Yoko and Ian’s destination wedding took place along the Costa Brava, a coastal area on the very north-eastern tip of Spain, just over an hour or so from Barcelona. Having spent time in Japan, London and Bankok, the couple settled on the destination for their celebration after attending a previous wedding here. They decided the Hotel Castell D’Emporda would be the perfect place to tie the knot, and it was all captured perfectly by Divine Day Photography. We love their beautiful outdoor ceremony and couple portraits amid olive groves under the evening light.

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DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

“We met in London but got engaged on a beautiful beach in Tulum in Mexico while holidaying there. It was under a full moon on Valentine’s Day- could not have been more romantic! We got married at Hotel Castell D’Empoda in La Bisbal, Spain (about an hour and a half drive from Barcelona). Ian had been to another wedding there before we met. He went to school in nearby Barcelona as well so had a connection to the area. As our family and friends are from all over the world, our wedding could really have been anywhere but the main three reasons for Spain were sun, sun and sun! I know weddings are about the bride and groom, friends and family, but let’s be honest- a nice sunny day makes everything better. I grew up partially in Bangkok and spent some time in Dubai working so sun was a big thing for me too.  We had a couple of days with friends and family in Barcelona enjoying the amazing food and beach before the wedding, then drove to the castle for the weekend of the wedding. Oh finally, it worked out cheaper than England too.

CHALLENGES

We had three ceremonies altogether. Firstly in our local town hall in London with close family members only. Secondly in Japan with a traditional Japanese shinto style wedding in a temple. I wanted to have it in the city that my mum is from so my grandparents could attend. In contrast to dealing with Japanese vendors, trying to organize everything in Spain was a bit of a nightmare. Ian was in charge of the Spanish wedding as he speaks Spainish. However at the end I had to intervene acting the “bridezilla” to get things moving! To be fair, it all went ok on the night (I guess they have done a ton of weddings before) and all the staff were sweet and helpful once we were there. We definitely could have done without the stress caused by their delayed response time though!

BEST DECISION & ADVICE

The best decision we made was to get married in Spain and not in England. My favourite moments were the afternoon/early evening light- our ceremony was at 5pm and we had our photos taken before joining the rest of the guests. It was October, 25 degrees.. the rolling Catalan countryside, the castle lit up on the hill, us on the grounds eating freshly cut jambon and listening to a live flamenco band amid the landscaped gardens and olive groves.  We have no regrets, and our only advice advice would be: help your stress level by starting out with a realistic expectation for customer service in Spain. (Although I have to say- we did have excellent service from the bridal shop and florist!)”

Photography: Divine Day Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hotel Castell D’Emporda | Florist: Montana | Catering & Cake: Hotel Castell D’Emporda | Wedding Dress: Jesus Peiro | Bridesmaid Dresses: Tailor-made in Dubai | Bride’s Shoes: Diane von Furstenberg | Groom’s Suit: Smoking Barcelona | Groomsmen: Own clothes | Groom’s Shoes: Loake | Bride’s Jewellery: Her grandmother | Car Hire: Hertz | Wedding Celebrant: Friend | Hair & Makeup: Eri Musaka | DJ: Kamal | Flamenco Band: Gavin Buckley and Joana Ferer

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