As you all know, I’m a romantic at heart. Which is why I adore being a wedding photographer at small weddings in Spain. Never more so than when it takes place at a venue as quaint and pretty as the river-side villa Casa del Rio in Marbella.Organised by wedding decorator and planner extraordinaire Rachel Rose, this intimate wedding in Casa del Rio was a whimsical dream. Understated, yet classically romantic, the beautiful villa was transformed into a rustic yet elegant backdrop for this small wedding in Marbella.
I was so honoured to be chosen to be the Marbella wedding photographer for British bridal couple Dave and Emily. Not only was Emily a dream bride, and David the perfect gentleman, but one of their wedding party was a renown London photographer – so you can imagine how nervous I was to make sure I captured their big day perfectly!
The day began warm and bright, the chairs bedecked with simple garlands of leaves, perfect for an outdoor bohemian wedding.. Emily looked like a Grecian goddess in her flowing dress, a bespoke gown which she had designed herself. The floor length veil billowed behind her as she walked down the aisle; the sun’s rays shining through the fabric making her look like an angel. It was clear that Emily thought so too.
The guests had flown over from the UK to attend this small wedding in Marbella, and it was so wonderful to see everybody the couples holds dear smile through their happy tears as the bride and groom said ‘I do’. The villa is surrounded by stunning gardens filled with sweeping lawns, lavender, lilacs and ancient trees. There were plenty of pretty places to choose from for me to take portrait shots of the happy couples enjoying some private time together.
The wedding meal was held at a long wooden table where guests were seated together, accompanied by a live violinist – the perfect combination of rustic charm and understated sophistication. There was no formal table plans or dramatic flower displays, instead the couple kept the wedding decoration simple and completely natural. Glass bottles and silver candelabras were filled with long white candles. Bundles of herbs and eucalyptus stretched along the centre of the table, cascading down over the ends creating a fairytale-like display of nature and style. Even the wedding cake was a plain white creation, adorned with a handful of white roses to match the bouquets.
As the sun began to set, the villa came alive with tiny fairytales strung in the trees and candles were lit all over the grounds – adding an enchanting touch to the most romantic of settings.
Casa del Rios is situated beside the Guadalmina River, within several hundred hectares of unspoiled woodland in the peaceful and secluded foothills of Benahavis. This means that intimate weddings such as Emily can dance well into the early hours of the morning without worrying about disturbing any neighbours. And they did just that.
A princess bride combined with a charming villa – meant that this rustic wedding in Casa del Rio was filled with love and laughter. This is why I love being a Spanish wedding photographer in Marbella. Absolute romantic perfection!
Wedding planer Rachel Rose
venue Casa del Rio
You can see more wedding of the lovely Rachel Rose here
Spanish inspiration wedding
What do you imagine when someone says the words ‘Spanish inspiration wedding’?
Mountains and red roses? Beach and sangria?
Well a wedding in Spain needn´t be tacky or obvious, in fact when I discussed this very theme with renown Spanish planners Caprichia Weddings & Occasions and the exceptional Marbella-based caterers Goyo they came up with a concept that blew me away. In fact the look was so original and breathtakingly romantic that I was itching to get started shooting their fantastic ideas.
Our recreation took place in a gorgeous finca in Marbella. We wanted the inspirational shoot to feature the things that make Spain great, the things that unite a family and add sunshine to people’s lives…so the styling heavily featured local food, Spanish flowers and a bit of a to the days of old.
The bride, her hair in a latin-style up do, wore an elegant yet simple dress and shoes by Spanish designer Juana Martín. The addition of the shawl, complete with bright red roses, brought together the fabulous ceremonial surrounding of simple wooden chairs and earthenware pots of geraniums and ferns.
What says ‘Spain’ better than eating beneath the fragrant branches of orange trees? We set up the aged wooden table, with authentically worn mis-matched chairs, by a pretty pond surrounded by trees. The linen runners and tall candles added a touch of chic to the rustic surroundings. And of course the flowers, by Marbella-based talented florist VG Florista, were the bright splash of colour needed to complete the romantic scene. She used an eye-catching mix of red, pink and cerise carnations and bougainvillea mixed with roses, eucalyptus and grasses to bring a feeling of the outdoors to the table.
The sun shone down on us as we set up food tables nearby for guests to enjoy after the reception.
As the planners creatively laid out the fare, all you could hear was the distant hum of bees and the occasional chirp of the cicadas. And what a selection of local produce!
Instead of a traditional wedding cake (who wants their buttercream icing melting in the sun?) we opted for a magnificent cheese tower. The table was a treat for the eyes full of locally sourced cheese such as Manchego, Valdeon Blue, Mahon, Tetilla and light goat’s cheeses. We used traditional hand-painted ceramic bowls and antique wooden furniture to bring the indoors out – along with bright spots of colour through the use of Spanish fruits such as grapes, passion fruit and berries.
Beside the cheese we set out the bread and olive oil – Spain’s staple diet. The bread had been baked especially for us that morning by Goyo and his team, and the scent of it along with the marinated olives and herbs was amazing. The concept was that guests would be encouraged to pick at the food as they mingled with one another, Spanish style (no need for the formality of plates and cutlery). A dip of the organic bread into the dark green oil, cold pressed from the Andalucian mountains, followed by your own mini paper cone filled with cured Jamón pieces and cubes of local chorizo and salchichon cured sausages. This was accompanied by ripe cherry tomatoes, still on their vine, and of course plenty of wine!
Lastly (and perhaps the most anticipated) was the dessert table. Goyo had really outdone himself here with his creative interpretation of the traditional Spanish treat – Churros. These long fried donuts are covered in sugar and normally eaten for breakfast with a silkily dark chocolate drink. Goyo transformed this dish into mini shot glasses complete with diced donuts to dip inside. Along with them were a selection of Spanish pastries and turron (an almond-based delicacy)….a sweets table for proper gastronomical grown-ups.
We hope you have enjoyed our interpretation of a true traditional Spanish rustic wedding. Because, like anything of importance in Spain – as long as your surroundings are stunning, the food the best you can get and the sun shining – then you will have a day to remember!
Spanish inspiration wedding
Makeup: Rafaela Makeup