Lotte and Patrick travelled from the Netherlands to marry at the stunning Gran Hotel Sol y Mar in Calpe on Spain’s Costa Blanca. Their afternoon ceremony was held on the rooftop terrace of the hotel’s Champagne bar, overlooking Calpe beach and the incredible Rock of Ifach. Cake, champagne and some family portraits followed, before Helen Schryver headed with Lotte & Patrick to Calpe’s picturesque Old Town for some couple portraits. With painted Spanish steps, beautiful architecture and trompe l’oeil wall murals at every turn, it was a photographer’s dream. The tiny cobbled streets and alleyways are beautifully shaded and provided a welcome break from the heat of the day. A few more shots were captured at the beach at sunset with the bridal party before the buffet reception.

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MEETING & ENGAGEMENT

We met in high school when Patrick was 17 and I was 15. Our first date was to the movie ‘Oceans 11’, and after a couple of dates we finally became boyfriend and girlfriend. Our engagement is such a lovely story! It happened on Christmas Eve 2013. Normally we spend Christmas with family, but that year we decided to spend it together instead. So, we booked a hotelroom in Breda in the Netherlands, half an hour away, to make a small vacation out of it. When we arrived at the hotel, they gave us a ridiculously big and beautiful room. At dinner in the restaurant they gave us champagne because “it was Christmas” and Patrick had a small gift for me. I started unwrapping it and saw a dice. Not just a dice, but a real one from the TV-series ‘Las Vegas’! I continued unpacking and a kind of a book appeared. After a closer look I saw it was a hard cover of a menu from the ‘Banks Casino’ from the movie ‘Oceans 13’. I was totally surprised! I opened the menu, and Patrick stood up (it all happened so fast!) I read the words “Will you take a chance with me?” I looked up and Patrick was on one knee holding up a small box with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen! I kept saying things like “Nooo, you’re kidding me, is this for real?!” and then he asked me to marry me him. I said “YES!!” The music changed to a love song, I looked up and saw my sister, my best friend and my future sister in law walking into the restaurant. I was so surprised! They all stayed for dinner, and we went to the Casino that evening and celebrated the engagement. The entire evening I felt so overwhelmed, like a dream and I just couldn’t believe it. It was an amazing and unforgettable Christmas!

DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

We live in the Netherlands where we are used to the rain, but we love and enjoy our sunny vacations so much that we wanted to make a vacation of our wedding. Also neither of us likes being in the spotlight, so we wanted a small wedding. At the beginning we had no idea where to start looking. Questions came up such as the authenticity of photos we were seeing online, whether to work with a planner or not, and whether the cost would be too high for a destination wedding. But, nowadays it all starts with a simple Google search, ‘Wedding Spain’ and we started planning! We had a couple of requirements: we wanted to be near the sea, on a rooftop and have an amazing view. We found a picture of a location that had it all so I made a list with all the questions I could think of, about the costs of drinks and diner, whether they could arrange the flowers, wedding cake, photographer etc. Just a couple of days later I received an email from the head of reception, Silvia, with all the answers to my questions and the costs were similar to our budget. What a great beginning! We e-mailed back and forth and after a couple of days the contacts and information just felt right, we made a ‘reservation’ for the location and planned our trip to Gran Hotel Sol Y Mar in Calpe, Spain. It was so exciting! Silvia (the party planner) already knew we were coming, so during check-in she came by to say hi. She took as for a tour around the entire hotel. We saw all the different rooms and went to the place where the ceremony would be. It was all so amazing! In the one week during visit we signed the contract and it became official: we would get married in Calpe. We only ended up looking at this venue since it was the only one that had everything we were looking for. We really wanted to be close to the beach, but not on the beach. Next to that the place had to be a bit modern, since that is our taste.

CHALLENGES

Because of the distance it was hard to plan everything ourselves. It was not possible to pick out the flowers myself. So I told Silvia which colours I wanted, the size and the type of flowers. She checked this with the flower shop. On our wedding day I saw the flowers for the first time and they were amazing! Same thing with the cake; we did not have the possibility to pre-taste the cake. But we told Silvia the flavors and she ordered the cake, and it was beautiful! So basically we overcame all the obstacles by having someone take care of it who we trusted. A professional planner was not necessary in the end because we had Silvia to help us with the wedding.

DETAILS

We went for a traditional Spanish cake, rather than the one usually used in the Netherlands and though we didn’t really have a style or theme, we asked our guests to dress festive. Most of our guests stayed for a few days all together. Some left for another location in Spain a couple days after the wedding. We sent out the invitations about 7 months in advance.

BEST DECISIONS

  • Asking Silvia to perform the ceremony.
  • Getting married in Spain (a wedding we could not have had in Holland)
  • Booking ourselves the most beautiful hotel room.
  • Arriving at the hotel before our guests arrived and leaving after the last guests left.

The most memorable moment for me was when everybody already sat down, our bridesmaid (three years old) started tossing rose petals and then walking up the stairs to go down the aisle.

ADVICE

We really relied on the help of Silvia a lot. We had visited another venue before ending up at Sol Y Mar. It is essential to have a connection with someone who can help you take care of everything. In our case Silvia was always one step ahead of us and was very organized, something that helps with the pre-wedding stress!

Photography: Helen Schryver | Ceremony & Reception: Gran Hotel Sol Y Mar  | Video: Katherine Schryver  | Cake, Catering, Floristry: Gran Hotel Sol Y Mar | Dress: Honeymoonshop  | Bridesmaids: Peek & Cloppenburg | Groom’s Suit: London City Club | Groomsmen: Zara | Stationery: DIY by couple | Shoes: Elsa Coloured Shoes |  | Bridal Jewellery: Noblesse | Bridesmaid Jewellery: Swarovski

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