We’re bringing you a dose of sun, sand and sea today, as we relive Nicole and Kevin’s fabulous wedding in Ibiza last year. Despite only seeing the venue online, the couple were confident that it could deliver the wedding of their dreams – and they were 100% spot on!
Nestled within a picture-perfect cove, their White Isle wedding is everything you could want from a beach style celebration abroad. With lots of rustic vibes, including hanging lanterns, floating candles, driftwood and seashells, there’s lots to swoon over if you’re in the throes of planning your very own destination wedding.
The couple used a mix of suppliers from Ibiza and here in the North of England, showcasing how stress-free the process can actually be when planning a wedding in another country (who knew?!). And with beach games, a glitter bar, donut tower and laid-back barbecue thrown into the mix to get their guests into those true Ibiza spirits, what’s not to love about today’s nuptials?
With images by Jennifer Arndt
Nicole says: We got engaged on Saturday 5th March 2016. We were in London for the weekend, which was a planned Christmas gift to each other, but I truly didn’t see it coming. Kevin spent nearly the whole weekend trying to find ‘the ideal moment’ – I was completely unaware the whole time. In the end he settled for the privacy of our gorgeous hotel room. We’d had a manic day of sightseeing, bar hopping, meeting up with friends accidentally and enjoying a huge banquet in China Town. Eventually we stumbled back to our hotel around midnight and got settled. We popped on the kettle, Match of the Day and our PJs and I turned around to find Kevin on one knee with the most beautiful ring I’d ever seen in hand. I remember that the ring was sparkling like a disco ball and very little else. He had to repeat the ‘question’ as I was completely taken by surprise and for once, lost for words! When I realised what was happening, my response was pretty positive though and a million times yes! It was the best surprise ever and I love him eternally for choosing and giving me the most beautiful ring in the world. We then danced around the room to the Match of the Day theme tune (no word of a lie)!
We got married on Thursday 31st May 2018. We needed to choose a date in the school half term to accommodate a lot of family and guests. Knowing we were going abroad, we wanted to make things as easy as possible for them and their kids. It mattered more to us that people could be there rather than being married on a particular date.
We hosted both the ceremony and reception at Cala Gracioneta, El Chiringuito, Ibiza. This venue really ticked all the boxes for us.
Kevin and I viewed six venues in Majorca before we even considered Ibiza and I think this trip truly helped us get a feel for a chilled Mediterranean wedding and how the venues operate. When we left these ideas behind and I started looking at Ibiza, I was so confident that the images and videos available online gave a true representation of this venue and therefore the confidence to book it without actually seeing it in person.
The beach was a key factor for us; Kevin and I would live permanently in our flip-flops if we could! The venue’s décor and feel were exactly what we wanted – relaxed and rustic.
The wedding coordinator, Lucy was so thorough and helpful, I really had no doubt we’d made the right decision. We did visit the venue finally nine months before the big day. I knew instantly by the glass of wine I ordered that we were in good hands. The glassware was modern, the wine was gorgeous, the venue was clean, the staff were friendly – we were going to have the best wedding ever!
The whole wedding was to be extremely informal and relaxed. I think our choice of venue showed that. The rustic chilled out vibe was perfect. There was no theme involved, the sun, sea and sand did all the work. It was more about bringing everyone together for a special occasion. We didn’t need any bells and whistles and Ibiza has more than enough style!
Everything was very natural to match the setting. The venue said it all for me, a boho little woodland spot in the cove of a hidden away beach. I managed to get the fairy-tale forest and the sun, sand and sea all in one!
The bridesmaids’ dresses were a stunning deep blue which worked beautifully against the beach backdrop as well as the gents’ light blue shirts and waistcoats.
I wore an Enzoani gown from the Beautiful range, purchased from Blue Bow Bridal, Durham. I always wanted a fitted mermaid style dress and was over joyed when this style suited me and fit me so well. It was also super practical for a hot wedding day. A low back and thin spaghetti straps made sure I was as cool and as unconfined as possible in the summer heat.
The train was great to move around in at both my venue and on the sandy beach without having to be adjusted to look ‘photo ready’. It just swished around perfectly behind me all day and night! My veil (from Wed2B Newcastle) had to come out during the drinks reception though as it was far too long to follow me around and mingle around everyone. It looked great for the ceremony though.
My bridesmaids wore deep blue, floaty Jenny Packham gowns from Debenhams, with hair accessories that matched the slight pearl detail on the dress waistline. Two of them went for a clip in the back and the other a long wreath around her hair.
My hair was styled by Katie Bolt Ibiza (now Ooh Lala Ibiza) who is based in Ibiza, but originally from North East of England. The makeup was by Beth Brown – a close friend and wedding guest.
Jennifer Arndt (based in Ibiza) photographed our wedding. Jen was great, we had such a fun pre-shoot with her in Ibiza too. She was amazing with us all getting ready on the day and caught the most perfect moments. Both Jen and Garry (our videographer) were having shots and taking selfies with Kevin and I at the bar and were honestly there until the very end. They didn’t miss a thing. Brilliant.
Garry McManus from Infin8 Images filmed the wedding. He is based in Ibiza, and originally from the North East of England too! Garry was utterly amazing running up to and following the wedding. We’ve had lovely little teaser clips, the highlights and the full-length video is just the best thing we’ve ever seen!
Kevin said this was the best money we spent as it just captures the whole day completely. I would recommend getting a videographer to absolutely everyone getting married. There’s nothing quite like watching it all over again.
