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Summer 2016

Features, advice, tips, ideas and suggestions to help arrange THE PERFECT WEDDING IN SPAIN AND GIBRALTAR






22 Demure Sensuality

We fall in love with Bo & Luca’s bohemian luxe designs.

30 Designer Profile

We meet fashion revolutionary Leila Hafzi and look at her eco-conscious bridal designs.

38 Wild at Heart



Weddings LEAVE IT TO












Indian Summer


Spain, Gibraltar and The Balearics’ dedicated wedding bible

A new generation of bridal boutique.

Cover Photo:


Photography: Joanna Kustra Model: Aleksandra Olbryt Dress: Malgorzata Motas

47 How to avoid a make-up melt down

CONFETI’s resident beauty girl, Jess Miles brings us the ultimate tips to survive a summer wedding.

50 Oh so groomed


56 Real Weddings


Reflections’ expert stylist Gerry Tona provides tips on male grooming for the big day Inspiration from CONFETI brides.

Engagement Special 76 An Engaging Tradition

CREATIVE TEAM Constanza Martínez

78 Romancing the Stone

Alma Roda Ros

80 Proposal Stories


Your guide to the multicultural rules of engagement. Why diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Real couples on the day they said, “Yes!”

82 A Unique Love Affair

Rainier and John’s Villa Padierna engagement photoshoot.

84 Location, Location, Location Could one of these venues be perfect for you?

Details 90 Wow Factor Weddings

Hire a wedding planner as your ally for your destination celebrations.

92 Florists and Favours

EDITORIAL TEAM Eleanor McKenzie, KJ Elsdon, India Baltran. CONTRIBUITORS Natasha Johnson, Padre Peter, Nicola McGeorge, Jess Miles, Gerry Tona, G.Marriott.

Adding the finishing touches to your big day.

All enquiries, please call: +34 600 812 418 or email

98 Personalise Your Wedding Ceremony with

these tips from celebrant Natasha Johnson.

100 How Do I Love Thee?

Padre Peter surveys the giving of extravagant gifts as gestures of love - from the Taj Mahal to the BurtonTaylor diamond

104 CONFETI’s Address Book

The best professionals, specialists and services

Dakota Gown from

EDITOR Olivia Park

The views and opinions expressed by contributors to CONFETI may not represent the views and opinions of the publishers. Icon Publishing takes no responsibility for claims made in advertisements or advertorials in this magazine. No part of CONFETI may be reproduced or copied in any way without the prior written consent of Icon Publishing.

106 Love, Love, Love This

The highlights of a “billion dollar wedding”

· B A R E F O OT A N D B L A C K-T I E C E R E M O N I E S O N T H E S H O R E S O F T H E M E D I T E R R A N E A N · · spectacular views · 5 star service · exquisite cuisine · Kosher Services · Indian Weddings · luxury accommodation · expert in-house wedding planner ·

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f you hope to tie the knot at this time of the year then the CONFETI team has all the answers you need.

Is it just us or is the Indian subcontinent influencing wedding styles and trends more and more these days? If so, we say that it’s a very good thing! Many of our featured designers confess to being inspired by craftsmen from that beautiful part of the world, while Meha and Kunal, who feature in one of this issue’s real weddings, opted for a ceremony that reflected the best Bollywood traditions and consequently was a riot of colour, style and elegance. This year’s White Gallery London event was everything we had wished for – and more. The participating designers put on a magnificent show for the press and the many brides-tobe who attended. There were some fabulous creations from Eliza Jane Howell, Caroline Castigliano, Catherine Deane and Charlotte Balbier among many others. May we be so bold as to say that if you’re thinking of getting hitched then White Gallery London is something that you just cannot afford to miss? We loved every minute of it – and none of us is even planning a wedding at the moment!


INDIAN SUMMER This month’s featured designer, Leila Hafzi is something of a fashion revolutionary, creating wedding gowns which veer away from the traditional and employ ecologically and morally responsible methods in their manufacture. Based in Stavanger, Norway, Leila offers beautiful dresses that feature influences from Norway, Greece, Persia and Nepal. Maybe she wouldn’t be the first choice of a bride wanting to float down the aisle in a traditional meringue, but we absolutely love her amazing creations and are equally enthusiastic about her determination that her constantly expanding business should also do some good in the world. If you have been thinking that the budgets of the brides and grooms who have chosen the Costa del Sol for their destination weddings have been increasing lately, then we can confirm that you’re completely correct. Far from losing out to exotic

locations like St. Lucia and the Maldives, this lovely part of the world continues to attract business from bridal couples from Northern Europe and even further afield. We interview two local wedding planners, Dyana Dessar Simmons of Optimum Weddings by The Weddings Company and Nigel Davies of Chez Vous to hear their views on the future of the Coast as the perfect location for a wedding.

We also have some great real weddings lined up for you in this issue, from romantic beachside celebrations and hilltop hideaways to our previously mentioned Bollywood spectacular. With more and more couples opting for themed weddings, we hope to offer a few ideas if you’re thinking of booking a wedding on the Coast.

Obviously brides-to-be feel pressure during the lead up to their big day and imagine that all eyes will be upon them as they advance down the aisle – but spare a thought for your poor groom, ladies! Not to worry – Gerry Tona of Reflections has some great tips on male grooming that will ensure the perfect result so that both halves of the bridal couple will shine on the day.

From venues, wedding gowns, wedding cakes and bridal jewellery to makeup, floral arrangements and table accessories – as always we hope that you will find something to inspire you in the pages of CONFETI.

The Confeti Team



Beach Club Estrella del Mar




A Beautiful Wedding Breakfast This fresh and floral table setting arrangement captures the ‘vintage’ spirit and a feeling that love is in the air.

All That Glitters…

In the case of this beautiful tableware it is definitely the gold that glitters to enhance every place setting.


ONFETI loves...

The Confeti team is fortunate enough to witness some of the most wonderful weddings, so we thought we’d share some of the sensational touches that make for an outstandingly beautiful event. From the location to the bride’s hairstyle and makeup, her bouquet or the table settings, here are some of our favourite details that made the occasion unique and personal.


Natural Blessings

This stunningly simple and tasteful place setting design combines the elements of wood, fruit and a butterfly complementing the elegant calligraphy. Gabi Kmitas


A Chic Confection

This lovely wedding cake ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for a design that is decidedly different.



Garlanded Garlanded With Flowers

The floral garland has turned this simple white cake into a thing of beauty that is almost too lovely to eat! Photo by David Toms


Fringe Benefits This gorgeous gown from Rosa Clarรก manages to effortlessly combine classic and contemporary design concepts.



Crowns of Cuteness

In delicate shades of pink and white, this rose crown will make any little girl feel like a princess.

Feathery Footsteps

Jimmy Choo rarely disappoints and this design will surely make any bride feel like she is walking on air.

Sparkling Fingers

These Tiffany rings are the perfect accessory when your hands are on show!


Theme Your Day

Boho & Chic


With summer days around the corner, a Boho themed wedding is the perfect styling for a beach wedding that is unconventional and relaxed but still stylish and chic. Whatever the setting, the Boho bride reflects a carefree attitude that is in tune with Nature. Think flowing materials, a crystal forehead band, barefoot sandals and quirky favours for the guests. Even the traditional wedding cake can be Boho and chic.

Sugared almonds are always a popular wedding favour.

5 Tom Ford Lip Colour – Aphrodisiac/ Virgin Rose or at Tom Ford Beauty in Marbella



Floral Pavlova Cake

Show off your feet in these sensual barefoot bridal sandals


Stephanie Wolff Emma & Apache Morrisson gowns Photos: L’Artisan Photographe


A pretty headband adds a classic twist to your outfit.






I enjoy participating in the creation of a special garment for that single, important day which women share with me. I also feel stimulated by the challenge of recreating in each dress or look, the universe of the woman who is going to wear it, where she feels herself and comfortable. I also love the entire creation process of the garment, from the first sketch, the fabric cutting and the production. There are many emotions attached to our way of working and creating tailored designs where every detail counts


- Isabel Zapardiez


Isabel Zapardiez


sabel Zapardiez designs are defined by being completely handmade creations. The exquisite designs are tailored to a woman’s personal style and each bride works closely with the designer. The uniqueness of the clothing is due to this close working relationship and the signature styles are also thanks to the use of a variety of sensual fabrics and materials that

reinterpret the classic shapes of haute couture and contemporary ideas to create a fusion of styles. Isabel Zapardiez is inspired by contrasts and fusions, plus her experience with all the women she has dressed. She draws on her passion for an aesthetic world and a cosmopolitan universe to bring us her well-recognised brand with its distinct identity.

With a long career in the world of fashion and her multidisciplinary training, Isabel Zapardiez looks to all the various design fields to form a feminine image from a comprehensive perspective. You’ll find these influences throughout her bridal collections and feminine garments, plus shoes, bags and headdresses.

Her designs are seen on the most important international catwalks and besides her participation in Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, her collections have also appeared at New York’s Couture fashion Week, and London’s World Bridal Show. These amazing creations are all handmade in her Haute Couture Studio in San Sebastian and her Pamplona Studio.



Demure Sensuality Australian designer, Shannon Pittman, shows how attention to detail results in designs that are elegant and timeless. BO & LUCA’s fabulous wedding gowns are most notable for the skill that is stitched into every piece, with hand beading applied by master craftsmen at an atelier in India.

Shannon Pittman

It is hardly surprising that these hand-dyed silk creations have received worldwide attention and, with three collections under her belt - and a fourth on the way very shortly – Shannon Pittman’s two flagship stores in Australia and South Africa are inundated with customers. Defying tradition to embrace a completely different design aesthetic, Bo & Luca’s designs have been described as ‘bohemian luxe’, with gentle touches of nostalgia and artistic nods to the sartorially relaxed 1970s. If you want your gown to flow with the same laid-back vibe that you are planning to harness for your wedding day, Bo & Luca could well be the designer for you.

Manhattan Gown CONFETI 23

Isra Gown 24 CONFETI

Indiana Gown CONFETI 25

Parisienne Gown 26 CONFETI Available at: Wild At Heart Bridal See page 38 CONFETI 27

Allan Hannah

White Gallery London 2016

British Bridal Bonanza


t is fair to say that White Gallery London isn’t only the premium bridal event in Britain, and the most recent gathering of wedding fashion experts had something to please the most demanding bride.

Returning to the Battersea Evolution from Sunday the 15th to Tuesday the 17th of May, the latest White Gallery London exhibition was dubbed the best so far by many of the thousands of visitors who viewed the latest creations by some of the world’s most popular bridal designers. There were many highlights during WGL’s all too brief run and the Confeti team all agreed that we envied the lucky brides who would be able to take advantage of some superbly imaginative designs from talents such as Charlotte Balbier and Caroline Castigliano. Eliza Jane Howell’s new 2017 collection featured new designs which demonstrated the label’s signature style; dramatic gowns with plunging backs and high necklines which show just enough flesh to add interest. We especially enjoyed the gorgeous colours and rich shades which evoked the eternal romanticism of the perfect wedding day. Charlotte Balbier is a designer who never fails to surprise and delight us, so we were especially keen to view her new range of 10 interchangeable bridal separates, which will allow brides to mix and match in order to come up with their own look. The styles included Tempest, Harper, Sloane, Rebel, Flynn, Hero, Cecily, Cosima, Langley and Fawn and incorporated everything that you could possibly need for a fabulous wedding day, from a satin slip with lace topper and satin sash, to a ball gown skirt, crop top and reverse lace bolero.


Eliza Jane Howell

Caroline Castigliano

Catherine Deane also presented her 2016 bridal collection during White Gallery London. The press release had promised, “ a fusion of fresh styles and timeless shapes, harmonised with a heady mix of textured floral lace, dreamy silk chiffons, and soft tulle skirts” and we were not disappointed. The overall impression was one of extreme femininity, figure hugging silhouettes overlaid by soft, romantic shapes, the main aim of the designer being to guide the bride gently from the formality of the marriage service to the spontaneous joy of the wedding breakfast and the evening celebrations.

Catherine Deane

Caroline Castigliano has always enjoyed a reputation for combining sensuality and everything that is über-feminine and her Love is in the Air collection proved that she has lost nothing of her talent to satisfy – and surprise – with some gorgeous modern separates and detachable trains. Launching in 2017, her accessory collection of headpieces, veils and belts will help brides to pull off that signature Castigliano look. Daring low backs and plunging necklines help to define the style of the modern wedding, while silhouettes with two-piece separates will be perfect for the woman who would like to sidestep tradition a little, without abandoning it altogether. Fabrics are equally imaginative: structured silk zibeline and marocain crepe feature heavily alongside soft georgettes and satin-faced organza, while laces, including beautiful beading, are also allowed their chance to shine. The collection is presented in a soft colour palette of ivory with subtle touches of mocha.

Stephanie Allin

After viewing collections by a diverse range of designers we all agreed that Spring 2016 had been an especially exciting and surprising time for White Gallery London. It really is the place to visit if you are a bride-to-be, since you cannot help but be excited and inspired by the talent on display, whether your idea of wedding heaven is a traditional meringue or something a little more rock and roll. Participating designers were: Alan Hannah, Andrea Hawkes, Anna Georgina, Anna Kara, Anne Barge, Anny Lin, Atelier Emelia, Augusta Jones, Bliss, Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan, By Catriona, Caroline Castigliano, Catherine Deane, Charlotte Balbier, Charlotte Mills Bridal, Charlotte Simpson, Cherished Vintage, Cymbeline, Elbeth Gillis, Eliza Jane Howell, Emmy London, Evermore by Amberley London, Fly by Bundo, Freya Rose, Gemy Couture, Harriet Wilde, Inmaculada Garcia, IT by Bundo. Ivory & Co, Jack Sullivan Bridal, Jesus Peiro, Karen Willis Holmes, Katya Katya Shehurina, Kiss by Bundo, Kreisi Couture, Louise Bentley, Lusan Mandongus, Lyn Ashworth By Sarah Barrett, Madame Seguin, Maids to Measure Bridesmaids, Marta Marti by Bundo, Martina Liana, Marylise Couture, Miranda Templeton, Monique Lhuillier, Mooshki, Muscat London, Nicki Macfarlane, Olvi’s, Paloma Blanca, Polly Edwards, Poppy Dover, Qiana Bridal, Raimon Bundo, Rembo Styling, Richard Designs, Ruth Milliam Bridal Couture, Sabina Motasem, Sassi Holford, Sasso, Savin London, Sharon Bowen, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin Couture, The Couture Veil, The Season Hats, Watters, Yi Ju, Yolan Cris Couture, Zaeem Jamal.


esignerP rofile DDesigner rofile

L Leila Hafzi


Leila Hafzi’s revolutionary, ecoconscious brand was founded in Stavanger, Norway in 1997 since when her collections of beautiful gowns have graced catwalks all over the world. Taking inspiration from the visual cultures of Norway, Persia, Greece and Nepal, Hafzi’s creations are instantly recognisable due to their romantic, bohemian appearance. Over the years, Leila Hafzi has received several awards - in 2007 and 2011 she was voted Designer of the Year by KK and Costume Awards and she has also been awarded the Environmental Prize of the Decade by OFW and the Fashion for a Cause Prize of 2011. Hafzi has been a fashion pioneer since, back in 1997, few fashion brands were concerned with issues such as globalisation, female empowerment or ethical and ecoconscious production. These have been aims of Leila’s since she first started production in Kathmandu in September 1997. Hafzi established her design and production company, Nepal Productions AS in 2005 and in 2012 JUST was established. The company is a proud member of The Ethical Trading Initiative - Norway, (IEH); a stakeholder initiative involving companies, employers, organizations, trade unions and NGOs, based on the idea that companies have a responsibility towards human rights.



I knew that being a fashion designer was my calling when...

I was looking for outfits during my time at high school - yes, it really was that early in my life! I couldn’t find what was in my imagination in the shops, but six months later I saw what I was looking for at MTV Pulse and on other catwalks. I then thought I had an intuition about fashion and what it was likely to look like in the future.

I specialized in bridal gowns because…

My clients started requesting white dresses from my red carpet and high-end evening collections. After

40 brides bought my evening dresses on order during the space of a year I thought my signature could match the bridal niche. I then took some of my previous designs, redesigned them in light and dusty colours, added flower rosettes and – voila! - a new bridal marque was born.

My personal style is... Believe it or not, I’m not very romantic even though I design highly romantic and dreamy dresses. I would describe my style as a kind of classic fusion with a little contemporary rock chick - a clean and minimalistic or rustic style.


“Believe it or not, I’m not very romantic even though I design highly romantic and dreamy dresses. I would describe my style as a kind of classic fusion with a little contemporary rock chick - a clean and minimalistic or rustic style.” 34 CONFETI CONFETI 34

My biggest achievement to date...

