Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop…
There’s no denying the increasing popularity of destination weddings, nor the recent explosion of wedding services here in Spain – why spend time worrying about the Great British Weather and crazy expenses, when you can whisk yourselves off to the glorious sunshine for a wedding to remember for all the right reasons?
We recently caught up with Lucy and Jesus in Benalmadena Pueblo, who just launched the latest addition to the Spanish wedding scene, swapping their high-paced London lifestyles for the utterly gorgeous Boutique Wedding Co…
Tell us a bit about your wedding planning service
We offer couples getting married in Spain an alternative type of bespoke wedding planning service; we don’t offer packages or try to shoe-horn our clients into an existing services, everything we create is unique to each couple. We want to help create the dream Spanish wedding day from start to finish, delighting our couples and their guests with a perfectly planned, organised wedding, executed with style, grace and taste!
What made you become wedding planners in Spain and not London for example?
We both love Spain so much and have a lot of history here. Jesus is from Cadiz and I have travelled here for the past 23 years as I previously lived in Southern Spain and Barcelona.
For us it was about launching a business in the place we love the most in the world, and the fact that Andalusia is such a perfect place for a destination wedding is just the icing on the cake! My father has lived in the white hill top village of Vejer de la Frontera for 20 years, and with Jesus’s family here, it also makes great sense from a family perspective too!
Through the Boutique Wedding Co. we are getting a chance to share our love of Andalucia with our clients, make their wedding dreams come true and take them on an adventure to one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places in Europe!
What are the main challenges couples face when trying to arrange a wedding in Spain?
There can be all kinds of challenges when organising a wedding in Spain if you are not from the area, but it will be more than worth it! The key things we hear about from exasperated couples are:
1. The first challenge is obviously the language barrier, even if a couple chooses a venue with an employee that speaks English, they may not speak enough to really understand their dreams and design objectives for their wedding day.
2. Secondly, searching for a venue in which to hold a wedding ceremony or celebration can be a real headache, because unless you know the area really well it can be hard to shortlist different locations and types of venues, and there is just never enough time to visit them all.
3. Similarly, co-ordinating with suppliers (often in Spanish) and getting everything scheduled for the correct timings is a difficult task in your own country let alone from 2,000 miles away.
4. Understanding the laws of marriage in Spain and dealing with the paperwork is a huge challenge, Spain is famous for its frustrating bureaucracy so it helps to have someone to hold your hand through this bit.
5. Finally, if you are getting married abroad then just co-ordinating your friends and family and actually getting them to the destination to celebrate your special day is a challenge in itself, even just for the time it takes to organise when you could be spending time trying on dresses and choosing colour palettes 😉
So what should couples look out for in the ideal wedding venue?
The ideal wedding venue from the perspective of The Boutique Wedding Co. should be luxurious, spacious (enough room to allow the bride and groom some privacy from the rest of the group), preferably with great views or in an extra special location.
The best venues have at least 3 distinct entertainment areas, terraces or courtyards, like the wedding photographed here that we did at Hacienda Madronal. That way, you can celebrate the different elements of your wedding day, letting it all flow with ease. In Summer, a swimming pool is a must, and ideally we need to be able to play music till at least midnight.
Being within an hour an a half of your chosen airport, as well as in being in an area with interesting things to see and do is also a bonus, but equally there are some more remote venues that are just like Paradise for weddings!
Finally, it doesn’t hurt to to have a Plan B with a roof on it if you are getting married outside of June, July, August and September, it does sometimes rain in Spain!
And if the happy couple want more than just the wedding?
Customer service and quality should be top of the list for any wedding planner, because its not only about the wedding day, its also about creating a whole wedding experience. Most of our clients come to Spain for a week or more, to fully enjoy their time away. An extended stay on the Costa gives anxious brides time to relax and prepare for their wedding day, and a little time to explore too.
Through The Luxury Villa Collection Concierge we can offer tours, trips, experiences and even arrange for sports activities, Yoga, Meditation or Pilates classes at the venue. We can also assist with all the little details from booking the wedding party’s travel and accommodation to arranging trips, tours, restaurant bookings and transfers.
Many of our luxury wedding venues have a strong ecological and foodie ethos, so we can also provide top class chefs and wedding feasts prepared from locally produced and organically grown food – some villa even have their own produce such as wine, cheese and Olive Oil.
