I can't believe I have been writing this blog for 5 years now! Well another one starts and you will see that it starts earlier than ever this year. So far things looking busy so follow what happens in the next 12 months here.
So the year started and January was exactly what it should be ... cold. With snow falling throughout Catalonia Barcelona was saved and even the rain stopped for the ceremony. Rosemary and Ian were perfect, they wrote me great material to make their ceremony special and, as I said, the rain held off, it was cold but a great winter wedding.
It is a brave couple who marry on 11th February! It didn't rain, at least not during the ceremony, ok it was a bit cool, but the couple were too. 20 or so friends from around the globe and their dog Fiji did the right thing with the rings. A great day for all I think, even had the eye of Abby's father, a wedding photographer, very much on us and feel all were pleased with the outcome.
March 3rd was always going to be risky but when it is 10 years to the day after Stephanie and Hassan started going out it was a must. In the end we found a quiet part of their hotel for the ceremony since wind and cold meant that the beach wasn't an option. I had my youngest ever witness, Kaysan (3). Steph's whatsapp after the ceremony "Thank u so much for today Toby it was truly lovely was so emotional too". What more can you ask for?
Cristy and Ariel married on the most beautiful day possible, one of those days when spring is so much in the air it is everywhere. It was warm and the sun shone and magical things happened. There were two girls recording a video clip of the song "Cambia, todo cambia" who I couldn't resist asking to accompany us in this very small intimate ceremony ... and they did! Once again the photos were by Veronica and it was all very special ... congratulations!
What a perfect day, especially for kilts, and there were lots of them about. Katie and Jonny seemed happy and relaxed and the few comments I had after the ceremony were all very positive, unfortunately I had to jump n to the car and head off to the other end of the country! That having been said however, it was a lovely ceremony and juyst a pity the Welsh Crooner couldn't make it.
They laughed and laughed, and there was some lip quivering at vows, there were Danes and Brits and people from all over and the whole thing was great. Harriet did say that maybe she shouldn't have shared so much with me, I do always say however, that I never make things up, simply rephrase and make my own whatever I am sent! It was lots of fun and happy people at the end.
Wow, what a do! Paul sent me 10 chapters on Jenni and Jenni was never going to be out done so there was LOTS of material. Everyone seemed to have a great time and the feedback was very positive, I left them under the Sitges' sun out on the newly built deck in the Almiral de la Font, and all looked like it was ready to swing.
Hannah a Brit and David a Catalan met 6 years ago and have never looked back. Their wedding was very much a bi-lingual affair with Hannah's Dad Sean even daring to let rip with a speech in Catalan, brave man. The whole thing was right up my street, very 50/50, and from the feedback I got enjoyed by all. It was a day to remember, beautifully sunny and quite something else. That might sound strange because, as you can see from this page, I do lots of weddings over the course of the year. At the time of writing I have 54 planned throughout the year and that is a lot. Each one, however, is very different, yes the shape might be the same, but whether it is adding things in other languages or the things that the couple decide to share with me or the input of other family members and friends makes each unique and a joy to be part of! I was so much part of this one I totally forgot the picture at the end! Here are a couple of the venue and yours truly just before starting ....
Another small wedding, Kate insisted that this was a ceremony that would "take the pressure off" for their big one back home next year. It was a glorious day but also May 1st and a national holiday so there were hundreds of people in the park but we managed to find the perfect spot and had an intimate little ceremony with no "pressure". It was great, Jordi, their photographer wanted lots of photos of "the" kiss and after about 5 Kate said very clearly that this was "gross" but there was definitely a smile on both of their faces!!! May has started and the season is very much on.
Now I really should write this is either Spanish or Catalan since they were the languages of the ceremony but I won't since all the rest of the blog is in English. This was a wedding organised by Toni Segui in the Castell de Sant Marçal were the couple knew the venue but very little else, the rest was a surprise, a dream come true for many getting married I am sure, though maybe not for all. I have done quite a few weddings in the incredible venue but this is the first time that a stage has been built over the pond and it was beautiful (see picture below). I think the biggest surprise came at the end when all the guests set butterflies free from boxes they had been given by the organisers, if you look very closely at the photos you can see them. Really quite something else. All that and the actual ceremony went down well too! What more can you ask for?
