It’s not often that we get to share weddings in Spain with you lovelies but our luck has changed this afternoon with Helen and Ben’s luminous big day in Gaucin.
It’s a bright and breezy affair with panoramic views galore and a thirst-quenching orange and navy colour scheme that has me reaching for the Pin It button. I adore how Helen has opted to integrate both the colour and the fruit into all parts of her big day – from her bouquet to the decor on their aisle canopy all the way through to her table centrepieces.
And can we just take a moment to gawp over Helen’s luscious mane; it’s so long and so thick that I’m really very VERY envious right now.
Let’s go take a look…
￼Ben The Groom:We always knew we wanted to marry somewhere abroad for the good weather and that was easily accessible for family and friends, with good food and wine.
Food was also always going to be one of the most important things to us and we love the European emphasis on simple and fresh ingredients. Helen used to live in Spain and speaks fluent Spanish and our first date was in a tapas restaurant, so having a Spanish wedding seemed like the perfect solution.
We began by looking at venues all over the south coast of Spain. We wanted a Spring wedding and although we love Barcelona, only southern Spain could really guarantee good weather in May. We looked at places within a couple of hours drive of Malaga, so it would be easy and relatively inexpensive for friends and family to get to.
It wasn’t possible to have the legal ceremony in Spain (despite attending Mass in Spanish and meetng the local priest). But once we discovered that we could have the legal ceremony in Gibraltar, that really narrowed down the area as we wanted to find somewhere that was within an hour’s drive of Gibraltar. Luckily there are loads of beautiful ‘Pueblo Blancos’, or white villages, ￼nestled in the hills, north of Gibraltar and south of Ronda. We considered getting married in Ronda, which is beautiful, but a bit busier and more touristy than the little Spanish villages that we’d fallen in love with.
We ended up choosing the beautiful village of Gaucin, high up in the mountains overlooking, Gibraltar and Africa.
Helen The Bride:My wedding dress was called the Mullet by a Spanish company called La Sposa and my beautiful shoes were custom made for me by my wonderfully talented friend Shereen, who is based in New York. Her company is called Daver.
My bridal makeup was applied by Michelle Jacqueline Roberts, a London based make up artist who travelled to Spain and my hair was coiffed by a local hairdresser, called Fanny, who was based in the next village ‘San Pablo de Buceite’, at a cost of 10 euros – it was the only bargain of the wedding. It was really important to us to use as many local people/suppliers as possible. My diamante belt was a bit of a DIY job; I purchased the fabric from MacCulloch & Wallis and asked a dressmaker to turn it into a belt, as I couldn’t locate the style I wanted.
Ben’s suit and shirt was made by Tailor Made London. Tailor Made London are brilliant tailors. They’ll make you a bespoke suit with amazing quality. They were quick, efficient and have excellent customer service. You can choose your fabric from their website or in-store. The attention to detail was amazing – his initals and wedding date were monogrammed into the suit, so he could never pick up the wrong jacket or forget our wedding anniversary.
Ben’s cufflinks were his initials made from Scrabble letters by Tartanmiss on Etsy. Originally we ordered these from ebay but the quality wasn’t very good and they weren’t made from real scrabble tiles.
We chose orange and dark blue for the wedding theme which was reflected in the orange kumquats and herbs in my bridal bouquet, as well as wild flowers. The centrepieces were jars filled with cut oranges and white stock flowers, which was an idea that we saw on Pinterest.
We hired a local carpenter to build a rustic wooden arch for the ceremony which we decorated with oranges that were growing in abundance in the local fields. Pinterest was great for looking at lots of different styles of wedding arches and then directing the carpenter on what to build.
Every person’s name was written on the leaf of an orange, with gold metallic pen, which formed each place setting. The challenge was keeping the leaves from drying up in the heat.
Each table was named after our favourite holiday destinations, thus embracing our mutual love of travelling.
￼We bought a photo booth and fancy dress box out to Spain (it’s amazing how big a box you can put in the hold as long as it’s lightweight) that we set up by the dance floor. Ben made a slide show of our old photos, which was projected onto a wall by the dance floor. We also tied a piñata to one of the trees filled with sweets, so all the children had way too many treats on our wedding day.
The bridesmaid dresses were by Gina Bacconi and were made from navy crepe and the flower girl dresses were by Marmellata.
We were married by Ines, a lady local to Gaucin, six years to the day that Ben and I met, or 2,191 days to be exact. Writing our own vows formed a special part of the ceremony. We chose three short non-religious readings. The tearjerker was a reading by the groom’s sister from Winnie the Pooh, which the groom’s sister & Granddad used to read to him when he was little. Everyone was in floods of “happy” tears.
We hired three local Spanish guitarists to play flamenco music during the drinks reception and began with drinks and canapés served by the infinity pool. Seeing as we were married near the sherry region of Spain “Jerez”, it would have been rude not to have a “veneciador” – a Spanish sherry pourer performing at the drinks reception. The wedding breakfast consisted of our favourite tapas – seafood and ￼meat paella, ham carver, patatas braves and calamares.
Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we bought local cheeses. Our friend Craig put together a great cake for us, using cartoon caricatures of Ben and I as the cake toppers. For those guests with a sweet tooth, we bought personalised cupcakes from a bakery on nearby Gibraltar. We also provided a sweetie bar for when people got peckish at midnight.
There was only one choice for us when it came to our photography, and thankfully he was free on our wedding day. The very talented David Jenkins has known Ben for years and his relaxed style always produces beautiful imagery.
Described by some of the guests as ‘like ￼Rankin’, David is incredibly chilled and his relaxed approach adds to ￼the day, rather than taking away from it. For us, it is fantastic to look back weeks after the wedding and relive the memories of the day ￼through his photos. The photos get better and better every time we ￼go through them.