Leila Hafzi

Is being part of teaching the team in Nepal how to manufacture highly exclusive and technically challenging bridal and red carpet collections.

Gaining acknowledgement from the editors of VOGUE, Sposa Italia, Brides US and other important people in the bridal fashion scene; it’s like getting a degree after your exam from the professors of the industry.

Trends that I feel will be popular in 2016...

Beautiful laces are everywhere now and there is a very interesting trend of 2D and 3D design, where flowers and other embellishments are highlighted. I believe the industry has moved up yet another level over the past 12 months.

I find the inspiration for my gowns from...

My clients, cultures, dreams and the past. In the present 2016/17 bridal collection I take inspiration from the patterns seen on Persian carpets and mix them with inspiration from nature. I have hand drawn every lace we make and feel very content with the fusion and end result of the collection.


My average working day is...

From the moment I open my eyes to the point at which I force myself to take a break in the evening. I am working on getting better at taking short breaks and holidays and trying to stay out of the studio at the weekend, but, in an industry with high demands and constant deadlines, it’s not easy. Step by step I’m improving and trying to work less.

At the moment I’m working on...

I am currently in Kathmandu, Nepal where I’m at work on the sample collection for Bridal 2016/17, which is full of intricate hand embroidered laces and drapes. We are at the final three day deadline and, one by one, the couture gowns are coming to life, which is a very exciting moment.

What brides can expect from my gowns…

Exclusive natural fabrics, high quality silks, spotless stitching and a dreamy romantic look. I’m trying to get a little edge into the present collection, so let’s see where we end up! My bride can expect a sustainably produced bridal gown with a high level of comfort.

My designs stand out from other labels because...

Since I didn’t start creating my bridal line from scratch and rather transformed my red carpet signature into bridal, I think I already had a significant style that was easily recognisable.

Destination wedding dresses must be...

Easy to wear, easy to travel with, comfortable and easy to handle.


Just in case you hadn’t noticed, may we point out that the era of the one-type-suits-all meringue has passed? Today we can acknowledge that bridal taste encompasses an enormously wide range of styles and designers have been quick to capitalise on this appetite for everything from Extreme Rustic to Boho Chic. Nijmegen based Wild At Heart represents a new generation of bridal boutique that aims to appeal to the untamed aspect of every bride’s heart.

Gown: Odylyne The Ceremony Hair accessory: Luna Bea Bride



Gown: Odylyne The Ceremony Hair accessory: Naturae Design Earrings: Laurie Fleming Jewelry CONFETI 39

Gown: Rue de Seine Necklace: Laurie Fleming Jewelry


pening its doors on the first of June 2016, Wild At Heart Bridal aims to fill the wish lists of all unconventional brides. From bohemian and vintage to modern and minimalistic, every bride is guaranteed to find a gown that perfectly matches her personality. The owners claim that the boutique is a tribute to all the unique women who do not want to conform to traditional images of a bride. What unites all these women is that they know who they are, what they want and how to get it. They are funny and adventurous - but also romantic. This idea forms the core value of Wild At Heart Bridal, offering women gowns that are as unique as they are.


Gown: Alexandra Grecco Veil: Rue de Seine

Gown: A La Robe Veil: Luna Bea Bride Earrings: Laurie Fleming Jewelry


Gown: Rue de Seine Hair accessory: Naturae Design

Gown: Bo & Luca Necklace: Laurie Fleming Jewelry

Why Wild At Heart?

Well, the owners thought long and hard about which name to give their boutique, but in the end they decided that since love is a wild emotion and cannot be tamed or controlled, this was the perfect name. Featured brands include Rue de Seine, Daughters of Simone, Bo & Luca, Houghton, & For Love, Alexandra Grecco, A la Robe and Odylyne The Ceremony.


All of the gowns are handmade; from Canada to Australia to the U.S.A, they are all a labour of love. Hand-dyed, luxurious fabrics that fall fluently around the body, beading that is not too heavy and overwhelming, plus soft laces for that feminine touch. Next to bridal gowns the Wild At Heart Bridal team will also carry hair accessories, jewellery and lingerie from Naturae Design, Luna Bea, Laurie Fleming en For Love & Lemons. Gown: Rue de Seine Hair accessory: Naturae Design CONFETI 43

Organization and concept: Wild At Heart Bridal Gowns and Accessories: Wild At Heart Bridal Photography: Alice Mahran Hair and Make-up: Jayne Meyer Assistant: Jeroen Noordzij and Caitlin Watson Models: Linda Visser & Isaya Elais


Gown: Bo & Luca Hair accessory: Naturae Design

Gown: Bo & Luca Jumpsuit: & For Love Veil: Luna Bea Bride Jewelry: Laurie Fleming Jewelry


The Beauty Sp t Where Beauty Begins... Offering customized Bridal Pamper Packages and Wedding Makeup by consultation

Occasion and Bridal Makeup Manicure & Pedicure 路 CND Shellac Acrylic nails Waxing & Threading Selection of Luxury MONU Facials

+34 675 01 63 51 Avd Avd de de la la Isla Isla Verde,Urb Verde,Urb Benamara Benamara Dos Dos Hermanos. Hermanos. Edf Edf Costa Costa Del Del Sol Sol Group, Group, Estepona Estepona


Our resident beauty girl, Jess Miles, offers us her top tips for looking flawless on your big day.


make-up melt down


panish summers are absolutely beautiful and I don’t blame all of you brides who have planned to get married under the blissful Spanish sunshine, although this can be a bit risky when it comes to wanting to keep your make-up looking on point all day long. You will be spending a very long time getting ready on the big day so you need to make sure that all that effort won’t just melt off as soon as you step outside into the heat! Whether or not you have chosen to have your make-up applied professionally there is still no harm in checking out some products yourself to see which ones will work best with your skin.

The majority of make-up artists will not have a problem with using your own make-up and it will actually benefit them if you are sure about what you would like to use on your skin prior to the trial. Waterproof make-up in general tends to have a heavier consistency so it is normally best to save those products for areas of your face which won’t cake up so easily, like eyes and lips. The rest of the make-up shouldn’t be an issue as long as it is applied expertly and a good setting spray has been used to keep everything in its place.

The majority of make-up artists will not have a problem with using your own make-up and it will actually benefit them if you are sure about what you would like to use on your skin prior to the trial.

EYELINER The Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner has a gel-like formula which, once it is dry, will not budge! It also has a very precise applicator which makes it easier to work with to achieve that neat look we

all aim towards when applying eyeliner. This product is super duper waterproof but not oil proof, so if you have oily eyelids be sure to prime them with a translucent powder before application.


important parts of your wedding day make-up look and they HAVE to be kissable all day long. After all the kissing you need to trust a product enough for it to stay on! The KIKO MILANO Long Lasting Colour lip marker is described as a ‘tattoo effect’ because it stays on for so long! It also tastes delicious (not that you’re supposed to eat it but sometimes you have to test it to see if it tastes as good as it smells, right?!)


LIPS Okay, the lips are one of the most

Every woman needs a man who will ruin their lipstick, not their mascara


Most brides choose to use false lashes for their big day but even then you still need a trusty mascara that you know will not smudge when the tears of joy start flowing! A lot of waterproof mascaras tend to be slightly clumpier in consistency due to the waterproof formula so it is important to use one that is going to look natural and pretty. Yves Saint Laurent’s Everlong Mascara Waterproof gives a lovely even coating on all the lashes and doesn’t clump at all; it is also very gentle so if you have sensitive eyes it is suitable for you too.

CHEEKS Obviously the most important thing when it comes to face makeup is the base, but you also want something that, when applied over the top, isn’t going to slide off. Powder blushers normally tend to sit in the pores so a crème blush is the better option. However, when using a crème blush they can sometimes give off a slightly oily sheen. If your skin is on the dry side a good product for you would be the crème blushers from MAC, they’re nicely pigmented, come in a beautiful range of colours and are very long lasting if your skin isn’t oily. If your skin IS oily then the best product would be Benefits Benetint, it is a lip and cheek stain and is a completely liquid product that dries after application and will give you a beautiful natural flush of colour all day long.


Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year or so you will know that brows have become the most talked about facial feature between us ladies so, for your wedding day, you have to be sure that your brows are looking ‘on fleek’! A good brand to use is the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow range. These are pigmented, creamy and stay put for ages. My personal favourite for an all round natural but full brow look is the Brow Wiz, its teensy weensy nib makes it the perfect pencil for drawing in individual hair strokes where they are needed, instead of filling in the whole brow with a wax or a powder which will leave them looking unnatural and overloaded with product. You could also use a clear or pigmented brow gel (your personal preference) to make sure every hair stays where you want it to be. The MAC brow gels are very good and have a strong hold.

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Gerry Tona is known as one of the best cutters on the Coast, his precision cutting skills have the men of Marbella fighting over appointments with Gerry, so it seemed only fair that we asked the expert himself to share his grooming tips for husbands-to-be. Grooms, read the following to ensure you are properly prepared to be the centre of attention on your nuptial day.


Unless you have been living on Mars you will know that every man and his dog is donning a beard. So, should you keep it or shave it off for your big day? 50 CONFETI


ale grooming has changed dramatically over the last decade. With strong influences from reality stars and footballers, it is now acceptable for men to be as pampered as the ladies. We now think nothing of having a weekly tidy up with our stylist, so it should come as no surprise that men are also taking extra steps to look trendy and unconventional on their wedding day.

The Hair Raiser Apart from the impeccably fitted suit, the hair is probably the most important aspect of a groom’s pre-marriage grooming. Many grooms are now putting as much time and thought into their wedding hairstyle as the brides. First things first; you need to do your research, flick through the latest magazines and tear out any styles you think would work with your wedding attire and, of course, your overall style. This will help your hair stylist get a better idea of what you are hoping to achieve. They can then offer advice on what style best suits your hair texture and face shape.

If you are looking for a new stylist or barber, always ask for recommendations. It is basically a trial and error exercise. Start looking about a year before your wedding, to give you time to find someone who you connect with and feel confident enough to listen to their suggestions. Make sure to explain that you’re getting a haircut for your wedding so they’ll pay extra attention to detail. Ask them to show you how to style your hair properly (and which products to use) for the big day.

If you are opting for a big change then I would strongly suggest that you trial it at least six months before the big day. This way, if you don’t like it, you still have time to grow it out. Always be cautious before choosing a very on-trend style, that extreme fade could look cool now - but how will it look decades from now in your photos?

Product wise my preference is a wax or paste over a gel. The crispy gel effect just doesn’t do it for me. There should be hold but still movement, basically your bride should be able to run her fingers through your hair without getting her hands covered in product. Guys should consider using matte products because they can create very traditional, timeless looks that also look good on camera. I work a lot with the Redken Rough Paste €16,88 which creates ragged texture and moveable separation. Designed to stay completely pliable, this medium control paste will allow you to add strong definition to your hair. Another favourite is Redken Firm Grasp €11,06 which gives you maximum control and a matte finish.

The Timeline It depends on the haircut, but in general, guys should get their hair cut about one week before (unless you rock a buzz cut) and then get their necks trimmed if they need to. This will allow the hair to settle into its cut properly without growing out too much or losing its shape. Never get it done the day before your wedding.

Wax Works

of the worst “ Some mistakes in my life were haircuts ” - Jim Morrison

To shave or not to shave? Unless you have been living on Mars you will know that every man and his dog is donning a beard. So, should you keep it or shave it off for your big day? If a beard is part of your normal look, I say keep it -- just make sure your beard is properly taken care of and that you’ve got a clean shave on the cheeks and neck. Many guys with facial hair suffer from skin irritations but don’t stress about it - there are plenty of ways to tackle this. If you suffer from ingrown hairs use a good exfoliating product twice a week and book in for monthly facials. Not only will this lift any hairs that are just starting to grow in and prevent dead cells and grime blocking hair follicles, it will also keep your facial hair feeling soft. I would recommend that you use a wax or beard oil to keep the hairs manageable. Personally, I find oils too greasy for me and the scent tends to fight with my aftershave. While on the subject of facial hair, guys please keep any nasal and ear hair under control.

I can’t stand any of that! Trimming stray hairs and tweezing ones that don’t belong creates a clean, well-groomed appearance. Another pet peeve of mine is when you see a guy nailing a fashion forward hair style, designer stubble, edgy clothing, yet his hands and nails look like they have just come off a construction site. Doesn’t he know hands are one of the first things women look at? Regular manicures make such a difference and, remember, when you exchange rings during the ceremony, everyone’s eyes focus on the hands of both bride and groom. Photographers typically take ring pictures of the bride and groom holding hands so neat and clean fingernails are a must. Some of these steps take preparation beforehand, but with a little advanced planning and appointment scheduling, these grooming tips will ensure you’ll look dashing on your wedding day and equally dapper decades later in those wedding photos.

Reflections Hair Nails & Skin Care specialise in bridal hair and beauty Centro Plaza, Nueva Andalucía · + 34 902 325 324 · + 34 952 906 524 · CONFETI 51


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Elegant Asian Affair

and then he asked me to marry him - my response was a mixture of laughter and tears, and of course, I said ‘Yes!’.

Real Weddings

Bhavesh and Rajvi enjoyed a magical


We were young, crazy and care free at 17 years old. We knew of each other through friends and in the few times we would bump into each other I would sometimes get a wink and a smile and he would get a little wave back. Who would have known that 17 years later, I would be married to him! Bhavesh and I met again after some years at a fitness centre and we recognised each other straight away. We started to meet up as friends and realised that we shared the same interests however our friendship drifted slowly

Jake and Laufey

when Jake Our love story began in a queue struck up a conversation Sadly for the cashpoint in London! had as he the timing was terrible, ‘Boys just booked a three-month HowOnly’ trip to South America. complete with ever we kept in touch, bills until Jake astronomical phone (much to send me a plane ticket friends on the the annoyance of his America trip,) and suddenly South holiday became our own romantic


fun, family and friendship.

went to Cuba and that was where Bhavesh proposed to me. We were on a tiny island off the south coast of Cuba and on our last night on the island (we were due to fly to Varadero the next day to continue our holiday), Bhavesh had booked us a table at a restaurant. When we arrived, I was surprised to see that he had arranged for us to dine in a private cabana that was beautifully decorated with candles, flowers and white curtains that were softly blowing in the breeze. During our meal, we were serenaded with beautiful Spanish love songs. At this point he told me that he did this for me

Real Wedd

Two years later, we had been well acquainted with each other’s family and friends and we had been on a few holidays together and we were definitely ready to take the next step in our relationship. It was just a case of him popping the question. Last September we

Address Book

At the Water’s Edge at the eternally their timeless nuptials

three day celebration filled with

apart and we became quite busy in our own lives but we would call each other now and again over the years just to catch up until one day we decided to meet, enjoying each others company so greatly we began to spend more and more time together before falling completely and utterly in love.


Wedding Dress: Caroline Castigliano

Bridesmaid Dresses:


Suit: Reiss Venue: Villa del Mar, Marbella Club Hotel

stylish Villa del Mar.


the rest of our and the beginning of in a restaurant lives. Jake proposed a few months in Paris in 2010 then twins hence later I fell pregnant with put on hold our wedding plans got for a little while. 60 CONFETI

because he loved me and he just wanted to say thank you for being such an amazing girlfriend and so I still had no clue what he was about to do. It was after dinner when Bhavesh suggested that we go for a walk on the beach. As we walked towards the sea, I was holding on to him and walking with precaution as it was dark with only the moonlight to guide us, and the deck that led to the rocks above the shore had large enough gaps for my stilettos to become wedged in! When we arrived at the beach, the moonlight hit the waves that were rolling onto the sand - we just stood there in awe of the scenery. We held each other tight and reminisced about the amazing times we had been through together over all the years we had known each other. He then suddenly said, ‘Can you see that?’ I turned around to see what he was pointing at, and as I looked down, a light shone on to the rocks where there was a sign that read, ‘Marry Me?’. I then turned back around to see that Bhavesh had got down on one knee! He told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life and more with me

was sun, My vision for our wedding I really sea, flowers and glamour. outside, either wanted to get married suron a beach or somewhere in the blooms rounded by beautiful

idea of Initially I had a very different thought years earlier I sunshine. About three how I wanted my wedding, were relaxed Jake and I (newly engaged) I wanted more of a hippy beach as soon as I walking down the Marbella drink at feel to everything but go for a changed. front and decided to saw the venue everything restaurant. perfect but The Marbella Club beach The entire wedding was through the most sentiWe then had a little walk I would have to say the knew the speeches hotel grounds and I instantly of mental moments were that I had found the destination villa, and, of course, the ceremony. private and friends my dreams. The hotel’s Seeing all of our family and holds all that they had Villa del Mar is beautiful together and knowing 1950’s. I could the world of its charm from the all flown in from across parties that they all visualise all the glamorous was amazing. The fact in the past and as much as we that took place there enjoyed themselves my wedding; on the cake. that’s how I visualised did was truly the icing timeless. classic, glamorous and




Would you like

We went back to our table where we finished off our champagne, when Bhavesh told me he had another surprise for me! What could possibly be better than this? I thought he may have booked us in for a spa day or he would take me shopping… No. He had booked us both in for a skydive! Fancy being proposed to and then kicked out of a helicopter at 12000 ft... romantic at first, daringly devilish to end.


