Emma and Chris married on the island of Ibiza, in a stunning boutique agroturismo hidden away in the tranquillity of Ibiza’s red soiled farmland. They planned the wedding from their home in the UK, and Emma has superb advice below for brides planning future destination weddings, including advice on packing your dress and even how to bring your cake! Their stunning wedding was captured perfectly be the talented Ana Lui Photography: we love absolutely everything about this celebration.

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HOW THEY MET

“Chris was working in Abu Dhabi and I was over there on holiday, I spotted him for the first time across a crowded room and that was it! I returned to London, and then after a six month long-distance relationship Chris returned to the UK where we moved in together.  It transpired that our UK bases in London were less than three miles apart so it wasn’t much of a relocation on my part.

Four years after we met Chris took me to Istanbul for a mini-break where one morning before heading out to explore the city he got down on one knee and proposed. It took quite some time for this moment to sink in and for me to believe he was being serious even though he produced an engagement ring! The ring was originally his grandmother’s which he took to Burlington Arcade in London and had remade which made it even more special.

DESTINATION DECISION

We were really lucky- Chris and I were married twice!  We had a small (the legal bit) affair in a church next to our home in Richmond. Immediate family sat in the choir stalls as we were married at the high alter, and then we headed to a local restaurant. For the Ibiza wedding, Chris and I have always looked forward to our trips to Ibiza on our own or with friends. We love escaping to such a friendly island with incredible food, fantastic dancing and beautiful natural landscapes both inland (where we got married) and on the coast. As soon as we land we just relax and unwind.  It is our oasis and we knew this was the place where we should marry. We planned a trip to choose the wedding location on the island with our friends Rhi and Ollie, and had such a fun time viewing locations and trying lots of great food all in the hope of finding the right location for our big day. I had spotted Atzaro on a website and we thought it might be our favourite, and oh it was! Atzaro is a stunning boutique Agroturismo hidden away in the tranquillity of Ibiza’s red soiled farmland.

Atzaro ticked all the boxes: stunning space, design and location, incredible food and wine, and wonderful staff who had thought of everything and can make anything possible. We were so excited to show all our friends and family an island which we think is incredible, but which is often only known for its nightlife and not for its spectacular beauty. After the wedding it made us so happy to find out that everyone was enjoying exploring the island and quite a few (including the more mature guests) are planning to return this year for a holiday.

PLANNING

We loved our planning expeditions to Ibiza, especially taking the mums over for the food & wine tasting. We didn’t really come up against any problems. We parcelled up and posted out some bits and pieces to the Island which Atzaro held on to until we arrived, and we had to hire most things out there but it wasn’t a problem.

Even the pre-wedding flight was easy! I found a case that was acceptable as hand luggage on the plane and even though I didn’t have a small sized wedding dress, the wedding dress shop found it easy to pack– they are the experts! We carried the wedding cake over to Ibiza with us as Chris’s mum and auntie are cake makers (you can see by the pictures the incredible result). A fruitcake is completely acceptable to take on a flight therefore Chris and I took two tiers, the Chester Cake Ladies (aka mum and auntie) took one tier and my brother and sister-in-law took the final tier. Along with my dress and cake, we took on Chris’s wedding suit in a carrier onto the plane: the airport, security and BA (who provided us with lots of complimentary champagne) were just fantastic!

We didn’t use a planner- in a previous life my husband was a party planner so his natural instincts kicked in! Katia, the events planner at Atzaro, was always on hand by phone and email and when we visited in person to go through things, she offered up advice and help in every way we needed.  She made suggestions of people to use for most things such as the techie stuff, the celebrant and flowers, and on the day everything just happened smoothly without us even realising, all thanks to her. The style we went for was lush and green with some chic glamour thrown in for good measure. There is not one thing Chris and I would have changed about the wedding, it was a wonderful day in every way so picking a single moment is impossible!

ADVICE

INVITES: Whereas traditionally you send out a ‘save the date’ and then the invites six to eight weeks in advance, that doesn’t quite work for a destination wedding. Let the guests know about the date and location as much in advance as possible so guests can get the best deals on flights and accommodation. Giving this much notice also means more guests will come to the wedding and that, if you recommend hotels where they then book and stay (which you’ve already tried), many of them will have broken the ice and got to know one another before the wedding has even started. We sent our invites out (with the wedding website ready to go) eight months in advance.  From the 115 invited 108 attended– guests made our wedding their summer holiday so financially it was less of a burden.

WEBSITE: We created a wedding website and put every bit of info on there the guests might require.  If we were asked questions we suggested they looked at our website and it also made the guests feel they were thought of and had everything they needed for the trip.

WELCOME DRINKS: A few days before the wedding day we held welcome drinks at another location.  This gave us the opportunity to spend some quality time with all of our guests and so we didn’t feel the pressure on the big day.

LATE CEREMONY: As we knew the day would be warm, we didn’t have the ceremony until 5pm therefore everyone was comfortable and we could party until the morning! It also meant we had plenty of time to sort those finishing touches in the morning of the wedding and get ready without getting up early or having to rush.

SUPPLIERS: With regards to wedding suppliers, don’t take emails and their websites as the best or only way to find and liaise with vendors. I found the best people didn’t necessarily have a fancy website and if you can discuss your requirements over the phone or even better in person, you can be certain you get exactly what you want and there will be no hidden costs. Suggested vendors are always the best bet as you can get a true review of them, or find someone you would never have hunted down otherwise.”

Photography: Ana Lui Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Atzaro | Florist: Flowers Ibiza | Cake: Chester Cake Ladies | Stationery: Harquil Printing | Wedding Website: Squarespace | Wedding Dress: Hema Gown (altered by seamstress) | Bridesmaid Gowns: Queenie | Hair & Makeup: Karen Nicholls | Wedding Celebrant: Hedley Paul Spargo

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