We are back! We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year! We are very excited by the year ahead and are very happy to be back in the office this morning. It’s nice to get the break but it’s even nicer to come back and get to share beautiful destination weddings with you like todays! For all you newly engaged couples out there considering a destination wedding, you might be tempted to look no further than Spain after today’s real wedding feature. Sara and Ahmed planned their Catalan Country House Wedding in Northern Barcelona and with the help of planning duo extraordinaire, A Spanish Do it was one beautifully designed fête. With imagery by Edwin Photography, it’s fair to say our 2017 is off to a stunning start.

From A Spanish Do

“Sara and Ahmed have known each other since they were 13 years old, and went to the same school. They have a memory of a school trip to the desert when they were 15 when Ahmed took Sara on a ride on his dirt bike over the dunes. However, they didn’t get together as a couple until they both returned to Dubai after going to university abroad, Ahmed in London and Sara in Switzerland, and they met to catch up. They went on a motorbike ride that same day and started to reminisce, and 6 years later here they are. In keeping with their love of travelling, Ahmed proposed when they were on holiday in Bali in 2015.

They didn’t actually know Barcelona well at all before starting to plan their wedding, but this was part of the attraction for them – they saw it as another new adventure. They have visited a total of 22 locations and counting since they got together, so a destination wedding was a logical choice for them. They had guests coming from all corners of the world, so it was important for their location to be easily accessible internationally and a cosmopolitan city with something for everyone. The venue, Masia Egara was ideal, as it fit in perfectly with the elegant rustic theme Sara was envisaging, but was still only half an hour from the centre of Barcelona, where guests were staying. They visited various different potential venues back in February 2016, but Masia Egara provided the perfect flow for the day, with a different space for each part of the wedding, each with its own character. They also chose to have a pre wedding cocktail party on the roof of the Majestic hotel, with views over the city, to give their guests a real taste of both the amazing city ambience of Barcelona, and the beautiful scenery of the Catalan countryside.

Sara had always known she wanted a rustic chic wedding theme. In Dubai weddings are often very formal and stiff occasions, so the couple were very keen to have something with a relaxed feel, without losing the touch of glamour that makes a wedding day special. They made sure that their hobbies and shared passions were incorporated into the day. Ahmed is crazy about motorbikes, hence the vintage BMW café racer in the ‘photo booth’ area. A globe was part of the decoration of the memory book table. One of the most spectacular moments was the mapping show which was projected onto the stunning façade of the masia. This was personalised with elements of Sara and Ahmed’s story – snippets of locations they had travelled to together, themes of the sea, sand dunes, and of course a motorbike! Since the venue is in a national park area it wasn’t possible to have fireworks, which had been a favourite idea of Ahmed’s, but the mapping finished with an amazing virtual display which was definitely just as much of a surprise for the guests.

The wedding was planned and coordinated by A Spanish Do. Having a planner was essential for Sara and Ahmed because they’re both extremely busy, and planning a destination wedding is really like a second job! There were many points when having a planner was key to overcoming obstacles. Certain suppliers didn’t have information or contracts in English. They had to navigate food options which would include a local touch, while still catering to all of the cultural and dietary requirements amongst their very varied group of guests. They were given a few recommendations of suppliers and venues from acquaintances who had got married in the same area, but as it was particularly important to them to have a very unique and personalised celebration, they wanted someone who could take all of their ideas and requirements and suggest or source the right local suppliers. They would highly recommend having a planner to anyone considering a destination wedding, whatever the location. It was invaluable to have someone with local knowledge and contacts to be their eyes and ears in their destination.

They couldn’t talk highly enough about all of the amazing suppliers involved in the day. Esther Conde provided the most amazing cuisine and were 100% flexible in providing dishes and a setup that would suit a huge variety of dietary requirements and tastes. A food truck was something that the couple really liked the idea of, and Indicakes’ powder blue truck was the perfect backdrop for the dessert buffet and wedding cake, as well as serving a selection of focaccias as a midnight snack, a particular hit. Audiovisual Wedding created the amazing mapping display which was definitely a showstopper and a very unique touch. They loved the style of Edwin’s photos and his team did a great job. Cabinet Bleu’s event styling division did the most amazing job of making Sara’s decorative dream a reality. Salut band, who flew over from London, were an excellent choice for music for the whole day. Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious and had all of the guests on the dancefloor until the early hours.

One of the biggest challenges for them was being able to have the wedding exactly as they wanted. Sara and Ahmed come from different cultural and religious backgrounds, so they are very grateful to their families for supporting and embracing their vision for their celebration. It was important for them to remove any religious or formal aspect from the day, and simply celebrate their love with all of the people who are dearest to them. A particularly touching moment during the ceremony was the exchanging of roses between the newlyweds and their parents, which was far more meaningful for them than any religious ritual.

With destination weddings becoming more and more common, another challenge was simply to surprise and wow guests who had already attended weddings all over the world. With the combination of amazing suppliers and the most stunning venue they managed to do just that. “

Photography and videography: Edwin Vandevyer | Planning, organisation and coordination: A Spanish Do Venue: Masia EgaraBride’s dress: La Sposa Bride’s shoes: Manolo Blahnik Groom’s outfit: Dior |  Catering: Esther Conde Wedding cake, dessert buffet and midnight snack: Indicakes | Flowers and decoration: Cabinet Bleu Music: Salut Band Sound and lighting: DiscomodaMapping projection: Audiovisual Wedding

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