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Hacienda Wedding Romance in Spain

My biggest weakness when it comes to wedding venues? Gorgeous old-world Spanish architecture. Case in point: The Hacienda, and the backdrop for this insanely stunning soiree from Rachel Rose Weddings. It might be the worn pale tiling, the subtle cracks in the stone or the weathered wooden doors… but it feels as if the walls have seen countless generations of love. And etched right in, is this sweet day.

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From Rachel Rose Weddings….Victoria and Richard were struggling to choose between our wedding venues for their big day but once they visited The Hacienda their hearts were set. They had decided on a rustic but romantic wedding and The Hacienda was the perfect setting for this with its surrounding andalucian countryside yet elegant and slightly grand main house. The wedding took place in early May and the weather was perfect for an alfresco ceremony which took place in the gardens of the house. We chose a colour palette to suit the backdrop of the venue with beautiful David Austin roses in soft peaches and creams with a few succulents to add some depth and contrast. This flower choice was then continued with the rustic styled centerpieces and buttonholes. With a classical Spanish guitarist setting the tone as the wedding guests arrived for a welcome reception of Sangria, the day was ready to start. Victoria looked beautiful in her very romantic Pronovia dress and after the ceremony the guests moved to the pool area for champagne and canapés followed by dinner and dancing long into the night in the beautifully decorated and romantically lit courtyard – a party to remember!

Photography: Joseba Sandoval | Florist: Flor Valentin | Wedding Gown: Pronovias | Stationery: Nulki Nulks | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jane Normal | Catering: Sana Catering Marbella | Grooms Suit: T M Lewin | Bride Shoes & Bag: Jimmy Choo | Hair & Make Up: Princess Bride | Minister: Lizzie Marriage | Planning And Styling: Rachel Rose Weddings | Venue: The Hacienda

Wedding Venues in Spain and Nulki Nulks are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Hawaii Island Destination Wedding at Waikoloa Marriott Resort And Spa

What I wouldn’t give to have been invited to this wedding. It’s a destination dream come true. A perfect Hawaiian soiree filled to the gills with personality and love, not to mention a stunning seaside backdrop. Every image captured by Elena Graham makes me want to squeal with glee, and you can see why here.

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From Elena Graham PhotographyChelsea and Tom traveled from Australia to have their wedding near Chelsea’s hometown on the Big Island of Hawaii. Every detail, from Chelsea’s Australian couture dress and black pearl engagement ring to their local Hawaiian florals, effortlessly encompassed a laid back island vibe.

From The Bride…There was one fact about our relationship everyone knew before we got engaged— before Tom and I had considered it ourselves—and that was where we would begin the rest of our lives together. My poor husband thought his job was done once he popped the question! Little did he know…

He is a good Kiwi bloke from New Zealand and I’m an island girl from Hawaii. To complicate things further, it would be a destination wedding for more than half our guests no matter what we chose, with most of our friends residing in our current home of Sydney, Australia.

Nonetheless, they confirmed it before we announced it: “We’re going to Hawaii!”

We wanted our celebration to reflect our laid back, Pacific style, choosing the lovely Waikoloa Marriott on the Kohala coast of Hawaii’s “Orchid Isle,” the Big Island. Some of my earliest memories are of hiking the peppered black and white sands along the coast with my family; my mother calling for me to wade into the cold brackish ponds lined with black stones, and my father fishing in the surf. But it wasn’t easy planning a wedding across the International Date Line.

My bridesmaids were all in different countries, so shopping together for a wedding dress or bridesmaids outfits was out. While I gave my girlfriends leave to mix and match their own dresses, I went with couture Australian designer Anaessia, which gave me the personalized touch of antique lace and hand-beaded blossoms that perfectly suited my island theme.

My mother always said my wedding would be just like the senior prom: You get the outfit and planning down and worry about the date last. She was right—she had been lining up local vendors for my wedding from the time I was a teenager, just waiting for me to pick a date!

We were so lucky to have Leilani’s Bakery, who made my sleepover birthday cakes, fashion a classic two-tier vanilla and haupia wedding cake with buttercream frosting. My bridesmaid and her mother (Francesca and Franca McGuffie) organized the orchid arrangements: from the bouquets and the hair accessories to the submerged cymbidium table arrangements anchored in black beach stones. We were also lucky to have Elena Graham as our photographer, a childhood friend with an eye for subtle emotion and photojournalistic storytelling.

Our guests were welcomed to the ceremony with a traditional slack key guitar player and seated looking out through the palm trees and over the ocean. Tom carried the vows we wrote together in the inside pocket of his royal blue M.J. Bale suit, and it was all over too quickly. The rings, a kiss and we were man and wife.

After signing the wedding licence, we greeted each of our 90 guests with a fragrant plumeria lei. It was a beautiful idea by the event manager to afford us that personal moment with each guest who made the journey to be with us.

After a hearty buffet dinner organized by the hotel, my niece and nephews chased a ball across the lawn, one of the gifts my mother prepared along with a little basket of crayons and paper to entertain them through the evening.

