Wedding to Remember

As I sit back at my desk day dreaming about the past month, around our wedding, I want to thank some incredibly special people who made our fairytale wedding day and our vacation extra special. 5 years ago, my then boyfriend and I spent our first week in Mallorca. We found an Airbnb in Biniarix, a small quaint town outside of Soller. We immediately fell in love with the solitude and old world feel of that town. For an entire week we felt calmed by the slower pace. Something we don’t get at home with our constant busy life of work and training for marathons. We truly lived in the moment: sitting on the balcony every night to watch the milky way light up the open canvas of the sky, competitively counting the satellites that flew by, and sitting in awe whenever a shooting star zoomed overhead. It was a perfect week. We hiked the local trails only to find out we were going the wrong way, but it didn’t matter. We were in the moment, enjoying where we were and where the trail we were on would lead us. Each time we hiked we gazed down at a beautiful finca  surrounded by an olive grove. We chatted about who we thought lived there, or what it was: maybe a bed and breakfast, a hotel, someone’s personal home? We loved it so much we even snagged a picture of it.The hike that day and that picture would quickly be the start of our magical journey to falling in love with Mallorca.

The magical Can'Ribera Finca in Biniarix, Mallorca

Fast forward a few years, and 2 more trips to Mallorca. In January of this year, we were in Iceland in January over Don’s birthday when he surprised me with a ring, while standing outside the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik at night in the spitting rain by ourselves. It was beautiful. We immediately went into dream mode and talked about where we would like to get married. Our dream site was so obvious, that we both blurted it out at the same time “That finca in Mallorca. Wouldn’t that be something?!?”. Our more realistic site was likely going to be somewhere local in the Northeast back in the states, but knowing our wedding was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, we decided what the heck, Let’s do it! Let’s try to find out what that finca is and see if we can host our wedding there. After a little google search, I found the finca! Sort of… what I found was the next best thing - our soon to be wedding planner, Gabina. Gabina’s website (https://chillmeout.com)came up with a blog post about that finca and another wedding that she hosted there. YAY!!! We were on our way!

Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik

We contacted Gabina and started the process. From day one she was very welcoming and excited to work with us. Our first half hour meet and greet via zoom set the stage for what we had in mind, and being the wedding guru that she is, she raced forward with ideas. Through the next few months Gabina and I emailed back and forth discussing various venders and planning for our special day. Before you knew it, it was August and we were in the 2 month count down! Because of my trust in her, I left a lot of the details to Gabina. She would send me a couple options to choose from which definitely made my decisions easier! Thank you!

September hit and it was time to pack. I finished up a few busy patient care weeks prior to vacation and we were off to Spain! Three weeks off is something neither Don nor I have done in the past. It was a long time to be away from our companies, but also our babies: George and Ellie (two great danes). We boarded our flight to Mallorca and had a fast-paced weekend planned. Our first stop was Can Ribera, the finca where we we would be staying for the wedding. There, we met three of the owners: Menchu, Ima, Juan Carlos, (all of whom keep the finca running) and Gabina, our wedding planner. These 4 champions quickly became part of our family with welcoming arms. Menchu and Gabina sat with us for an hour and a half as we finished up a few last-minute details. Menchu allowed us to drop 2 suitcases and my wedding dress to lighten our load so we could backpack travel the two weeks before our wedding. If you have ever traveled with a wedding gown, you know how stressful it can be. Walking through an airport and having it fall off the hanger 3 times was only part of the chaos. By allowing us to drop these items off earlier than our wedding day, their hospitality was a god send. I knew our belongings were going to be safe, and now I could relax while we enjoyed our pre-honeymoon leading up to the big day. We then set off on our adventure to Southern Spain.

Can'Ribera Finca
Kim, Don, Menchu and Ima

Sevilla, was our first city. It was full of history and beautiful architecture. Oh, and intense heat! Every day was 95+ degrees. We ran most mornings to explore the city and to escape some of the heat of the day.

Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
One of our runs along the Guadalquivir River in Seville

We then boarded the high-speed train for two days in Cordoba. Here we spent most of our time running the city, and sightseeing the Cathedral.

Cathedral of Cordoba
Pulpos! Octopus in Cordoba!

Last on our trip before heading back to Mallorca, was Granada. We absolutely fell in love with that town. We logged about 20,000 steps each day as we ventured around the city. Our favorite spots included Albaicin and the Alhambra. The Albaicin quarter is on the UNESCO world heritage site and reminded me of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul with all the Middle Eastern food and shops. We found ourselves there each day, just roaming the streets. The Alhambra is also on the UNESCO world heritage site. It is a palace and fortress of Moorish decent with Islamic architecture. It was truly one of most beautiful pieces of architecture that I have ever seen.