The wedding planning begun almost immediately after we had returned back to the UK. I had always dreamt of an outdoors wedding, with beautiful scenery and romance. I already knew that this would be the theme throughout. We decided to marry in Spain as we both travelled there often. Spain has always been a destination close to home and close to my heart... the ambience, the people, the laidback attitude, the weather and climate.... we had to get married in Spain!

True Blue morning, the blessing ceremony in the afternoon followed by cocktails and the reception party into the night. All were outdoors, the weather was amazing and all this infused with the surroundings and the ‘buzz’ our guests came with made it truly the best wedding, I myself, had ever been to, and I still can’t believe that it was my own. I knew I wanted a traditional Hindu wedding with a twist of vintage and regal attire. Dianna from Party People and the team at Beau Rivaaaj ensured that the setting was just that and the planning was impeccable. The mandap was decorated with beautiful fabrics and hanging ornaments. It looked exquisite with traditional but subtle colours. The large pillars surrounding the amphitheatre were draped with beautiful images of Lord Ganesh. For the blessing ceremony, Dianna had stripped away the colours and left a beautiful plain white chuppah that was complemented by the surroundings of the Roman Stone amphitheatre. The ivory and soft pink flowers paired with our outfits made a perfect combination against the sunlight and the greenery.

I wanted a wedding with a difAfter the sounds of the Spanference and I loved the idea of ish guitar and a few champagne our closest friends and family all cocktails later, guests were coming to celebrate our wedding ushered to the reception on the abroad and also enjoying a holioutdoor terrace surrounded by day at the same time. We decided olive trees with suspended Chito have a three day event, with the nese lanterns and wicker hearts. Michael and Melan first being the Surprises for our guests, and our night. The two day mendhi ie marri celeb second day ed in a elega was a selves, leisure ration were ‘wow’ factors starting day at family, friend surrounde nt the Crowne Plaza s with flamenco dancing, speeches Estepona d by their and son, with Dexter. golf and spa in the morning, and performances from our loved a pool party in the afternoon and ones to large glow sticks on our a dinner in the evening and the entrance, a live bongo player over last day wasOUR our big a UK DJ spinning the best beats dayY… STOR - with the Vedic Hindu Micha ceremony and then a firework finale. el and I in the met throug ing and h workliving in Marbe the Real Estate secto lla, in years ago. r about 8 CONFETI 61 property I was working for developer a for a renow and Micha el company. ned Real Estate He was professiona charming, polite and l, kind way about him, had a very of misch with a hint ief After a few in those blue eyes. each other, years of not seeing each other we bumped into again and meet up decided for coffee to tea, and or hence forth in my case good friend became s. We were ing for differe worknt comp then and anies by we chat, laugh would meet up to woes over , tell each other our a ner. Micha bit of lunch or dinel board and was my sound ing confid ante. enjoyed each others We really everything company, plicated. was easy and uncom OUR VISIO One day shortly after one of my Spain holdsN… birthdays, my age and the in our hearts a very special (not telling of cours wedd as we have place e) we met normal and all the ladies ing date, given lived here up both to for many turned out kissed’ and things changed, as real treat our son to be ‘we Dexter was years and and also was born. Michael and Melan proved to a an excell Costa del born in the ent be ie Sol Hospi friends and memento for our sion was tal. Our vito share family. Michael our and this proposed special time wedding 2 month later, on OUR MOST with our s the last loved ones. in our lives TREASURE day of an amazing MOM we We knew wanted to D ENTS cruise holida get everyo beautiful It is hard … together ne all ring. It was y, with a to select and for our ful surpri just one moment a and wond neare deare se erst from our st to be wedding even start and before we could as each a initiation day and every planning into marrie part of our I was pregn perfect. the wedd minute was addition, d life and However ing, for some ant. when the churc , who had in yet had the h and Julie- I entered not soprano our darlin pleasure, to meet singer beganAnn our g son. Ave Maria singing my heart also dedic melted. We chose She ated Villa Tiberi ing the recep a song to us location o as our duras tion dinne created such wond it is decorated with a very speci r, which for Micha fountains. erful gardens and al memo el ry A simple the funnie and myself. I think scheme colour of st mome nt when my pale blue just off-white and mother was had to be was select Flamenco perfectly complemened, which dance and doing her cided he simple and Dexter deted our could elegant grandmothe n´t be withou adorned vision. We t his the main r, ‘Abu’ for moment table with crystals even one so and blue her on the he decided to join place cards chose invitations, dance floor! and a stunn all, having seating Above ing plan in the everyone cherish The pale same hues. we love together and blue Spani for two whole days ultima embellished sh fans, with our ding everyt tely made our wednames ever wishe hing we could have d for and more.

your wedding

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Real Weddings

A Rustic RETREAT Zara and Nigel loved their Spanish wedding and have some sound advice for anyone contemplating a similar ceremony.

Internet Romance We met online through a dating website. After a few months on Lovestruck we encountered each other and, after a few dates, we both knew we’d found someone special. After two months we were on our first holiday, and after five months we’d moved in together. Two years later we bought our first home, shortly after which Nigel proposed on the beach as the sun set on an Indonesian holiday. We are a pretty laid back couple and were keen to ensure our wedding was super relaxed and fun. For us that meant sun, outdoors, great food and wine, but also somewhere our loved ones could get to easily at at a reasonable price, so Spain was perfect. The Perfect Place Our incredible wedding planners, Dyana and Amanda at The Weddings Company, 56 CONFETI

showed us several different, but equally gorgeous venues and saved the Rancho del Ingles until last; we knew it was perfect the second we saw it. We especially loved the attention to detail, the up-cycling employed throughout the venue, the buildings and the perfect gardens – we could easily see our family relaxing in the venue before the wedding and also imagine how we could have an incredible party on the actual day. Putting On the Style My dress that I chose was designed by Eliza Jane Howell and was the first dress I tried on. I knew exactly what I wanted and it was simply perfect for the venue and weather. My brides-maids were in light blue dresses from Zara that one of my bridesmaids found and which I simply loved. Very bohemian and relaxed and - most importantly - comfortable for

them. We were determined not to have a colour scheme as such but ensure we featured all colours and flowers that were natural and wild. The tables were decorated with wild flowers from the garden and the wedding ceremony area was decorated with lavender bunches and more wild flowers. The décor in general was rustic and natural and we loved the relaxed feel and bohemian vibe. Finishing Touches For the reception we opted for a relaxed barbecue style Spanish buffet. One of our wedding planners baked all the cakes for us as we didn’t have dessert, just a cake table with a selection of our favourites. How can you have just one cake? We also bought some rustic tiles and hessian fabric to decorate the tables to continue the rustic feeling and our place names were Polaroid style photos of our favourite shots with our friends and family. Our

photographer, Mireia Cordomi, was a brilliant recommendation from our wedding planners. We couldn’t have been happier with the final results – she was perfect for us, our style and the venue. Favourite moments Getting ready with my bridesmaids and mum beforehand; we were all relaxed and enjoyed the pampering session with our make-up and hair. Our actual ceremony was a lot of fun too, with our minister, Kurt, adding brilliant stories of his own, as well as reading out the five things we loved about each other that we sent him before. The speeches are always my favourite part of any wedding and I really loved the effort and love that went into everyone’s speeches and, of course, having to make one myself. Then the after party and getting to chat to everyone properly, as we had a smallish wedding and partied into the small hours.

If I had to do it again... I know it sounds like a huge cliché, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It was completely perfect for us in every way. Advice for couples getting married Why not challenge the traditional expectations of what a wedding should be? Do something slightly different and don’t over-stretch yourself financially for one day. Decide as a couple what your must-haves are and focus your attention on those and then don’t sweat the small stuff.

Play to your strengths – get a wedding planner if detail and organisation isn’t really your thing so you can focus on what is. For us this was perfect as we both have busy, demanding jobs. Try to be as mindful as possible on the day so that you can take it all in – it’ll whizz by and, whatever you do, your years of planning will be over in a day. Make sure that you both take time out to take stock and appreciate the moment.

Address book: Wedding planner: Dyana Dessar Simmons Photographer: Music: Venue’s own Cake: Amanda Faithfull at Venue: Minister: Kurt Kettner-Borough Flowers: By Lisa at Botanico, Duquesa Port Dress: Eliza Jane Howell


Real Weddings


‘I Do’

Sinead and Ross’s wedding brimmed with enviable elegance and romance and the Cortijo de Cortes created the perfect backdrop for their special day.

Hang in there Ross and I knew each other for years before we actually became a couple, as we had a lot of mutual friends in university. One of my friends invited me to a barbecue in Dublin before I settled down to study for my finals, so I travelled up from Limerick. Ross was living in Dublin at that stage and he joined us on that night when he learned I was coming up and the rest, as they say, is history. 
 Escape the ordinary We decided to get married in Spain, because we were looking for something unique and we also wanted to have a holiday/ party atmosphere at the wedding. We felt we would achieve that by bringing our friends and family abroad so that everyone could be together for a few days. We have been to Marbella countless times and we had talked about having our big day there before we even got engaged. Our venue, Cortijo de Cortes, was so beautiful I think I had my mind made up before I had even seen it in person. I fell in love with the images on wedding planner, Lisa Franco from Bella Weddings in Spain’s blog. I loved the Spanish style, the


colours, flowers, outside décor everything really. 
 Perfect in pastel I wanted the overall style to be relaxed and casual. My dress was ideal for a destination wedding, being light and easy to walk and dance in, which was exactly what I wanted. My shoes were exquisite Dolce & Gabbana sandals, which were also my ‘something blue’.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were also quite casual, the girls chose their own style to suit their individual shapes and we opted for a lovely blush pink and pistachio green. I loved the pastel colours and felt they were understated and tasteful; they also complimented my bouquet, which was full of pastel pinks and gorgeous greens. My florist, Deseos, created a rustic, unstructured design which was simply beautiful. I incorporated my Nanny’s Shamrock brooch into my bouquet, as she passed away in 2013 and I know she would have loved to have been there to see it all. It was also my ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something old’, so it was very sentimental.
 The girls had simple baby’s breath bouquets which complimented my overall theme. Here comes the wow Even though I wear my hair down most of the time, I decided to wear

my hair up, which would showcase the design on the back of my dress. Megan at Golden Tarts did a wonderful job on my hair and on all of my maids. For my make-up I wanted to have a smoky eye, but nothing over the top, paired with a nice natural pink lip. My make-up artist Nicola McGeorge knew exactly what I was looking for and did an amazing job. I didn’t have to top up my make-up (bar my lips) at any stage during the day, so I was delighted. The personal touch At the ceremony my mum and dad walked me up the aisle. Our priest made everyone feel welcome and he did everything possible to make it special for us. We made a huge effort to include our family and friends in the ceremony as much as possible. I have five sisters, three of whom were bridesmaids, plus Ross’s sister Amanda. My other sisters contributed a reading and sang for us. Our cousins, uncles, aunts and friends also added to the ceremony through song, prayer, poetry and signing the register. It was lovely and very personal. 
 Feast your eyes The food at Cortijo de Cortes was outstanding. From the moment people arrived at the venue they were impressed. The canapés on arrival were delicious, our guests had an array to choose from while listening to the Latino Twins do their thing in the Spanish sunshine. The menu for the main meal was gorgeous and we were so pleased by how it tasted on the day. The starter was either Goat’s Cheese Salad or Prawn Salad. The main course was a Fillet of

our guests who had all been given sparklers, we went inside to boogie the night away to Monkey Tennis, who were excellent musicians. Tristan was our DJ and kindly played us into the wee hours of the morning. I will never forget... walking up the aisle with my parents by my side and seeing so many smiling faces. I loved the first dance surrounded by everyone swinging and swaying along to our song and lighting up the night with the sparklers, it was just lovely.

Address Book Wedding planner: Lisa Franco - Bella Weddings in Spain
 Venue: Cortijo de Cortes, Dress: Gemy Maalouf @ Amore Bridal Shop Bridesmaid dresses: White Runway Makeup: Nicola McGeorge Hair: Megan Wheatley 
 Cod with Prawns or a Chateaubriand Steak. For dessert we had White Chocolate, Coconut and Raspberry Gateaux with Ice Cream - delicious! Everything was served with efficiency and excellence by the staff of Cortijo de Cortes, who never failed to top up people’s glasses throughout the night. Add some sparkle After the speeches and a first dance outside to Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, accompanied by

Flowers: Deseos Florist Minister: Fr O’Boyle 
 Music: Amanda Rosa
 Matt McGurk Monkey Tennis, Photographer: Kris McGuirk 


Real Weddings

Two Beginnings,

One Happily Ever After For Hash, it was love at first sight when Vida walked into his life. However unaware Vida may have been of his feelings he never gave up on her until, eventually, fate had its way with them and their beautiful romance began…

Her Story: It was New Year’s Eve and, while flitting between different parties, I received a call from a close friend to join her at a new party venue. When I arrived, the place was buzzing with people getting ready to begin the countdown to 2014. My friend introduced me to a guy, Hash, with a strange American accent who she had met a few months earlier at a wedding in Ibiza. He seemed nice enough but I didn’t think much more of it. Within minutes of arriving, my girlfriends and I decided to leave and headed off to another party. What I didn’t realise was that my friend had given Hash my phone number! So, for the next three months we chatted via text, usually ending with me declining any invitations for a date. Three months later, my girlfriend was holding a house party and, as best friends do, I was there early to help out. As guests arrived, I was standing at the door when a man walked in and introduced himself to someone standing next to me. He looked really familiar but I couldn’t quite place where I knew him from. He then swooped in for the European two kisses on the cheek and, with his American twang, said, “Hi Vida, good to see you” before walking off with a cheeky smile. During those three months, Hash had shaved off his beard, lost some weight and been away to some exotic faraway location, leaving him with a gorgeous, sunkissed tan. We talked most of the evening and, as he stole a kiss at the end of the night, I thought to myself, “How dare he!” - but secretly I liked it. He escorted me home in the early hours once the party was over and asked to see me that evening for our first date.


His Story: Like most New Years Eves, I was expecting 2014’s to be the usual anti-climax. However, this one was different because, at 15 minutes to midnight, I was introduced to the most enticing girl I had ever met and within five minutes I was smitten. The crowd at the party seemed to disappear into the darkness, leaving only one spotlight shining on Vida but, as fate would have it, she and her friends had moved on to another after-party, and I was pulled along by mine to a different place. Guys usually have a ‘code’ that dictates that they need to wait a certain number of days before calling, but I just couldn’t wait. I tried so hard to entice Vida to have one date with me, but three months of trying and failing didn’t dampen my resolution and I was blind to anyone else. So, when we bumped into each other at a mutual friend’s party, I made sure I had more than five minutes to talk to her. We spent almost the entire evening chatting and when I thought we were alone, I made a play and went in for a kiss - I’m not sure she was expecting it, but she didn’t slap me either! At the end of the night, the party was thinning and so we decided to take off. Although we were heading in different directions, I made sure she wasn’t alone in the taxi and dropped her at home first. I reassured her I didn’t want to come up, but that I wanted to see her the next evening and she finally agreed to a date. What followed was a whirlwind romance that led to us flying around the world together before I proposed six months later in the Maldives.

