11th of September 2010 I got married in Puerto Banus in Spain. We had 70 guest from Norway and Ireland (yes, the hubbie is Irish), had had one week of great fun in the sun. Well, not all guest stayed for the whole week, but everybody stayed for the weekend, so we had planned a lot of fun, food and sparkeling enjoyments. We were about 12 people who got on the same flight from Oslo airport to Malaga on the 9th of September, and the rest of you guest arrived the same day (a littlebit later or the day after).
First I can start with telling a little bit about how a Norwegian girl and an Irish boy ended up getting married in Spain, there is alwasy somebody who wonders how that happened. In Norway it is tradition to get married where the bride is from so that was kind of our though to begin with, only problem is that everything is shit expencive in this country. So either we had to cut our guest list (to cut the expences) or we could find a cheaper option. Guess what we did? Yes, cheaper option, how we ended up in Spain and Puerto Banus? No idea, it just happend. It started with a lot of research online to find a place and after a while we found a wedding planner who looked good and had several options on where we could get married and they company seemd like they were really proffecionals. We got in touch with the wedding planner, found the hotel with the chapel, paid the wedding planner, she dissapeard! Turned out the company went "bankrupt", well, that was all bull shit, we got scamed and we learned the hard way how bad things can go. Thank good for Hotel Rincon Andaluz. I called them and explained what had happened and they fixed evrything for us. Beacuse they were so proffesional and had dealt with loads of venues before, we could fix everything between us without that weddingplanenr and the stupid company. I went to the hotel only two times before we got married, everything else we fix by e-mail. The hotel acctually had people who could fix evrything from music to wedding cake to flowers. However I had another florist I used, Deseos flowers. They were so, so good, and very experienced when it came to wedding flowers. On top of that they were English so it was very easy for us to communicate with them. We had no clue what kind of flowers we wanted so we needed someone who could show us different options, I only knew I wanted only red roses. We got a fab price as well! Recomend that place to everybody! So well, on with the wedding story and the Spain trip!
When we got to Malaga we had booked rental cars so we could drive to Puerto Banus/Marbella, it takes about one hour to drive from Malaga international airport. Being miss "organize everything" (it's a disease I have) I had ordered a big car for 7 people and I have specifically said that we need luggage space as well, that's obvious, isn't it! We got the car and it had 7 seats, but only room for 2 pieces of luggage, f.....
However, we somehow managed to fit everybody and everything into the car. To bad no one took a picture of it, on the other hand, nobody could move to take a picture. But we got to the hotel, Rincon Andaluz, safe and sound, and were greeted by some friends that already had arrived. The fun can begin!!!!! So the first thing we did was going to the bar! No, just kidding, we did throw our bags into the room first, then we went to the bar. There were so many people who have never met each other befor so it was time to get to know one another a bit better.
So first some of us tried the pool bar whiles we were waiting for more guests to arrive to the hotel.
Om the pictures above are just some of the people who arrived on the same day as us, a lot more poeple arrived after these pictures was taken. But it ended up being so nice and fun that we didn't take that much pictures that day. Well, we did take some at the night club we ended up in, kind of wish we hadn't, but they are so funny. You will se them further down on the page:) But, first, some pictures of the hotel.
As I said we had a lot of fun the first day we arrived, and since we acctually had plans for everybody on that weekend we figured that that first day we would just go with the flow. We ended up partying like we were 22 years old again. Puerto Banus has a very good night life and there is plenty of bars, pub and nightclubs to go to. The best thing about Puerto Banus and the night life is that they have everything from really fancy expencive places (where all the celeberties goes), to cheap pub and half dodgy nightclubs. When you are a lot of people half dodgy nightclubs can be fun! So first we went to a very fancy well known place, News Cafe, alway packed with people so you better be there a little bit early if you want to have a table. We were there a little late but some how we managed to get a table:)
He, he, and after this it all went down hill............................. can't remember the name of the club we went to, but it was in the main bar street in Puerto Banus!
