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Destination Wedding in Spain by Your Dream Wedding in Spain

“We found Marcella (Your Dream Wedding in Spain) online and heard great things from other brides. She’s incredible! And she’s Irish (so she gets what a good Irish wedding wants!)”

Names: Barry & Grace

Length of engagement: 2 ½ years | Wedding Date: Friday, 25th May 2018

Wedding location: Gran Hotel Sol y Mar, Calpe, Spain

Photographer: Schillings Photography (Paul & Yola)

Planner: Your Dream Wedding in Spain


We met… Around 14 years ago. I was working with Barry’s cousin and she was giving me a lift home from work. She said she had to pick up her cousin from college and little did I know my future husband would get into the car! Was only 16 at the time so wasn’t thinking that far ahead! Chatted the whole way home, then met in the local nightclub over the next couple of years and started going out in 2006!

Our proposal… I came home on 27th November 2015 and Barry had put up the Christmas tree. There were lots of candles (I thought he had just gotten excited putting up the tree since he loves Christmas!) and the Toy Show was on! He had a little bag for me with a new decoration for the tree and it said ‘Grace will you marry me?’

Our wedding theme/colours… didn’t really have a theme, but ended up going with a purple/lilac type colours.

My dress… Maggie Sottero, Malina. Got it in Eva’s Bridal in Chicago (where we’ve been living since 2016).

My hair and makeup… the wonderful Jo and Maria recommended by Marcella (our wedding planner). Had 6 bridesmaid and the mammies (and granny), and they had us all ready an hour early!

His suit… he went for 3 piece navy suits. He got them in Galvin’s for Men in Tullamore (near where we’re from at home) Barry bought his own suit and rented the guys.

What our bridal party wore… we got our dresses in MK Bridal in Navan. There were Sorella Vita (thistle colour). They turned out great!

Our ceremony… La Iglesia Antigua de Calpe (Old Church Calpe) at 4pm. It was a beautiful small church, approx. 10 min walk from the hotel. We organised the local tourist train to bring the girls up to the church (for those with uncomfortable shoes!) and then the guys were lead up the street by a traditional Spanish band at approx. 2.30pm. Everyone really enjoyed the buzz! They all chilled out in the pub next to the church beforehand. Marcella moved everyone into the church 5 mins before I arrived so nobody was stuck waiting in the church too long! Barry really enjoyed the build-up and wasn’t standing waiting nervously in the church!

We chose our photographer, Schillings Photography, because… Marcella (our wedding coordinator) recommended him. Another bride had sent me on her album and we were so impressed with it! Then when we met Paul, we saw more albums and just loved the pictures. Paul and his wife Yola are so talented! The photos turned out so great, and so natural. So many people have said they’re the nicest wedding photos they’d seen! Barry and I are so happy with them!

We chose our wedding coordinator because… we wanted to get married abroad and a friend of a friend had recommended Calpe. Marcella (Your Dream Wedding in Spain) was found online and heard great things from other brides. She’s incredible! And she’s Irish (so she gets what a good Irish wedding wants!) Definitely worth having a wedding planner to take away the stress of it all!

We chose our venue because… when we googled Calpe, we fell in love with the photos of the Gran Hotel Sol y Mar! It was stunning! When I saw it, I was actually disappointed because I thought we would never be able to afford that! But it was very reasonable, similar to Irish prices.

Our menu… it was delicious. Had a canapé reception with spring rolls, crispy chicken curry, chistorra sandwich, duck ham on crispy bread, and black pudding filo pastry. We were worried that we were a little different, but everyone raved about them! Then for dinner – 5 course meal with crispy chicken tandoori salad, salmon, cava lemon sorbet, beef and fluid chocolate cake. There was no choice for dinner but we had both fish and beef, so everyone had something they enjoyed! Lots of people had never eaten fish before and finished it all! We also had a cheesecake for our wedding cake (an actual cake made of 3 different layers of cheese!). It came on a beautifully decorated table (Heidi Francis, who also did our gorgeous flowers) with breads/chutneys etc and went down well later in the night when everyone was going around the chunks of bread and cheese!

Our honeymoon… we spent 2 weeks in Calpe and then went on a cruise around Alaska for a week. Would highly recommend it!

My favourite part of the wedding day… too hard to choose! Just had such a great day all around!

My piece of advice for other couples… do the ‘post boda’ (or ‘trash the dress’) photo shoot! We got incredible photos and we had so much fun rolling around the sand and jumping in the swimming pool!



Wedding venue: Gran Hotel Sol y Mar, Calpe, Spain | Planner: Your Dream Wedding in Spain Photographer: Schillings Photography | Ceremony: La Iglesia Antigua de Calpe | Dress: Maggie Sottero | Hair and makeup: Jo and Maria | Groom’s suit: Galvin’s for Men | Bridesmaids: MK Bridal | Flowers: Heidi Francis

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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