I hate to say that some weddings are more special than others, they aren't, but often when they are very small affairs you feel more involved in the whole thing and this was the case here. As Larry, Marty's father asked me to stay and consider myself part of the family it was difficult to drag myself away but I was needed elsewhere. On top of that the venue was Mas Xipres one of the very first venues I went to often to do weddings. Here they can cater for small groups with a beautiful little church for indoor or at the doors of the place for outdoors. They know how to create a perfect ambience and it really was utterly perfect. Karly had no idea what Marty would do during the ceremony and I am pleased to report he cried! All in all another lovely day ... and what a great card they found for me!
What a wedding, what a day, all perfect. Luke wrote me a book and Kate was simple and to the point. It seems like this is a bit of the sort of thing that is happening this year ... the men are finally coming in to their own! Can I say that the wedding was so good I couldn't capture it in a photo, or I was so involved I forgot ... you take your pick but it really was great.
So this one was summed up by Jemma, the maid of honour, "I didn't really think that they were organised enough to create something so perfect", see Oscar Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol to understand that one better! But it was perfect, glorious day and Mas Torroella is just about as good as it gets and highly recommended. Small family do, all the men dressed the same, even Dan, fortunately there was only one perfect bride: Tamsin.
Katia and Captain Mark met on boats, she cooking he captaining and, though never plain sailing, they finally made it to the symbolic alter this weekend. The weather was perfect and so were their small but close knit group of friends and family. The guitarist was a star and when Mark's son Floyd came up with the rings he played "Wish you were here" on my suggestion. Lots of laughs and lots of fun!
Zoë and Darragh, Ireland and Brit Catalan mix all together. KL, Brunei, the Empordà and Kildsart and mixed up in a huge cocktail with 140 guests from as many countries, it was a lovely tower of babel sort of thing. Music by Gavin (on my people and places page) and organised by Marina who I have never met before though all went smoothly and she was definitely on top of everything. A fine time and a great wedding.
I get so envious of the Scots when it comes to summer weddings, the temperature at 33º and they are in kilts, as were many of Katie's friends and family today. Gooch was dressed in a suit I want and all were very happy. They loved the ceremony and the feedback for the short time I hung around was all great. A beautiful day at the end of May ... congratulations! I don't often mention flowers but these were done by Lali, the new business partner to one of my favourite photographers, Neus Cirera (and Tomayo), we have a little mutual appreciation society.
Every couple is different, every story unique. These two started way back when ... 10 and 11!!! But then nothing, then a date in London, then nothing, then he took the photos at her engagement party and, fortunately, nothing! A meandering route to their beautiful wedding in the Almiral de la Font in Sitges so many years down the line. On the day: Lee lost his shoes and Stef added it to her list, I think that that covers both their specialities ... Stef's mother came and talked with me afterwards and, shall we just say that it looked like we would both end in tears but we kept it together! There were 3 readings and a song! All fabulous, but really fabulous. Below are pohtos of the singer, the venue and Lee and Steph.
In the space of just 4 days I get to marry two very different Lee's in the same venue, a treat but also a worry! I didn't get them confused though and they seemed to have a lovely time at their wedding beautifully organised by Val and Africa as ever. The novelty here was that they decided to use the deck built last year that most couple use as their "aperatif" site and it worked really well.
Well well well ... what a wedding. The Flower of Scotland married the John Deere rider, my tractor, my tractor, my kingdom for a tractor! It rained a little in Sitges during the wedding but all was OK because they had organised it in the lovely Masia Victoria in Sant Pere de Ribes and the ceremony was always going to be inside. There was a sharing of a dram between the fathers, Hugh Grant! Not him, but the fathers Hugh and Grant, the whisky was kept by Kimberley's grandfather (Papa) who died 9 years ago and he had always said it was going to be opened on her wedding day, and it was! We had grandparents watching online from the UK and ... I could go on forever. So good was it all that I forgot to take a picture but have asked them to send me one so watch this space.