The next day it was time to greet some more of our guest, and even though I was suppose to pick up some of them at the airport I got somebody else to do that so I could just stay at the hotel and entertain the people who was already there. Hotel Rincon Andaluz is a very beautiful hotel, at least I think so. It has a lot of the typical Andalucian style and it is not one of those white, cold, trendy tall buildings. It is a very charming hotel and it is suitable for everybody, friends, families, children, young couples, older couples, big parties, small parties, you name it. One thing is for sure, you never get more fun then what you make yourself!
Pool vallyball is always fun, and we were so many people we could have more than 2 teams.
or you can just relax by the pool or the beach club..........
Or walk around town and look at all the nice yachts and cars, there are many of them. Shopping is also really great in Puerto Banus, you can find everything there. In the "back lane" you have shops like Dior, Hermes and Lacoste, just to mention a few. And in the same area, just near the water front you have Chloe, Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Luis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace and many more. If this is a little bit out of your price range you can always go the Antonio Banderas square where they have Zara and Mango and right by you have the Marina Banus shopping center with Pull and Bear, Bershka and New Yorker. Spain is also know for its several markets, and almost 7 days a week you can find a market in the Marbella/Malaga area. On Saturdays, the market is in Puerto Banus.
As I said we had some arrangements the whole weekend, and it all started on the Friday night after all our guests had arrived at the hotel.
We wanted to experience some of the local culture and cuisine in Andaluzia so we went to a small restaurant called Los Farolillos in the La Campana area, next to San Pedro and Puerto Banus, only about 10 minutes away from the hotel with a taxi. That was a very nice restaurant and the prices are very good. They have a simple menu, fish, chicken, some meat and pizza and pasta. As we were 70 people we had pre ordered everything, deffo easiest that way otherwise we would never get our food. I can't say how thankful I am for all the great service we got there, this place is not used to have that many guests seated at the same time, but they did a brilliant job. Everybody loved it and some of my family actually went back to that place a few nights later.
As you can see they had no problem to seat everybody into the restaurant, it's not that small, but it is very cost and it is located on this little uphill road. It was the perfect start for a perfect wedding weekend. However, the brid had to leave early as I was getting up early the next morning. Did not get that much sleep that night, but woke up feeling rested at 7
the next morning. Did I look rested????? Well, you be the judge of that!
Not the pretty little princess somebody want to marry.................... but we managed to fix me up a bit so I at least was presentable for my soon to be husband (after being together for 8 years I think he have seen me at my worst before this). So after fixing my hair for a few hours we needed a break. I was so luck to have my very best friend, Hanne, doing my hair and make up, she's a stylist and make up artist so I was pretty lucky with that one:) Well, we needed a break, and of course we had to have some bubbles, so the very minute my sister, Stine, aka made of honor aka photographer and her photographer friend Helen arrived at my room we enjoyed some nice bubbles out on the veranda!
Mwwwoooohahahaha....... ab fab!
Whiles I was being pampered by Hanne, Stine and Helene I had made sure I had some other friends who was in charge of checking that everything was going according to the plan. Hotl Rincon Andaluz have this gorgeous little chapel on their properties so we were going to get married there, only down side here was that we very way to many people to fit into the chapel. However, there was a solution....
You probably understand that we were very, very, pleased with everything, the place is so beautiful. Think all our guest had the same impression:) People were at the chapel quite early as well so they had time to take some pictures before the whole event started.
Heidi and Sonny. Heidi was the toastmaster for the wedding. She did a brilliant job, she is very good at stuff like that. Sonny is a Aussie and he is Liams (yeh, Liam is the husband) best friend.
The groom has arrived!!!!!!!!
From the left, Kristine, Hanne (the stylist), Nalida and Charlotte.
Liam waiting for me in the chapel.
So now it was time for the bride to arrive.........
Me and James Bond (my dad).
I was so luck to have two professional photographers at our wedding, Stine Merethe Eid and Helene Kolle, and also everybody was really good taking pictures the whole day. I also have a few pictures during the ceremony.
