The English Basque wedding of Sara and Jamie in Bilbao – Part I
Was St. Valentine yesterday good with you? Around here it has shared so much love in way of a berezipost. As I already advanced you in the last entry of the blog, the turn to another bereziwedding of last summer has arrived this week. A wedding with an English Basque taste, in Bilbao, that I really wanted to share with you and that brings me great memories, since Sara was one of the first berezibrides to trust on me.
I still remember the day Sara wrote me, telling me that she was getting married and that she needed help with the wedding. Sara and Jamie live in Chorlton, a small town near Manchester, and they wanted to get married in Bizkaia, where the bride comes from. When they began to prepare their big day, they realized that living outside (in England) and being the wedding here (in Bilbao), it would be very good to have a person to lend a hand with all the preparations.
This wedding, held at the University of Deusto and Azurmendi Restaurant, had thousands of very well thought out details, so I’ll split the post into two parts so it will not get too long. Today I will tell you everything about the prewedding party, the look of the bride and groom, the stationery and the ceremony. Behind the camera that day, my dear Patricia with Love, who got along the couple from the very first moment and put all her love and expertise, as you will see in the photos of this post.
First of all, I would like to emphasize that the style of the wedding reminds us to the English Victorian period and that in the color palette there were “red Sara” (hihihi I say it like this, because it is the bride’s favorite color, it’s very common to see her lips in red carmine), green mint and rose quartz. In terms of decoration, we wanted to be different winks to the English and the Spanish people, but you will see this better in the following post.
Prewedding party with Basque pintxos and Txakolí
Sara and Jamie were expecting many guests from outside, both from Spain and from England, from the groom’s family and friends. It occurred to us to prepare a snack on Friday so that the couple could receive their guests, chat with them and welcome them. These solutions seem to me a great idea because when the guests have made such a long trip to get to the wedding, receiving them like this is such a detail, plus a good way to get to know each other.
Ángela González, from Micrapel Bodas (I’ll tell you about her later), designed an ideal card, hand-painted in watercolor, which the bride and groom included in the invitation envelope. Thus, everyone would know that this meeting was waiting for them on arrival.
We chose the Zuga bar, at the Plaza Nueva in Bilbao and David, who attended us with great flexibility and willingness, prepared a varied selection of pintxos that surprised both English and Spanish. To make it cuter, we placed a vichy tablecloth with a welcome sign. Also for the kids, we made some personalized boxes with sweets and jellies.
The prewedding party also served for Sara to give her witnesses the beautiful bracelets that Iratxe from Peqaré had prepared (I will also tell you about her in a few lines), and in turn, Jamie gave his best men and groom men the boutonnières.
Sara always knew that on the day of her wedding she would trust on Ángela, from Micrapel Bodas, a personal and intimate friend, to design her invitations. Micrapel is a company who offers wedding stationery and has some lovely invitations, as well as a very inspiring blog (here you can see the chronicle they made of the wedding of Sara and Jamie).
The bride and groom opted for a British aesthetic invitation with a lined envelope that had vintage dark red-lettered, the main color of the wedding. Ángela was also in charge of designing the table numbers, the seating plan cards and the menus (you can see it in the next post, when I talk about the decoration).
The preparations for the big day
Elisa Campano from Littas Beauty Builders took care of the make-up and hair of the bride. Sara decided on a natural makeup emphasizing her look and with as a special touch, the red carmine on her lips; as I said before, it is the favorite color of this berezibride, and she decided that if in her daylife it was one of her marks of identity, why should not it be on her wedding day too?ambién el día de su boda?
This bride wanted to show natural waves in her long brown hair that made highlight the amazing headdress made by Iratxe from Peqaré. A crown designed in chorales and mint greens, with silvery reflections and porcelain flowers, made with care and completely customized for Sara. Iratxe also took care of the groom’s and best-men’s boutonnières and the witnesses’ bracelets, which matched with the bride’s crown look.
Sara decided to make a custom dress and trusted on Carlota Hormaechea, “wedding dressmaker” (as she defines herself) with an experience of more than 40 years, at the head of her Atelier in Getxo (Bizkaia). Sara opted for a lace dress with puffed sleeves, a gesture to Laura Ashley’s wedding dresses from the late 80’s, early 90’s.
As jewelry, Sara wore pearl earrings from Majorica, a gift from all her friends, the engagement ring (if you look at Instagram using the hashtag of their wedding #BMSarayJamie, you will find a picture in which I tell you how special that moment was), and a bracelet of red silk thread, with two blessed replicas of the Virgin of Begoña, which the bride carries daily.
And to stand strong, the bride wore beautiful shoes from Resan, a well-known artisan store in Madrid, where they make custom-made shoes. Sara wanted them in leather and suede, in red and pink tones, a gift to be never forgotten, of her friend Miriam.
The other perfect accessories of Sara was the bouquet of roses, eucalyptus and dark red astilbe, made with all care by Rosa from Flores Elorz, who knew how to perfectly get and transform the idea of the bride.
