Last week, Jennifer shared the lead-up to the bohemian wedding in Estepona she and Charlie planned. Today she takes us through the big day itself and reminisces about her favourite memories from her wedding.
The ceremony was on the beach with plush white sunbeds laid flat in rows to act as comfortable and relaxed cushioned benches for our guests. They were given flavoured water on arrival and were able to relax to a Spanish guitarist playing music, and they could kick off their heels if they wanted.
Being able to look out to sea while taking our vows was really special. We had a non-religious blessing, but it included certain ceremonial parts that really marked each moment. This included typing hands, lighting candles (easier if the wind had been a bit less), giving money and tasting Malaga wine. We also had the usual exchange of the rings, a reading from Charlie’s sister and we wrote our own vows. Padre Peter, who performed our ceremony, was amazing. He really captured our sense of humour and kept everything light and wonderfully bizarre. He was a real hit with the guests as well.
For the décor we kept things bright, colourful and fun. The flowers and table dressing was brought to life by Karen who completely understood my ideas from the outset. I had a large bouquet of bright wild flowers and my bridesmaids had the same, just slightly smaller. My male bridesmaid had a button hole in a similar theme, keeping everything tied in. Along the aisle on the sand we had shepherd hooks that held small brightly coloured vases with bunches of beautiful wild flowers. White, light linen was draped over the area where we got married and two large flower arrangements stood on either side.
Our dining tables were decorated with various sizes of multicoloured vases filled with flowers, colourfully clashing table numbers and shells that we collected and painted ourselves.) We created a sign for guests to leave their shoes behind whilst on the sand, along with brightly coloured paint brushes to dust the sand off their feet. A large web of string was decorated with pegs and clipped Polaroid prints of each guest; they took these, with their table numbers on the back, for our seating plan. Charlie’s brother-in-law supplied a truly huge number of fairy lights. He made a draped canopy over the restaurant area and wrapped lights around the palm trees on the beach and the dance floor. This really created a beautiful ambience.
After the ceremony, we had canapes on the beach and of course the drinks began to flow. We opted for a three-course meal: a starter of traditional gazpacho soup, a main of steak for the meat eaters, (which people still talk about to this day) and veggie lasagne for the vegetarians. This was followed by a duo of mini desserts – chocolate melt in the middle goodness and a berry cheesecake. I know we are biased, but the quality of the food was the best we have tried at any wedding and you would never know the kitchen had been catering for nearly 100 guests, (even if I couldn’t eat much with the adrenaline pumping). We also provided a free bar throughout the whole event.
We had a Spanish guitarist for the ceremony and then played our venue’s playlist during the meal. This was followed by an amazing live band. They were insane! They had the whole party up dancing the entire time. There wasn’t one moment we had an empty dance floor. In between their sets, we had music from our own playlist including suggestions we received from the wedding party when they RSVP’d.
We also wanted to include a nod to Charlie’s Jewish heritage, so we played Hava Nagelia, were both lifted up onto the chairs and enjoyed some very rowdy dancing.
Our photographer was a childhood friend of mine, Josh Fray. I keep in touch with him when I visit home. He is a portrait photographer who has won awards and held many exhibitions, including a recent project shown at Somerset House. He photographed our friend’s wedding a year before ours, so we knew we had to ask him to do ours, too. He took some really beautiful photos which blew us away, with the focus on the people. Any bits of the venue missed were picked up by our amazing videographer, Stuart Appleyard, who delivered such a polished and professional video that really captured the feeling of the day. They worked so well together to deliver exactly what we wanted.
Saying our “I do’s” – we were in such a bubble in that moment, it was such an amazing feeling to get down the aisle and be standing with my new husband saying those words to one another after 10 years together.
My mum did the traditional father of the bride speech and was absolutely smashing – she delivered it without any prompts and had everyone in tears.
My best friend and one of my bride tribe, Phil, jumped on the mic and sang a Jake Bugg song, which blew me away. My heart was very full in that moment.
Charlie and I spent a lot of time together on the day, something we had been advised to do by other brides and grooms, as the day goes so quickly, and it made a lot of the moments very special.