Real weddings, wedding inspiration and style, gorgeous ideas, up to date trends and sometimes advice and politics

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hidden Costs of Planning a Destination Wedding you Did not Count On

One of the first things you do when planning your wedding is work out a wedding budget so you can start the fun things of finding a perfect venue, the dress and suppliers such as photographers, entertainment and decor.

But you do need to be prepared for those hidden costs and the unexpected and we do advise all our clients to add an extra 10% onto their wedding budget as those unforeseens pop up.  


We thought we would share a few hidden weddings costs that most of our couples do not anticipate when planning a destination wedding and also I will share a huge bug bear of mine when it comes to dealing with wedding venues with 'in quote' 'wedding packages', so to avoid any big surprises do read on.


1. Hair, make up and beauty treatments


All of us want to look out best on wedding days so do take into account the cost of wedding pampering and the hair and make up trials.  


Most hair and make up trials will be around 60 euros each and having nails, pedicures, eyelash extensions and other beauty treatments will soon add to your wedding budget.  




It is always a good idea to set aside a budget for this dependent on how many bridesmaids and members of the wedding party you will be offering beauty treatments to.


2. Wedding Dress and Suits Steaming and Pressing


Many of our destination weddings have their outfits carefully packed and hung out ready for the big day but often they require some steaming or pressing, do add a professional steam or press into your budget as well as buying pre rehearsal and post wedding day outfits if entertaining your guests over a 3 or 4 day period which is common for a destination wedding.


3. Staff meals


There are usually a whole host of wedding professionals helping you along with your day and many of them are working more than a 12 hour shift in a hot climate.  


Most venues and caterers offer a staff meal and refreshments so you will need to account for the wedding planner, the photographer and videographer and perhaps the band, DJ, etc and any technicians who are required on site throughout the day and night.


4. On The Day Lunch


As you and your bridal party are getting ready you will need to eat as you prepare for your wedding.  


Most venues and caterers will bring a sandwich platter and drinks to your room and of course every bridal party needs to add cava or champagne to calm the pre-wedding nerves so allow for some pre bridal and pre groom lunches and drinks.


5. Stationery


It is always wonderful to receive a beautiful wedding invitation in the post but consider the cost of sending our your invites, including the postage, which can quickly add up.


Combined with on the day stationery such as Order of Services, table seating plans, table names and place cards and all your paper goods for the day, this can be quite a cost but also stamps a style to your wedding day so it is a very important consideration to add to your wedding budget particularly with destination weddings as it is not easy to DIY this when travelling abroad.


Regarding hidden costs of venues that offer wedding packages here are some of the things that may not be included, so be warned of the extras that pop up when negotiating and organising the extras with your venue.


1. Microphones and sound equipment for speeches

It goes without saying there will be speeches and some background music at weddings, but be aware many venues do not offer this as part of their package, it is an extra and can be anything from 150 euros to 300 euros.


2. Water


We host weddings in a very hot country and it is courtesy to offer your guests a cool water as they arrive ready for your ceremony.  Here in Spain we do not drink tap water so all water supplied is bottled and this comes with a cost that is not included in the pre wedding arrival of guests which can average around 2.50 euros per head.  Quite a cost with 100 to 200 guests.


3. Wedding Cakes


Bringing in your own wedding cake, again be aware that if you are ordering a cake from an outside supplier they maybe a cost from the venue per head to cut and serve this cake.


This service will require the venue's staff time, you will be using their plates and cutlery and this needs to be paid for so do check with your wedding venue the cost of this if you are planning on bringing in catering in any shape or form from outside suppliers.


While some of these costs are unavoidable and others are not essential it is good to know from the start so there are no hidden surprises so do build this into your wedding budgets and always add an extra 10% just in case. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rose Gold Wedding Inspirations


As blush and golds stormed into our weddings for 2013 and 2014 we fell in head over heels in love with this dreamy colour combination as just so perfect and weddingy, if there is such a word!

These romantic colours, with hints of glitter, metallics and sparkles show no signs of becoming unfashionable for 2015 in fact quite the opposite.

The gorgeous rose gold is definitely having it's moment right now and can be seen popping up everywhere from Michael Kors watches to shoes, bags and even cell phone covers, everyone is embracing this fabulous pink hue of gold and it compliments the blush and dusky pink beautifully. 

