Most of our recent features showcasing Barcelona have highlighted the beautiful city but today, we are venturing about an hour south of the city and slightly north of Sitges for this stunning countryside, villa wedding in Olivella. There are so many beautiful elements to this wedding but the brides dress and her beautiful dried flower bouquet are two of the many highlights and of course the photography just speaks for itself. The couple. Laura and David have very generously shared their story and experince which I’m sure you will all enjoy! 

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From the Couple

“We first met back in 2005 when we both played for the same football club, David as captain of the first mens’ team and Laura as one of ‘Pink Ladies’ women footballers. After 11 years of fun and travels (to Melbourne and back prior to finally settling in Leeds) David finally plucked up the courage to propose. This was done on the balcony at our holiday home in Chamonix in the French Alps watching the sun set behind Mont Blanc. He had tried throughout the day to find somewhere to pop the question whilst on the slopes, and secretly carried the ring and a bottle of champagne in his rucksack all day. Unfortunately due to adverse weather conditions this didn’t quiet go to plan but on my return to our place the balcony was beautifully laid out with comfy chairs, rugs and champagne and not too long after he got down on one knee and popped the question!

We were clear from the outset that we wanted a small intimate destination wedding and that it would not be too lavish, with DIY elements wherever possible to both keep costs down and make it personal. When I saw the pictures of Casa Felix we knew straight away that it would be perfect and booked it instantly without visiting! The best decision we made was splashing out on Val, our wedding planner; at first I thought this was an expensive luxury, but not being able to speak Spanish meant it really was a necessity rather than a luxury, and on our big day the whole event ran seamlessly from start to finish without either of us having had to do anything except have the time of our lives!

Casa Felix is situated in a tiny hamlet called Olivella which sits in the Parc Garraf National Park outside Sitges. It is about 30 minutes drive from Barcelona, so near enough to be convenient for guests to travel but far enough away to feel like you really are ‘getting away from it all’. All the guests stayed in the villa for the week, which really made it special; we arrived on the Saturday and had plenty of time to relax around the two beautiful pools prior to the big day which we set as the Tuesday. I was worried that we may have had people that decided not to travel all that way for a wedding, but we had the opposite problem, everyone said yes! Val our wedding planner did most of the organisational aspects of the week for us, meaning that there wasn’t too much to worry about at any step of the way. It was important to us to have a really excellent band which wasn’t a ‘traditional’ wedding band, so rather than choose one ‘off the peg’, I trawled the website of the pubs and bars in Barcelona and came across our band ‘The Big Mouthers’, a rock cover band who usually perform at gigs, festivals and pubs in the city. We couldn’t have been more thrilled with them as they played all our favourite tunes…..from Kings of Leon to Bon Jovi, there was music for everyone and the dancefloor was rocking! They even performed our favourite song ‘Dog Days’ by Florence and the Machine for our first dance which was not usually on their repertoire.

We were determined not to let the costs of the day spiral out of control, so we did things DIY wherever we could. We made paper fans from card and lolly sticks, the programmes were homemade ‘cootie catchers’ and the bridesmaids flowers and table/pew decorations were homemade from a job lot of died lavender costing £30! We never wanted a traditional wedding cake as usually find this doesn’t get eaten, instead we went to the supermarket on the day before and bought different sized ‘tortillas’, or Spanish potato omelette, which were stacked up and made into a savoury cake which was finished by all the guests at the end of the dancing – an original post-wedding snack! Our guest book comprised of cartoon polaroids of all the guests made DIY via an colouring-in app called Colourscape, which we asked each guest to write a message for us on the rear and we now have in a special polaroid album, and decorations comprised polaroid photos of guests from over the years strung up using string and pegs. We also personalised the day by distributing a shot of Vodka for us and all the guests after saying I do – apparently a Russian tradition that we decided to adopt as it was a wink towards many a ski holiday with family and friends over the years! Our vows were also completely personalised as we wrote them ourselves and our guests all commented that it was the most tear-jerking and original ceremony they had ever attended.

Regards advice for future brides we would say don’t be scared to do something a bit different – getting married abroad means that you can really break from tradition and do something fun and inventive. Also, not everything associated with weddings has to cost the earth – most decorations can be created for a few pounds and can look really effective. If your backdrop is stunning, spending thousands of pounds on decoration really isn’t necessary. Think of using dried flowers rather than fresh, they keep for a long time, don’t droop in the hot weather and travel really well. Dried lavender also smells fantastic. Although perhaps an acquired taste and a bit quirky, our tortilla cake went down a treat and only cost a few euros! My final personalised tip for brides getting married in a hot climate – plan your wedding for late afternoon, make sure you have a hand fan and regularly powder your nose so you don’t look too shiny on your wedding pictures! I would say that there are 3 things that I’m glad we splashed out on; Val our wedding planner, Richie our photographer and our wedding band. These have allowed us to have long-lasting memories of what was without doubt the best day of our lives.”

Photographer: Richard Hadley | Planner: Weddings Via Val | Bridal flowers and buttonholes: English Flower Farmer | Dried Lavender: Simply Hops | Venue: Casa Felix, Olivella | Caterers: Nova Catering | Celebrant: Toby Harper | Band: Big Mouthers | Dress: Kobus Dippenaar | Shoes: Fabi | Hair: Michael Mawson | Polaroid photos: Photobox

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