Marvellous Marbella We were set on a destination wedding because, as we all know, you can’t guarantee the weather in London. We looked at venues in the Greek islands, Italy, France and Malta. They were all beautiful and we were close to booking a beach wedding in Santorini, but as soon as we arrived in Marbella and saw Villa Padierna, we just fell in love! It was the complete opposite to a beach wedding, but we were having a three day event and Marbella turned out to be the perfect location for all of it; a big prewedding party, an elegant ceremony and a barbecue on the beach to finish it all off. The Princess’s Palace The venue we chose was the stunning Villa Padierna. After seeing the beautiful pictures online, we didn’t even need to visit, we had agreed straight away that we wanted to have our wedding there. When we did visit, it was the middle of winter and even then it took our breath away. It was so much more than we had imagined. Its palatial grandeur made us think that it should be located in the hills of Tuscany. It is, by far, one of the most romantic settings you will ever find. Planning The Big Day The dress was the easy part. It was tried and purchased two months after the proposal, before we had even agreed on a wedding date or venue! I fell in love with a relatively unknown designer who was showcasing her gowns at Browns Bride. It took one dress fitting and a meeting with the designer and it was a done deal. This then dictated the theme and feel I wanted to have for the wedding. Not wanting to be a difficult bride, I let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses and colour - brave, I know, but they all went above and beyond and all three of them looked absolutely gorgeous! Although not religious, we are both Persian and wanted the ceremony to have a look and feel that symbolised our heritage, as well as the love we share for one another. We worked closely with a wedding planner in the UK who helped us find Persian decorations, which we then had shipped over to Spain,

along with the planner and her team to set it all up. We also hired a wedding planner in Marbella for the pre-party and wedding dinner and party. Carla from Tucco Weddings was lovely; we only met her four weeks before our big day, but she reassured us that we could easily pull it off in that time and, with the help of their brilliant florist, Pedro Navarro, it all worked out perfectly. She was there for our every need and worked really well with our UK planner as well. A Unique Talent We did a lot of research to find our photographer, visiting loads of websites and forums and, after having narrowed our choice down to three exceptional photographers, we fell in love with Owen’s ability to capture the atmosphere and emotion in every shot. My hubby will never forget the moment Owen took off his shoes, rolled his trousers up and jumped into the pool to get some shots where the sunlight was exactly where he needed it to be! The final images we received are just mesmerising. Everything Owen captured was spectacular.

Magical Sparks The moment we took our first look at each other, sensing each other’s excitement. For Hash, to see me in my wedding dress and for me, to see him impatiently waiting for me and looking so handsome. It was the most beautiful moment. If I Had To Change One Thing… I’d make sure my shoes were more comfortable!

Word Of Advice Remember to have fun! There are so many things that you will disagree about and end up compromising on, but at the end of the day it’s one night or one weekend that you need to enjoy as much as you can, so don’t stress about it! Things might go wrong and things might be missed out, but no-one other than you will notice, so just go with it and have the best time of your life!

Address Book Venue: Villa Padierna Palace, Wedding Planner: Tucco Weddings, Caterer: Villa Padierna Palace, Wedding Cake: Marta Pino Postres, Flowers: Pedro Navarro, Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav, Hair & Make-up: Teresa at Narybu Hair & Beauty, Photographer: Owen Farrell, Videographer: Michel Maraver, String Quartet: Quike Navarro, Spanish Guitarist: Luis Fonseca, Entertainment: Marbella Entertainments, CONFETI 61

Real Weddings

Together Forever With a timeless colour palette and fresh décor, Emma and Alan’s wedding is packed with ideas for modern couples.

Right there all along I have known Alan for years, as he is the brother of my best friend, Helen. I had never seen him in a ‘potential husband’ way until their Mum’s 60th birthday. I was invited on their family holiday to celebrate the occasion, on the condition that I share a room with Alan. This wasn’t a problem as we always got on well, however, that week we got on REALLY well and one night after far too many drinks we had a kiss and suddenly I was thinking, “Ooh, Alan!” As soon as we got back home from the trip he asked me out to dinner and it was the best date I had ever been on. Now we have been married for four months and I can honestly say he is my best friend and soul mate. Just a little bit different We wanted to get married somewhere warm with a party vibe. We felt that Italy was a bit too boring and after much searching we settled on Marbella. My other best friend got married there a few years previously and we loved it, so we decided it would be perfect for our big day. Alan googled ultra-modern venues in Marbella and Villa


El Cid popped up. Sitting in a secluded enclave between bustling Marbella and its sandy beaches and rugged mountains, Villa El Cid has everything you need for your wedding venue. With its bold contemporary architecture and breathtaking views we fell in love instantly, so much so that we booked it before we went to see it. I’m Catholic and my joy on hearing that we could legally marry in the most beautiful church in the world in Estepona was the icing on the cake. Perfect for a grand affair I wanted a minimal and modern look, so my dress was simple but effective. Let’s just say it was fishtail-mermaid tight! I wanted a neutral palette for my bridesmaids’ dresses and found the perfect taupe gowns for them at the House of Fraser. For the flowers I opted for a clean white, understated selection with feathers incorporated into each floral design. Feathers are very poignant for me as I sadly lost my brother. It must be fun We wanted our wedding to be fun, hence we thought it would

be a nice idea to place a quiz answer sheet on each table. We also used pictures (Polaroid snap shop) of our guests instead of name tags, which went down a treat. Tables were named after places we had visited and because we like gambling we opted for a casino chip with our picture and a magnet as our wedding favours. The ultimate ‘house’ party The evening and ‘wedding rave’ as we called it was very important to us, so we spent a lot of time on the planning of the music and entertainment. We had chilled house during the pre-drinks and meal, then we upped the tempo with a fantastic band called The Legal Aliens. We finished with live sax and a DJ who continued till the early morning. We love house music so we basically decided to bring Ibiza to our wedding. Getting personal My friend designed a unique cake top for us; a woman in claret and blue (the colours of Aston Villa) and a man in blue and white (Birmingham City), since we support rival teams. Sadly it rained a little during our wedding and our cake was ruined but I still managed to eat it, and it tasted gorgeous. Emotions ran high when the best men did their speeches on a projector and I made a slide show for Alan which was also shown on the projector. Except for the weather it was a perfect day, everyone had

a great time, the dance floor was never empty - even our neighbours from the other villa came and joined us. I will never forget... People having pool parties, Alan and I taking a moment on the balcony to admire our wedding, raving it up until the early hours. At one point it was raining and I got a bit upset so Alan and I went round the corner to talk. Next thing the music was on full blast and everyone had napkins on their heads, dancing on the chairs to cheer me up.

Address Book Venue: Villa El Cid Wedding Planner: Silvia at Marbella Parties: Wedding Dress: The Dressing Rooms, Halesowen Flowers: Virginia Florista Wedding Cake: Omaya at Cake Couture Marbella Caterer: Toni from Sana Catering Entertainment: The Legal Aliens Photographer: Talia Giraudo



Real Weddings

Lookof Love

When Jennifer and Enda decided that they wanted to marry, the search was on to find the perfect wedding location and venue. Fortunately it didn’t find them long to find what they were looking for. Enda and I met many moons ago on a beach in Thailand and I always say that we’ve been on a great adventure ever since. Obviously that means that we’ve been together for ages, so it was especially important to us to find the perfect place to hold our ceremony. We talked it over for some time until we decided that what was really important to us was that our wedding day was relaxed and fun and what better place to make this dream come true than Spain? When you combine the weather, the location and the great food and wine, you have the makings of a great party. An Old Favourite Fortunately we did have some basic knowledge of the Marbella area and had been introduced to Puente Romano many years ago by my father. We had both instantly fallen in love with the place, appreciating its mixture of classic Spanish architecture and luxuriously laid back vibe. We always thought if we had the chance to get married here we would jump at it and it didn’t disappoint.


Once we had our venue in the bag we found that a lot of other choices fell into place quite easily. Since Puente Romano is an elegant and relaxed venue, we wanted this to be reflected in our style. We embraced a ‘less is more’ approach and let the venue and the location speak for themselves. Colour Coordinating When we reached the stage of planning our colour schemes we decided that our palette should reflect and enhance the colours of our surroundings, so we kept it simple with marine blues and white, which fitted in perfectly with the beach-side location. This made it easier to plan our clothes as well, since we wanted these to conform to the overall elegant and relaxed style - but with a personal twist. When it came to finding the perfect person to capture the whole day for posterity we took a lot of time

and trouble. Having the right photographer was really important to us. We wanted someone who would capture real moments and tell the story of the day. We did a lot of research and finally decided to hire Victor Lax, who is an extremely talented Spanish photographer from Zaragoza. We were delighted with the final results; the photos make the day to come to life for us, every time we look at them. We cannot recommend Victor highly enough, he really tries to get to know you as a couple so the photos tell a real story and not a fake or staged version of your day.

we’ll always cherish that time. From kicking off the week at Victor’s Beach Bar to family dinners at the Orange Tree in Marbella’s Casco Antiguo, we really made the most of our time together. If we had to choose one moment that stood out above any other, it would be walking up the aisle. From the moment that we both saw each other we didn’t stop smiling for a very long time.

Magic Moments We loved every minute of our wedding from start to finish. We found that one of the major pluses about holding your wedding aboard is that you get a whole week of fun rather than just one day! Having all our family and friends together in one place was totally amazing and

What would be your advice for future couples getting married? Have fun and enjoy every minute of it. It is such a special time and it goes by very fast. You certainly wouldn’t want to waste a second worrying about the small things no-one will notice.

If I had to do it again I would change... Nothing. It honestly was perfect for us and exactly what we wanted our wedding to be.

Address Book Venue & Catering: Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa Wedding Planner: Tara Lorimer In-house Wedding Planner Flowers: Reviva Weddings Wedding Dress: Johanna Johnson Make-up: Georgina Morris Hair: Barbara Rosandic Photographer: Victor Lax Videographer: Evergreen Malaga; Music: Band: Gitane DJ: DJ Russel


Real Weddings

Nice day for a... Pink Wedding Kerrie and Tim threw a fun-filled wedding that was brimming with glimmering details.

Our story Tim and I met through Facebook friends in 2008. I had moved to Manchester from Dublin with my job with Nike and we hit it off; seven and a half years later we married. Being from Ireland and the UK, we wanted to give our family and friends a wedding weekend to remember. Having both lost parents, Tim and I wanted to do something a little bit different and Marbella had everything. Not only could we rely on the warm sunny weather, we could fulfill our desire to marry in a Catholic Church without any additional ceremonies at home. Having visited Marbella in September 2014, we fell in love with the Encarnacion Church in Orange Square. It was so beautiful that we booked it first without having a reception venue. We knew that we wanted a hotel wedding party to enable our guests to stay at the venue. We instantly agreed on the Don Carlos Hotel, as it offered extensive manicured gardens for photographs, a unique reception venue by the beach and pool, and modern accommodation. Best of all, we could party outdoors with our guests in a musical cave until 5am with an open bar. Dyana Dessar Simmons, our wedding planner listened, suggested and made it all happen exactly the way we wanted it. Dyana and her assistant were incredibly supportive and patient and were with us for the whole wedding journey. 66 CONFETI

Guaranteed to impress I wore a bespoke Suzanne Neville ‘Rose’ gown in baby pink organza, created in her boutique in Knightsbridge, London. I am famous for my love of pink and I wanted to be different on my wedding day. Suzanne is renowned for her corsetry and I can honestly say my dress fitted me like a glove. Suzanne and her team were absolutely amazing in finding material in exactly the right shade. I think it took people by surprise, as the shade was so subtle that guests were unsure what colour it really was. Not many people knew how important pink is to me, as my Mom wore it when she married Dad in 1969. To set off my dress, I wore gold and diamante Miu Miu sandals and my jewellery was a white gold and diamond bracelet, a gift from my best friends for my 30th. My only bridesmaid was my best friend Julie and she wore an ivory lace and chiffon Dessy dress. Julie’s children took part in our wedding party: her daughters and Tim’s niece wore ivory organza flower girl dresses and they carried pink sparkly handbags along with flowers. Julie’s son (my godson) wore a navy tuxedo suit with navy boat shoes as our junior groomsman. Tim wore a midnight navy Hugo Boss suit with cerise tie – which he chose after endlessly asking why a pink tie – and thankfully he didn’t guess what I was wearing. Alex Harrocks did a fantastic job keeping my own hair style and adding volume, while Lyndsey

Cavanagh’s makeup skills made us all look flawless. A floral delight We wanted to keep the flowers simple, with white roses for me and pink for my girls and buttonholes were also white and pink. Our guests were welcomed to the church with decorated bay trees - Shona from Bunches also created beautiful altar displays and pew ends with organza and roses. Music to my ears We had several priorities for the day: good food, beautiful wines and to have lots of fun with those we love most. Music was top of our list, as my late Dad was in a showband in the 1960s. Music in the church was performed by Divertimento, we had an organist, a soloist and a violinist. I walked up the aisle with my Mom to Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morricone, an old favourite of mine. A gorgeous Irish girl called Mandy Lovett did an outstanding job performing ‘Cavan Girl’ which accompanied us as we walked down the aisle. It’s an old song about my birthplace. A personal touch During the reception Tim’s Dad gave the most beautiful speech about his childhood and growing up with his sister. I asked my Aunt to deliver a speech on behalf of my Dad and she did such an amazing job, there were quite a few tears.

Our wedding cake was baked by a colleague of mine, Beth Storry who is a British Olympic athlete and was also runner up in the Great Dutch Bake off. She was delighted to be asked and she did not disappoint us – the cake was just beautifuI. Caught on camera We chose David Toms, as we loved his contemporary style and when we met him we got on well. We chose Gary Tapp to film our wedding video and he also set up a Skype link in the church, so Tim’s 90 year-old Grandma and his Aunt could watch back in Manchester. The video is just incredible too; every time I watch it I cry with happiness. Favourite moments Dipping my toes in the sea before breakfast alone and having my own little moment. Getting ready with all my girls and Luke. Hearing the music in the Church as I waited outside. Seeing Tim at the top of the aisle waiting for me. Driving with Tim to the reception, with the roof down and having Bridget Jones hair when I arrived. Tim’s favourite moment – seeing me enter the Church. He cried. Every time I feel down, I think back to our wedding and it makes me beam with happiness, it was by far the best day of my life when I married my best friend.

Address Book Church: Iglesia de La Encarnaci贸n, Marbella. Priest: Father Gerard Daly, Benalm谩dena Venue: Don Carlos Wedding Planner: Dyana Dessar Simmons Wedding Cake: Beth Storry, The Netherlands Flowers: Shona @ Wedding Dress: Suzanne Neville Hair: Alex Harrock @ Alex Bridal Make-up: Lyndsey Cavanagh Band: Johnny Madox & Trix DJ: Kevin Lamb Photographer: David Toms


Real Weddings

The love story


Stacey and Tony celebrated their love with a polished beachside celebration

All good things come to those who wait We lived in the same village and met on a night out in 2003. However, Tony had already booked to go travelling, so we briefly kept in touch while he was away and finally got together when he returned in 2005. After many amazing holidays together, Tony proposed in Volterra, Italy. I had absolutely no idea and was completely blown away. We had spoken about weddings like any couple does, but originally wanted different things. I dreamed of a big white wedding in the UK and Tony was all for sunshine. However, I soon changed my mind after Tony proposed, as I refused to get married in the rain! I spent one Sunday afternoon looking for different wedding venues and came across a link for the wedding planners, Sunshine Weddings. I sent them an email and we booked our flights to go out and start looking for venues a few months later. We both agreed we didn’t want a long engagement. I was beyond excited, the wedding day couldn’t come fast enough. We sent our invites out about 10 months before the wedding and we were amazed to learn that nearly 100 people would be travelling over to share our day. Understated elegance When we met the wedding planners they had various venues lined up for us. However, the minute we arrived at Tikitano, we knew it was for us. We fell in love with the stunning venue and picturesque views immediately.


We had our actual ceremony in the Encarnacion Church in Old Town Marbella and could not have found a more beautiful church to be married in. We were completely in awe of it. Our guests still talk about it. The pretty list My wedding dress was by Mori Lee. My Mam and I went wedding dress shopping and it was one of the first dresses I tried on. My Mam instantly cried and I knew it was the one, so I didn’t even bother to go anywhere else, I just knew. I felt like a princess and didn’t want to take it off. As we were getting married in the sun, I decided on yellow for the bridesmaids’ dresses. I had looked at so many different styles and colours but decided it was only fair to let the girls choose the final style. They all immediately agreed on the same dress and we soon found ourselves drinking prosecco after placing the order. I met with Nicola McGeorge, my make-up artist, the day of my hen do in Marbella and had a make-up trial. She immediately put me at ease and was a complete perfectionist. I couldn’t have asked for any more. On the day of the wedding, Nicola took care of my Mam and me. She was amazing. We felt so relaxed and loved every second of it. Nicola ensured me that my make-up would stay in place all day and it really did. Everyone commented on how perfect it looked throughout the day, despite the heat. The bridesmaids were taken care of by the Golden

Tarts girls. Their hair and make-up was stunning. Leanne, one of my very good friends from school, did my hair for the wedding day. We had lots of trials beforehand and she did a fantastic job on the day. It made it even more special for me.

at the wedding venue, the flowers were everything I had dreamed of and more.

