We got married in Marbella Spain on July 7th 2019! Here are a few of the details from our wedding.
I adored our invites. Dave’s aunty and uncle got them as a gift which I think is such an amazing idea. We opted for the passport effect since it was for a wedding abroad. These were from www.lantz.ie and they had so many more options than are listed on their site so I highly recommend you get in touch! We sent a save the date in late November 2018 via email using the site www.paperlesspost.com. This was to make sure people had time to plan a trip aboard. On this I just put limited details – i.e. that we were basing ourselves in Marbella Old Town and the date of the wedding! I sent the invites out then in February.
Pilar Martinez was my wedding planner. Based in Malaga in Spain she plans weddings and events full-time for the whole Costa Del Sol region. Typically with a planner you will have two separate amounts to be paid. There is a fee for the planner and then a cost (or invoice) for the “little touches” you want added to your day. We met Pilar at a friends wedding that she was planning last year. Honestly the wedding day (Keith and Laura’s!) just blew us away. It was unbelievable. After chatting to Laura (the bride) she highly recommended Pilar and we took it from there. After a FaceTime call to discuss our preferences, we went to meet Pilar in July 2018 and she arranged to bring us to see venues. All I wanted was “a venue with a view…” and Pilar took us on a whole day to see venues stretching from Estepona to Marbella. In total we went three times to Marbella from that date to our wedding day and had as many Facetimes and emails as we needed! With any venue you get packages ranging in price. We then created a mood board with Pilar on Pinterest and started pinning images we liked for everything from the seating plan to the decor. Pilar made all these things happen. We discussed the final selections during a meeting in May 2019 and Pilar sent us the budget. This was the additional cost I referred to earlier but the touches for me were worth their weight in gold. Pilar designed all the flowers, the ceremony area, the tables at the meal, the welcome table, the seating plan, the cigar area, the candles, the lanterns – basically everything that gave it that added flair. Her attention to detail is like nothing I have ever seen. Perfection. And I would recommend her in a heartbeat for a Spanish wedding.
I got my dress at The Attic Bridal Boutique in Limerick. Again my family members bought this for me as a gift which I was blown away by. I can’t recommend the lovely ladies in The Attic more. I actually liked parts of two different Anna Georgina dresses and no ask was too great. The order was sent away to be custom made. My veil and outer tulle skirt were then made in house. One thing to note about The Attic is not only do they source amazing dress designers, they also create custom pieces themselves. After the meal I simply removed the veil and the tulle skirt and it looked like a whole new dress. I adored everything about it.
I wore a pair of Asos Shoes! I am not a heels girl so I knew I’d barely get the ceremony in them so I was NOT spending a fortune! I went with a block heel and I actually loved them! Kept them on till after the first dance! I can’t find them online to link them but said I’d include this to show you don’t have to spend a fortune on shoes! Mine were like €60!
The Wedding Scent
I had tried 101 different scents and my lovely bridesmaid Michele then suggested the perfume she wears! You can only get it in The Loop at Dublin Airport so she gave me then end of her bottle as my “something borrowed” and then bought my a gift of my own with my wedding date and name as a gift afterwards. It was The Noir 29 by Le Labo.
The Flowergirl Dresses
Would you believe I got the flower girls dresses in Marks and Spencer? I ordered them online and had to get a few of them altered slightly. They don’t seem to have them in stock right now but definitely something to keep in mind for a summer wedding next year – they had a few gorgeous styles ranging from €40 – €70 when I was looking. We had six flower girls and bought them each little pumps for the ceremony and sandals for after.
The Page Boys
I had a distinct idea that I wanted for our two page boys – my Godson’s Damhan and Christian – and I didn’t want them to be too warm so I opted to pick up their little bits in none other than Next. We went for a shirt, shorts, braces, a dickie bow and espadrilles. I thought they looked cute as a button!
The bridesmaids dresses we bought in Alila in Dublin. They have loads on their site but they have the most gorgeous showroom in the Docklands Innovation Park in Dublin and I was thrilled to be able to see all the Hayley Paige styles and colours in person. I wanted all the bridesmaids to be 100% comfortable so I chose the colour (it was called cashmere) and wanted them all to choose their own style. My lovely friend Michele was also a bridesmaid but couldn’t actually make the big day. This was because originally we had a different date, which we changed and Michele was unable to travel on the new date because she had work commitments.
Dave took full control of the groomsmen and his own suit and it was a complete surprise for me on the day. I thought they looked incredible. He bought/hired everything from Richie Whelan’s Menswear in Naas, Co. Kildare.