Alhambra in Granada, Spain
Alhambra Courtyard

We were both excited to return to Mallorca, not only for the wedding, but also for a break from the heat. We arrived back in Palma onTuesday before the wedding which allowed me to have time to meet Neus who would be doing my hair and makeup for the wedding. She spent 2 hours doing a trial to see what I would like best. She was very sweet and did amazing work the day of the ceremony. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else - she was the best! We took the extra time to start building our guests’ welcome bags. Of course, this meant a trip (or 5), to Decathalon. We purchased small backpacks and filled them with supplies for the weekend: food, water, canteen, scarves. We called them “survival packs” for the hike and boat ride that we had planned.

Soller, Mallorca

Our guests started arriving Wednesday evening. We spent the next few days picking people up at the airport and having meals with those that had already arrived. We really appreciated all the friends and family that came to celebrate. It meant the world to us to have everyone close to our hearts there.

Golf at Son Quint in Palma

Saturday quickly approached and it was go time! We woke early to prep for the group hike up into the Tramuntana Mountain range. Our videographers, Esteban and Andreas were there bright and early to accompany us on the hike. They were able to bring their drone as well, which captured amazing views of the mountain range and the finca in the background. We truly appreciate their work and flexibility to come so early! Depending on ability level and time, some of us hiked an hour while others kept climbing for two!Thank you to Juan Carlos for leading the pack and enjoying the time in the mountains with our guests! I turned around early to get back for my hair and makeup with Neus. Neus worked on me and my bridesmaids that morning. Her attention to detail was great and I received so many compliments on my hair AND makeup.  I don’t usually doesn’t wear makeup or rush to do my hair in the morning, so I was thrilled at how great a job Neus did keeping everything natural and minimal to match my normal presence.

Our hike in the Tramuntana Mountains looking out at Can' Ribera

Our photographer Pere came while I was with Neus. Pere was outstanding to say the least! Don and I are not easily coached and our silly tendencies might be a photographer’s nightmare, but Pere captured amazing pictures while tolerating our misbehavior! He also captured a ton of hidden jewels throughout the night that we will cherish forever. Pere is highly skilled and I would recommend him to anyone looking for photographers in Mallorca, or in other countries (as he and his wife offer out of country rates too!)

Photo by Pere
Photo by Pere

Our wedding day was magical from start to finish. Gabina was the star of the show with all the decorations, the flowers, the organization. It was perfect! Our ceremony was intimate with 19 of our closest friends, along with a few relatives on zoom who could not make it. The ceremony was something out of a fairytale. Wildly beyond anything that I could have ever envisioned or created on my own. A big part of the ceremony involved Fernando playing acoustic guitar for all of our guests. He played before and during the ceremony. While I was upstairs getting ready and without anybody knowing I took time to myself gazing down from the balcony watching everybody hustle and bustle to get ready. Looking out at the mountains, and watching  my husband to be in the courtyard, I realized I was being serenaded by Fernando as his music flowed up to me through the grounds of the finca. It was made even more special when Fernando honored Don’s request to play Ripple by The Grateful Dead after the second reading. What a special gift to have during our ceremony.

Ceremony setup by Gabina from chillmeoutmallorca
Photo by Pere
Photo by Pere
Photo by Pere

Dinner was  amazing!!! K2foodandevents were our caterers and they turned paellas into a show for our guests. They cooked two paella meals including a meat and seafood paella and squid ink paella, which were a hit for everyone… not to mention, delicious! The staff and chefs were very attentive to all our guests, constantly bringing people appetizers and drinks. They also made sure that Don and I were eating and drinking through the evening as well, something I really appreciate! With all the excitement, it is true that the bride and groom forget to eat! We would highly recommend them for any event in Mallorca, not just weddings!

Photo by Pere, Decorations and setup by Gabina
Amazing paella by k2foodandevents

On to the dancing!!! If anyone knows me, I am not a big dancer. Actually, I am more of an introvert outside of my work. I do love talking to people and meeting new friends, but at night I love quiet time. Our DJ, Keeke, was awesome! We had a quick video call for about 30 minutes a few months prior to the wedding to discuss our taste in music and what we would like for the ceremony, dinner, and dancing. Don mentioned Stevie Ray Vaughn and REM, he cheered!!!  Keeke completely nailed it! We had people dancing the entire night! Something I don’t always see at weddings. It was such a fun night that EVERYBODY was dancing! We even dragged all of thek2foodandevents staff, our new family Menchu and Ima and Gabina onto the dance floor to celebrate with us. I LOVED IT! What better DJ could you ask for?!?

Dancing to Keeke's music!

As the night wound down, I was able to take in the ambiance of the finca and all the people I loved. I sat outside under the stars finishing up the night with Don, who was now my husband, and sister/brother-in-law. Feeling fully loved by everyone that joined us, as well as gaining new family with all the event staff, I could fall asleep easy knowing that we had just had the most magical wedding day. I am forever grateful for everyone and the tremendous effort they put into making our day special.

photo by Pere