“I love her and that is the beginning and end of everything.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“I love her and that is the beginning and end of everything.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Though they currently live in Senegal, Caterina and Alejandro returned to Spain to tie the knot in the presence of their loved ones. They chose a rural mountain village for their wedding weekend, and with the help of a local planning company, they were able to have the relaxed and elegant celebration they dreamed of. From the bride’s stunning gown to the reception’s mountain view, there is lots to love about this timeless Spanish wedding.
The bride wore a gorgeous gown with three-quarter length sleeves and a removable watteau train. Bridesmaids wore pink floor length gowns and wreaths of baby’s breath in their hair.
“We wanted a romantic church with a lot of candles near the reception venue. Sant Llorenç de Morunys Church was the perfect location near Canalda, a countryside village in Serra del Cadí (a mountain range running north of Catalonia) where all our guests could stay for the entire weekend wedding.”
Your ceremony in three words. Religious, romantic, with Spanish guitar music.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Walking into the church to the sound of a Spanish guitarist playing my favorite pop songs (a surprise from Alex!) and Alex at the end of the aisle looking at me. It was a mix of emotions, crying and laughing at the same time.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? When we walked out of the church it was really amazing to see all our friends and family congratulating us and throwing flower petals! It was a unique, unrepeatable moment!
A vintage turquoise Volkswagen van added a playful element to the otherwise classic aesthetic of the wedding. What a fun way to get around on your wedding day!
“We had a lot of guests from other countries, so we wanted a beautiful venue that also included accommodations. We wanted a natural and “slow life” feeling. Canalda was perfect, a rural resort based in a loyal retrieval of historical sustainable and natural elements typical of high mountain.”
How would you describe your reception? Beautiful, amazing, funny, intimate… It was a dream!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We are currently living in Senegal very far away from the wedding location, so we hired a local wedding planner and designer, Madera&Chocolate, to take care of all the details and decor. In our first meeting in Barcelona, they immediately picked up on the feeling I wanted for our wedding. Something simple but elegant that embodied the “slow life” movement. White and green were the principal colors.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The cocktail hour was a lovely part of the reception because it was a time to share conversations, kisses and hugs with all our important people, and a jazz band playing beautiful songs. And the first dance with my new husband was really romantic!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Enjoy your day and don’t panic if something doesn’t turn out the way you planned.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner so you’re able to enjoy every last detail of the day and not have to worry about organizing things at the last minute.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? The day of our wedding was perfect, and we wouldn’t change a thing.
I can’t think of a better way to brighten up a cold February day than with this colorful summer wedding by planner and designer Julia Lake, with all these gorgeous fruit and floral details. From the bridesmaids lush flower crowns to the calligraphy fruit “escort cards” to the delicious centerpieces, it’s sure to inspire.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We wanted to make our wedding weekend feel simple and serene by having events and even accommodations centralized in one place. The Inn at Park Winters is a gorgeous setting for a ceremony as well as a reception. Plus, we could we could stay at the inn, along with our immediate families, and any guests who were up for camping on the property. We wanted a place where we could be outdoors and that would feel playful, not just scenic. There’s a lot of green space for lawn games and the landscaping creates a sense of enchantment in that there are so many nooks, vignettes, and treasures to discover at Park Winters. Also, it’s very hot there in July, so the pool was a major selling point. Our Friday rehearsal dinner was essentially a pool party. We didn’t leave the estate for days and it really helped us to feel present, relaxed, and focused on one another.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? I wore a Tiffany’s necklace with an Art Deco diamond pendant that was given to my grandmother by my grandfather on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. They had the love story of the 20th century and we’re going for the love story of the 21st, so it’s auspicious.
“We were married inside of a circle of flowers arranged on the grass. We stood inside the circle with our officiant and our wedding party stood just to the sides of it. It was important for us to pull in loved ones and make it a community affair. Our friends and my brothers gave readings, friends provided music, and the officiant is one of our best friends. Benjamin had his brothers for groomsmen and I had three best friends for bridesmaids and my niece for a flower girl. We’re so proud of the way the ceremony all hung together. It had balance, variety and rhythm.”
