Having a destination wedding in Mallorca was just another step in the 10-year story of Leanne and Matthew, how had met at the sweet age of 16 on a family vacation on another Spanish island, Lanzarote. The bride had high expectations: “Words that used to encapsulate how I pictured the wedding were romantic, rustic, family-filled, special memories, ‘Mama-mia-esque’, garden party, pretty chapel and party.” A tall order, but with the help of Bec Balcombe of Mallorca Venue Finder they pretty much got what they had hoped for: A candle-lit ceremony at a private neo-gothic chapel, cocktail hour held around an original old windmill and finally a poolside reception with lots of sparkling fairy lights…
Ana Lui Photography captured the beauty of this couple and their special day in her usual fresh and bright way, with a keen eye for detail – my kind of wedding photography. Enjoy!
“The Hilton Sa Torre a dreamy traditional finca dating back to the 14th Century with a stunning private chapel; Gran Cristiana. The hotel treated me like a princess, giving me a master suite with a four poster bed, with balconies overlooking the chapel. This room was stunning and was the perfect setting and size for my bridal possy! My family and I stayed there the night before… It was hard not to peek out at the guests and Matt arriving at the chapel below as I was waiting to get ready!”
On the bridesmaids: “My girls are very special to me. Seven is regarded as a lot and was often joked about by Matt and his groomsmen, but I have built very special friendships over the years and I saw making them bridesmaids as an opportunity to thank them for that, and I am so glad they were there to share the experience with me.
I actually saw pretty much the exact dress that I wanted for the bridesmaids on Pinterest and I searched high and low for months, even toying with having them made, until the popped up in Coast – fate! The style suited every figure type and the floaty chiffon looked gorgeous in the odd bit of breeze. I got them all flat shoes as it was going to be such a long day, which turned out to be a popular move. I liked the shoes so much that I bought myself a pair too, so I could be in the gang on the wedding day.”
“Bec, our wedding coordinator, was amazing from start to finish. We booked our wedding with her two years in advance and no email or request was too much for her. She made our ideas come to life and had some amazing contacts. She also coordinated the whole day – two venues, 100 people and a longer wedding than her usual ones.”
“As for the flowers, Charlotte really listened to our ideas, advised well what flowers were in season and then came up with a concept that best fit it. She sourced pretty white lanterns and mixed glass votives to decorate with candles and flowers for the chapel isle and wedding breakfast tables. She also did wrist corsages for our female family members. I was blown away with the flowers and decoration – the colours were fresh, romantic and really complimented the colour theme. She worked with me to add brooches on to each of the bridesmaids bouquets with their initial on, to add a spot of detail. These were then keepsakes for the girls.”
“The cocktail hour was held around an original windmill, where guests were served wine and canapes. We loved how relaxed the atmosphere was at this point of the wedding. Everybody was enjoying being in the Mallorcan sunshine and taking in the beautiful hotel grounds and our wedding planner had pretty white wooden parasols for the guests to use, which came in handy in the midday August sunshine.”
On having a destination wedding in Mallorca: “Matt and I have long distance at our very core; we met in Lanzarote when in college and came from different ends of England. Now that we finally live together, travelling to see family plays a big part in our lives. Therefore we wanted to get married somewhere neutral that was equally accessible for all and somewhere where we could see everybody over a longer period, so that usual rush of getting around everybody at a wedding didn’t play a part in our day. We had family over from Ireland and also family and friends we don’t usually get lots of time with. We wanted to create a longer set of memories that we shared with all of our guests; a treat and a celebration for all, and so a destination summer break wedding was perfect – all that and of course the sunshine was more reliable! I have always loved everything Spanish and so something that could encoroprate elements of the beauty of the Spanish islands was what we wanted. When we first visited Mallorca we were spoilt for choice – there is so much to the island that we wanted to show everybody, fromt he beaches, to the hills, to the puertos to the rustic fincas. That is why we settled on two venues that we thought best gave our guests this, and also gave them an insight into a side that they never expected of Mallorca. We visited five times over two years before the big day and fell in love with it more every time. It will always have a special place in our hearts.”
On the dress: “Picking my dress was an extra special experience for me as I’m a girly girl. My Dad and I are really close so he came too, along with my Mum and my best and oldest friend, Katrina. It is true when they say that you need to try lots of dresses on. The dress I ended up with was nothing like what I originally pictured and I am now so glad for the bridal shops’ inputs. My advice to any bride would be to listen to them as they really know what suits! My dress really brought the idea of my wedding day together in my head and it was a Spanish designer so it was obviously meant to be. I loved wearing a veil – you only get to wear a veil once in your life so make the most of it!”
