I’m so happy to be sharing our September wedding in Menorca with you!
Did you catch my first blog post about it sharing the evening before our wedding, and morning of? If not, head on over to catch up!
Today I’m sharing the ceremony, dinner and dancing with you. Aka, the wedding itself. Here we go . . . !
Our Menorca Wedding Day ~ Part 2
The Ceremony, Dinner and Dancing
Our Menorca Wedding Venue
Alcaufar Vell had long been mine and Oli’s dream Menorca wedding venue. We’ve been visiting this beautiful hotel for as long as we’ve been a couple.
Read: over a decade!
Its soft honey-coloured brick and traditional dark green shutters are typically Minorcan.
Inside the building you’ll find large airy rooms, decorated in sympathetic soft Mediterranean hues, and often accented with modern art.
Alcaufar Vell’s grounds are amazing too, and one of the main reasons we chose it as our wedding venue. They’re filled with palm tress, wild flowers and native olive trees.
We were so thrilled when we found out that we’d be able to get married at Alcaufar Vell!
Moreover, we loved that we could have every element of the wedding – from the ceremony, through to the dancing – in one place. Oli and I wanted there to be a harmony to our whole day; an easy flow which mimicked the way we feel whenever we’re visiting our favourite island.
Alcaufar Vell was the perfect venue for just that.
As a special welcome for our guests, we organised for a cocktail hour upon arrival from 2pm.
Since we love all things Minorcan, we opted for cava and a selection of beers and wine.
To our surprise, there was also an Aperol spritz and cocktail station set up for people’s enjoyment. And of course, plenty of Minorcan gin! We hadn’t arranged for this, but in typically Minorcan fashion, our venue went above and beyond to make the start of our day even more special.
Oli greeted our guests, along with his best men Sam and James.
From the room I was in, waiting with my parents and bridesmaids, I could hear people arriving and chatter.
Knowing that everyone was there, and enjoying themselves already, made me even more excited to join them!
At about 2.45pm everyone was invited to move to the ceremony area. And at around the same time I made my way downstairs.
The Olive Garden
As soon as we saw the olive garden at Alcaufar Vell, we knew that that’s where we wanted to exchange our vows.
The olive garden is rustic, elegant and uncomplicated. Exactly how we wanted our Menorca wedding to be.
Tucked behind the hotel, our guests walked alongside the turquoise swimming pool at Alcaufar Vell and by the wildflowers, to reach the olive garden. Can you think of a lovelier pathway?!
Here native olive trees hug the perimeter of the garden, and dot the dusty ground inside the garden too.
The trees’ branches provided welcome shade for our guests, and allowed for soft dappled mediterranean light to peep through.
Once we’d decided to get married in this special garden, olive trees became the motif which ran throughout our wedding day. From the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses, to the stationery, the flowers and more.
For Oli and I, olive trees symbolise love and peace.
(Plus Oli is Olive + ‘r’! Ha!)
Walking Down The Aisle
When the time came, I walked towards the pool area; my bridesmaids leading the way and me arm in arm with my Dad.
My sister Marietta, my maid of honour, held my veil behind me.
I remember being so excited at this point! I couldn’t wait to see Oli, and all of our friends and family celebrating with us in Menorca.
Oli and I chose Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Brooklyn Duo’s version, for me to walk down the aisle to. It’s a traditional wedding march, and as soon as the first few notes started to play it all felt very very real.
As we got to the entrance of the garden my bridesmaids went ahead of me, and I could see all of our guests either side of the aisle.
The feeling of first-seeing all of our guests, smiling and saying hello, is like a warm beam of sunshine every time I think about it.
After a slight snag (my veil got caught on a rock as soon as I started walking! Swiftly rectified by my close friends Zoë and Fera – thanks ladies!), I started to walk down the aisle towards Oli.
Oli’s back was turned to me. I knew that he was waiting until I started to walk the aisle, to turn around and see me.
It was the best feeling seeing him turn around, and locking eyes. We were both teary, and beaming with ear to ear smiles.
When I was looking into the details for getting married in Menorca, I was quickly connected with Reverand Paul Strudwick – the chaplain for the Anglican Church in Menorca.
I’ll write a separate blog post about the ins and outs of getting married in Menorca, but for our wedding day, Rev. Paul Strudwick performed a traditional wedding blessing.
Oli and I were lucky enough to attend a number of Rev. Paul Strudwick’s services ahead of our wedding. We made a point of going to every Sunday service when we were on the island, alongside separate meetings 1:1. We found that this allowed us plenty of time to get to know Paul, and his lovely congregation.
By the time our wedding day came around we felt like old friends, which made Rev. Paul’s involvement even more special.
Rev. Paul made a point of really getting to know Oli and I both, and even included quotes he’d found on my blog in our ceremony! Such a lovely touch.
