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Sharing the secrets of planning a magical Mallorca destination wedding – from luxury to low-keyMay 11, 2020

A beautiful wedding in Alcanada – photo Ida Carlsson

Many people who planned a Mallorca wedding in 2020 have had theirs postponed to 2021. Which inevitably means there will be high demand for venues on the island next year.

In recent years, Mallorca has become one of the top destinations for weddings of all kinds, from luxury to simple and low-key.

When it comes to wedding venues, the island has it all. You can have a romantic wedding in a hundred-year-old finca in the country, a chic wedding in a super modern villa, an intimate wedding in a boutique hotel or a wedding on the water.

Mallorca also enjoys around 300 days of sunshine.

The most popular wedding venues in Mallorca were booked for months in advance of the 2020 wedding season – from May to October. Now many couples will be waiting until 2021 for their big day.

But, if you move quickly, this does give you a great opportunity to book the venue you’ve fallen in love with and make all the arrangements you need to now, with plenty of time to get the details right.

One of the many people who were intending to exchange vows with their partner on the island this year was Patrick Hill, a co-founder of Charles Marlow.

Patrick and Niki, his bride-to-be, will be marrying at a traditional Mallorcan farmhouse in the north-east of the island. I asked Patrick how he and Niki planned their Mallorca wedding and how they’re coping with it being postponed.

The obvious first question, Patrick, is how easy has it been to postpone the wedding?

Thankfully, it’s been really quite easy.  The hardest thing was watching the impact of the virus steadily creep up.

When we first heard about it, we joked nervously that it might affect the stag do but surely not the wedding. Then slowly but surely, week by week, we had to accept there was no chance of doing either. Then we had to decide if October would be late enough this year or whether we needed to go back a full year. But once we decided we had to move it things have been relatively easy.

We had to line up the caterer, the venue, the priest and the band. Once we had a date that worked for all of them plus the bridal party, we were done. Niki and I made a short video update which we emailed round to everyone. Most people have transferred flights and hotels relatively easily. So it could have been worse. Fingers crossed, by April next year we’ll be good to go.

Apart from the effects of COVID-19, what’s been the most challenging thing about organising everything?

To be honest, it’s been pretty relaxed so far. We got engaged in January 2019, so we’ve had loads of time to plan. I imagine the final few weeks are probably when it gets a bit more stressful as you realise all the things you’ve forgotten. Thanks to COVID-19 we didn’t have to deal with that this year. Actually we haven’t found a white wine we are happy with yet either so we’re grateful for an extra 12 months research.

You’re vegan. Are you having vegan catering? If so, how easy was it to arrange?

We are having a fully plant-based wedding but we haven’t announced that and don’t plan to. The main thing is that the food will be delicious. We approached a couple of specialist caterers on the island but from the moment we met Justine at MuyMuyBueno we knew we had the right people. She’s customised a menu for us and based on the tastings we think it will go down really well. We’ll know it’s a success if no-one mentions or notices the lack of meat.

Are you having a wedding celebrant? 

We’re delighted to have Father Liam Cummins to oversee the ceremony. He’s a wonderful man from a parish near where I grew up. We’re following a service he’s designed with us.

The Charles Marlow team is helping with your wedding. How does that feel?

It really makes it extra special. My brother Charlie will be doing a reading in the church. Maria’s making a vegan cake. Andreas played a vital role in arranging the use of the beautiful church at Ariany in the middle of the island where we’re having the ceremony. Ida, who handles photography, video and social media for us, will be taking our wedding photos and videos. Tim from our Ibiza office will be there. I’m thinking of asking him and Andreas to do a kind of Spanish guitar double act as part of the entertainment. I’m sure they’ll be up for it.

Hayley, who offers concierge services to Charles Marlow rental guests, is also helping. How?

As she runs concierge and wedding services on the island, it’s been very useful just to be able to check in with Hayley on anything we’ve got stuck on or needed help sourcing. We’ve had tips on transport companies, hair dressing services, make up and so on that have been really helpful.

The gorgeous marble gazebo at popular wedding venue Son Marroig – photo by Ida Carlsson

Hayley and Mallorca Wedding Concierge

Hayley Newbury, of Mallorca Wedding Concierge and My World VIP Boutique Concierge knows something about magical Mallorca weddings. She was married in the beautiful Deià church in 2009.

Today, Hayley specialises in arranging weddings and events in and around Deià, Soller and Valldemossa.

For her, as for many of us, ‘There’s a magic that seems to hang in the air, something special that you can literally “feel” when you are here. The landscape is truly breathtaking – the rugged coast and the stunning majestic mountains as a backdrop. But there’s also a unique combination of timeless elegance and international contemporary chic.’

Hooked on helping people create happy memories, Hayley has arranged some remarkable Mallorca weddings.

For one Deià wedding, Hayley planned thousands of red flowers, gold cutlery and table décor and tall glass candles everywhere. She arranged a full live flamenco show at sunset with dancers wearing pure white and incredible pink and blue lighting.

It’s in the details. Photo: Ida Carlsson

Another client asked her if she could fly in his wife’s favourite A List singer from LA to come and sing one song for her – the one he proposed to. Hayley made it happen, a wonderful surprise for the bride. The challenge was keeping the singer hidden in the hotel until the right moment, but Hayley pulled it off.