Love in Bloom

Dance the night away

Sunshine Weddings put us in touch with our florist, Deseos. Again, I had spent so many hours looking into different flowers and themes, but I fell in love with white roses. I had an idea in mind and when I explained it to Karen she knew exactly what I was after. I also wanted candles on diamante mirrors as I wanted the room to sparkle. We finally decided on a mixture of tall and small table decorations and each of them was absolutely gorgeous.

We booked Laura Elen, who sang for us in the church. Walking down the aisle I chose Eva Cassidy singing ‘Songbird’, signing the register we opted for Beoynce’s version of ‘Ave Maria’ and when leaving the church Shania Twain singing ‘From This Moment On’. Laura’s voice was absolutely beautiful. She completely blew our guests away. For our first dance we decided on Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ - the first time we heard the song, we knew it was our wedding song. It was perfect for us. I also had a father, daughter dance to ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’ by Van Morrison. It has a special meaning to my dad and me and I wanted it to be part of the day. We then danced the night away to Hed Kandi and Roberto, a saxophonist who was absolutely amazing. He finished our day off perfectly. I didn’t sit down all night.

The bouquets arrived and the bridesmaids cried - they were so beautiful. When we arrived

When the night arrived, the venue really did sparkle. It was a beautiful sight.

Dreams do come true I know it might sound like a cliche, but I loved every part of the day. It was absolutely perfect in every way and I loved every second of it. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It was everything I had dreamed of and more.

Address Book Dress: Mori Lee, Makeup: Nicola McGeorge Minister: Father Liviu Venue: Ceremony - Encarnacion Marbella Reception : Tikitano Flowers: Deseos Music: Laura Elena Photographer: David Toms Wedding planner: Sunshine weddings


Real Weddings

Higher Love

Donnette and Nick chose the fabulous hilltop location of El Carligto for their big Spanish wedding.

Perfect Match Nick says: When Don and I first met in 2007, we found that we shared many common interests and we quickly became friends. However, we didn’t click beyond the friendship level and there was no romance. However, we did keep in touch over the years and I always thought in the back of my mind that maybe I had missed a chance and that Don was “the one that got away.” When we met up again in the summer of 2013 - just a couple of friends going for a quick drink - things immediately felt different.


Perhaps we had both changed over the years and maybe grown up a bit and somehow things clicked between us in a way they never had before. It just seemed like now was our time, and I was so happy that I had been given a second chance. Our friendship quickly grew into romance, and by the end of the year we were already talking about getting engaged. With the ring chosen by the end of 2013, I had to decide when to pop the question. In the end I chose to propose to Don at the Dans le Noir restaurant on the 13th of January 2014. The reason that I remember the date so clearly is that it was my birthday and I think that Don had the shock of her life when I went down on one knee.

Party Planning Three months after the proposal, we held our engagement party at Radio Bar on the Melia hotel roof terrace in Aldwych, after which the quest for a suitable wedding venue was on. We both loved Spain and it was a very special place for us because it was after a spending a week there in September 2013 that we then officially became a couple, so it felt like the perfect place to have our wedding. We fell in love with El Carligto straight away. It had the right mix of traditional rustic farmhouse, but with all the comforts of a modern luxurious hotel. Our wedding planner brought us to a few different places, none of

which had quite the same immediate impact. The undisturbed panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the Moroccan coast, were just so perfect and we knew instantly that it was where we were going to get married. Style File Donnette says: I knew I wanted a princess dress, as I love the way that style compliments my hourglass figure. I found the perfect gown at Pronovias in New Bond Street, London. It was the combination of traditional lace with a modern plunge back and fitted bodice that really made me feel like a million dollars. Having never wanted a big wedding (combined with Nick’s small family) we definitely wanted to make sure

time problem solving and this was quite stressful. If your ceremony is being held anywhere off the beaten track then use local drivers - don’t rely on companies who only know the bigger cities or airports! Also try to persuade your guests to make their own arrangements and that way you can focus on your special day.

our wedding was intimate and private. We had 35 guests in total, which was a manageable amount of people. I had my sister as my maid of honour and my niece as my flower girl, plus Nick had a best man and that was it. I love roses, and knew that I wanted as many as possible, so that is exactly what I requested from my wedding planner. She did a fantastic job, finding a local florist who made us the perfect floral arch, and petal aisle. At 2000€ for the arch alone, it was a little pricey but it looked stunning and really gave our mountain top location the wow factor. As our wedding was outdoors, we wanted to tie our theme in with our surroundings, so we opted for a chic/rustic design in pink, green and white. These colours blended well into the mountainous terrain which, at that time of year, was still fairy lush with green vegetation. Our table design was simple but very effective and all of our seven wooden tables featured floral centrepieces. Local is Best Nick and Donnette say: As we decided to get married in such a remote part of Spain the whole event felt completely off the grid, which we loved. It was also very important for us to give our guests a real taste of all things Spanish, so our wedding

breakfast was a traditional Paella and we served pre-dinner canapés in the form of mini tapas. Chef David cooked everything from freshly sourced local produce. Neither of us are fans of fruit cake or marzipan, so we opted for a two tier cake, one layer of which was carrot cake and the other vanilla cream sponge. It was just perfect. In the evening, once the real partying started, our chef made fresh oven baked pizzas for everyone and our guests really appreciated being able to choose exactly which toppings they wanted. The pizza were delicious, so this was definitely a good idea. We chose Eloy Muñoz as our photographer, as we loved the intimate and dynamic style of his work. We were very happy with the results and have some great pics of our day! Favourite Moments... Nick says: For me the best moment was, of course, the ceremony itself. When I saw Don walking down the aisle towards me I was amazed at how beautiful she looked and I just felt that “wow” moment of everything coming together right now after months of planning. Donnette says: I also enjoyed the ceremony itself. We opted for a 30 minute Humanist service, as neither

of us are particularly religious. This meant that we were able to choose our own vows and tell each other in our own words exactly what marriage means to us. We then used Arras coins, a traditional Spanish custom, in which we pledged our love and commitment to each other, with each coin symbolically representing each pledge. The Humanist ceremony felt really personal and was ideal for us. After our ceremony we invited our guests to stand in a heart shaped group and Monarch butterflies were released. There is something remarkable about standing in the middle of a remote 10 acre Andalusian hilltop with views of both the Moroccan and Mediterranean coasts with your brand new husband and releasing these beautifully coloured butterflies into the atmosphere. That moment was indescribably magical. “If I had to do it again I would change…” Nick says: Organising the logistics of getting friends and family out to the remote villas was a challenge, so we would definitely pay more attention to that. As we organised and booked the villas and taxis on behalf of our guests we were the main point of contact when taxis got lost or were late collecting guests from the airport, so we spent a lot of

What would be your advice for future couples getting married? Donnette says: Remember that it’s your day - focus on that and do things in your way! Also there is life after the wedding day, so don’t go over your budget, as you still want to be able to do things post wedding. We are so happy that we had a small wedding, as we now have our hands full trying to decorate our new home.

Address Book: Venue: El Carligto Wedding Planner: Lucy Bennett from The Boutique Wedding Co. Caterer: Private Chef David Palacios ( from Cortijo Juan Salvador) Wedding Cake: Omaya from Cake Couture Flowers: Susana Sanchez (Malaga) Wedding Dress: Pronovias in New Bond Street London Photographer: Eloy Muñoz Music: String quartet : Quike Navarro DJ: Scott Macaughton Entertainment: Cocktail acrobatic waiter from Marbella parties Minister: Natasha Johnson,


Real Weddings

When transatlantic lovers, Meha and Kunal decided that they wanted to tie the knot it didn’t take long for them to decide that a Spanish wedding at Villa Alicate would be the ideal compromise.

Atlantic Crossing Kunal says: “Meha and I first met at my cousin’s engagement in London and from the moment I first laid eyes on her that was it, I knew she was the one. My cousin conveniently happened to be Meha’s best friend. Ours was a complicated situation, as I lived in Canada and Meha lived in London. A few months passed and, after finally mustering the courage to contact her, we began talking and the rest, as they say, is history. We spoke to each other every single day, I made frequent trips to London and Meha visited Calgary. We were soon in a long distance relationship which worked amazingly well for us.” International Proposal Kunal says: “With both of us living in different continents the proposal was a huge step to take for both of us. After spending more and more time together our love for each other just grew. My original proposal plans suddenly changed when I realised all of my family were going to be in London at the same time - a very rare occurrence. I instantly decided this had to be it; both of our families in one country at the same time was an opportunity I could not afford to miss. “When I arrived in London, Meha was blissfully unaware at work and her sister was my trusty accomplice. Waiting for Meha to come home that evening my heart was pounding. I heard her walking up the stairs and as she opened her bedroom door I heard a sudden gasp. I sneaked up behind her and said, “Surprise!” Poor Meha 72 CONFETI

was in complete shock. Doing my best not to set myself on fire I got down on one knee among the candles and petals I had used to adorn her room and, fortunately, she said ‘yes’. Neither of our families were aware that I was in London so, after the surprise proposal, Meha got her voice back and shared the brilliant news with her family; we then went on to surprise my family at dinner.” The Perfect Venue Meha says: “Once we had decided that we wanted a Spanish wedding it didn’t take us long to decide that Villa Alicate had what it took to be our ideal location, being a beachfront villa with amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea and spacious gardens with a nine-hole golf course. Additionally, it was a private venue, which meant we didn’t have as many timing restraints on how late we partied into the night. “Our Hindu wedding outfits were designed with the very warm Spanish sunshine in mind. The ceremony was to take place outside in the grounds of the villa so we didn’t want anything heavy. We chose complimentary colours which reflected Hindu wedding traditions to a certain extent, but also a modern style to suit each of us as individuals. I knew I wanted Lucknawi work to adorn my wedding outfit and felt a light colour for a beach-side wedding would be ideal. Kunal chose a Sherwani style he felt comfortable with. A Week’s Worth of Wedding Meha says: “We changed the theme every day over the course of the wedding week. Our first event was a ceremony on the

beach and for this we chose a Spanish theme, seeing as we were in Spain. We had an array of Spanish tapas to feast on and flamenco dancers as entertainment to welcome all of our guests to the Costa del Sol. The second event celebrated our Mendhi night which was a burst of colour and flavour. We added an Asian twist to the décor with colourful hanging lanterns and vibrant peacock feathers. The menu for the evening was a mix of Japanese and Indo-Chinese dishes which all our guests loved. Not forgetting our Indian roots, we had a Bollywood dance group to get everyone up and dancing the night away. “The Hindu wedding was a day of purity and simplicity; our Mandap was strictly imagined to suit our ideas and requirements and we especially wanted the Mediterranean Sea as our backdrop. We started our married life by releasing sky lanterns that evening after the ceremony and had each of our guests make a wish on a lantern too. The final night of our wedding week was our reception, which was a mixture of traditional glamour and modern elegance. We went international with our menu, as we had guests from all over the world. We surprised our guests on this final night in Spain with a spectacular fireworks display, a cocktail pearl molecular experience and a fire-breathing mixologist.” A New Start Meha says: “At the reception my sister and best friend gave speeches and they did not disappoint! They pulled no punches and all of my quirky habits and many embarrassing moments were related for the CONFETI 73

Real Weddings

amusement of the whole party. However, the speeches took an unexpected turn for me as, without even realising it, my laughter quickly turned to tears of emotion. I was filling up with mixed tears of joy and sadness that I would soon be leaving my sister and best friend behind to start a new married life in Canada.” Memorable Moments Meha says: “My favourite moment, without a doubt, was when our first dance segued into the sky being lit up with a magical fireworks display and followed by all our guests joining us to party on the dance floor. It could not have been more perfect and we will cherish those memories with our guests forever.” What advice do you have for other brides? Meha says: “If you’re thinking of having a destination wedding then hiring a wedding planner is essential. This is be the most important piece of advice I would give to anyone. You will inevitably have an advantage in securing local vendors with a good reputation and ensure everything wedding related is taken care of once a professional wedding planner is in charge. Meet a few planners and, once you find someone with whom you have an instant connection then hire them. We could not have had the wedding we did without Dyana and her team at The Weddings Company. They sourced everything we needed for our wedding week and went above and beyond to ensure our guests were taken care of throughout all our events.


Address Book Planning and Co ordination: The Weddings Company Marbella Photography: Jeremy Standley Marbella Brides Makeup: Nicola Mc George Catering: Augi Catering For Spanish Night And Indo Asian Night Catering Indian dishes: Jaipur Purple Catering Gala reception: Goyo Marbella Dance floor and lighting: Entire Ocassions Marbella DJ: Nainesh Patel Aka Dj Rugrat London Singers for reception: Amalinda And Jose Decorations: Reviva Marbella & Marbella Parties Flowers and Deco: Pedro Navarro Marbella Mixology: Proshakers Marbella Cocktail Pearl experience: Molecular Experience Marbella

Whether you dream of your wedding on the beach at the sunset, high in the mountains, or overlooking a valley dotted with vineyards, we will help you make your wedding dreams reality. Our team of professionals will handle every detail to ensure your day runs seamlessly and is one to be remembered. -

Passion for Perfection 路 f TheWeddingsCompany 路 Instagram @TheWeddingsCompany 路


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An Engaging TRADITION Eleanor McKenzie

Announcing that you’re engaged to be married is a moment of almost uncontainable joy for many couples and their families. It’s very often true that many couples, especially the fiancée, enjoy the engagement celebrations more than the wedding, because there’s a lot less to organise, and indeed, there’s often nothing that the bride-to-be has to do, because the proposal is a surprise one.

And how lovely is that? Engagement, or betrothal to give it an older name, goes back thousands of years and is found across all cultures in some form. Our 21st century approaches to engagement are much less formal than in the past, but there are aspects of this convention that remain the same. Let’s take a look!



An engagement is a promise of marriage. The European tradition of engagement has its roots in the Jewish Torah where you’ll find the concept of a pre-marriage contract introduced by the patriarch Abraham. In Judaism, up until the sixth century AD, there was around a year between the betrothal contract and the actual marriage and the bride-to-be remained living with her parents during that time. This remains a key part of the engagement period for many modern couples, however, in the last 30 years there has been a tendency towards the couple living together during the engagement period. In the ancient Judaic tradition, and in other cultures such as Hindu, a betrothal had a formal set of steps that went something like this: •Parents negotiated a match and its financial terms – today this would be called an arranged marriage with dowry. •Blessing of the couple by parents and religious clerics •Exchange of vows and signing of betrothal contract •Betrothal celebration


How long should you be engaged for? Well, the answer from history is anything from a matter of hours to many years. The latter was quite normal during the centuries when engagements were made between powerful families on behalf of young children who would then marry when they reach puberty. Betrothal and marriage was very much a political tool across Europe, and undoubtedly in other cultures as well. There were few better ways of “keeping your ‘potential’ enemies close” than marrying your son or daughter into that family. You didn’t even need to be royalty to find yourself the pawn in your parents’ plans, something that English novelist Jane Austen explored so well in “Pride and Prejudice.” Modern engagements tend to be shorter, but there are no hard and fast rules. Some couples prefer to stay engaged until they have achieved certain goals, such as saving the deposit for a house, whilst others prefer to keep it short and arrange the main event—the wedding—as quickly as possible. It’s very much a personal choice these days and social etiquette plays a less important role in an engagement than in the first half of the 20th century.


Perhaps the most sensible custom associated with the longer engagement period is that it was considered a time when the couple could get to know each other better. In the 20th century, it was very much a time when couples saved money for marriage, not necessarily for the ceremony itself, because that was (and still for many is) the father of the bride’s responsibility, and who can forget poor Steve Martin in “Father of the Bride” as his wife, daughter and the unforgettable wedding planner ‘Franck’ kept increasing the budget until it burst its boundaries. Along with saving for married life after the wedding, the woman also had a ‘bottom drawer’ in which the engagement presents were kept and added to with useful household items, especially linen and towels. For Indian women, it is still the tradition to bring a chest full of saris and jewellery to married life, and guests at Asian weddings typically give gifts of gold items.


Suitors have traditionally, at least in romance stories, always sought suitably romantic settings for a proposal and in the 21st century, choosing a location away from home is increasingly popular. Paris, a city for so long associated with love, is a much-favoured choice, but southern Spain is building a fanbase with romantics from

Europe and beyond. In this issue, we have the magical story of John and Rainier’s engagement in Marbella. They discovered the fairytale palace that is the Villa Padierna and immediately chose to have an engagement party there with friends and family. Spain is certainly a good choice if you’re looking for a romantic setting to propose. Whether you want a stunning beach setting, such as you’ll find on the coast of the Costa de la Luz from Tarifa to Zahara de los Atunes and beyond, the top of the Rock of Gibraltar (also a stunning place to get married) or one of the stylish and sophisticated restaurants of Marbella, such as Nueva Kaskada that offers lovers a secluded venue with stunning views of the Mediterranean, southern Spain is a splendid backdrop for that magical moment.

