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How to plan a Wedding Abroad?

There’s nothing quite like a destination wedding; guaranteed good weather, a holiday with all your nearest and dearest and absolutely amazing wedding photos!

Once you’ve decided you would like to get married overseas, the next step is figuring out how to plan a destination wedding miles away from home. Throwing a destination wedding means you’re in for a much more intimate ceremony and can basically enjoy a two for one wedding and honeymoon. But before you jet off to a foreign land to marry your love, you have some important details to consider as you start planning a destination wedding.

1. Choosing the Right Location for your Destination Wedding​

Naturally, deciding on a destination is the first step. Keep in mind that your destination must have all of the resources you need:

– Your Personality and Vision. Make with your partner a list of all your possible ideas. Write down everything you envision your special day to be.
Do you imagine a garden or a historical building? Sea or Mountains views? Is it indoors or outdoors? Are there lots of people, or only a few?
The answers to these questions all affect what type of destination and venue is worth it for you. It’s all about you!

– Consider Travel time & Distance. You must also think about the ease of getting to your location.

– Check if your wedding ceremony will be legal or if you need to sort out the legalities before you go.
Can you legally get married in Spain? Read our recent post!

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
Wedding planner Spain

2. Pick the right time of year

You won’t officially “set a date” until you book your venue. But, we recommend choosing a few potential wedding dates before you start looking at venues. First, think about the season in which you’d like to get married and take into consideration the weather!

Think if a weekend wedding is a must (convenient, but potentially more expensive and competitive) or if you’re open to a wedding on a different day. Some wedding venues require a minimum spend or guests for weddings during the weekend.

Then, take a look at the calendar, taking into account work schedules, holidays, family conflicts, etc., and narrow things down to a few choice dates. Having some potential wedding dates in mind will be very helpful during the venue selection process.

3. Number of guests

While you don’t have to have a final guest list until a bit later, when thinking about how to plan a wedding step by step, coming up with an estimated guest count early on is important.

This estimated number of guests will help you to set up a budget and decide a venue. So before you start browsing wedding venues, get an idea of how many guests you’ll host.

Once you book the venue, It’s important to give your nearest and dearest plenty of time to calculate if they can afford the cost of traveling to your ceremony and reception. We recommend you to send the Save the Date 12 to 9 months before the wedding.

4. Wedding Budget​

It’s critical that setting your budget be the first step in planning your wedding. It might not be the most fun part of the process, but it’s a task that really needs to be completed first because it sets the rest of your wedding planning process into motion.

At My Natural Wedding, we offer you a tailored service rather than a package wedding. When we get asked about the cost of a wedding in Southern Spain, it’s difficult to say how much you are going to spend, as the final figure will depend on the couples wishes.

You can find more information about the costs of a wedding in Southern Spain here.

5. Hire a Wedding planner

Make sure to find a wedding planner that specializes in destination weddings. This way, instead of spending hours on phone calls trying to overcome a language barrier or making executive decisions about flowers and decoration, you have an expert on hand to take care of it all for you.

A local wedding planner who knows the area will be invaluable. From sourcing key suppliers, liaising with vendors in the region and explaining your requirements in the local language, the help will be essential.

At My Natural Wedding, we will guide you in every step of the way, from the sketch design to the “Big Day”. Our principal aim is to create and produce bespoke weddings and events which reflect each individual couple and their journey.

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

6. Visit the Location and Venue in Advance​

Ideally, you’d see your venue once before booking and again a few months before the wedding to finalize details.

Your wedding planner will shortlist a number of potential venues and it’s worth taking a weekend and visiting them in person. You’ll get a feel for the place that no pictures can fully express, and you’ll understand the spaces when it comes to questions about layout, timings, accommodation etc.  If you can’t travel to the destination, a virtual Tour is always a good option!

If a second trip’s not possible, arrive at least five days early to visit the venue with your planner, finalise some details and do a hair and makeup trial.

If a Destination Wedding in Southern Spain is your ideal way to get married, get in touch to arrange a free consultation!

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Dare to Dream. Intimate Wedding in South Spain

Every dream begins with an impulse, a whisper, a leap into the void.

It walks insecure, defiant and with an acrobat’s step.

With the force of a delirium, a wakefulness and a thousand things to tell.

We have the right to dream.

Will you marry me?

Dare to Dream

There are many perks to having a microwedding, mainly creating a more intimate occasion, without leaving friends or family out of the fun. On one hand a microwedding can still feature time-honoured wedding traditions but on a smaller and more intimate scale. On the other hand, brides and grooms can twist tradition and get creative in ways that might be more difficult with larger, more traditional affairs.

Inspiration started very simply. Who has not dreamed of having an intimate, romantic and secret wedding?