As we design and create our weddings for 2015 we will share lots of our latest wedding inspiration with you so do follow us on Facebook or follow our blog to keep up with gorgeous wedding ideas.

A Beautiful Wedding at Hacienda San Rafael, Seville with Jeremy Standley


In June we headed back up to Seville, to one of our favourite venues, and had a fabulous wedding weekend putting the final touches together for Matt and Nina's wedding day.  

The Hacienda San Rafael is a charming wedding venue, filled with fuchsia bouganvilla, olive trees and surrounded with sunflowers in June, a truly spectacular setting that epitomizes Andalucia.

We created a Spanish lace backdrop for Nina and Matt's ceremony held in the courtyard then provided all the finishing touches for the day.

Hand painted menu chalkboard and signs, wedding stationery for the day including paddle fans, ad lib cards and then added in plenty of romantic sparkle with lanterns, candles and gold tealight holders for the tables.  

Nina used the flowers from the Hacienda for her table centerpieces and her bouquets were created by one of the charming girls at the venue.

The piece de resistance was the horse and carriage, a complete surprise arranged for Nina and Matt by Nina's parents.  We knew about it of course and had to help rearrange the location of the various parts of the wedding with Nina's mother without giving the game away!

It was a beautiful day as the cocktails, drinks and food flowed, followed by a fabulous party well into the night under the olive trees.

Our thanks to the awesome Jeremy Standley for sharing these wonderful photos with us.

We are off up to Seville again in September and October and very excited to be sharing more weddings with you at this beautiful venue soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Happy and Beautiful Beach Wedding in Marbella!


We have created many weddings here in Spain and I do love Happy Weddings!

An ode to Pharrell Williams and our very own rather fabulous Marbella Happy Song, this beautiful beach wedding we planned and created was nothing short of Happy and we loved it!

Hanne and Eivind contacted us last year to help them organise their dream wedding day at their favourite venue.  They were immediately surprised to hear their venue was located just at the bottom of the hill where I live!

After purchasing their Spanish piece of heaven vacation home a few years ago, they have spent many magical moments and memories at this delightful beach restaurant which is literally on their doorstep, as well as mine!, and of course it had to be their perfect wedding location to share their special day with close family and friends.

Living in Norway, with very busy lives, Hanne and Eivind realised they needed help to pull this together, whilst they had their dream venue, everything else needed to be put into place and organised for them.  

We set to and worked with the venue, who are not a wedding venue but a beach restaurant, and created a wedding plan including a pre wedding fiesta style party in Hanne and Eivind's community bar and a post wedding lunch and also to style and design their wedding day and parties they were hosting for their guests during their stay here.  

We used happy flowers, simple coral gerberas to compliment the bridesmaids dresses and some amazingly huge white peonies, scented rosemary and we also picked some of Hanne's favourite yellow flowers from the beach with the most aromatic smell, very reminiscent of the beach and difficult to describe, with all these beautiful flowers we created the tablescapes along with simple glassware, white candles and silver mercury tealights.

Hanne and Eivind have a treasured family logo from his parents that is also their initials so Hanne had a stamp created that we used on the tags for the tables and also as a projected logo for their wedding day.

We hung lots of beautiful silver mercury glass lanterns from the trees and the beach was lined with bamboo torches.  The celebrations continued well into the night with sky lanterns and fireworks.  

And what a dream it was, I loved everything about this wedding, Hanne was such a happy person, so warm and full of charm.  Her voice is beautiful and I loved chatting to her on Skype, I have since spoken to my Norwegian neighbours who have told me the singalong voice is very Southern Norway apparently and I found it lifted me just listening to her beautiful voice!

A touching and beautiful sand ceremony was conducted by Eivind's brother followed by a cocktail in the gardens of this gorgeous location.  Dinner was held by the sand dunes and the children were happily playing all night on a well lit beach.  There were so many magical moments from the sky lanterns to the fireworks and of course much dancing, good Spanish food and merriment!

Our thank you to Joseba and Mar from Romance Weddings for sharing these fabulous photos with us, to Carla for organising everything so beautifully, and our congratulations to Hanne and Eivind, such a charming couple, for trusting us to organise and style their magicial beach wedding.

A huge well done to me for being able to type this blog post with a very sore thumb that is now almost twice the size of my other one so also feeling happy!!