Shana Tova lovely readers! Can you believe it’s Rosh Hashanah already? Where did summer go?! What are you all doing to celebrate? Are you getting away to somewhere gorgeous?
Today’s fantastic couple did for their stunning destination Jewish wedding…in Spain! Julia, a cake decorator (though sadly, she couldn’t make her own wedding cake, given the distance!), and Brian, a restaurant manager, are obsessed with Spanish culture and cuisine, and knew they wanted an intimate destination day, so it was really a no-brainer for them to choose to wed at historic, picturesque Casa Felix.
Full of rich colors, Spanish vibes (including a traditional flamenco show.. I mean WOW!), and gorgeous views, we love how Julia and Brian let their stunning venue set the tone for their wedding aesthetic. Everything just fits together so exquisitely, from the unusual color combo on their fabulous floral chuppah (yes, purple and orange CAN go together!) to photographer Andrea Ferrara’s elegant style.
The pair credit their amazing planner, Smashing The Glass recommended vendor Reviva Weddings’ Laura, with making it all happen. They knew that between the distance and the language barrier, they’d have a tough time pulling the day together on their own. But they wanted to make sure they found someone experienced in Jewish weddings, which isn’t a given in Spain. So where did they look? Right here on Smashing The Glass! Day. Made. We ADORE hearing from couples who we’ve helped connect with awesome vendors.
Julia, who looked radiant in her gown by Spanish (so on point!) designer Calla Blanche, will fill you in on the rest…
How We Met
Julia, the bride: We met in Israel on a Birthright trip from our local Jewish organization, Ezra. We were supposed to go with two different groups on different dates. I ended up changing my date and group, and so did Brian – to the same date. It’s very hard not to believe in fate after this.
Brian is five years younger than me and I was not really ecstatic to begin a relationship with such a young guy (19). But, he was very mature for his age and I was open to give it a try. Six years later we are married. 🙂
A Destination Wedding in Spain
We had a civil ceremony in New York’s City Hall and then a religious ceremony in Casa Felix, a picturesque villa located in the Olivella region of Barcelona, Spain. We decided to do a destination wedding from the get-go and were looking at other countries as well.
When we came across this villa, it was love at first sight! That view, the old feel, gorgeous nature, such a lovely style! And a big plus was that it could accommodate almost all of our guests overnight, about 30 people. We both love Spanish culture and especially food – so there was really no competition with Spain.
A Fab Planner
As soon as we found the location, the theme fell into place. We went with the colors that brought out the Spanish vibes – our colors were fuschia, red, purple, orange, and greens. I had an inspiration board on Pinterest, which helped a lot with our design decisions. I also followed a lot of wedding blogs on Instagram, including yours :), where I got even more inspiration. After we found our location, we decided that we needed help with planning due to having the wedding located so far away and the language barrier.
We found Laura of Reviva Weddings through your website. Since we were having a Jewish wedding, we wanted someone who had experience with planning a Jewish wedding. We had a brief interview with Laura and liked her a lot. It is very scary turning over control to a third party, so we had to make sure we had someone with a great deal of experience.
She was amazing at communicating with all of our vendors for us, especially those that barely spoke English. She helped us plan not only the day of our wedding but also the welcome dinner for our guests and the red fiesta party the day before the wedding. She kept us within our budget and made sure that all vendors arrived on time. It was easy to communicate with her and she always responded to our email threads in a timely manner.
We took a very simple route with our invitations – we sent them via email. We created a wedding website on Wedding Wire with all the trip details and our story that we included in the email. We loved this method, as it was very easy to keep track of RSVPs especially since we only had 40 people at the wedding. Through it, people were also able to leave us cute notes and wishes.
A Calla Blanche Dress
I went to two other places before I found my dress at Monica’s Bridal in Brooklyn, NY. The designer is Calla Blanche, who just so happened to be from Spain. As soon as I put it on, I knew it was “the one.” I even teared up!
