27th May 2018
The best night of our lives.
The night we said ‘I do’ on the magical island of Ibiza in front of our nearest and dearest that traveled to be with us. A night of so much love and laughter, that will be remembered forever.
When Alex proposed to me in August 2016, after never discussing getting married I was taken by complete surprise. We were in Santorini on holiday, when he got down on one knee at sunset on a bed of rose petals. An even bigger surprise, that was before even asking me to his wife, he already booked to go and see a venue out in Ibiza.
We were on a business trip to Ibiza a few months previous, and were eating dinner at Cotton Club in Cala Tarida. We looked down and saw someone having wedding photos on the beach at sunset.
I looked down and said ‘wow what an amazing place to get married’ as I’m obsessed with sunsets and this is probably one of the most perfect spots on the island to see the sunset without the hustle and bustle of San Antonio. That stuck with Alex and in September 2016 our venue Cas Mila restaurant in Cala Tarida was booked, just like that.
I spent no time looking at other options on the island, although I know there are many beautiful locations. That spot seemed perfect because of our previous conversation about it, and because Alex had been so thoughtful in booking to go and view it, even before proposing.
So 20 months between booking the venue and the wedding taking place gave me A LOT of time to look on Pinterest and really think about what I wanted. I could discuss weddings all day long. I’ve completely fell in love with being in this wedding bubble and I miss it already. I’m not looking for another business as I love what I do, but if I was…..wedding planning would be it!
However, in this blog, I’m going to give you my top tips for a destination wedding aka abroad weddings.
Top 5 tips for a destination wedding
Use a Wedding Planner
I would highly recommend working with a wedding planner. I don’t actually know what I would of done without one. If you know Ibiza at all, you’ll know that everyone is SO relaxed! This means, if you don’t have a relationship with someone, it takes an age to get a response from anyone about anything. Using a planner means they already have that relationship with suppliers on the island, and can help with the details. I booked my wedding through Ibiza wedding shop who work direct with Cas Mila restaurant. You can book a package with them, which can cover everything you would need to host your big day.
I don’t want to give any Cas Mila brides a false impression, as I changed a lot of what was on offer to us. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted to achieve, so if Ibiza wedding shop didn’t have it, I found it. But the planners I worked with were more than accommodating to make sure all my wishes for the day, were carried out and there are lots of great suppliers on the island for decorative bits and pieces if you want to make any changes to your package. Always ask your planner first, as this cuts out a lot of your time and efforts as your planner may be able to source it or know someone who can. My motto when wedding planner was ‘I just thought I would ask the question….’
You may feel like your bombarding your planner with questions and requests but honestly don’t feel like that. This is your special day and you want everything to be running smooth. On that note, another bonus of working with a planner, means your day runs to schedule. Our wedding over ran hugely on timings WITH a planner, so without a planner the evening just would not of gone accordingly.
Pick your photographer wisely! These are your future memories of your day.
A lot of destination wedding packages come with a photographer and these can be great. Plus your guests can take amazing photos. We have some lovely ones, that guests captured on their phones and own cameras.
But for me, our photos were up there with one of the most important things of the day. Picking to get married in the evening, I also knew I wanted to a photographer that was amazing at capturing bright sunlight shots, to those incredible sunset shots, to evening shots.
We chose Rebecca Claire photography, through recommendation. I immediately fell in love with her style of images and knew she would be perfect for our day. We have not been disappointed. We are totally blown away by the work provided. In fact, some of the photos, I didn’t even know she was there, and moments have been captured so beautifully. Not just of us, our children and our guests. Looking at our wedding portfolio of 800 edited photos, was like reliving the day.
Rebecca flew from the UK to Ibiza. She made sure she was there a few days before the wedding, to scope out the venue, to know what shots we were getting at what time, and in what lighting. We communicated regularly, and sent ideas back and forth for inspiration.
Wedding days go fast and as a bride you can be pulled in many directions. The wedding planner will be telling you one thing to make sure the day runs on time, you’ll be wanting to keep your guests happy and socialise, there’s so much going on. However, this means the photographer can be pulled in many directions too, and you could lose the shots you really want. Rebecca owned it in this respect, she knew what imagery I wanted for our day, and if that meant telling the planner to wait that extra 30 seconds to make sure we got the perfect photo, then she did. All of this meant we got exactly what we wanted.
‘Rebecca – we can’t thank you enough,
you truly captured the love and happiness we felt on the day perfectly.’
So your day or night goes by in a flash. Your in a bubble of excitement, nerves, happiness and love. You leave your wedding on cloud 9, and you want to relive those moments over and over…..make sure you have a videographer!
Only 8 weeks on from our wedding, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to watch Alexs speech back. It was so emotional and hilarious all rolled into one. I want to watch it back at home to really take in all the words he said. It all happens so fast, and with the bubbles not helping (!) some of the most special words your new Husband has said to you, can be quickly forgotten.
Your day is BUSY, from start to finish. Plus you can’t be everywhere at once. Having a recording means you capture so much from the day, and from guests and it may be things you didn’t even know happened.
