Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

tropical punch. maggie sottero for a destination wedding on the costa del sol – zalie & jack

May 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

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We’re predictable creatures here at Brides Up North. Usually when we’re sent a wedding featuring a Maggie Sottero creation, we can’t tear our eyes away from the bride. However, today’s groom almost – almost! – steals the limelight from his stunning lady in a tropical blue jacket and chino shorts combo.

Jack and Zalie were married on the Costa del Sol and their jaw-dropping pictures really have us aching for a summer holiday. They settled on a tropical blue theme and the azure sea, aqua skies and blue detailing really packs a photographic punch.

Add in some original photo styling – swings, brides in goal, grooms air punching – and you’ve got one of the most inspirational beach weddings we’ve seen in a long while.

Images by Peace Photography.

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zalie says: We got engaged at Jack’s family home in Spain on Christmas Day in 2014. It wasn’t a surprise for me; we‘d arranged and planned most of our wedding before anyone knew and surprised our families on Christmas Day when we told them.

Our wedding was organised for 29th May 2016. We chose the date as it was a bank holiday, falling in half term so that family and friends were likely to be able to attend. Also, being in May meant that the weather wasn’t too hot or too cold.

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We married in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol in Spain, and we had the ceremony and reception on the beachfront. We chose a destination wedding as my husband grew up in Spain and the place holds a lot of great memories for the two of us. Because we were getting married abroad, we used wedding planner Melissa Palmer of Bespoke Weddings Spain. I’d highly recommend her – she made life so simple from the day we met her until the day of the wedding.

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Our wedding theme was connected to gin; we had a gin-inspired table plan titled ‘Grab a seat and let’s be-gin.’ Each table was named after a different type of gin, and we placed a bottle in the centre of the table along with fruit and berries. Guests could then help themselves to the many different types flowing on different tables.

For colour, we went with a bright, tropical blue. It suited a beach theme!

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I wore a Maggie Sottero dress which I bought from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds. My mum chose it and it was the perfect dress.

Jack wore a tropical blue suit jacket, cream chino shorts, a white shirt and white leather Converse.Our groomsmen wore the same as Jack.

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My maid of honour wore a tropical blue dress which she bought in New Zealand where she lives and my flower girl wore a white dress from Mamas and Papas.

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Our photographers were Peace Photography. They captured the most amazing shots of our day, documenting the whole thing from start to finish. The photos were all natural and we never felt pressured by them. We didn’t even feel like they were there; they just blended in and nothing was too much for them.

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Flower-wise, I carried cream roses with foliage and blue diamantes which were provided by a Spanish florist.

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We didn’t have a wedding cake as such. Instead, we had a homemade banoffee pie made by my mother-in-law at Jack’s request.

For food, we went for a buffet which included a dessert buffet. This meant that everyone was catered for. We also had a free bar, so everyone could help themselves!

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For entertainment, we had a singing duo who were recommended to us by friends.

At the venue, we had giant light up letters ‘Z & J’. We also had a giant glass bottle for guests to slip their advice to us inside; a guestbook in the form of a ‘Message in a Bottle’.

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For a special, personalised touch, my husband and I read a sonnet by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda during our ceremony. I read it in English and he read it in Spanish.

Our favourite part of the day was the reception. It was just so relaxing, and we felt so lucky to have our close family and friends in one of our favourite places.

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For our honeymoon we went to Cuba – Havana and Varadero. It was perfect for us. We experienced the city of Havana and learnt about its culture and history. We had lots of mojitos and pina coladas, ate traditional Cuban food at La Bodeguita and spent an evening at the famous Club Tropicana, watching the show and drinking more rum! And, of course, we toured around in old American cars. We then stayed in a beach resort and enjoyed its beautiful beaches and explored nearby islands.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – just go with the flow! Don’t get stressed out as there’s really nothing to worry about. It’s your day, don’t feel pressured to do things for everyone on your guest list. Also, don’t feel guilty about not inviting everybody or sending invitations without plus ones! Do exactly what you want.

the big picture

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about the author

Laura McDonagh
Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.

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