The one. The only. Michelle Regazzoli Stone. There was simply no contest for me. Michelle is the best of the best and I knew from the moment I was getting married that she was the only one for the job! I honestly think I would have changed the date if she wasn’t available!!!!! (LOL) And what’s more, I never even had a makeup trial. No joke. I had it booked for the day before we flew to Marbella and when it came round to it I had to cancel it because I was so under pressure for time. I messaged Michelle on Instagram and the both of us were “typing” at the same time. We literally both sent on the exact same photo from her Instagram feed on what we were individually thinking so Michelle knew what I wanted (or what would suit me) before I even discussed it with her. I didn’t touch my makeup once all day bar to top up my lipstick (which Michelle kindly bought me in the airport). She actually did a post on all the products she used on the day – take a look! CLICK HERE
My gorgeous aunt Mary Joyce done my hair on the day. She’s been doing upstyles in my hair for any occasion I’ve ever been to for as long as I can remember. She is amazing and completely gets my vibe! I wanted something simple but not overly structured, that would fall as the day went on. And if you want a laugh, here’s one of my favourite stories from the day….. I actually changed my mind on what I had had trialled on the morning of my wedding so we needed a piece to pop into my hair that would give the up style volume. Mary had none with her and walked the length of Marbella Old Town to find something, calling into hairdressers and all. Eventually she settled on buying a sponge and cutting it up. So yes the lovely unusual shape of my hair – is because I had a sponge pinned into my head! The best part is it did not stress me one bit. It actually made the morning. We all laughed so hard, and joked that it would be ideal in the shower in the morning as I take my hair down to wash myself. Priceless. David’s gorgeous cousin Lorna did the flower girls hair which was no easy feat since there were 6 lovely ladies to look after. And then I hired a hairdresser from La Reunion Damies for the bridesmaids hair. This was a set price per person (€70) plus a charge of €50 to travel to us as opposed to going to their salon.
We got married in Finca Villa Palma in Ojen Marbella. Honestly when we viewed the venue (I think it was venue 3 of 5 we viewed on the day) we knew immediately it was the one! I was barely interested in the others afterwards! It’s less than 15 minutes drive from Marbella Old Town so our family and friends based themselves there along the seafront for the course of their stay. There are so many options for accommodation there. From very pricey, to cheap and cheerful. We stayed at Fuerte Marbella Hotel. It was an expensive stay. The room view was stunning but the rooms themselves are very small. Thankfully the hotel kindly allowed us to use a meeting room to get ready on the day and the whole bridal party were able to chill out in a nice big space. There is a rental charge (€2,000 – €5,000) on the venue and this differs based on the time of year and also the day of the week! So make sure you get all the options before settling on your date.
So the way it works with Villas in Spain is that certain venues have a catering company attached (as was the case with ours) and some you can use the catering company of your choice. As I mentioned we had previously been at a wedding in Spain where we were blown away by the food and details so were hoping to book the same catering team. As it turned out Finca Villa Palma has a partnership with a catering company and it was the exact one we were hoping for! Talk about meant to be! The company is called Alabardero Catering and I would highly highly recommend!!! The venue charges a price per person (as do most places) but the price includes hours of a free bar. There are different packages based upon the food you choose and the day you are getting married. Compared to Irish hotel prices – it is significantly more. But as I mentioned your guests will enjoy a free bar (for the length of time outlined in your package). Ours ran from after the meal to 5am! Our package was a little different to a sit down three course meal. We opted to have the starter as “food stations” in the garden area where guests mingled and ate what they pleased. There were like 15 options and beer on tap and wine being served by the catering team throughout. We then sat for the main course and dessert. Afterwards the bar opened and the dancing commenced!
I adored the ceremony area at the venue. It was probably the main reason I fell in love with it. It had such a long aisle and surrounded by trees. Pilar our planner dressed it entirely and the flower garland at the alter was sensational. My lovely friend Sinead O’Brien sang at the ceremony and I booked a Spanish pianist to accompany her. Sinead sang my mother’s song “Life Without You” as I walked up the aisle, I hadn’t told any of my family (except my sister) that that would be happening so there wasn’t a dry eye in the house but it was such a special way to include my mam on the day. I am also very blessed that Tom walked me up the aisle, he and his wife Ronnie have treated my sister and I like daughters since our teens.
Originally we were not going to have a band or singer, but in May this year we had been to Marbella and seen Ivanildo Kembel perform at Marbella Club beach bar. He was sensational and had me up dancing at 3pm in the day whilst only drinking coffee! We booked him instantly. His package was originally 45 minutes but honestly on the day he must have performed for well over 1 hour. It really set the tone for the evening. Amazing! Our first dance was Let’s Stay Together by Al Green.
Me old pal JJ Hartigan! He’s a legend! JJ had just played the Westlife afterparty in Dublin, and gone straight to the airport (with no sleep) to DJ our wedding! I’m not kidding the dancing didn’t stop till 5am! He’s honestly the best of the best. We were so bloody lucky he agreed to come all the way over to be there for our special day.
The Photographer & Videographer
Our photographer was Dermot Culhane. He is absolutely incredible! My main goal was to capture all the “moments” of the day and there is no-one who does this like Dermot. Some of my favourite pictures are of peoples reactions and expressions, he could not have done more! Dermot’s son Luke was our videographer and I cannot wait to share what he captured of the day!