... and off to wedding nº2 of the day, sometimes it must be done but there was a 2 hour drive up to the Far! The trip though, was well worth it, this was a wedding entirely in Catalan save a couple of things in English and Spanish and it was, once again, a joy! Organised by Neus the whole thing was perfect, and the setting couldn't be better, see the photos below. The Tramuntana started to blow while I was leaving but nothing was going to spoil this day for Alba and Natxo!
What a day and what a venue. I have had loads of contact with Roser, Catalan, and no so much but enough with John, Irish. There wedding was a big one for me, half Catalan, half English! It was a joy, it really was, there was lots of fun and laughter and it was a true celebration, I am only sorry that I had to fly off to another wedding later in the day a mere 250km away!
Nigerian/American meets French guy in Senegal ... it had to be love and it was. A great couple and a fun ceremony, very colourful and enjoyed by all. I even got asked to join the official photos, now that is what you call: Being There (one of my favourite films BTW)!
Summer really is here and making itself very much felt. The days are long, and for some lazy, they are hot but wonderful. Today in the Castell de Sant Marçal was a scorcher but Alessandra and the ushers did exactly what they should have, nobody sat too early, and the Swiss timing of Alessandra's entrance was perfect. Darren kept himself more or less together and none of us melted! All in all a pretty perfect day organise perfectly by Jennifer from Crystal Events .
Tammy ... and Peter, are a patchwork family, they have each brought their own to this union ... on the one side 3 and the other 4! So when we met at the top of the Hotel Condes de Barcelona in the centre of the city it was a big group for a small intimate wedding, not to be out done I took my step-daughter Zoe along. She did the photos! It was a memorable occasion for all I think.
My neighbour's dog woke me at 5am today and there was no going back so I had been up for quite some time when the moment arrived for the wedding this afternoon. There are times you feel tired, distracted, half there ... and then everything starts. You see the groom perspire, the bride glow and the best man sweat and you know it is time to start. It is like moving in to a totally new space and that is a space filled with happiness, hope and love and such was today. Sona wanted a short ceremony, she insisted on it, and so it was, they couldn't even wait for me to pronounce them husband and wife before the kiss ... so they ended up having two! All perfect.
11 years later they finally made it, even after Shane refused a lift back in 2006 in his 1980's mini! A fabulous day and a lovely couple ... the rain didn't appear, the breeze was perfect as was everything else.
This summer has been hot hot hot so far but yesterday it decided that enough was enough and the wind would blow and the storm clouds would gather. But Mireia and I looked at them and took a calculated risk, that in a venue as beautiful as the Convent de Blanes it was a sin to move inside. So this wedding happened as it should, with the most perfect backdrop ever. Ok the wind meant that Charlotte had to loose the veil but everything else was perfect.
It didn't rain, it looked ominous, but it didn't. Bo and Vivian are a lovely couple, we met a couple of days ago in Barcelona (Haagen Dazs) to have a face to face and chat about last details. This was a curious wedding because we were in Barcelona, Vivian's home town, but the entire wedding was in English since everyone spoke that. Vivian's mother and brother both spoke in English during the ceremony, as did Sara her maid of Honour. This was held in the Miramar Hotel in Barcelona up on Montjuic overlooking the port and, well, it was lovely. Two high points, Vivian crying at vows (a must) and Bo's unexpected "Si quiero"!
What a great couple and their son. Ronnie, who as my lovely aunty would have said "made his presence felt". My first wedding back in the old faithful Casa Felix this year, another one there next week. It was a beautiful day and a great couple, Beverley, Sian's mother, read a lovely poem and the whole thing was immaculately organised by Mireia and Africa, Val's gals! Another day to remember and what a photo ... at John's wedding! and he knows what that means ...