For Hayley, planning is key to a successful Mallorca wedding.

‘Bringing friends and family to a destination wedding takes intricate planning and attention to detail,’ she tells me. ‘A year in advance of the wedding, we send guests a welcome brochure. They also receive a monthly email newsletter keeping them informed of updates. Our Guest Concierge service takes care of flights, accommodation, airport transfers, hire cars, nannies, restaurants, and anything our clients ask for. We’re also on call for the duration, offering expert planning and peace of mind.’

What advice would Hayley give to people having to postpone their wedding until 2021?

‘Try and trust that everything happens for a reason and remember that everybody still wants the wedding to happen. Remind yourself that it’s not the end of your journey, just the start of another chapter, and that you’ll have an amazing story to tell!’

On the practical side of things, Hayley suggests that couples start a wedding website now. ‘This is a great platform to keep guests constantly updated,’ she says, ‘and they can refer to your website rather than ask couples the same questions over and over. Try to give as much information as you can on your website to reassure guests each step of the way.’

Ida and hiring a wedding photographer and videographer

Working with the right wedding photographer is essential. There are many to choose from on Mallorca and each offers something different.

Ida Carlsson, who is photographing and filming Patrick’s wedding, has years of experience helping couples and guests remember their magical Mallorca wedding.

Photo: Ida Carlsson

She emphasises the importance not just of doing plenty of research on island photographers, including meeting them, if not in person via a video chat, but also videographers.

For Ida, one thing couples often overlook is the importance of recording their special day on video.

‘From experience,’ she says, ‘I can tell you that many couples regret not hiring a wedding videographer. If you’re planning your wedding now, ask your friends what’s the one thing they wish they’d done. Many of them will say it’s videoing the event.’

‘If you’re getting married later this year or in 2021,’ she says, ‘it’s important to choose the right person now. I’m always booked months in advance but my calendar for 2021 is already filling up.’

Ida recommends that, if you do decide to commission a videographer, choose one who has previously worked with your photographer. ‘If they’ve never met and aren’t used to working with each other, they can end up in each other’s way,’ she says.

Speaking from experience: Patrick, Hayley and Ida share their suggestions for a magical Mallorca wedding

 Patrick:

  1. Have someone you trust and know who is based on the island and speaks Spanish.
  2. Get recommendations.
  3. Meet the caterer and sample the food.
  4. Go for slightly out of season dates. The weather in Mallorca is best for weddings in April, May, September and October and flights and venues can be cheaper.
  5. Take out insurance from the outset which pays out on anything that could possibly cause the wedding to be delayed by 12 months – including alien invasions and humanity relocating to Mars.

Hayley:

  1. Enjoy it! Try and relax and enjoy the process.
  2. Cherish it! Savour the moments as the day will go very quickly.
  3. Time it! Start planning a year in advance. A year is just enough.
  4. Budget it! Plan your budget properly so you feel comfortable each step of the way.
  5. Say it! Have speeches prepared beforehand. Don’t wing it as this is your moment.

Ida:

  1. Search on Pinterest to find examples of the style you like. A photographers’ style is also influenced by the way they edit so check what their photography usually looks like.
  2. Set a budget. Prices can vary from €300 for a portrait session to about €5000 for a high-end photographer for a full day.
  3. Hire a local photographer who is more likely to know the venue, location and surroundings, which increases the chances amazing photography
  4. Make sure you meet your photographer online or in person and that you feel confident you can work together.
  5. Have a contract with the photographer and videographer that clearly states what’s included in the cost.

Andreas’s Mallorca wedding luxury venue recommendations

‘We’re delighted to be able to offer three stunning venues to rent where you can have the ceremony and wedding celebration too,’ Andreas says. ‘All three are fully renovated classic fincas that retain their rustic character.

Beautiful, secluded Ca’s Figuera

Ca’s Figuera – sleeps up to 12

In the mountains behind Port Soller, set in what was once an olive press finca near lovely walks both down through the valley, and up towards the mountains.

Son Veri – sleeps up to 12

A big, incredibly private finca with 7 bedrooms (6 for rent) and a tennis court in the mountains near Valldemossa. You can see towards the sea and bay of Palma from the pool and outdoor kitchen area. There’s a direct private road that leads down to Valldemossa village.

Ca’n Soller – sleeps up to 18

A grand, ancient finca on the outskirts of Soller with lovely views over the mountains and a spectacular vista of the whole Soller valley from the tennis court.

If any of these properties looks ideal for your Mallorca wedding or you’d like to have a chat with Andreas about how he can help you find what you’re looking for, call 0034 971 636 427 or email hello@charlesmarlow.com.

Choosing a wedding celebrant

Deià wedding celebrant Jackie Waldren

There are several Mallorca wedding celebrants to choose from, but Hayley recommends Deià’s own Jackie Waldren.

‘I attended a beautiful ceremony where she was celebrant,’ Hayley says. ‘She really is wonderful and I don’t think there was a dry eye at the venue!’

Written by David Holzer, a Mallorca-based author, journalist and blogger.

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