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.
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.
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 😉