My florist was called Nicole too and she was arranged via the venue. My bouquet was super huge because I adore flowers so much and really wanted to make a statement. It was full of big luscious green leaves and wild flowers and a mixture of white hydrangeas, roses, peonies, gypsophila (and possibly more to be honest!). I was thrilled when they arrived.
All the décor and flowers were dealt with via the venue (Mambos Weddings and Events). They offered an in-house package that complemented the venue with hanging lanterns and little accents all around (hearts, candles, signage) – it was all very boho, rustic and for me…perfect. They also included centrepieces which were a large hurricane vase with floating candles (lit for the evening) driftwood pieces, scattered seashells and star fish.
Our table names were cut wooden slabs, so these went brilliantly with the overall style. These were provided by Etch + Cut (UK) along with my carved wooden hanging table plan – just amazing.
My other stationery was provided by Rather Lovely Stuff (including the name cards and menus) and I had cool Perspex signage made for the glitter bar, sparkler send off and beach ‘blankies’ by Lottie’s Yard.
The glitter bar brought everyone together as the party was really kicking in. My bridesmaids decided to get it started and suddenly a queue of wedding guests formed behind them for a piece of the sparkly action! It was lovely for the kids to get involved and feel all grown up having the same glittery fun as the adults. Everyone looked incredible and like true Ibiza party-goers.
We didn’t do adult favours on the tables, however there were personalised fans on the ceremony chairs for guests to enjoy in the heat! The men seemed to enjoy them more than the ladies!
There were beach games for the kids (and adults actually!) and cute little toys for them at the dinner tables to help keep them occupied.
We had a donut tower! It went down a storm. In the heat, we felt a full cake would have possibly been wasted and the donuts were a much better and lighter option. Plus, they looked fab!
In true Ibiza style we had a two-course barbecue served on sharing platters to each table. Kevin’s favourite food is a good barbecue, so this had to be right for him and I loved how everything was presented – so cool. Our package included a reception sangria cocktail, wine during dinner and fizz to toast. We ran an open bar until the evening which seemed to go down very well! The style of the food and drink service was brilliant, and everyone commented on how amazing the food was.
A big factor for our venue choice was based on the food. The venue by day operates as a popular restaurant so I was sure the quality would meet all our expectations.
We had a DJ from start to finish; making sure the Ibiza vibe was perfect. We also had a solo saxophone player to accompany the DJ for the first hour of the party – absolutely brilliant.
We featured photographs of all of our grandparents on their wedding days as a nod to their long and happy marriages and also in their absence. It was great watching people picking up the black and white photographs to look at and maybe guess whose grandparents were who and sharing stories they had of them.
With an abroad wedding we couldn’t expect Kevin’s remaining three grandparents to make the trip, however we celebrated privately with them the day before we flew out to the White Isle which was lovely.
My gran had sadly passed away the year before the wedding and I was honoured to have her wedding ring tied into my bouquet on the day. I felt that she was with me on the day and hopefully her ring will bring our marriage good fortune in the years to come. She and my granddad were married a wonderful 62 years.
Following our wedding, we would absolutely recommend our choice of venue to other couples looking to marry abroad. The team there looked after us with excellent service and precision and dealt with most things in-house which was a great and eased the pressure of planning from overseas! The staff were all wonderful and I felt our money was extremely well spent. Our guests could not believe how idyllic the setting was; a peaceful little beach bay with a venue that just seemed to roll onto the sand. Everyone kept asking me how I found it. This magical thing called the internet was my honest response! It was so easy to find and fall in love with.
My husband. Seeing how happy and relaxed he was (and with the photographs and video to back it up) I can honestly say he enjoyed that day as much as I did, which truly made it the best day of our lives.
For our honeymoon we went to Bali which was a good mix of relaxation and adventure – just perfect for us. This was the only job I asked my husband to do. I was more than happy to deal with the whole wedding as long as he planned us a wonderful honeymoon. And he definitely delivered.
We did everything from jotting around on the back of mopeds, surfing, quad biking, to seeing cheeky monkeys and washing elephants in beautiful sanctuaries, as well as snorkelling with turtles in just inches of clear blue ocean and watching the breath-taking sunsets of these magical islands with cold beers and sangria. We partied everywhere from cosmopolitan roof top sky lounges to crammed little bars with amazing live bands. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
My top for other Brides Up North would be – do it your way and how you imagine it. Do not be pressured by others, family or Pinterest!
Also remember to make the time for the little things you want to do. Time runs away with you especially in the last few months before the big day, trying to fit everything in alongside normal life is when the stress creeps in. And it can definitely be avoided. Just remember to plan your time well.
In my day job, I’ve been a wedding coordinator for more than five years now and loved every part of the journey on the other side of the coin. Working in this industry, my ideas and inspiration have jumped from lots of different areas and platforms over the years. It’s sometimes hard to be involved in and see so many weddings and not think of them as ‘work’ so when planning my own, the main points really came from who we are as a couple rather than what I’ve seen and witnessed over the years. Of course, I picked up a few hints and tips along the way!
We’re not that traditional as such as a couple and we definitely put a twist on things usually but this little wedding tradition I wanted to do; something old was my shell anklet Kevin bought for me in the hippy market during our first trip to Ibiza together in 2014. Something new was my wedding dress. Something borrowed was my gran’s wedding ring. And my something blue was a blue stone in my top earring.