The catering: “We wanted the traditional wedding breakfast set-up, but without the hassle of serving everybody, especially at a petite outdoors venue and also without it taking most of the night up. Helen and Natasha worked with us to create a menu and service that worked with the relaxed, ‘Mama Mia-esque’ feel that we were going for with our wedding and designed a ‘help yourself’ BBQ menu with our favourite dessert served at the tables – Eton Mess! Everybody loved the food and it wasn’t heavy enough to stop anybody busting a move on the dancefloor later on. They also served our guests traditional cava sangria on arrival at our evening venue, even running round going the extra mile and refilling glasses when we were caught up having our photos taken.”
On the reception venue: “Son Penyaflor is a little agroturismo in la Serra de Tramuntana, just below the Castillo de Alaro, on the cliff edge above. This place gave our guests a different feel of Spanish island life and we shipped them up the winding roads in little mini buses, past the mountain goats. This place is beautiful and we loved it the moment we visited. It has a calmness about it and at the same time a warm family feel. The little garden pool provided a centre point, around which we had our tables. In the trees we had fairy lights picking out the main branches and together with the hundreds of candles, our venue twinkled with light as it got dark. It was amazing to have everybody dancing under the stars and after a week-long holiday together”
Wedding photography & videography: Ana Lui Photography // Wedding Coordinator: Bec Balcombe – Mallorca Venue Finder // Ceremony and cocktail venue: Hilton Sa Torre, Llucmajor // Ceremony choir: Georgie Insull Choir // Reception venue: Son Penyaflor, Alaro // Catering: Delicioso // Flowers: Charlotte at Vanda Flower Studio // Table plan, fans, place names: Teal Typewriter at Etsy // Cake topper: Once Wed // Table numbers and lettering (‘Bar’, ‘Tables’, ‘Cake’, ‘Muchas Gracias’): Company Forty Two at Etsy // Bride’s dress: Fanal by La Sposa, sourced via Ava Rose Hamilton in Barrowford // Bride’s shoes were by Untold, and she bought Majorca pearls for her earrings, so they would be a keepsake. // Hair & make-up: Louise Maxwell // Groom + his men: The boys went for slim fit suits from Next, with the groomsmen just wearing waiscoats
Garters: “I wore my Mum and my Mother in Law’s garters, as well as my own, so that my daughter in the future can have the option of wearing mine and I would have something to pass down. I also carried two coins with me; tuppences given to me by my Grandma. One was dated the year of my Dad’s birth and the other was dated the year of my grandparents’ marriage. She told me that these were meant to be stuck inside my shoes to bring me good luck and wealth in my marriage. These are now extra special to me as my Grandma sadly passed away very shortly after the wedding.”
Groom’s accessories: “Matt’s tie pin, engraved with ‘M&L’, caught the eye of so many people throughout the day and really set off his tie and waistcoat. He loves watches and so I surprised him with a new one to mark our wedding day, which was given to him exactly an hour before our wedding, in the chapel, by his Dad, with a note that detailed the minutes since we met, since we got engaged, since our first home and how many minutes until we were married. To me it signified all the amazing moments we had had and just how long that we had waited for this special day and I was glad to be able to give him something back.”
Advice for destination brides-to-be:
“Don’t underestimate the value of a great wedding co-ordinator! Especially on the day. They have all of the contacts and the relationships and are also better located to streamline your organising and the day would have been almost impossible without our co-ordinator. Timings went perfectly and there were a lot of suppliers involved, who were all in the right places at the right time.
Make sure you get a hair and make-up artist that you can trust. If you are going to be in the sun then your skin colour could change from the shade of make-up you usually use. A good make-up artist can prep your skin to wear in the sunshine and also survive the whole day.
Also, if you want your wedding to be legally recognised then do your research and in advance. Certain countries have different rules and there can be a lot of preparation involved. It was quite a bit of work organising our non-resident Catholic ceremony in Spain but we think it was worth it. And we are glad that we sorted this early in the preparations so that we could concentrate on more fun things closer to the time.”
On Ana Lui Photography:
“We came across Ana Lui’s work on some wedding blogs and her fresh bright and ingenious capturing of special moments really caught our eye. The more we looked at her work the more we were convinced that her style was right for our wedding and we wanted her talent sprinkled on it. We wanted somebody that really would listen to our wedding day idea and work to capture that. To us, the beauty of the place and the involvement of family and detail was important; all elements that jumped out of her other work. From our first Skype call we clicked with her and we were excited for her to shoot the wedding. Ana and her team met us the day before to take in the venues and decided to get some shots of them and us to capture ‘the day before’. We had an extra long day with many different parts and details to the wedding, even managing to squeeze in some time to have some shots alone by the sea. This was great fun – a windy cliff edge, lots of dust, an untameable veil and climbing up rocks in my wedding dress and it all made for amazing shots. They really worked to capture every detail of the day but without being intrusive and the results are incredible. We have had lots of people that we don’t even know ensure that their comments and compliments are passed on to us; “Your wedding looked amazing and isn’t that photographer incredible!” Ana and her team were a pleasure to have as part of our day and even had a boogy with our guests on the dancefloor until the night was over. The results have surpassed our expectations!!”