Two of our great friends Ella and Fera spoke during the service too.
Ella read “I’ll Be There For You” by Louise Cuddon.
And Fera read an abbreviated version of “Marriage Joins Two People In the Circle of Its Love” by Edmund O’Neill.
Both of the readings felt so personal, and it was such a gift having two of our best friends taking part in our ceremony. The girls looked absolutely beautiful, and the photos of them both sharing these readings make my heart swell every time I see them.
Soon enough Oli and I were signing the register, alongside our lovely dads.
And then, Rev. Paul Strudwick said the words you’ve seen in a million movies: “You may now kiss”.
We really enjoyed this part, ha!
Hanson’s Mmm Bop started to play as Oli and I walked down the aisle together (SUPER fun!), as husband and wife(!!!), in front of all of our friends and family.
A moment we’ll treasure, always.
The Drinks Reception
At this point Oli and I both felt a huge sense of elation.
The ceremony was magical, and to welcome us officially as Mr & Mrs, our guests created a confetti walkway outside the front of Alcaufar Vell.
One of Oli’s best men, James, announced us! And we walked out to cheers from our guests and handfuls of natural petal confetti falling around us.
I loved this part of the wedding! I got to start greeting our guests and giving everyone huge hugs. Oli had already seen most of our friends and family, but for me it was the first chance I got to chat. It felt amazing!
It was so so wonderful to see everyone dressed up too! Since the wedding was in Menorca, and the weather was (fortunately!) amazing, everyone was wearing their summer best. So many fantastic suits, and brightly-coloured outfits. I loved it! I couldn’t stop telling everyone how beautiful and smart they looked.
This was also the time we took our family photos, and lotsss of phone photos with friends and family too!
We all enjoyed some more drinks, and Oli and I got to enjoy a glass of fizz too.
The Reception Area
When we thought about getting married at Alcaufar Vell, a big ‘moment’ for me, was the dinner. I’d dreamt of having our Menorca wedding reception under the trees at Alcaufar Vell for years.
To see it all come together . . . well, it still makes my heart skip a beat.
For the decor, we wanted to keep things classic, elegant and relaxed.
The real beauty of the evening, for us, was the spectacular natural setting.
Round tables were our preferred choice, since our guests could easily speak to one another, and move amongst the garden effortlessly.
In terms of additional decor, we added name cards, table numbers and menus. These were all printed in the same olive branch design as all of our wedding stationery from Papier. The design also matched the table plan, which helped to guide all of our guests to their seats. (Blog post about our amazing experience with Papier coming up soon!)
We added some pretty flowers to the table in mix and match vases, which coordinated with mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The gypsophila clusters which had lined the aisle, were transported and used to decorate the top table.
And finally, we strung fairy lights throughout the trees. A magical touch by our sound and lighting designer Marc of Soundwave Menorca, which finished the ‘enchanted Mediterranean garden’ feel we’d dreamt of.
One of the best bits of any wedding has to be the speeches, right?!
We had five speeches in total: my Dad, my Mama (who read a poem she’d written especially for us ❤️), Oli, and Oli’s best men Sam and James.
Needless to say, every speech was amazing. At times I shed a tear, and at others I was bent double with laughter.
From these photos, I’d say everyone felt the same!
So, so good!
The food! Ahhh the food.
We’d already served an array of canapés during our drinks reception (one of the most delicious bits, right?!).
On The Menu
Starter ~ Minorcan antipasti platter. Fresh bread and olive oil.
Main ~ Suckling pig, with potato gratin and apple or stuffed aubergine, minorcan style, with a garden salad.
Dessert ~ Lemon meringue pie.
I could eat that meal, every. Day.
So soooooo good!
For Oli and I, this part of the day felt like one big dinner party, with all of our favourite people together. Since we love to host at our own home, this was our dream scenario. But on a BIG scale, ha!
The whole dinner area was filled with conversation, laughter, shared stories and so much love. It warmed my heart to see friends who’d just met, laughing and smiling together. And family and friends who’d crossed paths at various intersections, reuniting.
There’s nothing quite like it.
Eventually, the bright sun of the day started to dim, and dusk crept across the sky. In itself, this was such a special time, since the fairy lights went on, and the true ‘evening’ portion of the wedding began.
Oli and I snuck away for some couple photos together, and spent some time with our photographer Charlotte, and videographers Sim and Nick.
The First Dance
Afterwards we headed back to the party, and enjoyed our first dance to Nick Mulvey’s Fever to the Form.
Shortly after Oli and I first got engaged, we had a trip to Newcastle lined up. We went to see Nick Mulvey live in concert, and for the first time ever I cried hearing live music. At this point I hadn’t announced our engagement on social media, so it still felt like our secret, shared only with our close friends and family. As we listened to Nick Mulvey play, in the most incredible venue – the Wylam Brewery – it felt ‘right’ that one of his songs should be our first dance. And so we went with our favourite – Fever to the Form.
