When I first went to Spain, I was insistent that I wanted a hotel near the sea, my husband wasn't that bothered where it was situated to be honest he just wanted a nice venue.
On our first trip over to Spain we looked at lots of hotels near the sea and none of them really did it for me. We then went to look at the last place on the list which we only went to as Lisa our wedding planner thought I would love it and she was right! And it was nowhere near the sea!
Gran Hotel Benahavis
I loved the setting of our reception, it was in a hotel but the actual reception was in a separate banquet hall which was set away from the hotel.
We had a cocktail reception around the pool area and then dinner on the outside terrace. It was amazing to walk up to the terrace and see all my DIY bits and pieces coming together. We now have our Mr & Mrs sign on our bedroom windowsill at home, such a lovely reminder of a perfect day.
We decided to do our speeches first and I'm glad we did so everyone could relax and enjoy dinner. One of the things that came up when discussing the speeches was cava for toasting, it would seem in Spain they only raise a toast at the last speech so cava would normally only get served then, thankfully our wedding planner was able to make sure that we had cava to toast all our speeches.
After much deliberating I decided that I couldn't let the day go past without me saying something, the only guests that knew about it was our Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid as I was scared in case I couldn't go through with it, but I did and I am so pleased that I did.
Surprise Brides speech with lots to say!
For our cake we had a local cake maker make a selection of cupcakes and a top tier of carrot cake so that we had something to cut. We then served the top tier to the top table and everyone else had a cup cake. There were none left so I will take that as a sign that everyone loved them.
We then moved inside (Spain has very strict rules on music outdoors after a certain time so if you use a hotel you need to be inside for music)
Our first dance was to Christy Moore and everyone thought it was a lovely song, when we listened to the lyrics it really hit a cord with us and it brings a tear to my eye when I hear it, it will always have a place in my heart and very fond memories.
Once we did our first dance, my husband went and got my Dad and gave him my hand to dance with him to the song I had picked. We danced to this Father and Daughter dance and the tears were flowing.
My Mum was blubbering away and so were my brother, sister and Lisa our wedding planner, all of which say it takes them a lot to cry. I am so pleased that I did this dance with my dad, I really wanted something significant from the day to be with him as I am a real Daddies girl at heart and this was just amazing to do, Thanks Dad!
And then the party really started. I was so worried with only having a small wedding that the dance floor would be empty, how wrong I was. We had Ian from Ian Preston Entertainment and he was amazing! The dance floor was not empty all night, I suppose that was helped by the fact that I didn't sit down, it was our party and I was making the most of it!
Everyone has told us that they had an amazing time at the wedding and lots of people told us it was one if not the best wedding that they have been too.
I have no regrets at all about bringing the wedding to Spain and we were so pleased that so many people were able to come out and share our day with us. Thanks everyone!
And so it was time to get into the car and travel to the church. The villa that we had rented was about 20 minutes from the church so there was enough time for the nerves to kick in on the way. My Dad did a good job at keeping me calm, although I did panic as we only arrived and the church dead on 4 pm and all I could think of was that Lisa our wedding planner had always said we couldn't be late at all, I took this literally to mean I couldn't even be a minute late!
Once we arrived and got out of the car we waited in the plaza outside of the church while the bridesmaids queued up to enter the church before me. As we were waiting lots of people gathered in the plaza to watch and lots of cameras were going of, what a weird feeling!
The music struck up and the flower girls and bridesmaid made their way in.
The it was my turn, with one reassuring squeeze from my dad off we set up the aisle. I can't tell you if the music that I had spent hours choosing sounded good or not as I was just focusing on calming myself and getting to the top of the aisle.
I was doing everything to try and not look at my soon to be husband too soon as I had been told that he had been crying already and I knew I wouldn't cope if I looked too soon. As we were nearing the top of the aisle I looked up and his top lip was going, that's all it took for me to well up.
People have told me that my dad who never cries had a tear in his eye as he passed my hand to my soon to be husbands. I can't wait to see the video!
At this point we were both so nervous but so happy, its a kind of nerves that I have never felt before, this felt so right and I couldn't believe that we were finally standing there in front of all the people that we love and were just about to commit ourselves to each other for live, I suppose its nervous excitement that hits you once you finally get to hold each others hands.
Our readers did an amazing job despite some nerves and the full service went really well, I had some worries about the service as the priest was obviously going to be foreign but he followed the mass booklet that we (rephrase that I!!) had spent hours preparing and making sure that we made the ceremony as much about us as what we could do and I really feel that we managed to achieve that. We had lots of non catholics at the wedding who came up to us after and told us how much they enjoyed the ceremony so we must have gotten it right.
We had a few wobbles in our voices when saying our vows and a few tears in our eyes, it was so emotional to finally be standing in front of each other declaring our undying love for each other and becoming husband and wife
And finally we emerged as the new Mr & Mrs and what an utterly amazing day we both had!!
Once the makeup artist and our amazing wedding planner arrived at our rental villa the place was buzzing, we got the champagne out and had a toast to the day.
Our photographer arrived soon after and quickly got to work. We had chosen him for the style he shoots in which is reportage, I really didn't want anything that I felt was in your face or too posed so his style was perfect. He took lots of shots of the build up to the day and I think that I will let them tell the story.
Soon it was time to get into my dress, as everyone else was very busy getting ready at this point and my chief bridesmaid was running around sorting out all the little girls I slipped upstairs to get into it myself, thankfully my guardian angel in the form of my wedding planner Lisa appeared to help zip me into it and give me the biggest best hug I could have wanted :-)
I was getting a little nervous but hugely excited at this point so the hug was just what I wanted and needed before putting the final touches to my make up and getting that elusive first glimpse of myself in the mirror.
That's when the tears started to come, I just couldn't believe that it was me that was staring back, seeing everything coming together, all the months of planning, all the ideas that you have about your hair, your dress and your jewellery and suddenly you are looking at it all in the mirror and it was such an amazing, overwhelming and exciting range of emotions, I will never forget how it felt and am so pleased that our photographer managed to capture that moment.
Once I had gotten over the shock of the moment, I was excited to come down the stairs to see everyone else and for them to see me for the first time. I knew my Mum and Dad were waiting for me at the bottom and I was so excited to see their reaction when they seen me! My poor Mum was trying so hard to hold back the tears, it was the best feeling ever, knowing that I had made them so proud and they were finally seeing their daughter getting married.
And so it was time to head to the church to finally see my soon to be husband.