I did not want a puffy style, and no traditional white. I was definitely into lace and tulle. I love the off-shoulder look so I added custom lace sleeves as the dress itself is strapless. I am still obsessed with my dress and would love to wear it again!
A Budget Veil
Just a veil that I ordered on Etsy. I wanted cathedral length with a blusher. The wedding salon where I got the dress had very expensive veils. I ended up spending a fraction of the cost! I do love saving anywhere I can.
Betsy Johnson Shoes
Not really kitten heels, they’re somewhere middle height, champagne shimmer color with blue soles (my “something blue”). They are by Betsey Johnson. I mostly got them because I have the same ones in black that I love!
Hair + Makeup
I had two trials for hair and makeup. I absolutely loved Nikoleta – her makeup skills are stunning! I didn’t have any particular style in mind, just whatever looks good with my facial features. I did have hair inspiration for my hair and Barry did an amazing job. It was a soft updo with soft curls hugging the face.
The handsome groom
The groom had a custom suit made by Indochino. It had custom writing on the inside of the suit with the date of the wedding. He chose the Kingsbridge blue color for the suit and a flowery tie to go with the colorful scheme of the wedding. When I saw him, he was just perfect!
A kids-only bridal party
I did not have bridesmaids, just three flower girls and a ring bearer. Their dresses were custom made with dress inspirations I found on Pinterest. I wanted them to look like fairies with flower headbands and loose curls. Their skirts were removable with silk shorts underneath – so that they could be comfortable after the ceremony. The ring bearer had the cutest blue shorts on with the cutest bow tie – we also got him a small light blue kippa from the Barcelona synagogue major to complete the outfit.
A Bright Floral Chuppah
I had an inspiration image for the chuppah that I provided to our florist. It actually did not come out exactly like in the picture, but it was still very beautiful! It was all about the vibrant colors, which were the most important element.
A Colorful Lasercut Ketubah
My favorite parts of the ceremony were our entrances to the Cannon in D on a Spanish guitar. Brian entered from a different entrance than me.
Our ketubah is the other favorite part of the ceremony – it was made in Jerusalem by a local ketubah maker who we found on Etsy. It is laser cut with beautiful vibrant colors surrounding the text, which also matched our wedding’s color scheme. We also loved the added colorful chairs in the back row – they tied into the theme really well!
Let’s Get It Started
For the ceremony, we only chose the Canon in D for my entrance. We let our guitarist choose whatever romantic music he liked to play while people entered and took their seats. Our rabbi is a cantor, and during the ceremony he was singing traditional Jewish ceremony songs.
I love peonies! So our florist Maria from Atmosfera incorporated those into all of the flower arrangements. She was great at bringing our vision to life with the color scheme we chose.
Our Fabulous Photographer and Videographers
We looked through a long list of photographers and videographers. We chose one photographer, Andrea Ferrara; one videographer (who came with another helper), Cristina Montes of Bang Foto; and a person who does drone aerial videos, Dainius of Infinita Drones . I chose those vendors because I fell in love with their work!
Our catering was by Cal Blay – they are ah-mazing! Everyone was talking about the food for days after the wedding. The menu we got from them include the cocktail hour food stations with open bar, reception menu with dessert (not our cake), and an open bar with candy bar after the reception. They have the most creative display of food such as cheese rocks that actually look like rocks served on a tray of faux grass. Their service was impeccable and we couldn’t be happier with them!
We had our guitarist Paul Bosauder treating to with some Spanish tunes at the ceremony and cocktail hour. Later, after the reception, we had a traditional flamenco show with Paul, one female dancer, and a singer. That was really something! Since our wedding was in Spain, we had to have some traditional entertainment for our guests.
We also had a magic mirror which was a hit! And, a polaroid guestbook table for our guests to leave us wishes and snaps of themselves.