To round up, here are some top tips for planning a destination wedding in Spain:
1: We would definitely recommend that you plan ahead, Getting married in Spain has become very popular and the best wedding venues get booked up 12 – 18 months in advance, especially in peak months like May and June.
2: Consider your guest list – the range of wedding an celebration villas on offer in Spain is as varied as the people who choose to visit, but it’s important to consider the mix of people you expect to join you – for example, will the children need to be entertained if you get married on a mountain hilltop, or will Grandad be able to afford the only 5 star hotel within a 20 mile radius of your luxury villa? Is there space for everyone to be comfortable under the same roof for a few days, or maybe there is an option to rent some cheaper apartments nearby?
3: Summer weddings in Spain get extremely hot! Coming along in full suit jackets and ties to a 3pm wedding in August might not be the best idea, and this is the reason why a lot of Spanish weddings take place later in the evening and celebrate into the night. You do need to think about guests being comfortable (and yourselves!) so it may be a good idea to let your guests off the “formal attire” hook slightly.
4: Know the legalities – make sure you do your research in advance to make sure you know all about the paperwork and legal requirements of getting married in Spain so when your big day comes around, all the boring stuff has been confidently dealt with.
5: The top tip would be would be to hire a wedding planner to manage as much or as little as you like – many wedding planners will offer flexible packages and your sanity will thank you for it later!
Find out more about The Boutique Wedding Co. at their website http://www.boutiqueweddingsinspain.com/ and if you are looking for the perfect luxury villa for your Spanish wedding, Check out our collection of wedding villas in Spain.
Have you recently got married in Spain? What was your experience like, were there any venues or suppliers you would recommend? Please leave us a comment below about your own Spanish wedding dreams and tips!
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42015 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_content] => Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop and drop break. From wonderful walks to fabulous fiestas and, yes, some of the most beautiful beaches around, we've picked out just a few of the very best things to do in Nerja. Happy exploring.
1. Laze on the BeachThere's a pretty solid chance that if you're after tips for what to do in in the vicinity of Nerja, then a beach day is going to be fairly high on your checklist. Thankfully, there are no fewer than 12 beaches to choose from in and around Nerja. Three of our favourites in town are Playa de Calahonda, Playa de Burriana and Playa El Chorrillo.
2. catch the sunset from the Balcon de EuropaAfter a long, lazy afternoon on the beach, there's only one place to head: the Balcon de Europa. Grab an ice-cream, saunter down to the end of the promenade and watch the sun slowly melt into the Mediterranean. Altogether now... WOW.
3. Be amazed by the caves of NerjaFunnily enough, the sun doesn't even shine in Nerja's biggest attraction. But that doesn't make it any less spectacular. The Caves of Nerja is a 5km complex of caverns that includes the largest stalagtite in the world, some Bronze Age remains and, it's thought, mankind's oldest artwork - which dates back some 42,000 years. Remarkable. (Carretera de Bajada a Playa de Maro, s/n, 29787 Nerja, open 0930/1000-1530.)
4. Go Snorkelling from One Cove to AnotherJust a mile or two to the east of Nerja the sparkling coves of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural park stretch away. Snorkeling, sea kayaking or paddle boarding (see below) trips set off from Playa Burriana or Playa Carabeo for you to enjoy the crystal-clear sea teeming with sea life.
5. explore the coast by paddle BoardThe beaches of Nerja itself are urban, which comes with the distinct plus side of there being plenty of bars and restaurants on hand to choose from. But running away to the east is a stunningly wild, cove-lined coast that's great for exploring via paddle board. Rental and guided tours are available from Playa Burriana and Playa de Maro.
6. get out to a nearby villageVenture from Nerja and the idyllic whitewashed mountain villages of the Axarquia are within easy reach. Competa, Maro and the lovely Frigiliana (pictured) are some of the most inviting.
7. Eat Fresh Fish Cooked on a BBQ on the BeachEspetos de sardinas - sardines skewered and cooked on a BBQ until they're deliciously tender - are a local delicacy. One of the best spots to try them in Nerja is at the far westernmost end of town in Chiringuito Mauri (Playo Playazo, 29780 Nerja). Best washed down with an icy beer or two, of course.