Costa de la Luz



The engagement is no longer the legal contract that it once was, which is a significant difference, but the idea of a promise to be kept is still very much a part of it. Agreeing to marry someone is like an introduction to the more serious vows made at the wedding ceremony. Engagements may be less formal in many senses now, but the tradition is still important to cultures across the globe – it is a major part of the threads of romance that are woven by us all into stories of love. It is a tradition that will last for many more centuries to come.



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gem Enga

Romancing THE STONE

Diamond life

For many years, diamonds have been the stone of choice. We can trace this back to 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned what is acknowledged to be the first diamond engagement ring for his fiancée Mary of Burgundy. This started a fashion for diamonds among European aristocracy and although the passion for diamonds wouldn’t filter down to the high street for several hundred years, the diamond remains an aspirational gemstone, as local jeweller Anthony’s Diamonds will confirm. Interestingly, the appearance of the diamond in the mass jewellery market is directly linked to De Beers opening diamond mines in South Africa in the 1930s. During the Depression of the early part of that decade, sales of rings in Europe and the USA dropped dramatically, but an aggressive marketing campaign by De Beers revived diamond ring sales within three years of it starting. In 1947, the company launched its “A Diamond is Forever” campaign that has stuck with this company’s product pretty much ever since. De Beers managed to establish the diamond as a symbol of the desired ‘everlasting’ nature of marriage. The stone’s known durability implied that marriage was forever and the white diamond’s purity and sparkle have come to represent a man’s commitment to a woman. Indeed, the De Beers campaign has been so successful that the story its campaign created is now accepted around the globe. However, the diamond has not always been the only option for engagement rings.


The Victorians

It is often the case that research into the history of many objects associated with romance, such as Valentine cards and knowledge of the language of flowers, often ends up leading you to the Victorians. They truly embraced the sentimental and, when the wealth that the industrial age brought spread beyond the upper classes, the purchase of engagement rings became more widespread. The Victorians liked to mix diamonds with other coloured gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds. They also often used opals, turquoises and garnets, which you wouldn’t

find in contemporary designs unless you commissioned them. The Edwardians and Art Deco jewellers continued to mix diamonds with other stones and if you are an antique jewellery lover then you can find an amazing array of engagement rings from this period, either online or by visiting an antique dealer specialising in jewellery. In many ways, buying an antique ring offers the opportunity to get a design that is truly different to what the rest of the crowd is wearing and at a price that won’t break the budget. For anyone visiting London, The Antique Jewellery Company in Davies Street, Mayfair is an ideal place to start your hunt for a vintage ring.

It started with cavemen?

But, engagement rings date back to well before the Archduke Maximilllian in the fifteenth century. Apparently, cavemen tied cords of braided grass around their partners’ waists, wrists and ankles to bring their spirits under control. Ah yes, without going into feminist politics here, wearing an engagement ring doesn’t just symbolise love, it says, ‘I belong to somebody’, so we haven’t travelled that far from our caves! Egyptologists found mummies wearing silver or gold wire on the third finger of the left hand. The reason for wearing it on this finger and this hand is that it is believed to be connected directly to the heart via the ‘vena amoris’. In the UK, Ireland and many other countries couples wear engagement and wedding rings on the left hand still, whereas in Spain the third finger of the right hand is preferred.

The stone’s cut

Before you head off to De La Fuente, one of our favourite jewellers in Puerto Banús to choose a ring, it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with some of the cuts of gemstone and settings that are traditionally used for engagement rings.

The colour of gold

To start with, decide whether you want a gold or platinum ring. The latter was very popular during the Art Deco period and whilst it has never managed to equal gold for popularity, it is the perfect metal if you want some shimmer and ice. Gold, of course, comes in a number of colours, so don’t feel you have to stick to the more traditional yellow gold, you could choose white or pink gold, or use a combination.

Cuts that sparkle

The traditional round solitaire consisting of 58 facets is called a ‘brilliant cut’.

It remains popular because it never fails to catch the light and entertain you with that allimportant diamond sparkle. An ‘emerald cut’, which you’ll find in a lot of Art Deco jewellery, is a geometrical shape that brings out a stone’s clarity. And, if you’re looking for a cut that blends the antique with the modern, then ask your jeweller to show you an ‘Asscher cut’. It’s more rounded than an ‘emerald’ cut and resembles a cushion, which is why you might hear some people refer to it as a ‘cushion cut.’

Diamond clarity and certificates

Jewellers and diamond dealers have an established method of assessing a diamond for clarity, and it probably won’t surprise you to know that the better the clarity, the more expensive the stone is. When you’re buying a diamond, ask for its GIA certificate.

This is issued by the Gemological Institute of America and certifies the diamond’s qualities. Jewellers worldwide use the GIA standard, so you will find it in most places. For example a stone classified as IF (Internally Flawless) is extremely expensive. Stones that range from VVS1 to VS2 have slight flaws that are invisible to the naked eye. Stones in grades below these have visible flaws detectable by the naked eye. The GIA recommends that you ask your jeweller for a full GIA certificate, or one from another reputable lab. Keep your certificate safe because you’ll need it for an appraisal of the stone’s value for insurance purposes. Whether you choose to go vintage, buy an existing design or collaborate with a jewellery designer to have a one-off ring made for you, you are taking part in a tradition that has endured like the carbon that formed those sparkling diamonds. Have fun choosing your engagement ring – there’s nothing quite as exciting for a couple as ‘romancing the stone’!




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a Star…

Enchanted EVENING


Running brought Elle and Jack together… finally they ran into each other’s arms.

A summer romance in Marbella blossomed into a steady relationship

It started with a…run! Jack and I met in 2007 when I was 16 and he was 17. We met one sunny, Spring day through mutual friends who were dating and discovered that we had a common interest in running. So, we made an arrangement to meet and do a run together, we even agreed a time and place, but then we forgot to exchange phone numbers. Anyway, I decided to take a chance and as luck would have it, when I turned up at the agreed spot, Jack was already there waiting for me. So, our relationship started with us running around the park, followed by a more relaxing walk and chat. We arranged to meet up again and this time we remembered to exchange numbers. We met on and off for two weeks and then one evening as Jack was walking me to my Nan’s house, he asked me if I’d like to be his girlfriend. I said yes without hesitation.

A chance encounter Josh and I met five years ago at Pangea nightclub in Puerto Banús. At the time Josh was working as a PR manager and I decided to stay for the summer and work. Because we were quite young at the time, we pretended that we didn’t want anything too serious, but by the end of the summer we were definitely a couple. Due to the fact that we both worked night shifts, we didn’t have a typical romance and we shared out first kiss at an Ocean Club champagne spray. We thought it might just turn out to be a summer romance, but we fell in love and have been together ever since.

The offer Jack couldn’t refuse Only two weeks after we’d officially started dating, Jack called me while I was still at school to say he’d had an offer to join the regiment of the Royal Engineers. He was only given 24 hours to make a decision and what is more, they wanted him to start on Monday and it was already Friday. But, I knew that joining the Army was Jack’s dream, so I told him I’d support him in taking the opportunity, so Jack accepted the offer, which only gave us two days together until he had to leave. It’s au revoir…not goodbye The dreaded Monday came and I joined Jack’s parents at the railway 80 CONFETI

station to see him off. It was very emotional. It would be Christmas before I’d see Jack again, but then unexpectedly I got a phone call from him while he was with the regiment in Canada saying that he would be able to come home early. I was overjoyed until I learnt that the reason he was being given early leave because he had been deployed to Afghanistan after the holiday. I felt devastated and during his six months there we had only minimal contact. Following his stint in Afghanistan, Jack left the army and we decided to celebrate with a holiday in Marbella. A magical moment in Marbella After dinner one night in Marbella Old Town, Jack suggested we take a walk along the beach. We sat down on a sun lounger and Jack reminisced about our relationship, he also thanked me for supporting him through his time in the army and for being his rock. Then he knelt on the sand and asked me to marry him. I was both shocked and happy, and of course I said yes. It was the perfect proposal for me, because it was intimate, sincere, personal and relaxed. As we lay back on the sunbed we saw a shooting star – a magical end to a wonderful evening. It’s got to be Spain Now the wedding is booked for August. Our venue is El Cortijo de Los Caballos and we’re getting married in the cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Gibraltar. We’re so excited about celebrating with friends and family and holding our reception day in Spain, a place that will forever be special to us.

Love keeps us together Josh’s work took him to Sevilla, but I had to stay in Marbella due to work commitments and our new apartment, so we commuted between the two places every fortnight to see each other. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and this separation prompted Josh’s proposal. By this time we had been together for four years and I felt he would propose to me soon, but I had no idea about when or where he would do it. The perfect scenario Being a typical girl I had often imagined the day when Josh would propose. Sometimes I pictured an elaborate proposal and other times something more personal with just the two of us. But the way he proposed was actually perfect. My dad and his girlfriend Sharron had come over to Marbella for a long weekend in September and Josh had the weekend off work. We had organised a family BBQ on the Sunday at Josh’s family house in Nueva Andalucia, with his mum, dad, brothers and girlfriends as well as my family. We had a fantastic evening and after dessert Josh got up and started making a little

speech. He had been acting a little strange all day! He started talking about being away in Seville and then, before I knew it, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was crying and so happy and of course I said yes! One of the things I will always remember is the look on our families’ faces and the cheers! It came as a complete shock to everyone as he had kept it a complete surprise! It was a really special moment for me that I will remember forever and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. To celebrate our engagement we continued our BBQ until the early hours of the morning and the next day we enjoyed more celebrations with a champagne lunch and evening drinks with all the family! A Marbella wedding We plan to get married on 7 September 2017. Because Josh is half Spanish and grew up in Marbella, we have decided to hold the ceremony in La Encarnación church in Marbella Old Town and the reception at Finca Villa Palma near the village of in Ojén. Our wedding planner is Fiesta Sol and we’ve chosen Nani de Perez as our photographer. My dress is from haute couture designer Galia Lahav. We are both looking forward to our big day and delighted that Marbella continues to play such a magical role in our lives.

For a Royal Wedding

Make your special day unforgeeable Widely praised cuisine & stylish rooms for you and your guests Breathtaking views all the way to the coast Perfeccon ll the last detail

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Specia gement


A Unique

Love Affair

Rainier and John were searching for something different to celebrate their engagement so, when they came across the stunning Hotel Villa Padierna while travelling around Marbella, they knew instantly that this was the magical setting that they were looking for. How It All Began John and I met at a casual dinner with friends back home. Since we were both single at the time, one of our friends suggested we go on a date and so we thought we’d give it a shot. As they say, we started out as friends. It was like a story about two people who met by chance and weren’t sure that they particularly liked each other at first, but then found that they were the only two people in the world who could have possibly understood one another. Next Stop, España Spain was our next travel destination and it was one of the beautiful places in Europe that we hadn’t been to yet. For us, Spain is one of the most beautiful 82 CONFETI

places in the world. Its vibrant culture, beautiful Mediterranean coastline, spectacular modernist architecture and of course, wonderful cuisine, which we both love. We are big foodies and although we can get a lot of Spanish food back home, nothing can compare to the real deal. The Perfect Venue Our itinerary for our trip to Spain involved travelling around the South, making Marbella one of our stops. With this in mind, we had searched online for suitable hotels in the area and came across the beautiful Hotel Villa Padierna. Everything about the venue was perfect! We immediately realised that it would be completely different

from the typical photos we had seen from weddings back home and so we decided that this was the place. Villa Padierna was just perfect, every aspect of the hotel was beautiful - the ideal setting for a our engagement photo-shoot. Fashionista We were told to bring both casual and formal wear. Since we were in Spain, I wanted to have a Spanish style dress, so I chose classical Bohemian inspired dresses made by designers back home. My main gown was a red and white ensemble. As the photo-shoot was in a palace, I wanted something sophisticated and romantic made from delicate lace fabrics that would convey a classic silhouette.

Beautiful Photography We chose Nani De Perez as our photographer. Not being locals it was difficult to find the best photographer in the area, so we searched through blogs and websites looking at previous projects from a number of professionals. Once we found Nani we fell in love with all of her work and knew that she would be perfect for our engagement shoot. I am so happy with the results we were extremely lucky to find Nani. She is so talented and artistic and really easy to work with. She made the whole day really enjoyable for us and we are over the moon with the end results. All of the images look wonderful.

Truly Grateful Being able to have our engagement celebrations in a beautiful place such as Marbella was like a dream to us. We had so much fun together during the shoot and every moment was enjoyable. A truly magical memory, which we have to treasure forever. Back To The Start If we had to do it again, we wouldn’t change a thing. It was perfect! I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. We never planned to have our engagement celebrations in Marbella but it was almost as if Villa Padierna magically appeared out of nowhere and just happened to be situated in the next city we were travelling to. As soon as we arrived, we knew it was meant to be and everything fell into place perfectly.

Address Book: Venue: Villa Padierna Palace Hotel, Hair: Cristina Carceles Make-up: Sasha Martinovic, Photographer: Nani de Perez,

Dear Future Couples Don’t hold back on anything, especially for your big day. Anything you feel the need to do to create your ideal wedding, just do it. It is a once in a lifetime moment so make the most of it. Enjoy what life has to offer, make the best choices for you as a couple and enjoy each other’s company during this special time.


Mother Nature & TRANQUIL BLISS …make Hotel Castellar the perfect wedding venue


wedding venue that offers “unique spaces, inspirational spaces and a personalised service” has to be worth a visit, so it was with a large amount of excitement and anticipation that Confeti set off for a visit to this gracious hotel in a stunning rural setting that is only a 10-minute drive from Sotogrande. 20 minutes from Gibraltar and 40 minutes from Marbella. The Hotel Castellar is nestled in the foothills of the Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales and conveniently located in the pretty town of Castellar de La Frontera. The hotel focuses on hosting events, ranging from business conferences to milestone celebrations and, of course, weddings. And, what a setting it offers to any couple looking for a venue that offers top quality


service against a backdrop that is one of Mother Nature’s best. Stephen Davenport greeted us warmly and within minutes we felt as if we’d entered a private sanctuary of peace and tranquillity. The owner’s daughter Maria joined us and both charmingly and patiently answered all our questions about the hotel and made herself available throughout our visit to answer every little question we had. In truth, every member of staff we encountered was unfailingly polite and welcoming, from the smiling receptionist Montse at the front desk, who is something of an expert on the area’s highlights, to our lovely waitress Ester, who speaks English, German and Spanish, and made sure we were served promptly on every occasion.

Our Superior Deluxe room was stunning. The room was incredibly spacious and the bed was extremely comfortable. We were also delighted by the bathroom, which provided sufficient space for any bride to prepare herself— with help from her attendants and family—for her big day. There was certainly plenty of wardrobe space for any number of outfit changes, a mini fridge for refreshments, plenty of plug sockets for charging up phones and iPads, plus a desk with a view of a beautiful courtyard and fountain that conjured up the sensation that romance is ever present in the air around Hotel Castellar. The hotel has a very beautiful and luxurious bridal suite, which they transform for the bride and groom by dusting it with rose

petals, leaving little treats in the fridge and lots more surprises as well. There is a spa that is the perfect place for the bride to unwind before her big day, where she can enjoy a massage, sauna, steam room and a complete list of beauty therapies. The hotel can also organize hairdressers for the weddings day and if a last minute emergency manicure is required – consider it done! Dining at Hotel Castellar is a superb gastronomic experience. We had sea bass with roasted vegetables, which was so fresh that the salt sea air was still faintly present in the delicious aroma, and a sublime rack of lamb that melted in the mouth. The following morning, after an excellent night’s sleep thanks to the country air and the quietness, we woke refreshed and delighted to have the

opportunity to breakfast outdoors on our terrace. The smorgasbord of a breakfast menu included cold meats, cheeses, pastries, cereals, fresh fruit and so much more. And don’t worry if you have gluten intolerance or other food issues, the staff here can easily cater for your needs. The gastronomy is all based on local produce and the expert chefs have compiled a variety of wedding menus for couples to choose from. If you need to ‘walk off’ some of the culinary indulgences then the hotel has swimming pool, tennis courts and gym on site. Furthermore, for those who want to venture farther afield, there are cycle rides, quad biking and hiking in the massive park area, plus both adults and children will enjoy a trip to the rescue zoo where you have a chance to get up close and personal with the animals – you may even get to hold a baby tiger.