For the readings we had (from the left) Sonny, Mary Fenton (Liams mother), Phillip, Charlotte and Anne Cathrine. In addition to this Liams sister, Ruth, did a reading in Gaelic and Liam s aunt Kathrine did a reading of a blessing. Our ceremony was really funny, we had the best minister you can possibly imagine. He's from Scotland, but lives in Marbella, rev Andrew Hunter. Norwegian wedding ceremony can be a bit uptight and Irish is not that much better, well I don't think it is's the celebration it should be, I like it when people clap and laugh and cheer (when it is appropriate of course). However, rev. Andrew made sure that happened, and everybody seemed to love it. People were laughing and he made fun of everybody when they did not clap or cheer for us. He also made sure we had a few kisses. I think he kind of enjoyed the ceremony and the people as well, and we did invite him to stay for a while but he had another ceremony he had to get to.
In the last picture you can see some of our friends and family having a reading for us. They did so good and we are so happy that they wanted to do it. Just let me remind you that some of the people are Norwegians and they were reading in English in front of 70 other people:) It was very important for us to involve our friends and family at the wedding, so there were a few people who helped us out with readings, handing out programs, being in charge of the gifts etc.
And we are married........... now it was time for some more champagne! And of course some more pictures outside the chapel, before we started with the actual wedding pictures, the official ones.
We had to do some pictures in the shade, it was about 28-30 degrees Celsius so standing in the sun for an hour with a wedding dress and a suit was out of the question. I love the sun so I didn't mind at all, however the white Irish person was a bit uncomfortable in the suit in the sun!
In the two pictures above you have Liams closest family and my closest family.
These two are taken outside the chapel, Santa Catalina, and it is me and Liam with my sister, maid of honor and Liams' best man. We did not have any bridesmaid or groomsmen, I like the old Norwegian tradition of only one each. Have so many pictures from the whole day, think my photographers took about 1000-1500 pictures EACH! Obviously I can't put them all out. Also have to say that out of 3000 pictures only about 100 of them very actually nice. If I managed to keep my eyes open Liam closed them and vice verso.
All the above pictures are taken outside the chapel and the little square that was there. It was the perfect location for most of the official wedding pictures, however, we had to go to the beach club for some pictures there as well. Also it was time for champagne and canapes for the guests served at Pepes Beach Club! From the main hotel area we could just walk down to the private beach area, only took about 5 minutes.
Vegard, Roberto and Kjetil on their way to the beach club!
Silje and Maria at Pepes Beach Club.
This photo is so good and it is my sister Stine who took it. And no, the birds are not photo shopped into the pic.
As you see from the photos we did a little bit of climbing on the big rocks, and I am so glad our photographers (Stine and Helene) told us to do that because the pictures turned out so nice. After the little photo session at the beach we joined our guests at the beach club for some champagne and canapes. We had made sure that everybody would get plenty of food and drinks. This was meant to be a celebration so we wanted everybody to get everything for free, open buffet and bar. Let the party begin!
In 30 degrees Celsius you really can not have a 3 course dinner with a big steak or something like that, in that heat it was important for us that our guests could move around a bit and eat what they wanted. So the solution, big, big buffet! The buffet was amazing, we had been there before the wedding and tasted some of the food so we knew what we were getting. We had everything from gazpacho to fish and meat, loads of salads, tapas, bread and of course wine and beer. I think everybody found it to be a perfect solution for a great wedding dinner, as I said it was hot and many people struggle a bit to eat a lot of food in the heat. If we had the wedding in Norway or Ireland the dinner would deffo not be a buffet:)
I tell you we had the best waiter staff ever! They always made sure that everybody had something in their glasses and that the bride got some water in between as well. Got a lot of very pleased guest who really appreciated how the wine and beer was "flodding" on the tables:) Sound like we had a drunken wedding but that wasn't the case. Everybody was just very happy!
