This is my gorgeous cousin Stefi. As a travel wedding photographer, I was thrilled when they hired me to photograph their special day. Spain has always been at the top of my list to visit and it did not disappoint! You can read more about my adventures in Spain HERE...
Stefi started off her afternoon by getting her hair and makeup done at a local salon. Her vision for her wedding day was carried out to perfection in every little detail.
Just before the evening ceremony, Stefi slipped into her wedding gown. Her dad came down just as we finished buttoning her up and the look on his face summed up just how incredible she looked and felt. It was such a sweet moment, standing in the center of her childhood home as her parents helped her with the finishing touches of her preparation.
Stefi has a love for all things old fashioned and the lace umbrella completed her personality, and was practical since it poured rain nearly the entire day!
Then it was time to head to the church! She got married in the church just around the corner from her home. It's centuries old and just a perfect, quaint location for the traditional ceremony.
After greeting the bridesmaids, I could tell Stefi was getting excited to see her groom. Lots of giggles and hugs as everyone watched this beautiful girl wait for her special moment.
The bride and groom finally got to see each other, and give a few quick hugs before going over some last-minute details with the priest and having prayer together.
She beamed as she came down the aisle of the old church on her father's arm, surrounded by a mass of friends and family.
This was my first catholic ceremony, and it was performed in Spanish, so I didn't know much about what was going on! But it was beautiful and sacred, just like Stefi wanted.
When I say the venue was perfect, I really do mean it. I stood there and thought about how many generations of church members had worshipped and prayed and celebrated inside those ancient walls and was astounded. It was simply gorgeous.
When we came outside after the ceremony it was dark outside, we all climbed onto the hired buses that drove us the hour into the countryside to the reception venue.
Before dinner could start, every guest had to have their formal photo taken with the bride. (I passed off my camera for a minute so I could be in at least one photo with my family!)
During the dinner, friends and family spoke or performed for the bride and groom. Again, most of it was in Spanish so I found it difficult to follow along, but some moments need no translation.
This is Stefi's cousin from her dad's side of the family, and she played their grandfather's favorite piece on her violin. He passed away recently and this brought Stefi and many of the guests to tears.
After the very long dinner, we were already well into the early morning hours. I think we finally finished eating around 1:00 AM. But the party was far from over! We all headed out to the pavilion for their first dance.
Stefi reminds me of a Spanish Cinderella in her gorgeous wedding dress, her hair piled high in a classic formal bun.
The Spaniards know how to dance! My uncle Jose swung my aunt around the dance floor countless times. I was amazed that when every song came on, not only did every single person dance, they also sang along! For hours and hours, until the party ended at 5:00 AM.
Partway through the reception, Stefi changed into a second wedding gown. This one made me cry as she came out in it - it belonged to our great-grandmother. It suited Stefi so beautifully and was the perfect touch for this sweet girl.
My most eventful moment of the entire day was the bus ride home. After getting propositioned by a very drunk man and needing to switch bus seats with my other cousin's very kind husband, another drunk girl puked across the seat in front of me! We finally made it back to the house around 6:00 AM. My flight left Madrid at 10:00 AM! I managed to get about an hour of sleep on the couch before heading to the airport.
Once I got home I basically slept off and on for 48 in order to feel human again!
Until next time, Spain! We will be back soon!