedding that we’d hoped for and now there’s no doubt about it – it was a success!

    And lastly, thanks to Dan. He’s my man.

    Rommalee x

  20. A few times during the planning and preparation of the wedding, when I found myself still awake in the middle of the night doodling ideas for the invite or spray-painting Ricky Martin flavoured bunting, I thought to myself ‘why on earth are you bothering with all this crap?’ We’d committed to making a bit of an effort for the day but I couldn’t shake the thought that all this hard work would more than likely go to waste.

    Would anyone notice the specially selected vintage patterns on the cut-out birds? Did anyone care what font I used throughout the wedding stationery? They seemed like ridiculous things to worry about and I’d never pictured myself as the kind of man who would. Surely we didn’t need anything other than ourselves, our daughter and our friends and family to have the perfect wedding? A couple of days before the event when our boxes of decorations hadn’t turned up, that situation was a real possibility and yes we could have coped without them but no it wouldn’t have been quite so perfect.

    It was great to look around the venue and see everything come together, it felt good knowing that we’d given it our all. And that was before we saw how everybody else reacted. Nobody else was ever going to be as critical of our work as myself and Rommalee, two experienced perfectionists, but that hasn’t diminished our unashamed excitement at the reaction it’s provoked. Firstly from the guests at the wedding, many of whom had already been through the ordeal of wedding planning themselves, and secondly by all the generous people who read this post and took the time to comment.

    Thank you to RMW and Adam in particular, for featuring our wedding and for doing such a great job with the editing, writing and presentation. And thank you to everyone else who left a message and contributed to the overwhelming sense of self satisfaction that we’re currently experiencing! We are genuinely touched and honoured to be the focus of such positive attention.

    Rommalee has already thanked pretty much everyone else in another comment earlier today so all that’s left for me to do is thank the bride herself (I still can’t bring myself to use the word wife – just sounds too weird!). Thank you for saying yes and thank you for being the driving force behind our stunning Spanish wedding. You and Molly are the women of my dreams and I will never forget how lucky I am to have you. Please just don’t ever ask me to go through it again!


  21. You two seem so sickeningly perfect and lovely all rolled into one!! I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed reading all about your wedding and all the hard work that went into it. All the best to you both!

  22. you too are sooo sweet. All the best for married life and congratulations on an amazingly bee.utiful wedding xxx

  23. I’m a new RMW reader (I am utterly, hopelessly addicted to this blog) and although I’ve been avidly reading lots of posts, this is the first time I’ve commented. I just had to. Dan, your write-up was the best I’ve ever read. So much love, humour and authenticity in everything you and Rommalee did. This post has refreshed my wedding-blog-tired eyes and reminded me that the point is not to have a pretty wedding, the point is to have fun with the one you love. Thank you so much!

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