For some couples, intimacy is important, special and romantic. It is their opportunity to create a magical experience for their guests; focusing and working with the small details from floral arrangements to food and drinks. The inspiration and ideas are endless!

Location

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

When designing our client’s weddings we always tailor and enhance the venue chosen, which can be seen here. The venue is an 18th century winepress in Malaga’s countryside, set in a secluded valley. This beautiful winepress really does have everything and it is the most perfect spot for an outdoor and intimate ceremony. It’s an authentic rustic and raw space that is pure and refreshing.

Complementing the wild and raw environment was key to the styling. We chose a colour palette with a modern and welcoming presence. The combination of rich caramel shades and gold hues against fresh, organic creams and greens seen within the landscape, combined with a touch of passionate and bohemian reds give the venue a warm and elegant presence.

Outfits & Jewellery​

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

The modern, elegant and bohemian outfits of the couple, alongside the jewellery, complemented the fresh modest makeup and headpiece of the bride.

The headpiece and earrings were carefully designed with exquisite detail, focusing on texture and the theme of the wedding to complement the bride, venue and colours.

Wedding Stationery​

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

The wedding invitation, printed on natural and organic paper, incorporated a QR code which pinpointed the location of the wedding on maps, giving modernity to the event.

Stationery combined minimalist design with traditional and modern techniques to create considered pieces that complemented the table.

Wedding Ceremony

The fabulous thing about intimate wedding ceremonies is that they come with no restrictions! Romantic, Bohemian and Unique!

The outdoor ceremony, with just 10 guests, took place at the same location during sunset. Sunset ceremonies create an instantly romantic mood for your destination wedding. A little creative lighting can go a long way against the slowly dimming hues.

The amazing view of the mountains is the breathtaking shooting backdrop, and the asymmetric floral altar, made with fresh and dry flowers and pampas grass, produces a magical translucent atmosphere. A rich palette of burgundy, oranges and beige influenced every component of the pampas grass.

Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain

Reception Table & Cake

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues
destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

A perfect centerpiece was made adding textures and details from the handmade stoneware plates and wood placemats, discrete vases of dried and fresh flowers such as tulips, carnations, oak leaves, anthurium, english roses, clematis and astilbe which were combined with grapes, grapefruit and natural moss. Elegant gold cutlery and beautiful chandeliers contrasted whilst complemented the rustic wood furniture.

The cake design was simple and elegant, focused on the same color palette as the rest of the decor. It had a white topping made from buttercream , which gave a rustic look and texture to the cake. The sponge was made from chai tea filled with caramel Dulce de Leche, a delicious mix that added a modern touch. The splash of color was provided by different decorative elements such as seasonal fruits (figs and grapes) and nuts, providing a mediterranean style and flavour.

Lightening & Candles

Lights and candles played an essential and magical role in this shoot, as with most weddings. Great lighting makes your wedding venue look truly unforgettable, and one of the top wedding trends of 2020 is mood lighting. 

We used two different light setups:

For the reception table a variety of overhead lights were used which gave the illusion of floating stars. 

Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain

The fairy lights hanging from the Spanish old Pine tree provided a magical scene, creating a romantic chill-out area for guests, and an intimate and “instagramable” area for photographs. 

Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain

Cocktail Bar & Party

Weddings are one of the most important and memorable celebrations in our lives. Good music and lots of dancing is essential. It’s important to ensure you invest in your party as it’s something you will never forget. 

Distressed red chester sofa, light up neon signs and a cocktail bar were used in combination to create a festival atmosphere – the perfect late night feast!

Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Dare to Dream. Destination Micro Wedding South Spain
Credits
WP, Concept & Design - My Natural Wedding
Photographer - Bendito Juan Photography
Video - A2C Producciones
Florals - Anais Floristas
Lightening & Furniture - MásquePalets
Hair & Make up - Carmen Velasco
Jewerelly - Logana
Dress - Centro Novia Malaga
Suit - Felix Ramiro Malaga
Pottery Plates - Perikita Love
Cake - Alejandra Valenti Pasteleria
Invitation & Stationery - Patiry Love
Couple - Cristian & Rosana
Location - Lagar Los Pilones

If a Destination Micro wedding in Southern Spain is your ideal way to get married, get in touch to arrange a free consultation!

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Elopement and Micro Weddings Abroad

COVID19 has changed our world in more ways than one, including the wedding industry. 

Along with the added face masks and extra measures to keep everyone healthy and safe, comes a shift of big, traditional weddings to more intimate elopements and micro weddings.

You’re probably thinking, What is an elopement? What is a micro-wedding? Is it right for me?

Elopement Wedding

Just the two of you

“The act of running away with somebody in order to marry them secretly”

An elopement is choosing connection over expectation by marrying in an intimate, meaningful and highly-personal way. Focusing only on your commitment – an elopement creates a space for you to be truly open and present with each other on your wedding day.

