We must be mad but we soon decided that moving to a new country wasn’t a big enough change, we wanted to get married too!!! We had been together 16 years and had planned to get married a few years ago but funds were tight and we ended up postponing but now we had made the move to Spain we released it would be a lot cheaper to get our dream wedding.
The only issue was to have a legal wedding in Spain you would need to have been resident for 2 years and we had not yet obtained residencia. I started doing some research and found out we could get married in Gibraltar legally and only had to stay there for 24 hours before or after if we were British. This was great but I already had my eye on a rustic Spanish finca style wedding, it was also quite expensive to stay in Gibraltar and we wanted all our family friends to celebrate our special day with us.
We decided that we would do both, we would have a small legal wedding in Gibraltar, just us & the kids and then a rustic Spanish wedding for all of our family & friends.
We started looking for a venue in November and booked the first venue we found, Casa Rural La Carrasca, I fell in love with it the moment we saw it and luckily so did Sim.
The house & grounds were exactly what I had always envisaged, we had never wanted a hotel wedding, I had always wanted an outdoor ceremony and this was everything we could ask for and more, the only thing was that we would have to arrange the whole thing ourselves. We would be hiring the house and grounds for the weekend, the rest was up to us, this didn’t scare me though, I knew exactly what I wanted but I did worry if the language barrier could be an issue. Moises the owner is very helpful and friendly, he doesn’t speak much English but between us we got by, nothing was too much trouble and he even bought in extra bales of hay for our ceremony seating at the last minute, he was on hand all weekend if we needed him and his house is the most perfect, romantic, wedding venue, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.
After booking the venue for March 16th 2019, we started making the preparations. We would need to hire tables and chairs, a bar and catering, glassware, decor and order in plenty of booze.
Catering & Bar
We decided to book a hog roast for the wedding breakfast and we found a local company called Pig Out Now Hog Roasts, to do this for us. We were having our ceremony at 2pm and the hog roast at 5:30pm but we wanted to have a traditional Spanish feel too so decided to have tapas and sangria after the ceremony, this would keep the guests busy and soak up some of the alcohol whilst we were having the professional photos taken.
We were very lucky in that we had amazing friends in Spain who own a restaurant – The Orange Tree in Algorfa. We asked if they could help us with arranging the drinks and bar and they agreed. We used their local brewery who supplied the bar and all of the drinks for us as well as tables and chairs for the wedding breakfast. We also borrowed one of their staff, the lovely Mica to help with tapas and sangria preparations on the day. We couldn’t thank them enough, this took a massive weight of our shoulders and was one less thing to worry about. I had been trying to contact a few local companies for table and chair hire but the language barrier made this impossible so thanks to our friends, things were now falling into place.
Having a decent photographer is so important, we didn’t have a massive budget but we knew that having the best photographic memories was important to us. So the hunt began……… I had been given a few recommendations by friends and asked in local facebook groups, Ken Taylor Photography was recommended the most and as soon as I saw Kens website I knew he was the one for us. Ken arranged to meet us at the venue so he could get to know us and get a feeling for the venue and what we wanted from our photos, he was fab and I’m so glad we found him
I had bought my wedding dress 5 years previously when we first started wedding planning and I was still madly in love with my dress and was desperate to wear it but it was a size 8, and I no longer was!
Christine Worthy to the rescue……Christine is a local wedding planner who runs High Society Weddings and also makes wedding dresses and accessories. Christine was amazing and so helpful, I took my dress in to her shop and explained what I wanted and she got it straight away, she literally turned my vision into a reality and allowed me to wear the dress I dreamed of. Not only did she redesign my dress but Christine also made me a beautiful veil and flower crown. nothing was too much trouble and she offered me a lot of help and guidance on the wedding planning too.
Getting the Venue ready
As all our family and friends were flying in from the UK we wanted to make the most of them being here, most people were staying for 3 days so we decided to have a wedding weekend rather than just a day celebration, this also meant we would have plenty of help getting the venue ready for our celebrations.
On the Friday once everyone had arrived at the wedding house we had to get to work getting Casa Rural La Carrasca ready for the big day.
Everyone chipped in and helped by hanging and arranging the decor, setting up tables and chairs, moving bales of hay for the ceremony area and setting up the bar. We had definitely bitten off more than we could chew, we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help, and for that we will be forever grateful.
The Wedding Weekend begins…
The celebrations started on the Friday night with a meal for all our UK guests at The Orange Tree in Algorfa. I have to say it was very hectic, we had to get 37 guests from Delores to Algorfa and it took a fair few taxi journeys but eventually we made it and had a gorgeous meal and a few too many glasses of vino haha
The Big Day
We all woke up with sore heads on the actual wedding day, not a great start haha oh well the excitement was creating plenty of adrenaline so after a rushed start me and Jules (my Maid of honour and best friend) made our way down to Bliss Hair Salon in La Finca to get our hair done.
As soon as we arrived I realised I had left my hair extensions at the wedding house – arrrgggghhhhh after a few panicked phone calls my father in law to be, drove to the salon to drop them off for me, the day was saved.
Paige at Bliss is amazing and did a great job at both mine and Jules hair, our friend Gaz saved the day by bringing us breakfast at the salon (we were too rushed to have any back at the house) and he also bought us a glass of prosecco which made us feel much, much better, hair of the dog anyone?