We chose to have Ravi as our videographer. Again I knew exactly what I wanted, and we shared ideas beforehand. Ravi made sure again he came to the venue, and knew the running of the day.
This is so important to give to both the photographer and videographer – what do you want capturing, and so where should they be and at what times. Plus if there’s anything really specific you want, make sure you communicate. You can’t go back and get this footage after so make sure your clear on what you want.
We have a 5 minute trailer of our wedding and still waiting for the full version. I know this will be worth every second of the wait. Watching our 5 minute trailer was magical and can’t recommend Ravi’s style of work enough.
On a personal note, videographers are going to capture EVERYTHING! Ravi made everyone totally relaxed. In fact half the time you didn’t even know he was there. Looking back at our trailer again I was thinking, I didn’t even know he was filming at certain moments. That’s the art of a good videographer, you don’t even know they are there, meaning nothing at all looks staged or false. It’s just a natural video of the day.
‘Thank you Ravi for capturing our day and giving us a video we will play ourselves over and over but show our children in the future. It’s perfect. ‘
Your Glam Squad
Probably my most asked question about our wedding, was who did my hair and make up. I took both my hair and make up stylist with me from the UK. They were both girls I knew, and i actually thought cost wise for what I was having – it didn’t work out that much more to fly them out (if you can get the flights reasonable)
This meant I could have my trials in advance rather than on my wedding week. Meaning my wedding build up was a little more relaxing! Again, I knew what I wanted for both but because I knew both girls that came out, I trusted them totally with what they were doing for the big day.
The best thing about knowing both my hairdresser and make up artist was that I was totally at ease on the day. I knew what I was going to look like (very important! I didn’t want any crazy make up surprises on the day!)
Both girls also made everything so relaxing for both myself and my bridal party – we actually ended up being ready bang on time! This was actually really important to me – any Cas Mila brides you’ll know you have a fairly late start if like us you’ve picked a sun set wedding and I didn’t want to eat into a second of it by running over on getting ready when we had all day.
So a little heads up – it takes AGES to get ready on your wedding day! Typically I get ready really quick for a night out, I have two children so don’t have time anymore to spend hours getting ready. Luckily my hairdresser and make up artist had pre-scheduled everything. They knew who was having hair and make up done at exactly what time. Which meant the day just ‘flowed’
We had myself, my Mum, 4 bridesmaids and my close friend who read my reading to get ready. We started getting ready at midday and were ready at 6.10pm for pick up! That was my hair dresser with an extra stylist on hand. Plus my make up artist with an additional pair of hands.
If like me, you don’t want to take up your precious wedding time – get organised and planned with the timings of your day. It will make you feel totally relaxed before you arrive. There was not one second of flapping or stress on the day – and I put it totally down to having the best glam squad I could of imagined. Thank you Joanne and Emily!
Book to get your dress steamed before the big day –I am SO glad I did this!
This was one of my big worries about a destination wedding was how my dress would travel, would there be somewhere that could steam it. What if it was creased. What if something happened to it!
My dress came beautifully boxed and ready for travel from the amazing Nobel and Wright Atalier. I highly recommend all brides to get their dress boxed including their veil. Also make sure you have been talked through how to repack it to bring it back as there is a ‘knack’ to how the boxes are closed and tied for you to carry it with ease.
We made sure we booked priority seating with our airline which guaranteed my hand luggage came on board as there was no way I was parting with my dress until it was safely hung the other end!
My dress was silk so not the best material to travel with – in all honesty I didn’t even think about it when I fell in love with the dress. Actually due to it being so carefully boxed it wasn’t overly creased but as I would expect any bride would want, I wanted it literally perfect.
I found the Zoe the Steamstress in Ibiza. She is the only recommended and trusted person I found on the island. She did a fantastic job with both my dress and veil – my dress actually looked impeccable!!
She also steamed my our dressing gowns for getting ready, my silk pjs, the grooms suit and a few other bits and pieces. Some we pre booked, some we sprung on her last minute and she was more than accommodating.
‘Thank you Zoe for making sure my dress was picture perfect’
Ladies if you want her, get your deposits paid to secure her!
So they are my top 5 tips – I’m sure I will think of loads more I should of written but I’m going to do another one on all my decorative pieces I found, my wedding dress shopping experience and more as I’m still getting so many questions.
Biggest tip of all – when you arrive at your ceremony – take it all in, as that moment you walk down the aisle is over in a flash and you’ll want to do it over and over again. So let any stress you may be feeling go away, don’t worry about how anything looks, or whether things are in the right place, or whether a family member is getting on with who they are sat next to – none of that matters on the day. This is your special moment to enjoy and I can hand on heart say I let any of my pre stresses go and soaked up every moment from getting ready with my special girls and my mum, through to the special moment when I headed towards my husband, right through until the very end of the night. Everything else in that moment was irrelevant.
The people that helped me achieve my amazing day!
Rebecca Claire Photography
Joanne Moriarty – Hairdresser
Zoey Evans – Dress Steaming
Emily Jane Williams – Make up
Wedding Planner – Ibiza Wedding Shop
Limelight TV – Videographer
Noble and Wright Atelier – Wedding Dress shop