The beauty of an elopement is that there are endless options as to where to hold your ceremony. As a result, elopements can happen in nature, in public parks or buildings, at someone’s residence, or even a family member’s property. With an elopement, the destination is essentially wherever you’d like it to be, without worrying about a hefty deposit on a wedding venue.

The beauty of an elopement is blending both traditional and non-traditional elements, making your day exactly what you’ve envisioned.

destination elopement wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

Here are some things your day could incorporate…

  • A morning stroll or swim together. Have a couples’ massage
  • Choosing to only honour traditions which align with you i.e. handfasting, not seeing each other before the ceremony, wearing a white dress, carrying a bouquet etc.
  • Choosing to have a ‘first look’ somewhere special
  • Personal vows at sunset or sunrise
  • Have a private dinner at your hotel suite or Villa; going to a Michelin star restaurant for dinner
  • Having a first dance under your favourite tree
  • Eating wedding cake for breakfast

Micro Wedding

Intimate Love Story

The trend for having a micro wedding is growing, and if you’re after a small wedding with a focus on guest experience and your true love story, it could be the right choice for you.

A micro wedding is a wedding with less than 25 guests. Being smaller in size, it’s usually cheaper, more relaxed and shorter in length than a traditional wedding day. While a microwedding can save you money, many couples are turning it into a macro experience. It strips the planning process back to the important things: the people you absolutely want by your side and the experience you want to create for yourselves and your guests.

The advantage of a micro wedding is that it doesn’t have to include all the components of a ‘traditional’ wedding day, like a cake cutting, bouquet toss or first dance. However, for many couples, traditions like speeches and the first dance are still essential elements and they’ll choose to have them. It all depends whether the wedding traditions are important to the couple or not. If they don’t resonate with your values or vision, there’s no pressure to include them!

A smaller ceremony and reception means that you can be even more flexible with where you do it. You can pick a beach, a park, or somewhere isolated, as you don’t need to worry about capacity.

destination wedding planner Spain Malaga Marbella venues

We Love These Micro Wedding Ideas:

  • Make your destination micro wedding last longer than a day (for example you can rent a house and have all your favorite people stay with you for a weekend to make the love and fun last longer).
  • Plan a fun adventure or activities with your guests like a boat ride, helicopter ride, hiking, scuba diving, —of course, that will depend on your budget, number of guests, and what you enjoy doing.
  • Have people write you letters of what they wish for you in the future in a sealed box for you to read on one of your anniversaries.
  • Make a spiritual ritual during your ceremony. Wite your own vows

If a Destination Elopement or Micro wedding in Southern Spain is your ideal way to get married then get in touch to arrange a free consultation!

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Costs of a wedding in Southern Spain

We often get asked about the cost of a wedding in Southern Spain, however, it’s difficult to say how much you are going to spend, as the final figure will depend on the couples wishes. 

Just like having a wedding at home, there are many variables: the venue, the number of guests attending, the supplies you choose, the time of year, your personal taste …

Costs Associated

Here are some of the costs associated with getting married abroad in Southern Spain.

These are just a few of the things to consider when budgeting for a wedding abroad, of course, wherever you get married there are additional costs for the usual items such as your dress, suit, rings, invitations…

cost of a wedding in southern spain
cost of a wedding in southern spain

Think about:

Even for simple weddings abroad, we recommend you to do one or two visits prior to the big day. 

First to visit the shortlisted venues and surroundings, second visit for the menu tasting, visit suppliers and design flowers and decoration. These visits are included with our Full Wedding Planning Service. However, if you cannot travel to Spain before your wedding, we’ll be your eyes and ears here!

Flights to South Spain (Costa del Sol Airport – Malaga) are usually very competitive in low season. You need to take into account accommodation and taking time off work, this can cost anything from 400 to 2.000 euros, depending on type of accommodation, the length of your stay and how many times you both visit Spain

As with any destination, where you choose to say your vows will dictate the cost. There are many areas in Southern Spain, the most popular are: Malaga, Marbella, Nerja, Ronda, Granada and Sevilla. Spain has a huge variety of venues with something to suit every budget. 

Typically, Luxury villas and five-star venues in coastal or mountains retreats will charge much higher than intimate lodges and private rooms in restaurants. It’s important to consider the sort of theme you want for your big day and the experience you want for your guests.

The cost of luxury private wedding villas usually start at 7500 euros (2-3 nights stay), whereas a laid back villa wedding can cost from 3000 euros.

Most Fincas and Palaces charge a venue rental fee, varying between Weekend and Weekday (Saturday is the most expensive day). Midweek weddings can end up costing around 20-40% less than weekend weddings. Rental fee for Saturdays start form 1500 to 6000 euros.

