I do always feel that if you are planning a destination wedding it is a wonderful idea to try to incorporate some of that country's style and tradition into your wedding.
I am of course constantly looking at Spanish themes and details for our weddings, whether it be a full on spanish affair or just little touches here and there I hope to inspire our 2011 and 2012 brides with touches of Andalucian passion into their weddings!
There are some wonderful ideas to be had when creating your wedding with a Spanish feel from the fans (abanicos) of course, to the lace details, the spanish love their lace, churros and chocolate, tapas and soaking in the passion of Spain.
The combination of dramatic flamenco style dresses and lace veils, the beautiful spanish guitar music and the sultry, passion fuelled flamenco theme works so well for a wedding celebration.
I created this inspiration board for a lovely bride that is planning her wedding here this year and is keen on a truly full on spanish affair for her day, which we are hugely excited about.
Using dramatic deep reds, whites and blacks combined with lace and fans, but of course, as ever, done in a stylish understated way.
I love the element of teal in this inspiration board, combined with this colour scheme to break it up and create a more calming influence on the reds and blacks.
There is always I think a fine line between a stylish and tacky theme and it is easy to fall into the latter, with dare I say nylon lace, plastic favours and fans and castanets for me are a no no. I have only had this request once thank goodness and managed to steer them away from the idea.
What I did find interesting though is that castanets are actually a professional musical instrument that you can pay 100's of euros for the proper instrument so forget your cheap plastic version it is an art unto itself.
Pick the colour scheme, reds and blacks, dramatic colours but do always try to add in a third colour to break this combination up to create a more stylish effect otherwise you will look like a Halloween party.
As mentioned previously teal is always a fabulous colour to break this hard colour scheme up, as is saffron, orange, lemon, perhaps a lime or a fuchsia, but you need to lift this colour scheme with details colours and accents particularly for a wedding.
Garlands and bunting are huge this year so try to incorporate this into your decoration as it has so much impact at eye level, or above, and adds in that fun party element to the day's festivities.
Then add in the important details such as the lace embossed stationery, beautifully presented fans to match the decorations, some dramatic dark or lace linens and sultry lighting with lots candles and fire torches and you are well on your way.
(Clapping and stamping will have to come from the guests!)
Have pinatas strung up, particuarly if you have lots of children at your wedding, but they are just as much fun for the grown ups! this is a very popular tradition in Spain for parties, we love them!
Perhaps if you wish to go further offer locally pressed olive oils,miniature moscatels or brandies as favours, again beware of the tacky ones and have beautifully dressed bottles with carefully designed tags.
Get this wrong and it is awful, only as we were discussing this as well the other day, perhaps I am slightly too fussy but I just hate tack!
I get lots of samples all the time from potential suppliers and am amazed that they can't leave the cheap and nasty behind them.
Anycase perhaps I am waffling on, as I do but normally, but we buy the favours in strip them and decorate them in-house now as we cannot find anyone that does offer the stylish and elegant enough for us.
End your evening or start the next day's celebrations with a fabulous churros and chocolate bar, always a big hit anytime of day and brings in again that wonderful spanish theme into your wedding and who does not love churros and thick creamy chocolate :)
Another interesting idea I was discussing this week, with one of our brides, was the guest book dilemma. It is difficult when you are planning a destination wedding to make sure you can get everything home.
We do of course offer this service as part of our planning, you can send things to us to set up or you can leave things here for us to ship back to you.
But the guest book dilemma, I suggested she had time to create her personalised wedding guest book on a website such as Blurb.
Perhaps a book created using images of Spain, Andalucia and photos of yourselves and your families, how you met, photos of you on your holidays together, the engagement, etc.
You could head pages with questions such as where do you see us in 25 years time, any tips for a good marriage, etc and leaving pages blank so that the guests could write in it their messages and advice for you.
A sequel possibly with a honeymoon and first wedding anniversary book along with comments from the wedding website, an interesting idea I think and certainly one that is easily transported home and to show the kids when they are older!
Another lovely idea is to have beautiful Andalucian or personalised postcards made up (yes we do these as well) with stamps and your address on them that the guests can pick up at your wedding, go away and write a message to you and post them back to you.
When you get back from your honeymoon you will find a post box full of lovely wedding messages to place in your wedding scrap book.
On this note I am now dreaming of our hot summers and all the delightful weddings we are working on for the next two years and hope we are inspiring you with lots of novel and fabulous ideas for your destination wedding in the balmy Mediterranean, albeit it is cold, gloomy and raining here currently!