Claudia and Nick found the ultimate romantic setting for their chuppah in Villa Padierna Palace. Calling this breathtaking spot a hotel doesn’t do it justice; the place looks like a Tuscan palace that’s been airdropped in to the Costa del Sol.
Following the emotional ceremony, the pair threw an epic all-night dance party at one of Marbella’s top nightclubs, LOV Olivia Valere. Their guests were totally on board, dancing into the morning—with a break for the gorgeous sparkler-studded cake the couple arranged to have brought out at 1 a.m. to keep everyone going.
Bride Claudia said when she and Nick walked down the aisle with everyone clapping, she felt like she was at a celebrity wedding—and that’s exactly the vibe we got from this fab celebration. Claudia really did look like a movie star in her dreamy Liz Martinez gown, and photographer Barney Walters and videographer Gione Da Silva captured the day in all its glamor. Now over to the gorgeous Claudia!
How we met
Claudia, the bride: We met at university, where we both studied French and were in the same project group, but we didn’t get together until we both lived in France almost 2 years later. We visited each other a few times and finally started dating. Three days later Nick met Claudia’s entire enormous family at her 21st birthday party in Paris and he got the seal of approval! We have now been together for 6 years!
A Wedding Weekend in Marbella
We got married in Marbella, Spain. The ceremony was at Villa Padierna Palace and the party was at LOV Olivia Valere. We chose Spain for a few reasons. Both of us grew up holidaying here every year as kids (and never crossed paths!) so we have a lot of memories here. Also the majority of our guests were coming from abroad (Claudia’s family is French and we had guests coming from every continent – USA, New Zealand, Argentina, Thailand, Israel, South Africa & Europe!) so travel was always going to be a big part of the wedding! We also loved the idea of our guests being on holiday mode as we find it makes the experience more fun! We also held a welcome/henna party at a venue called TikiTano and Shabbat dinner in the garden under the stars – so it was a whole weekend of fun!
A Proper Party
White and Gold Invitations
Our invitation was very classic. White and gold with our logo embossed and a pocket at the back that held details from the various events. Yvonne Saltoun did our invitations and hand-wrote each envelope in beautiful calligraphy. She also made our menus and thank-you cards and made our logo for us!
Hair and Makeup to Last All Night
The Gorgeous Gown
My dress was from Liz Martinez, a French-Israeli wedding dress designer. I saw a picture on Instagram and immediately knew it was the one. It was so me and I fell in love with it at first sight! I got it at Angelica Bridal in Islington – they were so lovely and helpful and made the experience so easy! I also found matching bridesmaids dresses for all my bridesmaids (we only had kids, no adults, so a total of 12 bridesmaids and pageboys!).
A Simple Hairstyle
My hair was very simple as I wanted all the detail to be in the dress!
The handsome groom
Nick looked very dapper in his Prada suit! It was a blue-grey (blue in some lights and grey in others) and very in line with our “summer chic” dress code! He wore Gucci shoes and a Prada tie and also had his curly locks tamed by Louise Hill, the hairdresser!
The bridesmaids and pageboys looked adorable! We had 12 – the girls had dresses that were almost mini versions of my dress, and the boys wore waistcoats and shorts! They were all tasked with throwing rose petals as they walked down the aisle – as well as keeping them entertained, it was also extremely cute to watch!
A Fairy Tale Floral Chuppah
We scoured pictures from Smashing The Glass, Pinterest, Google, etc. for months and knew we wanted something that was quite green but also with some hydrangeas and roses (my favorite flowers). Pedro Navarro had to source our dusty pink roses from Valencia, and we flew out to Spain one weekend to check that the color was right. He did an incredible job of creating a fairy tale with the flowers and petals.
An Emotional Ceremony
Music from all over the world
Our first dance and the song for Claudia walking down the aisle was A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Nick walked down to an Israeli song by Shwekey and the rest of the family/procession and bridesmaids/page boys came down to Hallelujah. All the songs were played by our musicians on the violin and piano and sung over in Hebrew by Chazan Yossi.
Our band, Groupe Love, came from Paris, and they truly made the entire party. They played music from all over the world and switched between five languages seamlessly. So many people commented on how amazing they were. They kept everyone dancing the entire night. They had a violinist and saxophonist who played the tables and also at the reception. They played songs to get everyone on the dance floor for our entrance, which was done to their remix of Bomboleo by Gipsy Kings. They then played three party songs to warm up the atmosphere even more before starting in on the Israeli dancing. Nobody ate until midnight but nobody cared as we were too busy dancing! We recommended some songs we liked to Groupe Love but told them to take the reigns, and we were so glad we did. They knew exactly what songs to play to get the crowd going!
Flowers for Days
Pedro Navarro did our flowers for the ceremony. He made me a bouquet of roses and peonies based on a picture I had shown him. Karen Valere organized our flowers for the party. She had an array of trees with hanging candles, hydrangea and rose arrangements, and more. Both florists did the most amazing job!
Our fabulous photographer…
Barney Walters was our photographer and he was amazing! He was recommended to us by a friend because he lives half the year in Marbella and half the year in London. He was so much more than a wedding photographer; he went to every effort to get to know our family and friends on the Thursday and Friday evening and captured the entire weekend. He also organized a pre-wedding shoot with us when we were in Marbella in May before the wedding and really went above and beyond. He transported things for us from London to Spain, had some amazing creative ideas (like the sparkler photo, which you’ll see), and was an absolute pleasure to have around. He fit in so well that people thought he was part of the atmosphere and didn’t even realise he was taking photos.
An Epic Seven-Tier Cake
The cake was amazing! Not only the beautiful design, which matched my dress with little butterflies, but Omaya Bellavoine at Cake Couture Marbella organised for us to have a 7-tier cake delivered to the dance floor at 1am mid-party. It was an event in itself. Lov Olivia Valere had arranged for us to have sparklers and an amazing song for the cake to be brought in to. When we cut into the cake it was bright pink inside – raspberry and white chocolate flavor – and it tasted amazing as well as looking epic!
Groupe Love, our band, truly made the entire night. We had a trickle of rain at about 1am on the dance floor, which felt almost like it was organized as everyone was so hot from dancing. Everyone embraced the rain as it fell, and Groupe Love put a cover over their dj set and continued playing like normal – this was one of the best parts of the night, and everyone danced even more!
A Rainy Wedding Morning
Naturally the morning of the wedding, it was pouring rain. One of the main reasons for marrying abroad was the weather, as all of our events were outside and there was NO plan B! So the rain led to some very stressful moments. When the sun came out at 3pm, everything soon dried up and was normal again! This actually added to the specialness of the day, just as it did when it trickled in the evening.
Advice to couples currently planning their own wedding
- Never rely on the weather being good abroad. Even though we were lucky in the end, it would’ve been good to have a plan B just in case, even if it was just to settle nerves.
- If you can, try and have multiple events. It makes the celebration go on for longer and means that you can spend time with all of your guests beforehand, so by the time the wedding comes around you can really enjoy the party because there are no more “hi how are you’s” to do.
- Enjoy every minute, because when it’s finished that’s it!
- My mum was amazing; she did everything. I would highly recommend delegating as much as you can to your mother or a wedding planner.
Claudia & Nick’s little white book
Wedding planners – Poppin’s Dream
Venues – Villa Padierna and LOV Olivia Valere