Back to the Casa Felix and Olivella but this time up in the village and just in front of the church. Now Hannah insisted that she would be walking down the aisle as the church tower struck 5 and she was! That only happens very rarely. However they were a great couple, very sure about what they wanted and how they wanted it and I would say that all seemed to fit their expectations. My son, Biel, played them down the aisle and the back up and what's more did their party back down on the house later. A family affair and a great day had by all! BTW, once again perfectly organised by Val and her crew ... Africa and Mireia.
Now it turns out that Olfa's mother is a Reventos, which means that she is of the Codorniu family, one of the most important Cava producers of Catalunya. So the ceremony was held in the Caves Codorniu, just about one of the most perfect places you could hold such a wedding. Though an international affair they have lived in England now for many years and the ceremony was basically in English with a little intro in Spanish and Catalan. All in all a very glorious affair!
This was very much a first for me, I was the MC at Mark and Bari's wedding. They had originally booked me to conduct their ceremony but since Mark is Jewish he was also on the look out for a Rabbi who he eventually found and who was quite something else. I would love to have his info here but I can get it. The wedding was organised by Havel so you can always click on his name and ask him! Nonetheless all was different but fun, I did all an MC should do and probably even a few things he shouldn't, yes ... there was a Flamenco class ... but there had to be really didn't there?
A great family wedding made all the better by Sami telling me that it was raining in Finland. You see this couple, that have overcome so much to get to where they were today, are Finnish. So what did that mean? Well that I had to say a few words in Finnish of course. Not easy thing to do, at least not for me. Basically we did the ring exchange in Finnish and with a little help from the book we all made it. Lovely venue and smashing couple ...
Jason and Matt married before their awesome crowd in one of the loveliest venues in Barcelona city, the Torre dels Lleons, it was unbelievably hot but we managed it. The place was perfect, they were perfect, the ceremony was a blast with a few little surprises thrown in for good measure. A great day all in all.
Nikki and Anthony and their daughter ... what a day, what a crowd! All did exactly what they ought and Nikki tried to organise them all ...when I left she was doing a pretty good job. It was a great ceremony, lots of "audience participation"!!!! which the couple very much wanted. A beautiful day and I left them in Can Ribes, a great venue, with their piano bar and a lunch to be remembered about to start!
The photos above include a "wine box" one of the rituals that I love to include in a ceremony.
So, if you are wondering whether or not you read it right? The answer is yes! Jo and Kev wanted something different for their wedding, but then again who doesn't. They, however, has a few ideas ... the centre or Barcelona and a low/no budget. The only answer was a Flash Wedding in the Plaça del Rei. We were ready for whatever could be thrown at us, sweet talking police of guards or whatever else. in the end the whole thing went as smoothly as you could possibly imagine, we had curious couples, people spontaneously cried on the steps, there were photos that people will have to try to explain when they get back from their holidays, the important part however, was that Jo and Kev and Erin and Lloyd, and their parents and friends and family, had the wedding they wanted in the place they wanted and with the feel they wanted. A Flash Wedding ... new experiences!
Michelle and Andrew got married today in a Hotel with one of the very best views of the city overlooking the port and out to sea. The weather was perfect, a good breeze and all were happy. Michelle's daughter, Mea, did a lovely reading and it really was something to see. Curiously I had two weddings today, both with Cardona ... the Duchess and the Hotel ... but an hour and 10 between them! However we did it and it was great.
Now this was quite something, a Belgian/French couple who met in Barcelona and now live in Australia ... but they were never going to get married anywhere else. The Parador de Cardona is spectacular, a castle perched on a hill, as all good castles are. I first met Stef many many years ago when filming with John who suggested me for the wedding. All once again ... just about as good as it gets.
My first ever wedding in Pineda and what's more it was Festa Major. We had a fly-by in mid ceremony but the attention was always going to be where it had to be: Pauline and Ralph. They have been together for long enough to have a beautiful 16 year old girl but not too long not to want to be together for a whole lot longer ... fabulous day!
