This afternoon we have something a bit different for you, as I take you off...
Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend? What did you get up to? Have any wedding planning jobs been ticked off the list? My weekend was lovely, time spent with my gorgeous family, as well as an actual grown up night out with friends, which was fab! As it’s valentines week this week we have even more love to spread around, starting off with this stunning Spanish Cliff top wedding from Katja and Simon. Julie and Katherine chose Spain as their destination as Julie has family heritage that goes back to Spain. The location they chose is absolutely jaw dropping and creates the most perfect backdrop for their intimate ceremony. I just love their choice in dresses, Grace Loves Lace, and BHLDN are two of my favourite designers. I’m sure you will agree they both look beautiful.
Julie and Katherine were married at Binidali, Menorca, Spain at Pan Y Vino for the Wedding Dinner and then onto Cova d’en Xoroi – VIP cave night club for after party. ‘Julie had always dreamed of getting married in Spain due to her family heritage rooting back to Spain. We did research on various places in Spain like San Sebastian, Valencia, and Barcelona, knowing that a beach wedding would be the perfect setting. Separately we kept coming across Menorca’s pictures and articles about how mellow and different the island was. Without knowing a thing about it, we were all in! We had 24 guests – immediate family and bridal party only. We had 3 best girlfriends as bridesmaids on each side. It took one year to plan.’
How they met
We met through a mutual friend at a local bar in San Francisco. Katie entered the bar and my (Julie) jaw dropped; I was stunned with her beauty and swag. We were both instantly drawn to each other and talked for hours. We have been together 4 years.
I (Katie) proposed at my parents house in Stockton. I wanted to Julie to be surrounded by her favorite people, so I flew up (from Southern California) Julie’s Mom and her best friend, Emily. I also asked our closest Bay Area friends to join us as well. The morning of the proposal I told Julie that we were going to my parents house for brunch and that we need to dress up for the occasion. As we got to a certain point in our drive, I called my parents to let them know that we were 30 minutes away, which was the signal for all of our friends to hide. As we arrive at my parents house, I put her hands in mine as I start into my prepared speech about our relationship… I FORGET EVERYTHING. The only words that I could get out were,” We started our love here, so it only feels right to do this here.” I got down on one knee. After she figured out what was happening, she puts her hands over her mouth in excitement and said, “YES!!!” After, we had a moment, I said that I had one more surprise for her, and that is when all of our friends came running out from their hiding spot. We embraced all of our friends and family and opened bottles of champagne with a BBQ pool party to celebrate the rest of the day.
How did you allocate your budget?
We had four major line items for the budget, photographers, dinner, accommodation, and transportation for our guests. Of course there were other expenses, but these were the major items for the destination wedding and helping our guests come half way around the world. Because it was our family and closest friends who all knew each other, it was easy for us to book 3 Airbnb villas for everyone to stay together. Our bridal party stayed with us in the main house and our families stayed together in 2 villas next to each other a 5 minute walk away. We also rented 4 mini vans to help the group explore the island and get to each of the events we planned throughout the week.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We splurged on photography and dinner more than anything. Knowing little about the island, we searched the Internet for restaurants that was close by our house, had good ratings and a delicious menu. We came across Pan Y Vino and at first glance, it looked delicious. They were easy to work with, accommodating to our needs, and created a custom menu for our group. We had no idea how good of an experience it would be. We did not realize it would be a gorgeous 7-course meal with the perfect wine pairings and service not to forget. This is one of the best meals and culinary experiences we have ever had.
How did you choose your photographer?
We were on the hunt for photographers who knew the area, but more than that, matched our artistic style. When we saw Katja and Simon portfolio, we were immediately taken by the drama, intensity, emotion and beauty that was brought through the photos. We knew they were the ones. They did a beautiful job of expressing our love and relationship through a visual experience.
Julie’s dress was made by Grace Loves Lace, earrings from Ambiance San Francisco, bracelet from a boutique called Amenapih in Paris, and shoes from Lulus.com.