Your ceremony in three (or four?) words. Romantic, poetic, musical, secular.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Our officiant helped provide structure to our ceremony, but there was no template.
What were your ceremony readings? Shakespearean sonnet 116 (“Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments…”) and 1 Corinthians 13. Poems that the we wrote to each other early in our courtship were also read by our friends.
What was your ceremony music? Our dear friend Charlotte Carlson played fiddle (“Elizabeth’s Waltz” and “Midnight on the Water” for the processional; “St. Anne’s Reel” for the recessional). Our friends Sophie and Ben Esser-Calvi sang Greg Brown’s Spring Wind as a duet. Ben played guitar and their son held the music!
What were your vows like? We skipped the personal vows and went right for the legal vows for a few reasons. First, our ceremony was already plenty long with all the readings, music and the personal address our officiant gave on our relationship and the meaning of marriage. Second, we found the traditional secular vows to be more than perfunctory, but powerful and relevant. Third, we didn’t want to have to talk at all (except for the “I do’s”) because we knew we’d be nervous.
“The Victoriana of the inn and grounds as well as the rustic fecundity of the local environment inspired us, but we let our planner and floral designer, Julia Lake, build out the vision. For us, having a wedding planner was essential, because we were both really busy the year preceding our wedding. We knew we wanted a beautiful, artistic, gently bohemian wedding that felt easy and graceful, but we were happy to leave the details to a professional. Julia generated the ideas and we guided her vision with feedback. Our collaboration was very fruitful (pun intended).”
In lieu of a traditional escort card table, guests found their names and table numbers written on pieces of fresh fruit.
How would you describe your reception? Enchanted, elegant, exuberant, easy.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To relax and go with the flow. The best compliment I received after the wedding was that it seemed like I had a great time – I really did. We both did.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Put your love first. Keep it collaborative and remember that wedding planning is inevitably stressful at times. Embrace the hard spots as opportunities to grow as a couple. Also embrace the community and family dimension. Weddings bring out the best in people; it’s amazing how everybody pitches in. Let people help and be involved, because not only does it lighten your load, but it’s part of what makes you feel held and supported when you transform your relationship with your vows. Also, we highly recommend having a planner. When you look at all the time and money that goes into planning a wedding, it does not make sense to skimp on the opportunity to be present for it. Let somebody else do the worrying so you can place your focus on celebrating with your loved ones.
What was your first dance song? Being shy, we tried to avoid the first dance. It was not on the schedule, but our families tricked us into it… we can’t even remember what was playing because we were rather overwhelmed. It was a sweet, funny, spontaneous situation and we’re glad it worked out that way.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The toasts were unusually thoughtful, sweet, tasteful, and witty. Benjamin’s brothers, my brothers, and the maid of honor each gave pitch-perfect toasts. We were very impressed.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. I danced the entire time and highly recommend it. It’s impossible to talk to everyone, but you can dance with everyone! Also, the one thing about having a pool at your venue is that eventually the groom is going to get thrown into it.
Meredith Heuer takes some of my favorite photos of weddings… she captures beauty and energy and makes you feel as though you were there. And I think she gets some of the most fun clients too! Katie and Jim’s October wedding on Martha’s Vineyard was not only utterly beautiful – from the oceanside venue to the gorgeous Saipua florals (dahlias! and persimmons!) to the bride’s custom dress – it’s also clear that this was a wedding about family and friends and lots and lots of fun.
Katie wore her mother’s crocheted wedding dress from 1969 to the rehearsal dinner. For the wedding day, she wore a simple flowing sheath dress that she had custom made.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Simplicity, the colors and landscape of Martha’s Vineyard, and Saipua flowers – my friend Sarah’s creations are a reason in and of themselves to have a wedding. I knew that if I was going to do this, I had to have Sarah do the flowers, Johnny Hoy play music, and Meredith take the photos. Dream team.