In Norway we have a really funny tradition, whenever all the guest tap their knifes on their glasses or their plates, the bride and groom have to stand up on the chair and kiss. Or if the guest stomp their feet the bride and groom have to kiss under the table. This was so funny at our wedding because all the Irish guest had never seen this before so they were in a bit of a shock wen the Norwegians started doing this. They copped on soon enough and found it quite enjoyable.
Finally at dinner there was the cake! I was very curious about the cake because I had not seen it nor told how I wanted it. Me and Liam did not really care how our cake looked like we just wanted it to taste nice, and all I asked for was that it had to be something chocolate and that we could use the figurine thing we had picked out (that was a funny one). For us who did not care to much this is okay, but if you are picky and have a specific imagination of your perfect cake, then you should never ever do anything like this. I laughed so hard when the cake came out that I'm afraid I might have insulted the person who made it. It was tacky!!!! Actually it might have worked as a cake for someone who were having a christening for a baby girl, I don't know???? I just don't like pink!
Well, after eating some of the cake I was no longer laughing at it, it was the best cake I have tasted in my life, it was so good and rich with flavor, it was made out of something like chocolate mouse and brownies or something that made it into a cake, looked like a cake, but tasted fresh and yummy like mouse. I learned my lesson, never judge a cake by it's cover!
Both me and Liam was so happy with our entire day, but there was one thing he was not looking forward to, the first dance of the bride and groom. Instead of torture him with some kind of a wales (that would go straight to hell if we were to do it....), we just danced a little bit before we asked the rest of our guests to join us. Our song was Bette Middler, The rose:) (get it.....????, with all the roses we had for our decoration).
So that was it for all the "official" wedding stuff, now it was time to party! We had a band and a DJ for the evening so the music was very good. Before the band started playing they first putted on Black Eyed Peas, I got a feeling to loosen up everybody first. It was a big success:)
After the band was finished playing we all went to "the disco" that the hotel had set up for us.
The day had been a true success for both the bride and groom and all the guest. So many people told us that it had been the best wedding they had ever been to and that means a lot for us. All we wanted for the day was for our guest to have "the time of their life" (guess it's really us that should have the time of your life's! We sure did!!!) Even though the actual wedding day was over and done with we still had plans for one more day of fun and party for all our guest. It is very common in Ireland to have a big party the day after the wedding, and of course we had to do the same. Watch out Puerto Banus, Norway and Ireland are about to enter! And this is how it started.
Nice and easy in the hotel bar. After a drink there we were going to the Irish pub, O'Grady's, in the main little bar street in Puerto Banus. All 70 guest were to meet up outside that place as we did not have any common dinner plans and loads of people wanted to try different restaurants before the pub.
Liam was presented with this t-shirt from his uncle, it was very funny but when you look at the outfit you understand how this night is going to be:)
I don't even want to think about how much money we left in the bar that night, but everybody was enjoying themselves, that's for sure!
Some of our guest stayed for a bit longer than just that weekend so after most of you guest had left, me, Liam, Heidi and Sonny went to Gibraltar. Now there is one thing that is very important if you ever go from Spain to Gibraltar, bring your passport. Gibraltar is English and Great Britain is not a part of the Schengen agreement, meaning there is a passport control to get in to Gibraltar, even if you are driving. From Puerto Banus it only took about one hour, maybe a bit less, to get there. The roads in Spain are really good and the speed limit is 120 km/h on the motorway. Almost no matter where you are going, on the whole east coast there is two roads you can choose from, A7 the road along the waterfront or AP7 which is the motorway. Also remember to have some coins with you if you go on the AP7, there are a few toll posts along the way, no matter what direction you are going. Anyway, there is a lot of monkeys in Gibraltar:)
We only spent a few hours in Gibraltar, but it was very nice just to have been there. Would I go for a two week holiday? Probably not, it is very small, however what can I say, I only stayed for a few hours. It is a nice place though and there is these lovely small, narrow streets with plenty of shops and the prices there are very nice, duty freeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Besides what I have written about here we didn't do very much other than relax and walk around Puerto Banus, we were a little bit tired after an extremely eventful weekend. And when arrived back in Norway this was waiting for us outside our door:) :) :)