Hair done we headed back to the wedding house where our makeup artist, Lisa Harris had been busy doing makeup for some of our guests and waiting patiently for us to arrive, we were an hour behind schedule.
As soon as we arrived back at the house I realised how busy everyone had been whilst we were being pampered, my rustic, magical vision was now a reality.
Lisa did an amazing job and helped me calm down as there was so much chaos going on around us. My lovely friend Emma was looking after my flower girls, doing their hair and makeup and then helped me get ready alongside Jules who had the job of lacing my corset.
We really are so lucky to have such great friends and family who all wanted to help us, leading up to and on the big day.
The boys were busy getting ready too and scrubbed up pretty damn good.
On the morning of the wedding, Sim, Marc (best man) & Justin (usher) had all been busy working there way through the list of jobs in my wedding book or wedding bible as I liked to call it! Every single detail was in there are was to be referred to and checked in case of any confusion haha
When we first decided to have this style of wedding, we knew we would need a wedding celebrant, we found a few locally but they were really expensive and we only wanted a very quick minimal ceremony, especially after my Gibraltar hysterics. We decided to ask my Uncle Tim, they lived in Spain and my Aunty and Tim had helped us so much when we moved over, we had become very close and he loved Sim as much ( if not more) than me haha he said yes and was very honoured that we had asked him and he did us so proud on the day, made us feel at ease and gave us the most beautiful, short and sweet service, it was perfect.
Everyone was here and it was time to make our entrance…………..To say I was nervous was an understatement. I had decided to send Keira and Freya (my little bridesmaids) first, with Jules and Ella (flower girl) to follow, they would be walking down the aisle to Is this love by Bob Marley and finally me and my brother, who was giving me away as we had sadly lost our amazing father 3 years ago. It was really hard without my dad, every girl wants their dad to walk them down the aisle but that wasn’t to be and my brother was a great replacement, my dad would have been proud.
Better together by Jack Johnson started playing and it was our time to head down the aisle…..
After the ceremony it was Sangria time, we had a help yourself bar area set up in the garden and Ken started taking some photos whilst we chatted to guests and everyone mingled
We both love music and it was really important to us, that we had live entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
We decided to book Lady Jazz for an early afternoon set, Anita sings the most amazing chilled jazz and creates a gorgeous ambiance, we thought this would be perfect to go with tapas and sangria in the garden, for a nice relaxed vibe.
Later on we had the very talented and gorgeous Emily Hullmann singing and we also had the decks set up for whichever of our DJ friends fancied getting a mix on……Thanks Dave for the killer funky set that went on till the early hours.
Wedding Breakfast & Speeches
We decided to have the speeches before the feast, with my dad not being alive, I had asked my best friend and maid of honour to do an alternative to the father of the bride speech and she was really nervous, Sim wasn’t doing a speech either, it had always been a big deal for him so we kept the speaches to a minimum, Jules ( Maid of honour), Marc (Best Man) and Ken (Sim’s Dad). I also did an impromtu speech, anyone that knows me knows i struggle to not talk, I am the loud, gobby one haha the main point of my speech was to direct everyone to the “drink me” bottle in front of them and to do a wedding party shots with the lovely liquor inside!
The hog roast went down well, we paid extra to have “real” plates and cutlery, although we hadn’t gone down the formal dining route, we didn’t really want paper plates on our wedding day. As well as the hog itself, the catering company supplied a variety of salads,pasta dishes, potatoes, condiments and an alternative options for the kids and people that didn’t eat pork.
For desert the idea was to have a homemade desert table, we were going to ask some guests to bring a favourite desert with them and hoped to have a variety of deserts available but lets just say it didn’t go to plan and we totally forgot about deserts……..more wine anyone???
Our wedding cake was made by Dulce Pan in Algorfa who had been recommended to me, the cake looked and tasted was amazing, i wanted a rustic tree trunk design and I was so happy with the end result, we had one tier in chocolate and one with Victoria sponge…….unfortunately we forgot to cut and serve the cake on the actual day as we were too busy partying & having fun, it was cut and eaten the following day instead, our 2nd wedding fail!
At 7pm our evening singer Emily Hullmann arrived and its was time to get the party started.
We had the most amazing evening, Emily sang her heart out, everyone was up on the dance floor even Kate, one of my best friends, who had broken her arm earlier in the day whilst decorating our wedding bed, I was gutted that someone was injured on our big day but we luckily had 2 nurses on hand to look after her before a trip to the local hospital.
We partied til the early hours and had the most fabulous, magical day and fell into bed around 4am.
Tomorrow was another day and we had more partying to do, this was a wedding weekend after all.
Family & Friends Photos
Final Day of celebrations
On the Sunday we woke up with very bad hangovers, I wasn’t sure we would get through the day but we had promised everyone paella & partying.
We cracked open the cava and vino and started all over again
Casa Rural La Carrasca has an outdoor kitchen with giant paella pans and BBQ facilities so we got our cook on, paella and bbq for 40 coming up….
And finally a pool party to complete an epic weekend of wedding celebrations, the pool at Casa La Rural La Carrasca is absolutely stunning and we had been blessed with the most glorious weather for March, what a weekend, what a wedding!
Thank you for reading about our dream wedding in Spain, if you are planning your own Spanish wedding then we wish you lots of luck and happiness. Spain is such a beautiful country, you wont regret it.
Jess @ Happy New Life In The Sun xxx