THREE FACTS: (1) Leah knew she wanted to convert to Judaism long before she met Zak. She feels that having a Jewish wedding is another milestone in her Jewish identity and is an opportunity for some of her family to experience new traditions. (2) Leah & Zak met on JDate (3) Leah and Zak are planning a beautiful black tie destination wedding in Barcelona, Spain
The difficulties of planning a wedding from afar
I’ll admit, wedding planning has been the furthest thing from fun for me. My family and friends live a 2.5 hour flight away, and my wedding venue is thousands of miles away, which makes planning very hard. When we chose a destination wedding, we didn’t consider that we wouldn’t have the traditional experiences.
Zak and I wouldn’t be going to taste cakes or try our wedding food, meeting with my florist wouldn’t be in person, and I would have to put a whole lot of trust in my planner, Becky of Barcelona Brides, who I had never actually met in person.
The process was becoming overwhelming for me, so I scheduled a trip to Barcelona in November to meet with my vendors and help narrow down a caterer and live music. Zak wouldn’t be able to make it as it’s the busiest time of the year for him, so I planned to go alone.
When I mentioned to one of my bridesmaids, Cristin, that I had found a cheap ticket to Barcelona, she opted to come with me. Later, I mentioned to my other bridesmaids and couldn’t believe it when they all took time off work and opted to come with me to Spain! Becky and I scheduled a full wedding planning day to cross as many items off my list including: a hair and makeup trial, two full menu tastings, a visit to the venue, and meetings with a DJ, my florist and the videographer.
Picture of my girls and I with Becky
Planning Day: let’s start with my hair and makeup trial
The morning of the trial, Becky arrived at our Airbnb for my hair and makeup trial. It was the first time we met in person but I hugged her like we had been longtime friends. My makeup trial went really well and I wore the makeup the rest of the day so that I could make sure it would hold up and photograph well. I knew when I still loved my makeup 12 hours later that I there was no need to search anymore… Erika made me feel so beautiful, I knew I wanted her to do my makeup for my wedding.
One of the looks from my trial. Erika was awesome enough to try 3 looks for me to choose from.
We drove to our first menu tasting at Gau Catering where we were greeted with glasses of Cava (who can ever say no to bubbly?). At first, I was worried that having so many people would garner many different opinions and make it harder for me to decide on food. I didn’t want to lose sight of what Zak and I would want. Ultimately, it was extremely helpful to have my best friends present to see and hear their reactions to the menu (and to help me eat the endless amounts of food).
After, we headed to the Masia Notari. It was the first time anyone besides Zak and my mom had seen the venue and I was nervous they would hate it. We met the florist and videographer at the villa and were able to discuss chuppah placement and logistics. Becky kept us moving seamlessly through appointments and helped me actualize things we had been discussing over email and WhatsApp for months.
By the time we reached our second menu tasting Sibarum Catering, Becky felt like an old friend that just so happened to be helping me plan my wedding. We all clicked so well and I realized it was the first time I felt excitement again about my wedding.
Picture of my girls and I at the tasting
Never forget how special it will be
By the end of our time in Barcelona, we were sad to leave Becky but excited for a mini weekend in Paris. I arrived in Barcelona feeling like wedding planning was becoming more of a chore than a labor of love. I left reminded how fortunate I am to have friends that came together for me when I was overwhelmed and helped me refocus on the meaning of the day to come. It’s ok to not be the girl that’s overly excited about wedding planning but don’t forget that the whole point is to have a day that’s incredibly special and unique to you and your future spouse.
Click here to read all Leah’s planning posts to date.
Leah & Zak’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Photographer – Elise McCreary
Venue – Masia Notari
Wedding planner – Barcelona Brides
Dress — Pronovias purchased at Bridal Boutique Lewisville
Videography – LoveMeDo Films
Florist – LilArt
Hair + Makeup – Erika Gisbert