Anna and Andrew met in Spain and had lived in Marbella, the UK and Australia before choosing Ibiza to marry in. They chose this Spanish island as they wanted a true destination wedding experience. The couple’s jaw-dropping ceremony location will blow you away, with unbelievable views over the Mediterranean and the Ibizan cliffs. Gypsy Westwood‘s beautiful photos capture it all perfectly, and be sure to check out Anna’s story below where she has some great advice for coupes marrying abroad.

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HOW THEY MET

“Mum and I decided to move to Spain so she could retire in style and I could learn some Spanish. We met a real-estate agent who was showing us around and asked me if I had made many friends yet, as she knew a nice boy that was staying in his parent’s apartment for the summer.  I politely told her that I wasn’t interested in meeting any boys, as I had just had a quite a rollercoaster of a relationship, so wanted to stay clear. She convinced me that I should meet him as it’s good to have a friend that can show you around. Meanwhile, she calls this boy up (Andrew) and tells him she has a great blind date lined up for him and he should get dressed up to take me out for dinner. As they say, the rest is history– and ten years later there is a lot of history. A break up after five years and reunited after Andrew found the meaning of life at the top of Mount Everest, two dogs, and a move from Marbella to Sheffield back to Marbella then over to Sydney, where we now live and couldn’t be happier.

ENGAGEMENT

We had been planning a Christmas holiday in Bali for months. We hadn’t really ever had a holiday together where we splashed out and went luxury all the way so we decided to go for it. We also hadn’t seen my mum in a long time so thought Bali would be a good half way point (between Marbella and Sydney that is). Three days before Christmas we arrived at the airport, full of the normal excitement of going on holiday, where I was told that because my passport had less than six months before it expired, I wouldn’t be able to go to Bali. Being so close to Christmas there was also no way of getting any emergency passport. As you can imagine, I was mortified. It was bad enough that this wonderful holiday was cancelled, but it was made much worse that mum was waiting at Bali airport for us, after a long trip from Europe. I told Andrew that he would have to go to Bali without me and come back with Mum when they can. Unbeknown to me at the time, Andrew was feeling particularly unhappy as he sat on the plane departing for Bali. Not only were our holiday plans ruined, but as he looked at the empty seat beside him, he pulled out the engagement ring from his pocket and realised that his romantic engagement plans were ruined too.

Christmas morning I picked mum and Andrew up from the airport. We came home and started the day with champagne and present time. When it was time for Andrew to give me his present, it was just a small envelope with a small gold ticket– engraved with “ticket to paradise”. He told me that unfortunately my Christmas present was in Bali, and that this ticket was an invitation to a private villa on the water with a jetty, where our own chef would have prepared us dinner. He said it was a shame I wasn’t able to go, as after dinner he would have given me another present– which is when he got on his knees. I think you can guess the rest.

DESTINATION DECISION

We decided to get married in Ibiza because we met and lived in Spain for five years, so it holds a lot of cherished memories for us. We decided we would rather get married in Ibiza than Marbella as we know that place like the back of our hands and wanted more of a destination wedding. Ibiza ticked both boxes as it’s still Spain but a completely new destination for us– neither of us had actually ever been to Ibiza before, but so many friends and family had told how amazing it was and the photos of Ibiza say it all! I found the venue searching for inspiration on Pinterest. Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena has the most amazing breathtaking views. I saw it for the first time just a couple of days before the wedding and being susceptible to a cry anyway,  I had a few tears- it is just so beautiful there, no photo can do it justice. We had the reception at the hotel and the party back at the villa we had hired for the week. For me using both a venue and the villa was an ideal combination, as it was so romantic having Andrew waiting for me at the hotel. I also stayed the night before in a different place with my matron of honour, which added to the excitement- Hotel Le Marquis.

CHALLENGES

I can honestly say that there really weren’t any major challenges. Probably the hardest thing to organise was how to schedule the day. We had the wedding at the end of July, which is probably the hottest point in the year in Ibiza, but I couldn’t do anything about the date as my best friend was also getting married in Europe and we had planned to have the weddings close together so everyone could go. So trying to plan the day so that it wasn’t too hot as well as trying to fit everything in that comes after the ceremony was difficult. In the end, we realised that the temperature doesn’t really change until after 9/10pm so unless you’re happy to have the wedding then, any time of the day is the same.

We used a wedding planner and it was the best decision we ever made. We used Taste Ibiza, run by husband and wife Roy and Juliette.  I really cannot express in words how much Roy and Juliette made both the planning and the execution of the day better than I could ever of imagined. They ensured that EVERY detail was in place along the way and after a year of planning, gave me my full itinerary for the day/week. Our wedding extended to the whole week with boat parties, bbqs and beach clubs and there was not one moment that I had to worry about a thing. We had a fairly classic elegant style but with a Spanish twist. I had maracas for guests at the ceremony with ‘Shake at the kiss’ on them and a fancy dress box.

BEST DECISION & ADVICE

The very first thing I organised before even the venue, or finding a place to stay, was booking Lovely Laura and resident Hed Kandi DJ, aka Laura’s husband, Ben Santiago. Growing up, my best friends and I were big Hed Kandi fans, so the idea of having Laura at my wedding playing the sax and Ben playing classic Hed Kandi songs was a dream come true.  However, my most memorable moment was definitely walking down the isle, holding my mum’s hand, seeing my husband to be with a tear in his eye, all with my very best and closest friends and family all around us. If I had advice for other couples, it would be not to having a wedding when it is too hot. I didn’t have much choice, but if you can choose, it really is better if you can be more comfortable and not worry about the heat.”

Photographer: Gypsy Westwood | Wedding Planner: Taste Ibiza | Ceremony & Reception: Hacienda Na Xamena |  Stationery: Handmade | Hair Stylist: Lianne from Smack Ibiza | Makeup: Liza Mayne | Bride’s Dress: Sottero and Midgley- Summer  | Bridesmaids: Forecast | Groom’s Suit: Tailor4Less | Groom’s Shoes: Herring | Wedding Celebrant: Melchior | Music: Lovely Laura | DJ: Hed Kandi

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