Last month I found myself back in Ibiza for the wedding of Luke and Kate.
I'd photographed Luke's Brothers wedding a couple of years ago at Middleton Lodge, and was absolutely thrilled when Luke booked me to shoot his upcoming wedding at Amante Beach.
Ibiza is our favourite place to holiday as a family so I took this as an opportunity, not only to shoot at one the most prestigious locations in the world, but to enjoy some family time in the days after the wedding. We booked 10 nights a few miles up the coast from Amante Beach at a hotel we know well in Es Cana.
Shooting in Ibiza wasn't unfamiliar territory for me. Only a couple of years back I captured a wonderful day at Ca's Mila, Cala Tarida for Lucy and Kyle and i've worked abroad on many occasions with our photography courses business. Still, it doesn't matter how prepared you are or how many times you've done it, I was nervously excited as soon as we landed in Ibiza, a feeling that would only intensify on the day of the wedding. For our first couple of days in Es Cana, relaxing was definitely not an option (although I did try)!
I've driven in Ibiza before too, so hiring a car wasn't a problem and I rented a little Micra for a few days. The day before the wedding, I had a test run over to Amante Beach to meet with Natalia, the wedding co-ordinator, who was fantastic. We introduced ourselves and chatted about timings for the wedding day, with Natalia giving me the heads up on what to expect at an Amante wedding.
Afterwards, I headed over to Agua's De Ibiza where Luke, Kate and their families were staying. It's a beautiful 5 star resort in Santa Eulalia and a popular hotel with celebrities. I'd only been there for two minutes when former Manchester United and England captain Steve Bruce walked by! I met with Luke, Kate and their parents who were all massively excited for the forthcoming day.
So, I'd managed to get all of my kit over here in one piece, hired a little motor, figured out where I had to be and how to get there, met with all of the important people and basically prepared myself in as much detail as possible. All I had to do now was get a decent nights sleep and I'd be ready for a huge day.....
The Wedding Day
30 degrees, blue skies, bright sunshine.... a typical Ibiza day and everything you would hope for when booking a wedding on foreign shores. At Aguas De Ibiza, the girls were in fine form, the day was finally here and you could feel the anticipation in the air. Luke had created a memory book as a surprise gift for Kate, which ensured that mascara would need to be reapplied due to the tears! And the tears would continue to flow as a very proud Father of the Bride, Michael, laid eyes on his beautiful daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.
10minutes along the coast at Amante Beach, the sun was blazing down on the terrace as guests gathered to watch the ceremony with a party atmosphere brewing. Luke was in a very relaxed mood, managing to keep his cool in the strong Mediterranean heat......even with Kate being close to 30 minutes late!
With guests frantically fanning themselves down and Luke constantly peering at his watch, Kate, her Bridesmaids, Page Boy and Father finally arrived for their big moment. You could sense the relief all around, mostly due to the fact that we were all melting in the sun!
A concise and beautiful ceremony ensued, in a typical laid back style.... a perfect fit for the couple, the venue and the Island. A highlight of the ceremony happened when the Best Man managed to drop the rings just at the decisive moment, much to the delight of the laughing and heckling wedding party!
Thankfully, with the rings in the safe hands of our priest (a cool English fellow who'd be on the island for over 20 years), the ceremony continued and Luke and Kate became man and wife to rapturous applause from an emotional congregation.
The guys had a few moments to relax, catch their breaths, grab a drink and enjoy the moment before we headed to the beach for a handful of portraits. The brief from Luke and Kate was to keep it simple, nice and relaxed, not too stressful and plenty of natural photos..... exactly the way I love to work!
A highlight of every wedding I attend is the speeches, it's always a great part of the day, not only for the photographs but for all of the wonderful stories I get to hear. Kate and Luke's speeches were brilliant. Heartfelt and humorous in equal measure, yet a little embarrassing for our Groom!
In a break from tradition, food was served after the speeches and I was in for an absolute, and unexpected, treat. A beautiful three course meal was presented to me with the main event being the most beautiful fillet steak I've ever eaten (and I've had a few)! Usually I'll grab a sandwich from the bar or something, but Natalia told me that I'm at Amante Beach and I'm being looked after. I certainly wasn't going to argue.
It's amazing how quickly the night seems to draw in on the White Isle and I hadn't even started my dessert when I noticed the colours in the sky beginning to change, my cue to grab the camera and head to the beach. As the light and the temperature dropped, the evening set in and the music became louder. Amante had illuminated the Sol Den Serra cliffs with "The Wilks Wedding 2017", giving a perfect backdrop for Luke and Kate to enjoy their first dance together.
If you've read all of this I probably don't have to tell you that this wedding was absolutely epic. I loved every single minute and am so pleased to of had an opportunity to shoot at Amante. The full experience of shooting abroad is amazing and I really can't wait for the next one (Germany in August)!
But the top class venue, the sunshine, the fillet steak, the champagne, none of it really matters without the main ingredient.... wonderful people. Luke and Kate had everything you could possibly wish for in your wedding day, but moreover they are seriously blessed to have such brilliant families and friends right behind them. I know great families when I see them, because I see them all the time, every week at weddings all year round!
I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate "The Wilks" on a truly memorable occasion, and wish them a lifetime of happiness together. Your wedding day will certainly be a day that I, and many other people will never forget, not in a million years.
Congratulations and thank you for an amazing experience xx
Are you getting married abroad in 2018/2019? Drop me a message to see if I can help, I'd love to hear from you!
Venue - Amante - https://www.amanteibiza.com
Preparations - Aguas De Ibiza -http://www.aguasdeibiza.com