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Buying My Wedding Dress in Spain

9 Nov

I never guessed I would one day be buying my wedding dress in Spain! I mean, I was never really the little girl who imagined her wedding. I didn’t get married on the playground like my sister or have a boyfriend in kindergarden. I preferred career Barbie to wedding Barbie any day!

Me...

Other little girls!

But things happen and here I am, a happily married woman! You may have noticed that I haven’t talked a lot about my weddings here– I needed a break after wedding number two! But I’m ready now, in no particular order, to share the details and pictures from both of my special days.

Let’s start with the dress. Choosing a dress here in Spain was a bit of a traumatizing experience. First, I only had 6 months to plan the Spanish wedding. Now, a wedding savvy person would know that 6 months is already cutting it dangerously close to order a wedding dress. I had no idea. I thought that when I went home to the states for Easter (about two months before the wedding) I’d have time to try on, order, and receive my dress. Looking back, I don’t know what I was thinking!

When someone finally decided to enlighten me as to the absurdity of that plan, I was a bit stressed out to say the least. Tears were shed, and I’m sure I gave Ale some second thoughts! But I moved on with my mission. Seville was full of bridal shops, but the problem was they had Sevillana prices. A Sevillana cares a lot about her appearance. Now, there is nothing wrong with this– I care a good deal about my own appearance, but I can’t justify spending money I don’t have on clothes, beauty products, hair salons, and flamenco dresses! The bridal boutiques in Seville had many lovely dresses but the ones I tried on ranged in price from 2,500€-5,000€ (I don’t even want to change the prices into USD!). As someone making 1,000€ per month (and only for the 8 month school year) they didn’t quite fit the budget!

Luckily, one of Ale’s coworkers was dating a fabulous girl who was totally in the know. She gave me the name of a bridal boutique called Higar Novias in Fuente Palmera, Cordoba where the dresses were supposedly reasonably priced and just as beautiful as any in Seville.

But I had a problem. Fuente Palmera was in the middle of absolutely nowhere and I didn’t have a car. We thought about renting one for the day, but what would Ale do while I shopped for a wedding dress alone for a few hours? Not to mention that the very idea of wedding dress shopping all by myself– no mom, no sister– made me want to cry.

Ale’s parents offered to take us. To be completely honest and risk of sounding ungrateful, I wasn’t quite thrilled about this. I didn’t know how his mother would be (a pushy, opinionated Andaluz suegra or nice, patient MIL respectful of DIL’s choices) and if she would make it a nice experience or not. Luckily it ended up being the latter! And being that at that moment I didn’t have many options, one early morning we set out for Cordoba.

Finally there, we encountered one of the strangest small Spanish towns ever. Literally in the middle of nowhere, Fuente Palmera has a large church, small plaza, and about 50 small bridal related boutiques. Its pride and joy was Higar Novias, the shop (and manufacturer) where I hoped to find my dress.

Well, after trying on 16 different options and allowing my future MIL to fix my hair one too many times, I found the one. It was absolutely nothing like what I had imagined and I think that’s what made it right– after all a Spanish wedding wasn’t something I’d ever imagined either! The designer was Manu Garcia and the price was half that of the Pronovias dresses.

So here they are, just for fun, the former contenders for my very own Say Yes to the Dress… which one do you like the best?

Option 1-- too much cleavage!

Option 2-- Pretty pretty!

Option 3-- almost walked out with this one!

Beautiful lace...

All ready to go, veil and all (5,000€ please!)

The Winner!

María Benitez Fotografía

In the Spanish Wedding

María Benitez Fotografía

And in the US too!

Bella loved the ruffles...

One last look.

Did you like my choice?

My Spanish American Weddings: Pictures From the American Wedding

10 Oct

Planning two weddings was difficult. I won’t let anyone tell you differently! But, all said and done, I wouldn’t change them for anything. Each one was special in its own way, with different vendors, themes, and guests. From the very beginning photography was extremely important to me. For our Spanish wedding I did a lot of research and ended up with a fantastic photographer based out of Cadiz, Spain. María Benitez is amazing. Anyone getting married in Spain should hire her ASAP. Watch our slideshow if you have any doubts!

Me-- A Blissful Spanish Bride!

The American wedding took a different turn as our resources grew thin. I just couldn’t fathom spending such an extravagant amount on a photographer– even more than it cost me in Spain! So I turned to Craigslist to try to find someone reasonable who could capture our special moments at a reasonable cost. When I came upon Caitlin’s advertisement I was certain it was too good to be true. Free photography all summer in order to build an aspiring wedding photographer’s portfolio? Hmm… it sounded great to me! I took a look at her website and saw that she could definitely take a good picture, so I contacted her and hoped for the best. Not only was she available, but we were soon able to meet in person and I realized that she would be just perfect. She was nice, professional, and obviously loves what she does.

Caitlin arrived to our wedding with her second photographer (and fiance!) and started shooting. I barely noticed that they were there. They stayed the whole night (far past dinner and the first dance) and ended up capturing some amazing moments. Here is the link to her blog where she shares some of her favorites from my special day. I can’t post them here yet, so please go check them out and let me know what you think!!! I can’t thank Caitlin enough for the great job she did and wish her all the best for the future. If you like her pictures leave her a comment; I’m sure it would be appreciated!

 

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