Real Life Wedding: Saying ‘I Do’ In A Luxury Spanish Villa
Clare Curran and Craig Holbrook
Date of wedding: September 17 2016
Location: Palafrugell, Spain
Their story: It was love at first sight when Clare and Craig met in the UK, 13 years ago. The pair were smitten from the moment they met, and knew from the very beginning that theirs was a love that would last.
It was whilst on holiday in Dubai in 2014 that Craig surprised Clare by dropping to one knee to pop the question. Clare had treated Craig to a week-long trip to celebrate his 30th birthday but little did she know, the birthday boy had plans of his own.
The proposal took place during a romantic private candlelit dinner, by the water’s edge at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, and the couple immediately knew that they would tie the knot in Spain – as the very first country they visited together it holds a special place in their hearts.
Venue/location: Mas Torroella Luxury Villa & Spa in Palafrugell, Spain. “It was the perfect setting and really suited our style,” says Clare.
Number of guests: 86.
Theme: “We wanted a modern, romantic theme in keeping with the incredible 14th century venue. We had natural green foliage, white roses and fairy lights throughout the space to make it feel really magical,” Clare explains.
Dress: Clare wanted an non-traditional gown without lace or heavy embellishment. After a huge search and the return of the first option she purchased (because it wasn’t quite right), she instantly fell head over heels for a minimalistic Stella McCartney gown the moment she saw it. “After the wedding, I had the train removed so I could enjoy wearing the dress again.”
Veil: The Bridal Showroom. “I originally planned to skip the veil, the idea of it seemed too formal for the stylish look I was going for, but my mother persuaded me to go for it. A decision I’m glad I made, it really made me feel like a bride.” says Clare.
Shoes: Foregoing traditional bridal shoes, Clare wore white leather stud and tassel sandals by Aquazzura from Harvey Nichols-Dubai – and has loved being able to wear them since, reminding her of the special day each time she slips them on.
Make-up: Louise Maddison and Zoe Cashin. Two of Clare’s bridesmaids are make-up artists so they were able to give the bride exactly the look she’d dreamed of. A modern smoky eye paired with a nude lip.
Wedding rings: Handmade at Cara Jewellers in Dubai. Clare actually added diamonds to the band of her engagement ring and then had the wedding ring made to match. Craig had a simple yet modern matte wedding band.
Bridesmaids: The six bridesmaids wore black strapless dresses from British label Whistles. Clare saw them on sale about a year before the wedding and immediately knew they would suit the girls’ style. She quickly snapped them up at a bargain price (approx Dhs130 each).
Flowers: Clare’s bouquet was created from fresh long stem white roses, and the bridesmaids carried similar arrangements.
Music: A saxophonist at the ceremony, and a DJ accompanied by the sax player in the evening. The couple requested that the DJ start the party with house music, then switch to well-known classics later on – which got everyone on their feet ‘til the early hours of the morning.
First dance: The newlyweds shared their first dance to Adorne by American R&B artist Miguel – a song they chose because it holds a special place in their hearts, reminding the couple of a trip to LA.
Photography: Silvia Foz – discovered on social media and chosen for her quirky photography style.
Videography: Shoot Me Now Films. The couple fell in love with the cinematic style and vintage feel of the videographers’ portfolio.
Food: Gascon Catering. Guests enjoyed a delicious feast of local tapas to share for starters, followed by paella for the main course in keeping with the traditional cuisine of the region.
Cake: Gascon Catering. The wedding cake was served as dessert. Guests also indulged in traditional Spanish Churros with chocolate sauce later on in the evening.
Unique touches: “Our seating plan and table names paid homage to our lives in Dubai (where we now live),” says Clare.
Honeymoon: After the wedding, the couple flew to Ibiza with their closest friends. “Ibiza was our ‘buddy-moon’ dream. Romantic scenery, delicious food and an entire island devoted to relaxation and good times – we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our wedding than with our best friends. We’re also planning a trip to the South of France, just the two of us this year.”
Clare’s top tips
1. Give your photographer an advance shot list of the all the key people you’d like a photo with, so you don’t have to try and remember on the day itself.
2. Don’t stress. No matter what it will be the most incredible day of your life. It rained on my wedding day which meant we had to move the location of the ceremony indoors which, looking back, was the most perfect and intimate setting. I also got lost on our wedding day and was two hours late to my own ceremony! But all of these events made it the most special and memorable day of our lives.
3. Write your own vows, it felt so personal and enabled our guests to share our love story. We also threw in a few jokes to keep it light-hearted.