Henry and Joelle’s Super Stylish Mexican Wedding with a Donkey and Maracas by Julia Franzosa Photography
Today’s wedding is super stylish and super fun and features a donkey! Now I LOVE...
Today’s wedding is full to the brim with bright colours, fun and lots of sunshine. Laura and Lee chose a destination wedding to Ermita De Santa Lucia in Spain as Laura’s family have been residents there for over 40 years, so it seemed like the natural choice. They chose a fiesta theme with an abundance of colour and wonderful Mexican influences. The day is bursting with bright bold decorations, and so many DIY details, from the individually made felt skulls, to the flowers, the table plan and the paper lanterns, it really is a feast for the eyes! Yana photography was flown out especially to capture the day and I’m sure you will agree has done a fabulous job.
Laura and Lee were married on 31st May 2018 at Ermita santa Lucia in Spain, Alcossebre and reception was at the Restaraunte El Pinar. ‘My (Laura’s) family have been residents of El Pinar for over 40 years. Lee and I love the place. It’s home from home and holds a very special place in both our hearts. As a child I remember the restaurant was just a small family run place that served tapas and simple meals, like lomo and chips! I used to play there ordering food for me and my friends, playing cards with the staff and generally getting in the way! As the years have gone by they have made so many changes to the place and now serve Michelin class food, but, the same family are still at the heart of it all and the staff are like a part of our family. The 16th century monastery (Ermita Santa Lucia) sat at the top of a mountain is full of History and beauty. Very few people have been lucky enough to say their vows there. In fact we were the first English couple given permission to marry inside the monastery. The setting is breathtaking, it’s hard to capture in pictures. We are very lucky to have a house in such a beautiful part of Spain, that is not only right next to a very pretty 16th century monastery with stunning views, but also a superb restaurant featured in the Michelin guide. We had 72 guests and it took around a year to plan.’
How they met
Plenty of Fish baby! Lee and I had our fill of the bottomfeeders and were ready to give up. After some flirty messaging and Lee finally sacrificing a weekend at his precious caravan, we finally met. Lee took me out for dinner and was a real gent, I was impressed. We were both busy and weren’t exactly committed to anything serious until we took a trip to Alcossebre. Our first holiday there was where we fell in love. Cheesy but true! Together 4 and half years, 5 in May
Lee and I had a marathon journey around Mexico. We experienced so much amazing beauty and culture. I’ve always been a bit cuckoo for dolphins (they make me cry) but I’ve never seen them up close. Lee surprised me with a Dolphin Trainer for the Day Experience and my ring was delivered by our own dolphin. Our trip to Mexico coupled with our Spanish love was our inspiration for the Spexican wedding theme.
How did you allocate your budget?
Budget?! Lee and I are completely useless with money. We allocated more to the things which were most important to us and tried not to get bogged down with any unnecessary spending. We sent all our invites by email and used the magic of memes to create something special.
Music and photos were top of our list so we allocated for these first. It really helps that I have a very talented friend who is a florist. Ruth worked so hard to keep the costs down and just wowed us with her creation. She is a beautiful genius!
My sister in Law Vickie is also a talented hobby- baker so we had a dreamy custom-made surprise cake.
Our friend Stacy managed to pull some strings to get us custom stationary made at her factory in exchange for baked goods!
I also have some very helpful friends who supported me to craft some of the table settings and decorations.
My nephew got the suits at discount through his work.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Food, Drink, Photography and Musician were our splurges. We flew Yana (photos) and Jake (music) out because we were blown away by their talent.
How did you choose your photographer?
I met Yana as the photographer at my friends wedding. I was a bridesmaid, I hate having my photo taken and Yana just effortlessly put everyone at ease and was camouflaged into the day. She was even Lee’s ‘date’ for part of the night whilst I was on duty as bridesmaid. The firework silhouette of a kiss shot she took at my friends day just sealed the deal for us.
Dress was Enzoani. Veil was a custom lace number. Shoes were Dune. Necklace Etsy and earrings were a gift from a family friend which I have had for almost 30 years!
The suit and bridesmaids
Suits were from Next. Bridesmaids outfits were ASOS and shoes New Look
Theme or colour scheme
All the colours! I used pinterest for inspiration on Mexican themes and fell in love with a hot and bright theme rather than a colour. All I needed to do was to show my lovely Ruth and leave her to work her magic.
The flowers were artificial. Because of the heat and because we wanted Ruth to dress the venues. She used so many different flowers and succulents. The best bit about it is that I have so many souveneirs from the day including my bouquet and table settings.
We had candles and sugar skulls and flowers and cactus. And paper lanterns and ribbon.
There was a whole host of bite sized appetisers including gazpacho, black pudding tarts, goats cheese bites, prawns in filo these were all served at the monastery and on arrival at the restaurant. There was also a Spanish ham which was served before the meal… and most of which we missed out on because we were socialising and having pictures with family.
To start we had ceviche. Then a cod and marmalade dish. Wild boar and roast vegetables. Crema Catalana to finish.
The wedding cake was a butter icing sponge cake which was hollowed out and filled with all of our favourite sweets. It was a complete surprise! There were also little cup cakes with cactus on surrounding the main cake.
We had a local musician from Manchester. I heard Jake Fletcher by chance one day we went into the Cheshire Tap in Altrincham for some lunch and he was playing in there. He played lots of my favourite songs and absolutely killed it. We were on the lookout for a musician anyway and I really liked him, so dragged Lee back to the bar and once he heard him play, the deal was signed, sealed, delivered!
The speeches were pure entertainment! We really wish we had filmed them. With the setting, the food and the music, we really didn’t need anything else. One of our guests, Danny, treated us to an impromptu Oasis Karaoke though…*rolls eyes*
I vowed not to be ‘one of those brides’ but then got carried away. With a lot of support from my friends, Lel, Abi, Vickie and Stacy we handcrafted a table plan which consisted of hand written hanging labels with nicknames, that we hung from the steps at the entrance to the restaurant, so our guests could find where they were seated and little cactus name settings. We also made 72 sugar skull decorations using felt, ribbon and lots of sequins and material paints. Every single one was handmade and uniquely crafted.
Advice for other couples
Don’t waste your day worrying about timings and colour schemes! Find time to spend together and with your guests… it goes so quickly. Record your speeches! Dance, laugh, eat and be merry! But most importantly, enjoy it – you only get one wedding day!
My dad had been really poorly for 5 months before the wedding and was unable to fly following two very scary periods in hospital. We were told he wouldn’t make it out of hospital at all and when he did, he was advised not to travel. My brother David helped my Mum and Dad to take the Eurostar out to Spain. My Dad was awfully weak and unwell but I met him at the entrance to the monastery and he walked me down the aisle. YAY!
All the speeches wre amazing
Mother’s speech and finding out that Lee had to spend 4 hours on the day trying to get his trousers tailored to fit because they were the wrong size!