Ever since my little sister journeyed off to Spain to spend a week frolicking through the countryside, I’ve had this European paradise on the very top of my bucket list.  I am fully convinced that it’s the kind of place you just HAVE to visit at least once… and saying “I do” amongst its awesomeness?  Even better. Especially when it’s a day as sweet as this affair from Jeremy Standley Photography, an intimate gem of a wedding set against a breathtaking La Alhambra backdrop with enough beauty to last a lifetime.  (I am not kidding.) Prepare to get your pretty on (there’s a lot of it) and see it all here.

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From Jeremy Standley PhotographyShawna and Mike wanted a small wedding with their closest family and friends. This multicultural couple chose The Alhambra in Granada, Spain as the perfect representation of how different cultures can create something incomprehensibly beautiful and strong enough to withstand the ages. Shawna wanted to create an intimate environment with a rustic feel. She accomplished this using twine, lanterns, flowers and herbs, along with mercury glass candle holders hanging from the trees that perfectly complemented the natural atmosphere.

One of the funniest moments Shawna remembers was when she changed out of her crystal Jimmy Choos into her beat up Birkenstocks to walk down to the Alhambra with Mike. “They were so comfortable that I kept them on for the rest of the night. I literally wore my wedding shoes for less than an hour.”

She also never expected to be staying up late on her wedding night. Her party of just over 30 guests surprised her, however, and danced until the wee hours of the morning. At one point Mike dipped her down and she could see the stars out of the glass atrium. “I felt like the luckiest girl in the world,” said Shawna.

The couple has lots of advice for future destination brides: first, visit locations as an in-person visit is priceless. Also, a wedding planner is a must. There are many practical details that will need to be sorted out and you will need someone on the ground to help out with those details. Shawna encourages brides to use Pinterest to create picture boards for your wedding planner as you won’t have the luxury of multiple visits to flower shops and bakeries, so it is really important that you can clearly communicate what you want as easily and visually as possible. She also highly recommends scheduling activities for your guests. One of the best things they did was plan a walking tour of Granada with their entire group. It was casual and relaxed and everyone got to know each other before the wedding, just the way they had hoped and planned.

Photography: Jeremy Standley Photography | Wedding Planner: AWOL (A Wedding of a Lifetime) Granada Weddings | Location: La Alhambra | Wedding Venue: Parador de Granada | Accomodations & After Party: Portago Suites | Blessing Minister: Mark Fury | Floral Design: Floresteria Nerine | Guitarist: Mark Shurey of El Pimientito