Kiwis are big on speeches, and our friends had us rolling with laughter until our cheeks were so sore we thought it was impossible to keep smiling.

But I had one more surprise for my husband. Months before, I agonised over my footwear, having to choose my shoes before the dress was finished so they could tailor the length: flats or heels? Though the sand and grass were a consideration, I chose simple flat sandals so I could perform a traditional barefoot hula for my husband.

It was beautiful to share this place that meant so much to my family before. Now we have another special moment here commemorating not only our union, but recognizing our friends and families as one ohana.

Photography: Elena Graham | Wedding Dress: Anaessia | Cake: Leilani's Bakery | Hair And Makeup: Hearts And Stars Salon | Groom's Attire: M.J. Bale | Wedding Venue: Waikoloa Marriott Resort And Spa

English Country Garden Wedding

This wedding is starting out with a fashionable bang (i.e. bridesmaid’s dresses for the books and a lace gown that could kill) and is ending with an English Garden party ripe with crimson florals by Bo Boutique and vintage styling by Helen Millot Furnishings. We love a good garden party, after all, and this gem shot by WOOKIE Photography is proving the English know their way around a fab outdoor affair.

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From The Bride…Ben and I went on our first date when we were 12 years old in our hometown of Cambridge, UK. We were in neighbouring schools; I was at the all girls’ school and Ben was in the all boys’ school down the road. Our first date was a rendez-vouz in town one Saturday lunchtime. We were young at the time so, as romantic and sweet as the date was, it didn’t really go beyond sharing an ice- cream and a stroll through the park! Two years later our eyes met again at the mixed girls and boys secondary school. It was then we went on our second and more successful date and spent the most amazing 4 years together. We were high school sweethearts who got to see each other everyday and share some special moments together.

We knew straight away that we wanted an English country garden wedding in Cambridge. It’s where we met and where we are both from so it means a lot to both of us. The fact that it’s a very beautiful city and most of our family still lived there was an added bonus.

We opted for a humanist wedding. It felt like the right choice- we wanted our ceremony to be very personal and a chance to tell our story to family and friends. For us, our wedding was the chance to celebrate our next chapter with them, and also thank them for all their support over the years that had already passed.

Ben and I wanted an outside ceremony in a beautiful garden and preferably near the River Cambs, so with this in mind my Mother, Ben and I began our search. After a few weeks of looking, and word getting around, a close family friend offered us their house for our wedding. The house used to belong to well know 1960s hairdresser Raymond Bessone, AKA Mr Teasy –Weasy! It’s a beautiful property with lots of quirks and has the most amazing garden that leads down to a secret river. Perfect. It was typically English, typically Cambridge and in the exact right location.

The style and design of our wedding definitely changed and developed over the year leading up to the day itself. A big turning point for the design of the day was when my Mother offered me her late Mother’s (my Grandmother’s) antique silver cutlery to use. My Grandmother, Hélène Millot, was a Parisian dressmaker and costumier in the 1920s so you can just image how old and beautiful the cutlery is. (In fact the ornate engraving on the silver suggests that some of the pieces could be over 100 years old!)

And so our classic English country garden wedding became an English garden wedding with a chic French twist. I matched the antique silver cutlery with lots and lots of antique brass candlesticks, a very classic combination. The table glasses were all crystal and cut glass, and mismatched for a modern yet vintage twist. Simple white plates and white napkins gave the table clean lines avoiding the look becoming too eclectic.

The colour palate was determined when I found my dress. I searched high and low for one that was off-white and I finally found it in a Justin Alexander design. The description of the dress was antique gold but in actual fact it was a gorgeous taupe colour. I matched the table linen with the colour of dress by sourcing some beautiful Ralph Lauren tablecloths, and also managed to find some perfect taupe candles which I shipped in from a shop called Blokker, in Amsterdam.

The tables were adorned with beautiful deep red Peonies, grapes and Eucalyptus, all overflowing from antique brass vases onto the long tables, arranged beautifully by the talented Bo Boutique. It was a significant colour pop but worked perfectly with the lush greens coming in from the garden through the vast clear windows of the marquee.

The day itself was just as I had imagined: a personal, relaxed and most importantly incredibly romantic occasion- with a party atmosphere! We had hoped for an outdoor ceremony but in typical English fashion our weather was not kind to us! But this did not in anyway dampen the mood. Our ceremony took place in the marquee, in front of the large clear windows that looked out onto the large spans of garden down to the river. Then just as the ceremony finished, as though on auto timer, the sun came out and we were able to enjoy drinks and canapés outside. It was incredible!

Photography: WOOKIE Photography | Florist: Bo Boutique | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Jackie Waller Catering | Bridesmaids' Dresses: River Island | Catering: Crown Catering Cambridge | Groom's Attire: Gucci | French Music Duet: Garance & The Mitochondries | Invitation Printers: Tom Gautier (illustration By The Groom) | Location: Private House- Near Cambridge | Marquee Hire: Cambridge Marquees | Stylist: Helen Millot Furnishings | Tableware & Decor Hire: Helene Millot Furnishings | Wedding Dress Boutique: London Bride Couture