Fun fact! My great friend, and bridesmaid, Kathryn, and her boyfriend Patrick, ended up giving Oli and I a framed sound wave poster of our first dance song as our wedding gift. SUCH a thoughtful present! We love it so much. Thanks guys!
After the first dance it was ALL in! Our DJ played for the remainder of the evening, and everyone was dancing and going between the balmy evening outside, and the marquee strewn with carnival lights.
We cut our cake at about 9 (I think?!), and enjoyed a simple ‘naked’ lemon sponge with lemon and lime frosting.
A Moment With Oli
Everyone will tell you that your wedding day will go by in a wink, and that it is so important to treasure every moment.
Plus, they’ll say to try and steal a moment with your bride or groom.
For Oli and I both, we totally took this advice to heart. I can say with certainty that I soaked in every moment of the wedding day. I felt totally present, and as such can remember the whole day as if it were only a few hours ago.
We did, in fact, take one moment to ourselves, and I am so so glad we did.
About an hour or so before the wedding ended, we took a slice of cake out to the front of Alcaufar Vell, where none of our guests currently were. We sat down together, and shared the cake, and chatted about how the day was going.
It couldn’t have been more than two minutes alone, but it felt like forever. When I think back on that that, amongst everything that happened, those two minutes are some of the most special we shared.
Eventually 11pm rolled round, and everyone’s coaches and taxis turned up. We hugged everyone tightly, and thanked them for being such a huge part of our wedding day.
After our last guests left, Oli and I, and our great friends Sam and Jade, and James and Georgie, who were also staying at Alcaufar Vell for the evening, ordered a few more drinks and just sat outside amongst the olive trees. Talking about the day, basking in our friendships and family love.
The best day of our lives, hands down.
Thank you for sharing mine and Oli’s Menorca wedding day with us here on the blog! I was just saying to Ols that of all the things I’m grateful for with this blog, I love that I have a record of our life together. Especially huge milestones like this, it’s so wonderful to be able to look back on it all.
Love, Monica x
P.S. A story for you!
If you’d like to read a funny little side note about our wedding, here’s a story for you!
“The weather, the eggs and the nuns.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
If you read my first blog post, you’ll know that the weather on the morning of our wedding was ‘challenging’.
Read: island storm.
A few days before our wedding, Oli and I were talking to Marc from Soundwave Menorca, who was organising our sound and lighting.
Marc, who’d got married the year prior to us in Menorca, told us that if we wanted good weather on our wedding day, Oli’s best man needed to take an offering of eggs to the nuns in Ciutadella.
The story went that Marc’s best man did exactly this, and him and his wife were blessed with beautiful weather on their wedding day!
Naturally, Oli and I were really hoping for good weather! And so, as instructed by Marc, one of Oli’s best men, James, made a special trip to see the nuns in Ciutadella.
Offer The Eggs
Marc’s instructions were to offer a box of eggs to the nuns, and to ask for good weather on mine and Oli’s wedding day. Specifying the hours too.
The task itself was very specific. James needed to head to a convent near the Ciutadella cathedral, then head to a closed hatch at the back of the convent.
After knocking on the hatch, the door slid open, and through broken spanglish James specified his request.
We have a hilarious video of James and our friends making the trip, and the nuns (who were so kind and friendly!) taking the eggs, and listening to the request.
James did exactly as he was instructed, and low and behold, we had perfect weather!
Would you like to know the spooky part?
The weather cleared up just in time for the full wedding set up.
And as the last coach with our guests left the venue (and Oli and I were sat outside enjoying a bottle of champagne with friends, also staying at the hotel), gentle drops of rain started up again.
We had the ideal weather, for the exact hours of our wedding.
It gives me chills to recount that story. And I am very very grateful to James, our friends who went with James, and the nuns! You literally made the sun shine! x
Venue: Alcaufar Vell, Menorca
Photographer: Charlotte Bryer-Ash
Sound & Lighting: Marc, from Soundwave Menorca
Wedding cake: Alba, from Misscakes & Cocktails Menorca
All Paper Elements: Papier ~ gifted (stationery blog post coming soon!)
Flowers: Es Bonsais, Menorca
Wedding Dress: Sassi Holford (blog post coming!)
Bridal Shoes: Dune London ~ gifted (again, full post coming!)
Bridal Earrings: Sassi Holford
Bride’s Bracelet: Vintage
Hair: Jade Hepenstal
Makeup: Charlotte Wood
Bridesmaid Dresses: ReWritten ‘Mykonos’ Dress in Marine (Seperate blog post coming! I love them so much!)
Bridesmaid Earrings: Claire Hill
Personalised Bridesmaid Bracelets: Monica Vinader ~ gifted