Boutique Hotels and Restaurants don’t tend to charge a rental fee. However, most hotels ask for all the rooms to be booked, or for a minimum number of guests.

The highest amount, close to 60% of the budget is allocated for the food and drinks, where you might spend 80-200 euro per person for Welcome Canapes and Drinks (45-60 minutes), a 3 course sit down meal and a few hours Open bar, YAY!

Buffet Style and Paella/BBQ menu may be slightly cheaper but this depends on the caterer, number of guests and type of food.

Most caterers include all the necessary equipment for the event, waiters and staff, chairs and tables, cutlery, glasses, basic centerpieces and Menu Cards.

For an overseas wedding, it may be wise to use a local wedding planner to help with planning on the ground. This has many benefits, including not having to travel to the venue as often, and potentially discounts from their network of contacts.

On average, a wedding photographer will charge between 1.100 and 2.000 euros in Spain, same for a wedding video. Wedding cinematography is a more professional service, a cinematic experience where usually two or more filmmakers work at your wedding, you can spend between 1.500 and 3.000 euros on high-quality wedding films.

Hairdressing, makeup and aesthetics for a bride are usually around 250-500 euros, including trials. For Bridesmaids, it can be from 80 – 150 euros hair and make-up on the day.

The average price of a DJ in Spain ranges between 400 – 900 euros, depending on the equipment and set up.
In addition to this amount there is an added expense of live music for the ceremony or reception (saxophone, spanish guitar, singer/duo…), which would be between 200 – 600 euros. An orchestra or band raises the budget with an additional 1.000 – 2.500 euros

The price of a bridal bouquet is between 100 and 200 euros. For Bridesmaids, it is around 40% to 60% cheaper than the bride. Buttonholes are between 8 – 15 euros each.

Decorating only the ceremony is different to decorating the whole wedding venue. The cost of flowers and decoration for the ceremony and aisle depends on the flowers and decoration you choose! Things to consider when thinking about decorating the venue are: Welcome corner, seating plan, table arrangements, photo booth, chill out area…

Some venues may include fairy lights in the reception area. If they are not included, fairy lights increases the budget by an additional 600 – 2.000 euros

If a Destination Wedding in Southern Spain is your ideal way to get married, get in touch to arrange a free consultation!

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Can I legally Get Married in Spain?

It is only possible to legally marry in Spain if you are either Catholic and wish to marry in a Catholic Church or if you are legally registered as living in Spain and can then have a civil ceremony in your local town hall or occasionally in another venue conducted by the Town Mayor. 

There are no exceptions to this at the moment so if you are neither of these, we advise you to do the legal bit in your country of residence. 

You can treat this just as getting the license to making your blessing here legal and you don’t have to exchange rings or vows, keeping these special moments for your blessing ceremony in Spain.

Symbolic Ceremony

A symbolic wedding ceremony, also called a humanist ceremony is a meaningful non-religious ceremony performed by a wedding celebrant. 

Many couples like to include one or two symbolic rituals in their ceremony to do something that they think reflects their personalities, or represents them as a couple or in some cases to incorporate a cultural element into their ceremony. Some couples include a symbolic ritual because they want to do something different during their ceremony, and why ever not?

Because it has no legal value, a symbolic wedding ceremony offers you a lot of flexibility: It can take place pretty much anywhere. You can include everything you like, provided it is suitable and in-keeping with the official nature of a traditional wedding ceremony.

A symbolic or humanist wedding ceremony allows you to make a statement if you wish to stray from traditions or, on the contrary, keep some elements of traditions in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

Candle Ceremony

Wedding planner Spain

Sand Ceremony

Wedding planner Spain

Hand Ceremony

Wedding planner Spain

Memory Box

Wedding planner Spain

Catholic Ceremony

If you are catholic then again this process is a relatively easy one and we can help you with all the paperwork, contacting priests, arranging translators or if preferred an English speaking priest and also legalizing your marriage certificate with the relevant departments over here.

To get the paperwork started for a Catholic ceremony you will need to visit your local parish priest. 

We strongly recommend you do this in good time and contact your priest at least six months prior to your wedding day.

Usually the documents you need are:

Once you and your priest have completed these documents he will send them off to the Archbishop in your area. From here they will be sent on the Archbishop of the diocese in Spain where you will get married. 

The Archbishop’s office will check your documents and send them on to the parish where your wedding will be held. They will arrive approximately one month before your wedding if all paperwork has been completed on time.

Do I need to have a civil ceremony as well as the Catholic ceremony?

No. If you are having a Catholic marriage ceremony here in Spain then you do not need to have another legal ceremony either in your country or in Spain as the Catholic service also counts as the legal one. 

At the rehearsal your wedding co-ordinator will take your civil letters of Freedom and use these and your other documents to register your marriage civilly at the townhall the day after your church ceremony.