The moments we lived at Casco Viejo, where the bride got ready, accompanied by Ingrid, one of her best friends and her beloved aunt Isabel, were very special. Sara was calm and her face could not hide that happiness; so we enjoyed those moments to make some very authentic photos in the streets of the old part of Bilbao.
The groom got ready at the Hotel Coliseo Bilbao and his best-men helped him and together they shared great moments. In England, it is a tradition for the groom to be accompanied by the best-men (not the same as the godfather here in Spain), who make up the honorary court of the groom and are responsible for accompanying and assisting him, in addition to performing a greeting speech during the toast.
Jamie was dressed in blue tones and as a complement a Paisley print scarf with orange tie, exclusive of Doherty Evans & Stott, a well-known tailor’s shop in Manchester. The handkerchief detail was also carried by his best men, matching their funny orange socks.
The ceremony at the University of Deusto
The wedding took place in the church of the University of Deusto, since Sara studied there years ago and to get married in the chapel of the University, had a great sentimental value for her. The imposing cloisters of access and the Gothic chapel of the University foretold a beautiful ceremony.
The groom arrived accompanied by his mother and his private court of best-men. The bride made a precious entrance by the hand of his father, in a Renault 4/4 in cream color, which we found thanks to David of Transociotaxi.
If there is something that Sara and Jamie have taken into account when preparing their wedding, that is music. Both appreciate good music and have a broad musical culture. For the ceremony, we rely on Ana Sagastizábal, as soprano (component of The Gasti’s) and Margarita Lorenzo de Reizábal, on the piano. Jamie arrived at the rhythm of “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis and Sara with “Woman” by John Lennon. Do not tell me that these songs do not say so much of the overwhelming personality of this berezicouple? Other songs during the ceremony were Schubert’s “Ave Maria” (an emotional moment in which I witnessed several tears among guests), Mozart’s “Dona nobis pacem” (impressive Ana’s voice) or “Canticorum iubilo” by Händel, for the exit.
So that guests could follow the ceremony better, we prepared a missal designed by Ángela, from Micrapel Bodas, drawing in watercolor the main entrance of the University of Deusto. Oh and the red ribbon that joined the missal was not by chance hihihi … Everything counts in a wedding and if we want that common thread, that palette of colors, is maintained throughout the aesthetics of the wedding, we have to think of every little detail of the big day.
Flores Elorz also took care of the flowers of the church, we asked Rosa to prepare four generous centers on white baskets we had bought, using the same flowers as the bride’s bouquet, in different shades of roses, eucalyptus, fuchsia hydrangeas, pink gerberas… A marvel of centers that made the University shined more, if possible.
On the way out, the wedding planners coordinated a minutely calculated walk among the guests so that as the bride and groom passed, the entrance was more special, among the soap bubbles. As we couldn’t throw anything inside the cloister, we also prepared wedding wands, some sticks holding ribbons in the colors of the wedding (red grana, mint green and rose quartz) that had bells, and that the guests had to shake to make noise.
Como es habitual en las bodas vascas al terminar la ceremonia, a los novios les recibió un aurresku de honor acompañado de un txistulari con tambor (el txistulari es la persona que toca el txistu, instrumento vasco similar a la flauta, y el dantzari, es la persona que hace el baile homenaje). Todo fue una sorpresa regalo de sus amigos Myriam y Eneko, que también entregaron al novio una txapela roja (típica boina vasca), con los nombres de los novios y la fecha bordada en verde y blanco, formando así los colores de la ikurriña (la bandera del País Vasco).
At this time there was held a beautiful English tradition too, the family of Jamie delivered Sara the classic horseshoe with beads, that is given to the bride at the end of the ceremony so that it is placed in its hand (maintaining the “U” form), as a symbol of good luck.
Walking along the streets of Bilbao
I think I had not told you before that another of the things that made this bereziwedding really berezi (special) was the date chosen, by chance or not (since we changed it as for availability issues), the wedding was the day that Aste Nagusia began, the main week of the holidays of Bilbao.
I finish with those photos (it’s been impossible to reduce this selection, to me they are all so nice) that capture all the naturalness of the moment of the couple, thanks to the sensitivity of Patricia. As a special anecdote, you will see that Sara and Jamie, who love to go out and enjoy good music in bars, did not hesitate to drink a few wines on their wedding day in the oldest café in Bilbao, Café Iruña.
I hope you have enjoyed this first part and as it’s happened to me too in the last posts of the bereziweddings, being so excited when remembering these moments, all the affection I have received from this berezicouple … you have not felt very tired of this post. In the next berezipost, the second part of their wedding with an end that will come from the hand of Veronica and Iñaki, from Reflejo Pilomotor, there I leave it…
Photography: Patricia with Love | Photo 6 Micrapel Bodas | Photos 21, 54, 57, 59 Berezi Moments