Katie’s dress was made by BHLDN , jewellery from a small boutique in Menorca, and shoes from a small shop in Barcelona.
Bridesmaids all purchased their dresses from Lulus.com. We had our maid of honors chose a different dress to have them stand out from the rest also from Lulus.com
Theme or colour scheme
We chose navy blue and slate for the colour scheme due to the contrast it created with the vibrant blue colours of the ocean.
The flowers were done by Florista Es Bonsais in Mahon, Menorca. They were lovely to work with. They provided bouquets and boutonnieres comprised of wild botanicals, succulents, greens, and mini white roses.
Our dinner at Pan Y Vino was comprised of a seven course tasting menu with wine pairing.
First Course – Cod fritters with a spicy touch, tartar of tomato, cucumber and coriander
Second Course – Boullion antillais “z” habitants. New way of the Antillean broth with Iberian bacon, spinach and croutons of spice sweet bread
Third Course – Prawn burger, lime and chili with a nuage of Ti-Punch
Palate Cleanser– Pineapple sorbet with ginger compotée
Fifth Course – Chicken colombo with curry and peanuts
Sixth Course -Roast lobster with vanilla essence and served with crudités
Seventh Course – Banana tart tatin, cinnamon and rum with creamy coconut
Finish with Coffee and chocolate crust with sweet Antillean butter bun
After dinner, Jules and I rented out a VIP area at Cova d’en Xoroi. It was an amazing private VIP area of the club within a cave on a cliff that was beautifully lit up and included two large couches, bottle service, and overlooked the ocean.
Who supplied the stationery?
We used Minted.com for our save-the-dates.
We planned the event ourselves as if it was simply an extended family vacation. We decided that the whole wedding would be a personal stamp of what we like to do as a couple – travel, gather with our community, eat well, and party in romantic settings.
Personal touches – We had large men’s shirts for the bridesmaids with their initials embroidered on the pocket. We booked a catamaran for the whole crew two days before to explore the island. We planned family happy hours and dinners each night for a week. Since we got married in Spain, we wanted to have a Spanish touch and flare. So during our travels before Menorca, we had picked up Spanish fans from different regions of Spain for all the women in our group.
My (Katie’s) highlight of the day was our first look. So much anticipation went into that moment. Neither one of us had seen each other all day and our bridesmaids were running around putting the finishing touches on the both of us. As I walked out of the house to wear Julie was standing in the backyard, I was blown away by her beauty and her dress. My mouth couldn’t form words and all I could do was embrace her, and cry because it was one of the happiest days on my life.
My (Julie’s) highlights were 4 moments – 1. The first look was a magical moment. I am not a person who would cry, but Katie literally took my breath away with her beauty. 2. A tour bus full of people showed up at our intimate cliff ceremony right in the middle, it made for a good laugh. 3. At dinner, my dad, mom, and best friends gave the most heartfelt speeches that had all 24 people full of joyful tears. 4. The after party wowed our entire crew. The beautiful setting of the cave and the club had everyone blown away, no one wanted the day to end.
Advice for other couples
Julie and I did our honeymoon a little differently than most couples. We had our honeymoon before. We traveled all through Europe for three months and ended it with out wedding in Spain. As amazing as it was, we didn’t give ourselves any time after the wedding to decompress from all the activities and excitement. I would suggest any couple who were getting married to give themselves some time and alone time at that to feel the love and be in bliss for a while before getting back to reality.
Our biggest surprise on the day of the wedding was probably our bridesmaids and their partners. Our bridesmaids, although no surprise, literally did everything needed and more to get us ready. The real surprise was our guy friends, the partners of the bridesmaids, came through on a level we did not expect. We didn’t really have a job for them the day of. However, they came up with idea of throwing flower petals at the end of the ceremony. So, all the guys went out into the neighborhood in search of flowers, picked them all, cut them individually, and handed them out to the whole group at the ceremony. They also last minute coordinated ceremony music, which added even more emotion and love to the event. We will never forget the songs they chose, they were perfect.