Almost all of our guests stayed at the villa for a whole week with us so, with Laura’s help, we prepared welcome bags with goodies in them on their arrival date, which was two days before the wedding day. We didn’t have favors; the only thing all our guests left with from the wedding day was the magic mirror snaps with our logo and date!
Neon sign mishap
One of the creative touches that we desperately wanted, fell through two days before the wedding. We have ordered a custom neon sign of our last name “The Gutmans” to be mounted on the wall in the disco with cascading string lights coming out of it – that was supposed to be a surprise for all our guests. Unfortunately, when the box in which the sign was delivered in was opened, the sign was broken. It was devastating! My vision for the dance area was shattered and another lesson learned. This was supposed to be the highlight, which we were meant to keep after the wedding as a keepsake.
But God works in mysterious ways, and this may have been a blessing in disguise. We are also of Ukranian descent, and in our culture, if anything breaks, it’s for good luck – so that is how we choose to view this situation. We are thinking of ordering another sign and having a small party in New York!
Our golden apples were a special addition to the decor. The story behind the apples is how Brian proposed. We have a tradition to go apple picking and pumpkin picking every fall. I chose a beautiful apple orchard (which I forget the name of, unfortunately) in upstate New York. It was the time of the season when there were barely any apples left and those that were left were all on the floor. We were walking among the beautiful picturesque apple trees and I was looking down and turning apples with my foot. And, as I have just found a perfect apple and started calling out to Brian, I turned and he got down on his knee!
A special MC
Another special element of our wedding was unexpected. We did not hire an MC to host the wedding, figuring we would not need one as we have our event planner handling the schedule. Brian’s best friend took over the role of MC and was such a hit with our guests! His personality shines and he made our wedding so much more special with his unexpected MC abilities! We could not stop laughing – it was such a joy! Almost every one of our guests made a heartwarming, touching speech that we will forever treasure. We were so honored and impressed with what we heard – it still touches our hearts when we look back and remember.
A Pre-moon in Ibiza
We did not go on a honeymoon, as this 2-week long celebration with our family and friends was kinda like a honeymoon. We did go to Ibiza, just the two of us, for three days before heading to Barcelona for our wedding. That was a really blissful time where we let go and just enjoyed the beach, nightlife and Ibiza vibes.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
The biggest advice I can give, is not to rely completely on all your vendors to remember all the things you discussed and make sure all the details are worked out ahead of time – absolutely have to go over everything one last time a couple of days before the wedding. This is important as the vendors do have multiple weddings going on on some days and they do need to be reminded of all the little details. Keep detailed information in a binder that you can refer to and go over with your vendors.
Event planners are amazing at helping you deal with all the moving parts, scheduling, liaising, and can give their advice as to how to go about dealing with certain issues that may arise – but always have detailed lists prepared on your end as well. Make sure to pay all your vendors ahead of time.
Go to sleep early to wake up fresh! Take as many pictures as possible, especially with all your guests (this is one thing I regret, not taking pictures with some guests).
Always know that things can go wrong and even if they do, don’t pay any attention and just enjoy yourself. I had a little wardrobe malfunction when my sleeve ripped during the hora, so I had to tuck them into my dress! Woops 🙂
The day goes by so fast! I made it a point to take a breath every now and then and step back to take it all in – to memorize the beauty of what we created and how gorgeous everyone looked, the view, the music, the colors, the speeches, the food, the vibes.
Julia & Brian’s little white book
Photography – Andrea Ferrara
Wedding planner – Reviva Weddings
Videography – Bang Foto and Infinita Drones
Venue – Casa Felix
Bride’s dress – Calla Blanche purchased at Monica’s Bridal
Bride’s veil – Etsy
Bride’s shoes – Betsey Johnson
Groom’s attire – Indochino
Makeup – Nikoleta
Flowers – Atmosfera
Guitarist – Paul Bosauder
Catering – Cal Blay
Ketubah – Amalya Nini