We’re jetting off to the fabulously stylish Marbella today on the blog, as newlyweds Emily and Luke recount their special day earlier this spring and share a few top tips and ideas on how to organise the wedding of your dreams abroad.
Planning it off the back of a family holiday already booked for Marbella, the couple only had six months to organise everything – no easy feat when you’re tying the knot at home in the UK, let alone in another country! Google and WhatsApp become their best friends though, providing them with all the information and seamless communication they could need with their suppliers in the lead up to their big day.
They chose the stunning Bronzzzano Beach Club as their venue – and it was everything the couple could have wished for. Just wait until you see the outdoors ceremony space and picture-perfect blue skies! If we were ever to endure a dose of destination wedding envy – then this would be it! Here’s Emily to share all the highlights…
With images by Carn Patrick
Emily says: We got engaged on 5th December 2017, in Rome, Italy. Luke booked a trip away for the two of us and I was told to pack a suitcase and it was all a surprise. We were going to spend three days in Rome, which I thought was just a break as we had recently had a little boy. On the first night we went out for some food and a few drinks and then had a walk around. We ended up at the Spanish steps and after Luke had me walking up and down them at least five times, he asked a lady to take a photo of us and all of a sudden got down on one knee. It was such a shock but a lovely surprise!
We got married on 10th April 2019. There was no particular reason we chose that date. We had booked a family holiday in early 2018, with 40 members of family and close friends to Marbella. We were all staying in two villas next to each other. At this point we hadn’t booked the wedding as we weren’t sure when we wanted to get married and where. It was becoming difficult to get everyone together as we knew we wanted to get married abroad so we decided to try and plan it for the week which we were going on holiday and in less than six months we managed it.
In the end, we got married in Marbella, Spain. Our ceremony and reception were both held at the same place as it was easy for transport for all of our guests. With us getting married abroad we couldn’t go and see our venue, so we relied on Google for most of the wedding.
We picked a few venues which we liked and decided to look at reviews and email the venue to see what they could offer. We both fell in love with Bronzzzano Beach Club as it just looked perfect and exactly what we were looking for. Initially we were worried about booking somewhere we had never seen, but the communication between us and the manger of the venue was great, we spoke via WhatsApp and we had no issues whatsoever.
When we arrived in Marbella, we arranged to meet the manager of Bronzzzano and it was amazing! Better than we could ever expect – food was amazing, drink was amazing and the venue was incredible. The views from the beach club were just perfect.
We didn’t have a specific style for the wedding, we just wanted it to be quite simple and not too over the top. We went for simple pastel colours as we felt they would look amazing in the sun.
My dress was ivory over soft pearl so had a little hint of pink on the train, so we decided to go pale pink for the bridesmaid dress and ivory for the flower girl dresses. With this in mind we wanted the suits to also match somehow. We decided on pale grey suits with a pink and white check. All of the couples matched up perfectly and complemented each other very well.
When I was wedding dress shopping, I knew I wanted a low back and a long train. Other than that I was quite open-minded. I tried on around ten dresses but this dress just stood out, as it was so different and would look perfect for a destination wedding. The dress was ivory over soft pearl with a low back and a low front. The bodice of the dress was lace with lots of little sequins and embellishment, which looked amazing in the sun. The designer of the dress was Maggie Sottero and I bought it from Victoria Robson Bridal in Northallerton.
Luke chose his suit from Moss Bros. We decided to go for a three-piece light grey suit with pink and grey check throughout. He then wore black shoes and belt. The groomsmen wore the same suits as Luke.
I had my two little nieces as flower girls, and they wore ivory floral dresses from Debenhams with matching shoes. They then carried a little basket down the aisle with petals in. My sister-in-law was my bridesmaid, she wore a pale pink floaty dress which had a little gold shimmer to it. The dress was open at the back and we bought it from the same shop as my wedding dress. She then teamed it with rose gold accessories.
I had to rely on reviews for this too, as I didn’t know any hairdressers. I found a lady on Google who was actually from the UK but moved to Marbella three years ago. I emailed her and sent a few photos of what we were all wanting, and she was great. In the lead up to the wedding we were communicating through WhatsApp again and she was keeping me informed about times and what was happening on the morning.
