Though we’ve had some unseasonably mild days of late, we have to say that our summer holidays are but a distant memory at this point in the year. We’re therefore delighted to be spending this morning basking in the details of Elizabeth and John’s gorgeous Spanish wedding.
Leaving their Cheshire home behind, this sun-loving couple jetted off to Arroyo de la Miel, for a fairy-tale castle style ceremony followed by an open-air golf course reception.
In a nod to the setting, Elizabeth and John’s big day featured an abundance of white blooms, tapas, paellas and, of course, sangria!
So, sit back, relax and bring on the sunshine! Just be warned, viewing this post may result in an irresistible urge to book your next European excursion…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography.
elizabeth says: John proposed while we were on a cruise for his parents 60th birthdays after first getting Paul (my dad) drunk and asking for his permission (he was more than happy for John to take me off his hands!) John’s family were all in on the surprise, concealing the ring and putting petals and champagne in our room. It was a big surprise – so much so that John had to push me into the room to stop me from talking!
We set the date for Saturday 29th July 2017, with the wedding taking place in Spain. I’ve been visiting Benalmadena for summer holidays since I was a baby and John and I have enjoyed several family holidays together in Spain over the years too.
Our ceremony was held at Castillo de Colomares in Arroyo de la Miel Pueblo. We chose this location after talking with Liz Wilkinson, the celebrant who married us. She mentioned the venue and we fell in love with it instantly. All our family and friends said it was like a fairy-tale castle so it seemed the perfect setting.
Our reception was held at the nearby Torrequebrada Golf Club. My dad often plays golf here and had friends who are marshals at the club. The golf club is gorgeous and it seemed the perfect summer venue to have the reception.
We wanted the wedding to be typically Spanish so we had white flowers everywhere, our tables were named after our favourite restaurants and bars in Arroyo de la Miel. We had tapas as our starters for our wedding breakfast, three different paellas for a main course, and Spanish omelette, serrano ham and Manchego cheese for our evening snack. Our welcome drinks were San Miguel beer and sangria.
The wedding theme colours were white and blue. Our bridesmaid dresses were pastel blue and the groom and groomsmen outfits were navy and white. All decorations at the venue were white, including the chair covers and flowers.
The wedding dress I chose was called Snowdrop by designer Amanda Wyatt. I bought my dress from a shop near home, called The Cheshire Wedding House. The lady in the shop suggested this particular dress, I loved it! It held me in all the right places and I actually felt like a beautiful bride.
John decided he didn’t want to go down the traditional three-piece suit option, he knew how hot it gets in Spain in July and decided on a smart short combination. He picked smart Tommy Hilfiger navy shorts for himself, his best man and all his groomsmen. John then ordered seven made-to-measure shirts from a website called iTailor. John was able to pick exactly what style and colour he wanted for the shirts. John and his best man wore matching brogue loafers from John’s favourite shoe shop, Goodwin Smith.
My bridesmaids wore pastel blue Grecian style bridesmaid dresses from YS Dress in Stockport. They also wore matching earrings and necklaces, which were gifts from John and me.
Our photographer was Lee Brown. We met Lee at John’s sister’s wedding where he was the photographer. Lee was absolutely fantastic from start to finish! He arrived a few days before the wedding to get settled and scout out the venues. He mixed in so well with everyone and made everyone feel at ease while taking photos. I would 100% recommend Lee to other couples, he is a lovely guy, who clearly loves his job. He is a total professional but very friendly and approachable at the same time.
I ordered flowers from a shop called BenalFlora in Arroyo de la Miel. They were made up of white roses and green foliage, along with some other white flowers.
In terms of the décor, myself, John and my family spent holidays prior to the wedding shopping in IKEA in Malaga, to buy vases for each of the tables. We then went to the local market in Arroyo de la Miel, the day before the wedding to buy lots of different bunches of white flowers to fill the vases for the centrepieces.
As we had lost people close to us over recent years we decided to have their photos framed and on display with a sign which read “wish you were here”.
Our table plan was a mirror with the tables written on, placed on an easel and decorated with flowers.
For the favours, we ordered personalised fans with our names and wedding date on. We also bought each guest a shot glass with a personalised wedding sticker on for traditional Spanish shots throughout the meal.
Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we bought three cakes from a local shop in Spain. However, the day was so busy and all the guests were so full we completely forgot about the cakes and they ended up still in the fridge at the venue!
The owners of the golf club restaurant provided the catering for the reception. The foot was Spanish tapas, including gambas pil pil, chorizo, battered cod, pinchitos and pork. Then we had meat, seafood and vegetable paellas for a main course. As an evening snack, guests were served with bread, pate, serrano ham, Manchego cheese and Spanish omelette.
To provide entertainment, we hired a local band from Fuengirola, called Miss Gin. We chose them based on YouTube videos. They were fab! We also rented a photo booth and love lights from a company called GO Fotomaton. We chose these to have some fun with guests and it kept the mood light
After our wedding, we would definitely recommend our choice of venue to other couples looking to wed overseas. It is so stunning and the comments we had before and after the wedding ceremony just made us so happy. You will never find anywhere else like it to get married – it’s one of a kind.
We’d also highly recommend our wedding blessing leader, Liz Wilkinson, who was fantastic.
Our favourite part of the day was dancing outside to our band with the love lights behind us surrounded by our family and friends.
Following the wedding, we spent a further two weeks in Arroyo de la Miel. We spent some time with our families and then when all our guests left, we were able to chill out by the pool and have some relaxation time together. We plan to visit New York next year as another honeymoon.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to consider a videographer to capture the day. The wedding just goes so fast and sometimes it’s hard to remember everything that happened.