When you’re looking for a wedding venue in Spain, you also hope for good weather and an outdoor ceremony. But, should the clouds open, the Hotel Castellar can quickly switch to ‘inside’ mode and they’ll make sure that nothing weather-wise spoils your day. The patios, reception rooms and gardens are picture perfect and will set the scene for a beautiful wedding album. What is more, if you wish, you need not share your day with any other guests – you can book exclusive use of the hotel for your entire wedding party. If you are considering a wedding with an authentic Andalusian spirit plus elegance, professional service, great cuisine and some exceedingly beautiful backdrops from sunrise to sunset, then the Hotel Castellar ticks all those boxes with its very special wedding style. C/ La Fuente, s/n. 11350 Castellar de la Frontera. +34 956 69 30 18




n February, CONFETI attended the fabulous Wedding Open Day at the five star Estrella del Mar hotel that is part of the well-known Vincci hotel group. The hotel’s location near Elviria to the east of Marbella is perfect for the bride and groom looking for a seaside wedding on one of the best stretches of beach on the Costa del Sol and the hotel’s


upmarket neighbours include the world famous Nikki Beach Club, which gives you an indication of the quality of the area. The Open Day offered wedding planners an opportunity to experience everything that this beautiful beachside wedding venue has to offer and the hotel’s dedicated wedding team had

certainly pushed the boat out to give everyone there a taste of the full range of services for wedding planners and their clients, including a stunningly decorated altar that drew a lot of admiring comments. Talking of taste, the wedding menus we were delighted to sample on the day were simply

divine: the red pepper salmorejo soup with scallops and prawn was a huge hit with the Confeti team and the sweet-toothed among us loved the pineapple carpaccio with mascarpone cheese ice cream and passion fruit juice. And these were just two dishes out of a terrific range of savoury and sweet dishes.

In terms of the setting, the Estrella del Mar is surrounded by beautiful private gardens and has three swimming pools, its own private beach club with spa, a banqueting room and terraces with stunning views, all of which are available as either wedding ceremony or reception locations. Should you want to get married in a church, the hotel team recommend Santo Domingo in Benalmadena Pueblo, Santa Teresa in La Cala de Mijas or La Encarnación in central Marbella, the latter being the choice of many CONFETI brides. In 2016, the hotel has some very attractive offers for wedding parties including: 15% discount for weddings of more than 120 guests in 2016 5% discount for weddings from August until December 5% discount for weddings in 2017 You can view the full wedding package on the website at and if you’d like a personal tour, just make an appointment with the sales department.

Your every need will be catered for by their experienced and friendly team of wedding professionals


A ROOM with a View T

he highly popular wedding venue, Sunset Beach Club, has recently extended its banqueting room to offer additional space for extra seating and a dance floor. Known as the Sala Malaga, it is located on the seventh floor of the hotel, and offers a private bar, kitchen, and stunning views over the Mediterranean. This unique function room also comes complete with sound system and disco lights and can now cater for weddings of up to 160 persons. The 4* Sunset Beach Club hotel enjoys a privileged beach side location in Benalmadena Costa. It specialises in providing complete wedding packages for destination weddings, which can include either a romantic seafront blessing or Catholic Church wedding.

EVERY Love Story, STARTS IN A Beautiful place For further information regarding banqueting facilities and wedding services visit the weddings pages of their website Alternatively, you can contact their Wedding Coordinator, Claire Mitchell, by email to weddings@ or by phone 952 579 400 Ext 7823. 88 CONFETI

Weddings that



f you want your destination wedding to be perfect then there are a number of factors to take into consideration. You want a sunny day to be pretty much guaranteed, you want a picturesque location and you want to be sure that top quality goods and services can be provided locally. Even more than this, you need to feel confident that you can rely on a team of professionals that can worry about the details on your behalf, ensuring that the tiniest factor is taken care of so that you and your partner can enjoy your wedding day – or week – without the stress of chasing up caterers, confectioners and florists.

Do you remember the time when couples who wanted to be married made their way to their nearest church or registry office and booked a local hotel for their reception? If your answer is “no” then you have probably grown up in the new era of the destination wedding and, in this new global market. the Costa del Sol is considered the capital of Europe.

The Perfect Place

While some think nothing of travelling as far afield as Mexico or the Maldives, the costs of planning a seriously long distance wedding can be crippling, especially if you would like most of your family and close friends to attend. This is where the Costa del Sol and Gibraltar have come into their own; only a two hour flight from most British and Irish airports the climate dramatically improves and you will find yourself in an area with a long history of meeting the needs of foreign visitors, skills which have now been further sharpened to provide everything that the prospective bride and groom could possibly desire.

Of course, most couples who choose Spain for their wedding lack the knowledge and expertise to know where to start putting the disparate elements of the day together, which is where the trusty wedding planning company comes into its own. The assistance of a reputable wedding planner can assist with all parts of the planning process, helping you to decide on suitable venues, accommodation, caterers, florists, DJs, musicians, celebrants and any other service you might require.

THE WEDDINGS COMPANY Dyana Dessar Simmons of Optimum Weddings byt The Weddings Company is one of the world’s most experienced wedding planners and offers a truly international service. “The company is changing. We are taking a big step up to a new level which means that ‘optimum weddings by The Weddings Company’ will be offering planning and co-ordination of weddings in new stunning locations including Italy, France, Portugal and Dubai, as well as Spain,” she told CONFETI recently, revealing that the face of the destination wedding is constantly changing and evolving. Bearing this in mind Dyana is working with a partner to plan a wedding

show specifically for long distance weddings: “Although there are many shows with an area of destinations on offer there are few purely specialist destination weddings shows,” she said. “We are looking at the idea of creating a totally new show for 2017 bringing together select destination planners, venues and suppliers. We are still looking for the right location to host this event and are in the early stages of planning but decisions have to be made very soon and we hope to announce the show as soon as possible.”

Spreading the Word

Despite her decision to branch out to other locations, Dyana still sees Spain – and the Coast in particular – as offering boundless opportunities to couples wishing to marry in a warm climate, stating that even more should be done to promote the wedding industry

here. One of her suggestions involves holding an event that would attract wedding planners from around the world to congregate in the Costa del Sol and experience what the area has to offer. During her recent travels she met a number of destination planners who are often asked about locations and Spain, but seemed to know little or nothing about the Marbella area. Dyana’s new ‘optimum weddings’ service has already been responsible for putting together packages for and overseeing some spectacular Jewish and Indian ceremonies. “We are now able to cater for this growing demand with a solid knowledge of these various religious and cultural customs, as well as being able to suggest the most suitable venues in each location,” she said. Over the years Dyana has been able to allow her imagination free rein as she has been asked to arrange weddings in chateaux, castles, hotels, private villas, cortijos and Italian farmhouses and her work has taken her all over the world. However, she still thinks that the Costa del Sol takes some beating: “It really has everything that you need, from a great climate to facilities that can cater to every budget. If you’re thinking of a destination wedding, you would be crazy not to at least consider the Coast as the centre for your celebrations.”


Nigel and the team can steer clients through the paperwork of organising their ceremony, whether they choose to marry in Spain or Gibraltar and the experience that they have gained over the years means that they can match couples to the business best placed to deliver precisely what is required, whether it’s a Spanish theme or something more traditional and neutral. Chez Vous can also provide all the equipment that might be needed, from stage lighting and sound systems to marquees, stages and dance floors.

CHEZ VOUS Founder of Sotogrande based company, Chez Vous, Nigel Davies has been responsible for overseeing weddings for 12 years. Over the past few years he has noticed not only an upturn in demand from non-resident bridal couples, but also an increase in budgets and length of wedding celebrations. “In the old days we would be merely asked to make arrangements for the ceremony, reception and evening party,” he said, “but these days it’s quite common for the bride and groom to ask us to oversee a whole week packed full of events. This could involve anything from booking accommodation, planning a group activity such as horse-riding or paint-balling to spa days and wine tastings or booking the whole party into a popular restaurant for a special lunch or evening meal.”

Billion Dollar Future

The future of destination weddings is looking rosy, according to Nigel: “Instead of seeing Southern Spain gaining a reputation as a place to have more of a bargain destination wedding, as many supposed when locations such as India and the Caribbean started taking off, it still attracts wealthy clients. By contrast, what we are experiencing is an upturn in interest from millionaires and billionaires. You can expect to see some spectacular weddings and events in the next few years, as more and more seriously moneyed people discover that the Coast’s wedding planners can deliver what they want – and more besides.”

Under One Umbrella

Over the years Chez Vous has been asked to put together a huge range of events. The company’s CV lists everything from formal corporate events and conferences to summer festivals, so a wedding, however elaborate, poses no problem to Nigel and his team. “We have noticed a distinct trend towards growing budgets in the past few years,” he said. “Although we obviously still have plenty of requests from couples wanting a typical family wedding an increasing number of clients are extremely wealthy and want a spectacular wedding. Of course, the best thing about choosing the Costa del Sol as the location for a destination wedding is that it doesn’t matter how large or small your budget is because the range of goods and services here is so enormous. If a client has a small fortune to spend then we have all the five-star luxury they can handle, but it is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to achieve a memorable wedding.” CONFETI 91


Spotlight on Florists and Favours Flowers, venue decorations and gift bags for the guests play a major role in setting the scene for a memorable wedding and add colour and creativity to the big day. We’ve selected some of the best florists and wedding decorators on the Costa del Sol and some from overseas to showcase their creative talents for future brides and grooms.

Flor Valentin Flor Valentin is a Danish flower shop in Fuengirola. Leading florist Janne Valentin Lassen handles the design of every bouquet or other floral arrangements from the initial conversation with the bride to delivering the flowers in person so that she can see the face of the excited bride when she receives her flowers. Janne adores the love stories that she discovers through her work and the opportunity to visit amazing wedding venues in Spain. For Janne, working closely with the wedding planner, photographer, cake maker and makeup artist is vital for making sure the day is a dream come true!

01 Tel: +34 951 31 10 86

AM Flowers Design


Under the direction of experienced florist Alla Margun, AM Flowers Design creates bouquets and floral decorations for weddings and other events and for any space. Alla started as a florist in Russia in 1997 and opened her Marbella workshop in 2009. Her love of creativity and design, plus her training with Moscow’s top florists and decorators has given her a sense of style and ingenuity that produces unexpected and inventive decorations, as well as traditional arrangements. T:+34 692 092 371


Save My Date For owner Paloma Cárdenas, the process of designing the wedding invites and other stationery is the favourite part of her work. She likes to create a new and unique design for each couple before she starts to work on everything else: decorations, flowers and wedding favours. With a background in graphic design, creating an atmosphere is important to Paloma, starting with choosing the colour palette and the kind of wedding the couple wishes to celebrate, then she delivers the perfect design for them. Tel: +34 620 3372 87


Gorgeous Event Decorations Michelle Hastwell of Gorgeous Event Decoration provides madeto-measure styling for weddings, parties and corporate events. She provides as much or as little input into designing and styling her events as clients would like and she works with all budgets, large or small. As well as traditional styling, Michelle loves offthe-wall, quirky things and this is what clients have come to know her for. Her designs dare to be different. As she says “I love what I do, and I do what I love. “


Bunches Florists Shona always wanted to be a florist, leaving school at 16 and heading straight to college in Glasgow to learn the trade, while working weekends in a local florist. She started her business here on the Costa del Sol almost 30 years ago and reveals how styling has changed over the years. This is especially apparent in bridal flowers, which have developed from very structured shapes to hand-tied arrangements. Also, today it is usual for weddings to have a specific theme e.g. rustic, vintage garden or contemporary, with everything colour co-ordinated.


All weddings are personal and individual to each bride, so much of Shona’s time is spent discussing every detail with the brides, from the bridal bouquets to the flowers for the ceremony and venue table decorations, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. Every day is different and challenging, and there is never a dull moment - this is what makes Shona’s work so enjoyable. · +34 952463 712 ·


Nulki Nulks Stationery Designer Anoulka has always enjoyed the creative side of life so feel very fortunate to call something she loves doing her work. As she says, it’s such a pleasure to work with people at such a happy and positive time in their lives, be it announcing a wedding, birth or hosting an anniversary party or other special occasion. Contributing to such life events and milestones in a creative way makes work a great place to be. She especially enjoys undertaking bespoke work, creating new designs and using different materials. Holding a finished piece of stationery, knowing that it started out as a simple email or meeting, to an idea, design file and final product is very satisfying. Then you could say the icing on top of the whole process - happy clients - makes for a happy Anoulka. +34 666 240 756 or +44 7788 598 744


Reviva Weddings

Laura Charles, the owner of Reviva Weddings, is known as the Martha Stewart of Spain. With her experienced background in styling, designing and staging events combined with a love of sparkle, fairy lights, glitter and details, you can be assured you are going to have a wedding with the wow factor as she waves her famous magic wand over your celebration. Laura and her team are fabulously creative, producing gorgeous florals, on the day stationery, table styling, plus personalised signs and favours. Many of Laura’s weddings have been featured in the press and on popular blogs and magazines. A wealth of experience means Laura can turn her hand to any style of celebration from gorgeous rustic vintage to highly decorative Indian weddings. Reviva also stock a wide range of props and accessories to hire from linens and charger plates to bar carts, gorgeous lanterns, fairy lights and even a golden wheelbarrow! Reviva is renowned for creating trend-setting weddings and events and is often contracted for styling and design services by other event organisers on the Coast. Leave the planning and details to Reviva and have your dream day created all under one roof and overseen with Laura’s impeccable style and eye for detail.

94 CONFETI · +34 618 021 172 ·

Flor ValentĂ­n C.C. Centro Idea Ctra. de Mijas km 3,6 ES - 29650 Mijas - SPAIN

Let Flor Valentin design the bouquet you always dreamt of!

T: +34 951 311 086 M: +34 669 061 234

Photo by

Photos by Anna Gazda -

Event Coordination & Decoration Since 1999

Everything you need for your Perfect Wedding. From caterers, flowers, photographers, videographers, venues, ministers, to fairy lights, dance floors, marquees, bands, djs, lights, vehicles, entertainment... If your wedding needs it, we can provide it.

Silvia Kessels T : +34 609 574 555

Supplying beers, wines and spirits

to your wedding venue



T : 952 373 233 - Calle Hemingway, 38. Polígono Industrial Guadalhorce, Málaga

Wedding Flowers Marbella


Maxine always aims to bring light, life, scent and romance to your wedding day and help with ideas and inspiration from buttonholes, ceremonial flowers, centrepieces, artificial, real or silk along with seasonal choices. Following her training at the famous Constance Spry Flower School and further experience working in her London shops, Maxine moved to southern Spain in 1987 and has been devoted to providing weddings along the coast with stunning floral decorations and bouquets ever since. For Maxine, it’s truly satisfying to be part of a couple’s most wonderful day and she also enjoys sharing her experience of the wonderful world of flowers through her classes. Tel: +34 626 784 278


Flowers Inc

Zoe Strutton was born into a family of florists, and it was only natural that she should follow in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps. Acquiring her first shop at the age of 21, she was soon placed in the Top 250 Interflora members in the UK. Eventually she relocated to Spain 10 years ago but within two months, discovered that she missed her previous profession so much that she applied for a floristry position and ended up buying the shop instead! A couple of months later Zoe was approached to become the resident florist in the Kempinski Hotel but, after almost four years of service, left to concentrate on Weddings and Events, as this proved more of a challenge.


Balloon Chic Marbella

They say you should find what you love then turn it into a business, well that is how Balloon Chic Marbella evolved. Katrina de Pola is a creative person and comes from a family of artists, photographers and designers so it is not surprising that designing, styling and decorating are her passions. After having a baby girl, her birthday parties became showcases for Katrina’s creativity. Balloon Chic Marbella is her boutique event decorating company based in Marbella. It offers giant balloons with decorated tassel tails, confetti balloons, garlands, paper flowers, flower walls, photo backdrops, cake toppers, wedding décor and themed party packages. Katrina says, “I love working with clients to discover what their dream event would be and working towards creating something magical for them. I love the fact that my work is my passion so all the hard work that goes into creating something unforgettable is never a chore!”

Zoe says, “I feel very privileged to be in a profession that I love, working in venues from rustic fincas to plush palaces. Every day brings new ideas and challenges and the fact that we are able to express ourselves with flowers on the brides’ behalf, is just amazing. The icing on the cake is, having finished the weddings, being able to sit back with a crisp glass of wine (or two) and enjoy the sun!” Tel. +34 606 278 765 +34 661 724 963


Photo by Anna Gazda Photography



TO PERSONALISE Your Wedding Ceremony

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Humanist Wedding Celebrant, writer and blogger on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies.