Victoria and Ravi had an MC who whipped the crowd up as I was about to begin and that is where they stayed throughout ... lots of fun, even a heckle or two. The setting was quite something else and the friends and family seemed genuinely moved by the whole thing, as did Ravi and Tory! I could write so much more, tell you about Victoria and all the mails, about how lovely she looked or how happy they seemed, about Ravi's father and how he couldn't be there, about the reaction of his mother, about Sonia and the garlands of flowers ... but then again maybe that would all be a little too much, lets just leave it at ... all was perfect.
Apparently Martin calls Nicola Puffin because she never seems to have her eyes fully open and he didn't want to call her after a boxer! When he proposed he did so using an engraved spoon "Will you marry me Puff" it said! As you can see these two like to laugh, and they did, throughout the ceremony and I imagine long in to the night.
Adam married Jake and Alan yesterday and there was no bigamy! You see Jake is known as Jake in London while in Ireland he is known as Alan ... confusing! In fact it was the only confusing thing about their entire wedding, everything was clear and fun and it didn't even rain (looked like it might but it didn't). 140 guests and I think I was stopped by almost every one of them to say how much they had enjoyed the ceremony, Adam was definitely, and pleasantly, surprised by the whole thing ... as was I, another great day.
Since they have had their daughter, Naimh, Annie insists that Lewis is much more emotional. In fact she put it in her list of things that she loves about him. So much so, said Annie, that she bet me, at that particular part of the ceremony Lewis would be crying. Lewis however started when she was still 200 meters away from her arrival! No money was exchanged but she definitely won her bet and her man and everything else. The arrival was memorable ... 4 little girls and 2 little boys and then some larger girls leading up to Annie and her Dad! All great and once again back in the Castell d'Empordà.
When we were preparing this wedding I had arranged a skype call with the the couple and at the last minute Aitor said they wouldn't be able to make it. It turned out that Sarah-Jane was having their daughter Annie at just the moment! Annie was at the wedding, as where his family, her family and their friends which means that it was a very very international affair all done in Spanish and English with at the very least a welcome in Welsh and Basque. All held in the beautiful Mas Torroella.
Back in the Casa Felix and what a great day, again organised by Val. You don't often see the couple quite as nervous as these two but they were and it was as it should be. The group was great and the whole thing felt fun and full of joy! A pleasure to have been part of it once again.
This wedding came to me via Aunt Louise, who has a bar in Lloret and had found just the best venue ever. The place really was stunning as you can see from the photos and link. I think that Kara and Mike were happy, Finn, their baby certainly seemed so.
Mike and Zara, what a laugh, what a fun couple and what a celebration they were going to have! Nothing was going to dampen the day though, you guessed it, it rained! But everything was really wonderful and the Castell has a great plan B so that is what happened.
Really and truly what can I say about Jen and Annie's wedding today? I mean what can be said? Annie's mum and dad where there ... fabulous. So was Jen, maid of honour, and so, of course, were Annie and Jen plus bridesmaid and photographer ... it was perfect. But it really was ... beginning of September storms were forecast but they decided not to come, and the couple arrived in a stretched limo much to much surprise, normally the smaller weddings are just that: smaller ... but this was bigger. Nuff said ... all fab!
Today it had to rain, it was forecast, for ages they have been saying it would ... and yet ... it didn't! Mel and Ad did it ... 11 years in the making and they are only 27. As you will see below, there venue was incredible, the Hostal La Gavina in S'Agaró, in the folly just next door. It really was a sight and, though the weather threatened, it did nothing more than that.
Yesterday they called me and today we were all on the beach in Sitges ... but Ashley and Daniel are troopers. They called me while I was away at the beach for a couple of days and so plans changed! They sent me material about how they met and their loves and no so ... I wrote their ceremony once I hit base and jumped in the car to head down to the beach. A wonderful wedding, their certificate was witnessed by some French tourists and a Mexican and Italian ... all on the beach in Sitges. We then hit the bar and put the world to rights over a glass of red: Trump and the our referendum all on the menu ... a great afternoon all in all!
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