Imagine marrying the love of your life, in the evening as thunder rumbles in the distance surrounded by your loved ones. Beacuse this is exactly what WWW readers Daniel and Naomi did on Friday 13th June 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco.
The stormy weather proved really memorable for this bride and groom who hoped for a chilled and colourful destination wedding celebration. Think opulent rich colours, roses and tagines.
I adore Naomi’s stylish and unique bridal look, with a Roberto Cavalli flower print dress and tassel earrings. So special.
Thanks goes to the amazing Sally T Photography today for sharing these photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | A surprise trip to Rome in December 2012 (almost ruined by Naomi as she’d lost her passport!) and a proper down on one knee proposal at Trevi Fountain. Daniel asked me to throw a coin in the fountain and then close my eyes and make a wish. When I opened my eyes he was down on one knee! Very romantic indeed!
THE VISION | Mostly we were interested in the feel of the day. We wanted a chilled atmosphere where everyone could relax and we wanted a good party. We decided to get married in Marrakech, Morocco and we envisaged an Arabian nights type theme, with sunshine, bright colours, cushions, carpets. We wanted some thing that was a little bit different and would capture our personality and our relationship. We knew that a traditional “white wedding” was not what we were looking for.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were lucky enough to find a website which planned weddings in Marrakech, that’s how I met Dawn Boyes-Stones owner of Fawakay Villas in Marrakech, where she lives. Dawn took all the hassle out of the planning for us and once she had our specifications she set about organising viewings of various different properties in Marrakech. After 4 exhausting days looking at amazing venues, we decided that Fawakay Villas (the place where we had been staying during our visit) was exactly what we were looking for. Once the venue was decided the planning was easy. We sat down and talked to Dawn about colour schemes, theme, menu, drinks, flowers, table settings and when we were finished discussing plans over wine on a warm evening in Marrakech we knew all we had to worry about was the really fun stuff like the dress! Dawn was able to source whatever we wanted from the souks in Marrakech and provided a real bespoke service. We felt like we were receiving a tailor made wedding as opposed to a typical package that I’d worried about when planning a destination wedding. I did still want to take control of some aspects of the décor as I wanted to get involved with some DIY wedding bits. So I made men’s button holes, menus, order of service and table plans which kept me more than busy enough in the lead up to the big day.
BUDGET | We did consider ours a budget wedding but spent more than we anticipated in the end but we achieved so much more than we would have been able to in England such as putting on a roof top reception the eve before the wedding with food, a pool party with BBQ the day after the wedding and we were even able to fun some of the accommodation cost for our guests at Riyad El Cadi. Something which would not be possible in the UK. In total, with everything included we spent £12,000
THE VENUE | Fawakay Villas owned by Dawn and Francis Boyes-Stones is 20 minutes outside of Marrakech. It consists of 9 beautiful suites which were inhabited for 3 days by Daniel & I and our immediate families. The wedding took place in the grounds of the villas in the evening surrounded by rose gardens and under the starts and a full moon surrounded by twinkling lanterns and lots of wildlife. I am happy to be able to say I had peacocks, puppies, guinea foul and a donkey at my wedding!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I always thought I wanted a traditional wedding dress but after one trip to a wedding dress shop I felt that it would suit the relaxed vibe of the venue. I found my stunning Roberrto Cavalli dress on net a porter and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one! I kept my accessories simple with turquoise tassel earrings from ASOS which reminded me of Morocco and simple silver Kurt Geiger dancing shoes.
FINDING THE DRESS | The only part of getting married that I’d really imagined growing up was going wedding dress shopping with my Mum and having that “wow” moment where you find the one and you all have a cry, the reality couldn’t have been further from the truth! As a size 16 I found it hugely embarrassing to be squeezed into size 10 dresses by a stranger and the experience was a million miles from what I’d hoped for. It was after that one visit that I decided a proper wedding dress; all corseted and uncomfortable, wasn’t for me. So I tried scouring internet and it didn’t actually take long until I found my dress online. It was fate, I felt like it was made for me.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Daniel took a very laid back approach to his style and ordered his and his groomsmens outfits about 6 weeks before the wedding. Suits weren’t an option as the temperature was going to be around 40 degrees so the men wore tailored shorts, white shirt sleeved shirts and bow ties. Daniels one extravagance were his very special Vivienne Westwood shoes.
