It was perhaps the craziest request I’ve had in over 6 years of Wedding planning, when Catherine and Javier met me in Dublin this April and told me they were looking to have a Catholic Church Wedding in this year’s summer holidays.
Our recommended booking time for a Church Wedding is usually minimum 6 months, but if you have your home parish priest on side then it is sometimes possible to get things arranged more quickly.
Catherine and Javier, who are both teachers had to wait for the Easter holidays to come out and visit and choose their preferred wedding venue and church. They arrived here late on Easter Saturday, which meant we had no other option but to do the venue visiting on Easter Sunday, which in itself is quite a challenge as many roads and towns are closed for processions.
As Catherine and Javier wee staying in central Malaga and I couldn’t get in to pick them up, we met at nearby Plaza Mayor and set off from there.
We looked around 4 different venues along the Costa del Sol before the couple fell totally in love with Gran Melia Don Pepe in Marbella. This in turn brought a further challenge, the closest Catholic Church to this venue would be the magnificent Cathedral Señora de la Encarnacion in Marbella centre, but this are was again completely closed for Easter processions.
Back on Easter Sunday we settled for the idea of looking at the Church in photos and videos to give them an idea of the place, and after returning the couple to Malaga they decided that on the Sunday night they would take the direct bus in to Marbella centre to see the place for themselves.
Sure enough, they fell in love, and they knew this was the perfect setting for where they would say their Wedding vows.
The next challenge we faced was finding a date. It had to be early Summer holidays for the teaching pair, and then also a weekend date so that Javier’s family could travel down from Northern Spain just for the weekend.
Getting a Friday date at the cathedral in Marbella with such short notice is a tall order, and sure enough by the time we went to confirm the booking there was no availability.
There was another option though – Unusually, Saturday 3rd August there was availability for a 5pm ceremony, but it would have to be prodominantly performed in Spanish.
After a lot of thinking, the couple decided this would be perfect, and Catherine got back to studying her Spanish, while Javier was in lots of talks with the Priest convincing him to do the vows for Catherine in English.
At the ceremony rehearsal the night before the Wedding, listening to the bilingual ceremony play out just perfectly, there wasn’t a dry eye around. The love this couple shared was truly awe inspiring.
On Saturday 3rd August 2019, Catherine and Javier celebrated their unique and whirlwind Wedding and it went without a hitch.
After the ceremony the couple headed back to their seafront drinks reception at Don Pepe, which again had not been an easy call at 7pm on a Saturday in Marbella’s highest possible season.
Our beautiful bride got her ocean backdrop though, and wow were the photos not a testimonial in themselves to what a beautiful day it had been.
The couples celebrated their Wedding reception in the glass curtained garden suite with elegant white decor and a decadent 5 course Wedding meal.
Windows of the reception venue open fully to offer an al-fresco yet shaded setting.
Tables were named after the cities the pair had visited.
Although the wedding planning journey with this couple was shorter than the usual 1-2 years, it was intense and inspiring.
It was a joy to be a part of their planning and see the hard work come together for a beautiful Wedding day.
Photos courtesy of Paco Montagout Team