I decided to do my own makeup as I don’t like anything over the top and I was worried I wouldn’t like it if someone else done it for me.
Luke and all of our guests arrived via minibuses from our villas. Considering they were transporting 40 people they were great, all on time and couldn’t have been more helpful.
I then arrived with my bridesmaid in a private car. I booked the car online after reading the reviews from Prestige Car Transfers. They were great and arrived on time with no problems.
Carn Patrick was the photographer who captured our special day in Marbella. Carn is from the same town as us in the UK. It was a big decision to fly Carn out to Marbella with us but the best decision we ever made. A few months before we planned the wedding, he flew out to a wedding where we knew the bride and the photos were incredible. As soon as we saw them, I knew I wanted him as our photographer. Photos mean everything to me as they are your memories once your day is over. We met up with Carn a few times to discuss what would happen before the wedding and on the wedding day. He spent five days with us at our villa and he soon started to feel like a friend rather than the photographer, everyone loved him and felt so relaxed around him. In the end we received more than 1,400 photographs and every single one of them is perfect, from photos a few days before the wedding around the pool with family and friends, all the way through to the after party. We could not recommend him enough!
Due to the colour of the dresses I wanted my bouquet to match, but again I could only rely on photographs. I found a florist on Google that had good reviews and the photos looked lovely. I asked for roses in a mixture of ivory and pale pink, she didn’t have a photo to show me what the colours would look like, but I was willing to take the risk as I’m sure on the day they would be lovely.
The florist I chose was Deseos Florist in Marbella, I was so happy with the flowers when they arrived on the day. They were exactly what I asked for and the colours matched perfectly.
The flowers and decorations were provided by the venue themselves. We knew we didn’t want anything over the top and wanted things quite simple, so we opted for a few flower arrangements around the venue.
We decided on scratch cards as favours for our adult guests as they were easy to transport from the UK. We had little personalised holders for the scratch cards made back home. We decided to buy little bags for the children and fill them with sweets, so they weren’t left out on the day and still had a little treat.
When we booked the wedding venue, they sent over the food options for the day. We decided on five different canapés for our guests; mini beef burger, prawns wrapped in crispy-fried potato, mini salmon tartare, chicken croquettes and fried camembert.
For our main meal we decided on vegetable spring rolls, rib-eye steak with hasselback potatoes and chocolate brownie with ice cream. The children had a slightly different main with chicken goujons.
We also added the premium drinks package on for our guests so they could enjoy unlimited drink whilst they celebrated with us including, wine, lager, gin, vodka etc.
When we booked the venue, the lady who we were in contact with was really helpful when it came to choosing a DJ as we didn’t know where to start looking, she put us in contact with a DJ which she regularly uses, Junior D’Acosta. Again, although we didn’t meet him until the day of the wedding, he was brilliant. We explained what type of music we wanted via WhatsApp before we arrived and he definitely delivered, everyone loved him!
We had a few family members on both sides of our family who sadly couldn’t be with us on the day so for the ceremony we had a little frame made saying “this seat is reserved for those watching from heaven” followed by their names. Everyone thought it was a lovely touch and it would of meant the world to us if they were able to join us, so we wanted to include them as much as we could.
We would definitely recommend the venue! Although some couples may be a little worried booking a destination wedding, especially if you can’t go and see the venue beforehand, but I would definitely recommend just doing it! The communication for us was probably better than if the wedding was in our home country. We communicated through WhatsApp and we found it so easy, everyone was so helpful, and we still managed to gather all the information we needed. They would always answer any questions or issues which we had, and nothing seemed a problem.
Everything about the day was just perfect! Partying with our closest family and friends was everything we wanted but also seeing them enjoy their day just as much meant a lot to us. I think we both enjoyed the party after our meal the best as it was great to just party with everyone and the most nerve-racking bit was over.
We want to book Dubai for later on in the year for just us two. With having a little boy now, we don’t want to leave him for too long, so we have decided on going for around five days which is a nice break for us but not too long to leave Hugo.
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be, just enjoy it as much as you can as the day goes so quick, take in everything and just relax. Also, try not to get too stressed when planning your wedding as the day will just flow and whatever happens just go with it. You only do it once!