Destination weddings in Spain are always sunny, right? Well whilst this may be the norm in southern Spain, the country is huge and the weather varies enormously. So an October elopement in Barcelona on the northeast coast of Catalonia was always going to need an awesome Plan B – and this fairy tale elopement in the rain delivered in spades!
An international wedding team
The bride and groom had roots in Germany and Cuba but flew in from the United States where they lived.
The couple chose a French elopement specialist to plan their wedding, who in turn put together a top Italian elopement photography team to follow Katrin and Anthony, our bride and groom, throughout the day.
I was excited to be asked to be Celebrant for their English speaking ceremony and took the one and a half hour flight on the red-eye from Malaga to Barcelona to arrive early to scout out the venue.
We had all corresponded closely before the elopement, but none of us had met until the actual day – a real coming together of an international wedding team and their cosmopolitan couple!
Fairy tale elopement venue in Barcelona
The ceremony venue was Bell Reco in Argentona, about a 45 minute taxi ride outside of Barcelona city.
This summer home of the Catalonian bourgeoisie has a captivating painted exterior decorated with “polychrome sgraffito” in pink, which makes the most of the extraordinary architecture.
Local granite and exquisite carved wood dominate the sumptuous interior complemented by artistic canvases and sculptures – and the couple had the entire amazing venue and landscaped gardens all to themselves! A true fairy tale elopement venue…. however, the weather was not so agreeable.
With rain forecast throughout the day, I had my work cut out to send copious videos over to the photographers back in Barcelona city who were working on the couple’s dressing shots, as we looked at alternative locations inside and outside the venue.
But what a privilege! Aside from the housekeeper and the manager, there was not a soul around as I explored the house and grounds, sending images to the rest of the wedding crew.
Pre-boda – the first look and pre ceremony shots
An elopement day is not just about the ceremony. The couple’s preparations, their “first look” and various scene setting photos giving a taste of the area are all important when it comes to giving the folks back home a feel for the whole day.
Handsome in a modern navy suit, Anthony’s face was a picture as he saw his bride for the first time on the roof terrace of Hotel Colon Barcelona.
Katrin was ethereal in a fairy-tale full length white chiffon dress with lace detail and drop sleeves. Her perfectly fitted gown had a cross your heart neckline and full skirt with a kick train. They were met with claps and cheers as the couple took to the Barcelona streets for some photos in the shadow of the city’s iconic landmarks.
What you don’t know about Bell Reco
Bell Reco is famous in Spain as a wedding venue, but what you don’t hear about are the people who make it so special.
The housekeeper chatted with me as she made last minute touches to the inside space, a beautifully positioned floral arrangement and emotive background music, she was so incredibly proud of the place. But it was the manager (or was she a member of the owner’s family? I still don’t know for sure) who made the biggest difference to everyone’s day.
When Katrin arrived slightly nauseous from the car journey, the kind lady “manager” offered the slightly pale-faced bride some of her own homemade cookies and sandwiches from her own lunchbox! Then made a pot of tea for all of the wedding team as the bloom came back to the beautiful bride’s cheeks.
Fairy tale elopement ceremony in the rain
The light in Spain is incredibly intense all year round. But there is something about the light just after a rainstorm that is quite magical.
Fortuitously, the rain stopped just before the time designated for the actual elopement ceremony to start so it was decided to officiate the ceremony outside.
As a Celebrant, I took up my position on the classical steps before the pink mansion building and the couple made their entrance to the ceremony space together.
The wording was traditional with a welcome and declaration, a personal address to the couple and of course an exchange of rings, but it was when I slowed the ceremony right down and asked the couple to stop for a moment to take in the enormity of their surroundings before saying their own vows and promises to each other, that the overwhelming emotion kicked in and the happy tears flowed.
They had travelled a long way for this. Waited a long time. It was really happening!
Sealing their promises with a kiss (well several kisses really, it was their wedding day after all!) beneath a cloud of rose petal confetti Katrin and Anthony then sought out the many other romantic corners in the garden to add to their portfolio of images – including the unexpectedly beautiful entrance to the toilets!
Post boda photos after the elopement ceremony
Waterfalls, fountains and a decorated swing were ideal locations for additional outside photos after the wedding ceremony.
The photography team then took full advantage of the sweeping staircase and music room to take some more formal bridal photos inside.
Following Katrin and Anthony throughout their day, the team counterbalanced the classic images at Bell Reco with some more urban street shots later in the day and fun photography running through the maze at Parc del Laberint d’Hort
An unforgettable rainy Barcelona elopement where none of us would have changed a thing – it really was the stuff of fairy tales.
Thanks so much to the wonderful wedding team:
Photo team @blancorazon_wedding
Planned by @zephyretluna
Officiant @celebrantspain (me!)
Hair and makeup @nikoletamakeup