We didn’t want to run the risk of paying a random Moroccan DJ whom we’d never met as we are both particular when it comes to music so we enjoyed spending hours and hours compiling playlists for every aspect of the weekend and the day on Spotify. We don’t know if everyone enjoyed the music but you never do at weddings anyway do you and we certainly did!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 5 bridesmaids, 2 best friends, sister in law and 2 cousins. They wore silver sequinned floor length gowns with a subtle side split. The younger bridesmaid stood out a fluorescent lime dress which looked amazing against the grey. Everyone wore their own shoes and jewellery. As we had to do our own makeup on the day I hosted a bridesmaids gathering where a makeup artist came to my house before the wedding and hosted a girls night in party where we tried makeup on all night and came uptight individual looks for each bridesmaid, I would recommend anyone who’s planning their own makeup to do this as it was so much fun and we got load of tips about makeup application and products. I bought a communal makeup bag that we all used while we were getting ready with some really nice lip glosses and an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette which all the girls could use.
THE FLOWERS | We had bouquets of bright roses on long stems and the same on the tables. I wanted pinks, yellows, oranges and anything bright! I didn’t want any wishy washy colours.
THE CAKE | A delicious rich chocolate cake from a French patisserie in Marrakech. It didn’t last very long in the heat.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We found Sally Thurrel by chance online and were captivated by the relaxed and natural style of her photos.. She was an amazing addition at the wedding and felt like a friend rather than someone I’d just met. We immediately felt at ease in her presence and didn’t even notice her taking photos on the day. The memories we have been left with are more amazing than we ever expected. I will treasure them forever.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Tables were kept fresh and simple with white linen. We used individual tagine pots in bright colours as table name settings, the table centres were silver teapots and vessels sprouting brightly coloured roses. For table numbers we used pictures of Daniel and I at various stages of our lives from babies, teenage years, to our first holiday with friends and of course when we first met each other. The tables were named accordingly. Music playlists were catered for all different parts of the day, the during dinner playlist was a particular favourite of mine. My mother makes lovely silver jewellery and the bridesmaids were made custom silver bangles as a thank you. Lanterns were scattered around the grounds and added to the Moroccan feel of the day and came to life as the sun went down. After dinner sheesh a pipes were laid out for guests to enjoy during the free bar! Most people were too busy dancing to notice the fire eaters and throwers! Two cute puppies joined the party after dinner and made a vey welcome addition to all of the guests!
THE HONEYMOON | We are still to plan a proper honeymoon but we did extend our stay in Marrakech for a week and it was lovely to be able to chill out and recoup after everyone had left.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | It never rains in Marrakech in June, well that’s what we thought. As I was getting ready with my bridesmaids they tried to distract me as I heard thunder in the horizon. It had been sunny and 40 degrees all day but as soon as I left the villa to walk down the aisle the heavens opened. There were gale force winds, monsoon type rain, a lizard fell out of a tee into my hair and a huge spider freaked us all out as we ran for cover. I remember the sound of our guests laughing and running for cover as the rain came down and waiting as it poured thinking the whole evening would be ruined (there was no indoor option). Francis was an absolute saviour and bought me and the girls a bottle of wine while we waited for it to pass and soon enough there was a gap I the cloud and we made a dash for it. The memory I’ll have forever is that sound of the thunder rolling in and the dark atmospheric clouds as I walked down the aisle and Daniel and I said our vows and Francis’s face when he saw the length of my sister in laws reading and then his eyes flicked back up to the sky! Sure enough just as we were finished the ceremony, the rain came down again. Luckily it didn’t last all evening and apparently it’s lucky to have rain on your wedding day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t obsess over the details like chair covers, bows, colours etc. no one on the day cares, including you!!! All anyone cares about and will remember is spending the day with you. Also don’t worry about things going wrong which are out of your control, I was gutted at first that the rain ruined some photo opportunities and my dress but it actually added to the day and became something that everyone will remember!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Sally T Photography
Venue | Fawakay Villas
Venue | Riyad El Cadi
Dress | Roberto Cavalli
Grooms shoes | Vivienne Westwood
Make Up | Urban Decay Naked 2 palette
Thanks so much to Daniel and Naomi for sharing all about their beautiful wedding celebrations today XOXO Lou