What was your favorite moment or part of your wedding? I loved the whole day (minus waking up to a serious downpour) – eating pizza with Jim and my family for lunch, getting ready with my girlfriends and my dog, being with both of our families right before the ceremony, walking into the dreamy tent with my parents, having drinks underneath a purple sky, dancing, eating doughnuts at the end of the reception, and sitting in front of the fire at the after-party. Sarah did the most incredible job with the flowers. My huge bouquet in particular was a highlight – I didn’t put it down for hours.
The bride wasn’t the only one to wear vines in her hair: both the bride’s sister and the groom’s sister wore them, as well as the couple’s nieces.
“We originally planned to have the ceremony in the field next door to my parents’ house and have everyone walk up to the reception after, but a downpour made us relocate to the reception tent at the Gay Head Cliffs. I was really upset about this but it turned out to be incredibly cozy with the rain and wind outside and Sarah’s beautiful flowers and candles glowing inside the tent.”
How did you go about planning your ceremony? It was really important to me that our ceremony was personal and that it didn’t feel like we were up on stage acting. We asked our siblings to officiate: Jim’s sister welcomed everyone, my sister did a reading, and my brother gave the sweetest speech about us and did the vows. Our nieces and nephews stood up with them during the ceremony. It felt very true to who we are.
What was your ceremony music? Jim’s cousin, Billy Moody, played the guitar as I walked in. I have no idea what he played!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? While the ceremony itself was fairly relaxed, I was not. I was incredibly nervous and fidgeted the whole time.
How would you describe your reception? Simple, fun, and beautiful. The rain finally stopped during the ceremony, which allowed for a gorgeous, dramatic late-afternoon sky and a clear, starry night. Lots of Dark and Stormies and sweaty dancing.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? The field where the tent was is just up the road from my parents’ house and right above the Gay Head Cliffs, our favorite place to go to the beach and take our dog for walks. Up-island Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most special spots in the world.
What was your first dance song? The song is about infidelity, which might have been a strange choice, but we danced to “Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed while our nieces and nephews danced around us.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had chocolate tarts and apple crisp made by Olivia at the Beach Plum Inn.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. The thrilled look on children’s and adults’ faces alike as we handed out headlamps to navigate the very dark trip to the bathrooms and the path home. Also, Winslow, our old pointer, making periodic appearances during the course of the night.
Are there any details you’d like to tell us about? My friend Mallie hand-painted the seating board and my friend Lindsey loaned me the beautiful fur jacket. I designed my wedding dress with a fantastic tailor. I bought the napkins from Fabric Textile Products, which my sister, mom, and sister-in-law helped me fold. We lit the path with old, white kerosene lanterns.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? It really doesn’t matter if everything doesn’t go to plan or something doesn’t go exactly as you envisioned it. There is so much happiness and sweetness surrounding the day that you won’t care or, more likely, won’t even notice.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? If anything that you are planning or doing doesn’t feel like you, don’t do it. Try to refrain from checking the weather obsessively. And make sure that you get to enjoy the same thing your guests do – I forgot to have a single oyster from the raw bar or a glass of champagne!
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Jim and I were really ambivalent about the idea of having a wedding at all. The tradition, extravagance, and general hoopla that usually surrounds a wedding made us both squirm and was not something either of us ever thought we wanted, but the idea of having all of our close friends and family in one of the places that we love the most for a long weekend was too good of an opportunity to pass up. And while my younger, more non-traditional and feminist self cringes as I write this, it truly was one of the happiest and best times of my life – getting to swim in the Sound before the rehearsal dinner, having all of our family and friends stay at houses right around us, dancing to Johnny Hoy with those we love the most, and eating burgers with an extreme hangover at the picnic the next afternoon.
Photo: OneLove Photo