It seems strange to think that weddings today are almost unrecognisable to the weddings that took place just ten or even twenty years ago, but they really are! Now more than ever, weddings are not simply an expression of a couple’s commitment to each other but also an expression of their personalities, cultures and passions. Couples now pour so much of their hearts and souls in to their weddings and design them purposefully to be a reflection of them and everything they stand for. From the choice of venue, to what to wear, to how to celebrate, the couples’ ideals are very much stamped on their day from start to finish. One element of the day that can sometimes be overlooked or not given as much thought as the rest of the day, can be the wedding ceremony. This can be down to the fact that some couples are simply not aware of how much they can personalize their ceremonies and so tend to leave the personalization for other elements parts of the day. As your wedding ceremony is the heart of your whole wedding day, it can be the perfect opportunity to start the day as you mean to go on, by pouring as much of yourselves into the key event of your day. So, look no further. Here are five fabulous and fun tips to help you personalize your wedding ceremony and make it reflect who you are as a couple. And what’s even more fabulous is that they are easy to do, they don’t cost anything (or very little!) and they will make your ceremony more personal to you! These tips can be integrated into most types of ceremonies, religious or not, but do check with the person officiating your ceremony to make sure that there won’t be any issues or objections. Hopefully, not!


CHECK IT ! Making an entrance It’s nice to know that we are well past the times where brides were only ever accompanied down the aisle by their fathers or another close male relative or friend. If this tradition still resonates for you and you love the idea of your dad carrying out this role for you, then that is of course wonderful, but there are also many brides and couples who like the idea of exploring the alternatives, in case the tradition is not possible or appropriate for them. I am starting to see more and more couples making an entrance with their parents (to honour both of these important people in their life) or another important family member or friend. As there are no rules as to who accompanies you down the aisle you really can make this aspect of your ceremony as personal to you as you wish and tailored to suit what is right for you. From including your children, entering solo or walking in together, there really is no nicer way to get your ceremony off to a personal start than to make an entrance that reflects how you feel. Have a group sing-along (marry-oke!) There are few better or more uplifting ways to personalise your ceremony by including a joyful group song or hymn. Choosing a song to sing that means something to you as a couple and having all of your friends and family sing a long to it, will be something you won’t forget in a hurry. It’s no secret that singing is a very powerful tool for cohesion and a wonderful way to bring a feeling of community to everyone involved. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little out of tune and if some people sing like they think they’re on the X Factor, it all adds to the spirit of the occasion!

Do remember though, that including a marry-oke during your ceremony may need a bit more preparation than some of other elements, as for example it’s probably better to have a backing track being played so that everyone can follow along, rather than allowing them to try singing your favourite song without musical accompaniment. You’ll also need to provide the song lyrics too but this can be done easily and inexpensively by printing them out on card for your guests to share between two or three people. I know that couples who have included this element in their ceremony have found it so uplifting and special and have felt that their ceremony set the tone for the rest of the day by spreading so much joy! Include your love story More and more couples are really embracing the idea of including their own self-written poetry or even their own love story during their ceremony. For some, although they like the idea of including a traditional reading, they prefer to have something that is really reflective of them or about them as a couple. It may be surprising to hear but many couples don’t realise that a lot of their ceremony guests don’t know how they actually got together! Some guests will have a fair idea and others may know some of the details of your courtship, but many won’t have a clue! So what nicer time is there than to include your love story during your ceremony to bring a full circle conclusion to how the story of ‘you’ started and how it led to the special moment in your lives. Including your love story works really well especially if your

getting together had some funny or really romantic elements to it. What couples tend to do is to write the story themselves and then allocate a friend or family member to read it during the ceremony on their behalf. This also serves as nice way to have someone special involved in your ceremony too! Write personal vows Of all the ways that you can personalise your ceremony, writing your own vows is perhaps the most rewarding but also the one that requires most thought and preparation. In addition to having to say any legal vows or other required vows, you can have a moment afterwards to say some more personal, self-written vows that you pledge to each other. Some couples write the same vows and promises that they want to say and read them to each other and others write their vows separately and read them as a surprise on the day. The most important thing is to work out from the outset what type of vow is right for you both, to make sure you are on the same page, literally! Vows needn’t be massively long either, especially for those who are worried about public speaking. Even a few lines to express how you think and feel about your life partner can be better than no personal expression at all. If you write from the heart and speak openly and honestly, your vows will be one of the best forms of personal expression you can make during your ceremony. Just warn all of your guests to have their tissues handy, that’s all! Mix up your seating You may be pleased to hear that one of the easiest ways to make your ceremony more personal and intimate is to re-

think how you and your guests will be positioned and seated for your ceremony. If you are going to have your ceremony in a space where the seats are free standing ie not fixed benches for example, then there really is very little effort needed to change the seating to place your guests in a more inclusive arrangement. If your ceremony has the space for boxed rows, then it’s very likely that the same space can accommodate semi circular seating or even a fully circular layout, all of which make the delivery of the ceremony a more personal one. Having your guests forming a space around you means you are quite literally wrapped in their love! If changing how your guests are seated isn’t possible or not an idea that works for you, then changing how you stand might be the answer. For some religious ceremonies it might be a requirement that you stand so that your backs are facing your guests, but if you don’t have any restrictions to how you stand, then there is no reason why you and your love cannot face your guests, whether by standing side by side next to each other, with your wedding officiant standing opposite you both or the two of you standing facing each other and side on to your guests. Either way, a ceremony where most of your guests can see your faces during the ceremony and vice versa, is most definitely a much warmer and personal one. So there you have it. Five simple tips to help you make your ceremony just that little bit more personal to you both and reflective of how you feel about each other and your loved ones around you.


Padre Peter, cleric for wedding ceremonies and regular contributor to CONFETI Magazine

How Do I Love Thee‌? 100 CONFETI


hen in 1968 Richard Burton gave his beloved Elizabeth Taylor a 33.19 carat diamond - the Krupp diamond – the world gasped. It gasped even more when in the following year he presented her with what has now become known as the TaylorBurton diamond at a whopping 68 carats. But throughout the centuries loving husbands and, indeed, lovers, have sought to demonstrate by gifts and actions how much they love their wives (and mistresses!). Not all, of course, have been at the level of 68 carats. Some have even been a bit stingy – I, William Shakespeare of Stratford-uponAvon…give unto my wife my second best bed… (but, hey, it’s the thought that counts – and in the first draft of the great playwright’s will he left her nothing at all!) Quite often the loving gesture has been made in stone and brick. One of the earliest such examples is the Cistercian “Dulce Cor Abbey” in Dumfries, Scotland (“Sweetheart” in English), but in this case it was the gesture of a wife towards her dead husband. It was built by a lady bearing the somewhat formidable name of Devorgilla, in memory of her husband John Balliol (not to be confused with John Balliol, their son, who became King of Scots for a brief four years in 1292, and who was deposed by King Edward I of England). John the father died in 1268, and Devorgilla kept his heart in a casket which she had buried with her when she died in 1289 and was laid to rest in her own Sweetheart Abbey. The same grieving King Edward was subsequently responsible for a memorial to his beloved wife Eleanor of Castile. Writing in 1593, some three hundred years later, George Peele in “The Famous Chronicle of King Edward the First” states:“Erect a rich and stately carved cross, Whereon her statue shall with glory shine; And henceforth see you call it “Charing Cross”. Popular belief has it that the name derives from the French “chère reine” (dear queen), but in fact it comes from the old English “cierring”, which was the name of the hamlet in which it was erected, near to the royal mews at Westminster.

The original wooden cross was destroyed by order of Parliament during the Civil War in 1647; the one now standing in the forecourt of Charing Cross station is a rather more elaborate Victorian stone replica and finds itself a few hundred yards to the east of the original structure where a statue of King Charles I now stands. An old English structure which now finds itself in the United States is Thornewood castle. In 1907 Mrs Anna Thorne told her husband Chester that she wanted to build a castle. So great was his love for her that he set off for England, and purchased a four hundred year old Elizabethan manor house. Employing the renowned American architect Kirtland Kelsey Cutter, the loving millionaire had it taken down stone by stone, and transported to Washington, where it was lovingly reconstructed brick by brick; all 27,000 square feet of it. Chester then filled it with rare art works and paintings and presented it to his delighted wife. Such artefacts also formed an integral part of the little palace built by King Louis XV of France for his mistress Madame de Pompadour; the “Petit Trianon”. Unfortunately, Madame de Pompadour died four years before its completion but, undeterred, the king then handed it to his next mistress, Madame du Barry. This magnificent structure in the grounds of the palace of Versailles, near Paris, is built in a strictly classical manner, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Upon his accession to the throne in 1774, the twenty year old new king, Louis XVI, presented it to his nineteen year old queen, Marie Antoinette, to enable her to escape from the constraints of the royal court at Versailles. She repaid him by forbidding him access! Even more magnificent is the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg. The name itself is derived from the Italian for “amazing”. Taking only six months to build, it is full of beautiful carvings, decorated rooms and a magnificent staircase. It was erected in 1606 by the Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for his mistress Salome

She lies buried with her adoring husband next to her. In death they are not divided. Alt. Quite apart from expressing his great love for her, it was also necessary to have somewhere to house their fifteen children. And on the subject of children, the gardens of the palace formed the backdrop for the Von Trapp children to sing “Do-Re-Mi”. One building, however, shines above all as an expression of love. Undoubtedly one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the great Taj Mahal at Agra testifies to this day to the love that the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was said that his affection for her was a thousand times greater than the affection that he had for his other two wives, with whom he dutifully had one child each. With Mumtaz he sired fourteen children during their nineteen years of marriage. She was his trusted companion and faithful confidant, and at her death the emperor was inconsolable. He went into mourning for a year, and when he next appeared on the public stage his hair had turned white, his face was sunken, and he shuffled like an old man. Sitting on the banks of the river Yamuna he watched as a fitting mausoleum to his beloved rose on the opposite bank. Started in 1633 it took over twenty years for the task to be completed, employing no fewer than 22,000 workers. Constructed of special marbles, with a lavish interior decoration based upon gemstones, it sits in the middle of the sort of beautiful garden that so delighted Mumtaz during her lifetime. She lies buried with her adoring husband next to her. In death they are not divided. Such a sustained and devoted act of love perhaps makes even a 68 carat diamond pale into insignificance, and how does it compare with a second-best bed?! CONFETI 101



he popularity of Marbella as a wedding destination is such that the Ayuntamiento has opened a dedicated Wedding Office at the Tourist Office on the Paseo Maritimo in Marbella to help couples who want to celebrate their wedding in the city. Miguel Moon, the Head of Tourism, announced the new initiative in April, saying that the council hoped it would “increase the influx of visitors” to Marbella.

The new office will help to promote four and five star hotels in the municipality that can accommodate larger wedding parties of up to 500 guests, and are also planning a special event for wedding planners to showcase their businesses. As Miguel Moon also pointed out at the announcement, wedding parties bring high spending guests with them who boost Marbella’s economy.



Therefore, if we hear of anything that could derail your wedding we feel obliged to mention it, whatever it is. This time we have heard some disturbing things about a wedding planner who uses a variety of names: Joy Gunning, Joy Gurner, Joy Gee, Wedding Events, Purple Turtle and Love Weddings are some of the monikers and companies which

have been made known to us. We believe that Joy also worked at Tikitano’s for a number of years as a wedding planner. Unfortunately Joy has gained something of a reputation for not passing on money to the various companies who have been providers of goods and services to weddings for which she has been responsible. This has resulted in a great deal of hardship for many of these businesses, who work extremely hard to provide the best quality experience for brides who have chosen to hold their ceremony on the Costa del Sol. Wedding planners frequently act as a conduit for the whole experience, meaning that you will be expected to pay them on the understanding that they will disburse payments to the companies involved.

“A few years ago, after catering an after wedding barbecue event in Cancelada, Joy Gunning failed to pay the remaining 50 per cent upon completion of the job. As we left the lovely bride’s family home they were telling us the food had been better than the actual wedding day and the waiters had received their tips, so we knew they were very happy. Joy then told me the client hadn’t paid her and became angry and aggressive when I telephoned her. I happened to bump into the client the following year and asked them why they hadn’t paid the outstanding balance. To say they were shocked was an understatement – they had paid in full, and said also the florist hadn’t been paid either. I find this behaviour utterly disgusting and am glad of this opportunity to voice my opinion. I have had the pleasure of working with a wide range of wonderful and talented suppliers, so someone like this makes a mockery out of our hard work and passion for the wedding industry.”

Hair stylist Jonathan Yeadon of Reflections says, “She is an appalling payer who is almost impossible to contact after the event.” The popular team at Golden Tarts stated: “We had a terrible experience with Love Weddings and will not be available for bookings through them.” Further information about Joy and her modus operandi can be found at the following links: es/2009/04/ivan-and-i-feel-prettynaive-after.html There are a number of entirely trustworthy wedding planners operating on the Coast and in Gibraltar, of whom 99 per cent offer an excellent service and


raises the profile of Marbella as one of the most beautiful places in Europe to tie the knot.

Antonia Foran of Sana Catering recalls the moment that she realised that Joy Gunning (as she was known at the time) had failed to honour her part of a contract:


fter seven years of reporting on our readers’ fabulous weddings and bringing you all the latest news of trends, traditions and tomorrow’s hottest wedding gowns, we know how important your big day is to you. It marks the moment that you finally come together with your families and friends to take vows that bind you together forever. It should be a day to remember – for all the right reasons.

This is an exciting new development and Confeti heartily supports the concept. We look forward to collaborating with the Marbella Wedding Office and sincerely hope it successfully

really do put themselves out to make sure that their clients’ ceremonies and receptions run like clockwork, so when we hear about someone who is breaking the rules we have no choice to pass it on to you. The Costa del Sol and Gibraltar both have what it takes to make your destination wedding wonderful – all you need is information about which individuals and companies to trust and these you can find within the pages of CONFETI.



Alyson’s Cakes +34 646435771 Cake Couture +34 693 379 397,, Marbella Cake Design +34 693 864 959,,


Beers Wines & Spirits SL +34 952 373 233,, Nueva Kaskada +34 669 230 699,, Sana Catering +34 639 626 096,,


Allan Davies +34 672 137 547,, Humanist Wedding Celebrant, Padre Peter


Chica DJs +34 661 155 174,, DJ Ryan Fller +34 674 882 402,, 104 CONFETI

DJ Sky Fly +34 635 341 872,, Entire Occasions +07768170617,


Anthony’s Diamonds +34 609 529 633/ 952 588 795,,

Stephanie Florist +350 54012896,,

Owen Farrell +34 670664341,,

Virginia Florista +34 952 898 722,,

Pedro Jaen +34 615 655 075/ 952 775 497,,


Salvador Blanco, Evergreen Photo & Films +34 656 265 025,,

The Beauty Spot +34 675 01 63 51, Glow Wellness and Fitness +34 952 040 220/ 952 908 507, Liza Mayne +34 677 633 987,

Boutique Diva +34 674 402 135,

Nicola McGeorge +34 665 361 964,

De La Fuente +34 951 508 084,,

Ocean Clinic +34 951 775 518,,

Diamond Occasion +350 200 68633,,

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The future of weddings is set for a stratospheric boost as bridal budgets head into the millions. Prepare to see some billion dollar weddings here on the Coast




WEDDING Everyone is talking about the wedding of Said Gutseriev (28) to Khadija Uzhakhovs (20) that took place in Moscow on Saturday March 26, 2016. Some 600 guests attended and fleets of Bentleys and Rolls Royces were parked outside the upmarket wedding venue Safisa. Here are some of the most spectacular highlights of what the world’s media is calling the “billion dollar wedding”



The bride’s custom-made Elie Saab gown, a favourite designer with upmarket brides, was a long-sleeved, glittering confection that reputedly cost at least $1 million. The dress, laden with beads, weighed 25 lbs or just over 11 kilos!





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The bride wore a tiara, drop earrings, necklace and bracelet, all made of diamonds to complement her dress. The tiara alone is said to be valued at $5 million.

There were flowers everywhere! Thousands of white, pink and green blooms costing around $200,000 decorated the wedding venue both inside and out. No space was left undecorated.


Few couples can say that J-Lo, Sting and Enrique Iglesias provided the entertainment at their wedding, but newlyweds Said and Khadija can happily claim to have been serenaded by these stars. J-Lo has charged over $1 million for personal appearance in the past, which suggests that the total bill for the trio of ‘wedding singers’ was an eye-watering $3 million plus.


The nine-tier wedding cake, decorated with blush-coloured garlands of flowers towered over the guests and required several handlers to move it.


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Confeti Summer 2016  

Confeti is a specialist wedding magazine and website featuring all the information and advice you need – plus more – to make your special da...

Confeti Summer 2016  

Confeti is a specialist wedding magazine and website featuring all the information and advice you need – plus more – to make your special da...