8. walk the rio chillarEven by southern Spanish standards Nerja is surrounded by some pretty top-notch walking. Soaring above the town are the jagged peaks of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Mountains. For something just a little less adventurous, the most famous walk around Nerja is up the Rio Chillar. You follow a beautiful, ankle-cooling river as it babbles its way down from the hills, discovering narrow ravines, waterfalls and rock pools along the way.
9. Devour Baby squid at El PulguillaOK, so you don’t have to have baby squid - although we highly recommend you do - but you definitely should grab a quick tapas and a beer/wine in this stalwart of a restaurant in Nerja. Elegant fine dining it ain't, but it is a great way to experience a typical Malaga fish restaurant. (Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 26, 29780 Nerja; 952 52 13 84)
10. View the AqueductThis 19th century aqueduct was built to supply the surrounding sugar cane factories with water. During the summer it's a sweaty 10-minute walk from the centre of Nerja, but (as you can see in the image above) it makes for a spectacular photo opportunity when you get there.
11. Pause for Thought in Ermita de las AngustiasBuilt in 1790 this church is the home of Nerja’s patron saint, Our Lady of Anguish (Plaza de la Ermita, 11, 29780 Nerja). It might not be the grandest of churches, but it is a lovely, cool little spot to catch your breath in for five minutes or so on a hot summer's afternoon.
12. Plan a Trip Around a FiestaNerja is in Andalucia. Which means, inevitably, it's a place that's serious about letting its hair down every once in a while. The five festivals that Nerja goes for in a big way are Easter, Carnival (February), San Isidro (May), Virgen del Carmen (July 16th) and the Epiphany (5th January). Nominally religious they may be, but trust us, they're also really just a good excuse to P-A-R-T-Y.
13. See Authentic FlamencoNearby Velez-Malaga has one of the most vibrant flamenco scenes in Malaga province, thanks to the efforts of local flamenco-cultural initiative, Flamenco Abierto (Flamencoabierto.com). So if you want to catch some real flamenco, as opposed to the tourist nonsense that's so often served up, the Peña Flamenca Niño de Vélez on a Friday evening is the place to head.
14. Eat at SollunBefore opening this lovely little restaurant in Nerja chef Juan Quintanilla helped put Skina in Marbella on the Michelin-starred map. As soon as you sit down, though, it's clear that Sollun is an even more personal project. If you choose to work from the short menu, the chef himself will come out of the kitchen and recommend what's particularly good that day. The tasting menu is a thing of beauty: it features a selection of dishes with a heavy local focus, each paired with a suitable wine. (Calle Pintada, 9, 29780 Nerja; 653 68 94 52) Like our pick of things to do in Nerja and looking for more recommendations on the Costa del Sol? Have a browse through a few of our favourite Marbella day trips. Alternatively, if you're after a beautiful country villa nearby, check out our Axarquia luxury villas collection, here. [post_title] => Things to Do in Nerja that You Just Can't Miss [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-in-nerja [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=42015 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 37138 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_content] => Marbella: the perfect spot for a lazy, sun-soaked break in southern Spain. But what is there to do should the pull of the pool begin to wear thin? From beautiful beaches and natural parks to dazzling white villages and grand, historic cities, there are plenty of great day trips from Marbella to keep you busy.
1. Caminito del ReyThis incredible gorge-clinging walk offers some light exercise, incredible views and is a great day out for the whole family. Tickets need to be bought beforehand - book here. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
2. RondaHead inland to the north west of Marbella and you come to a beautiful town perched on a gorge. This is Ronda. See the oldest bull ring, Moorish baths, a lovely old palace or two and, if you have time, whip round a quick wine tour. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
3. GibraltarCrossing the border from Spain to the UK at Gibraltar is certainly a novelty. This slice of Britain in Spain is interesting enough, but scratch a little deeper and there's a fascinating history to uncover, too. Don't miss the caves or the wild apes while you're on what locals fondly call 'The Rock'. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
4. AntequeraKnown as the 'Town of Churches', Antequera has more places of worship than any other town in Andalucia. The fortress at the top of the town (pictured) and cathedral are the highlights, but don’t miss the ancient dolmens on the edge of town, either. Eat at Arte de Cozina (Artedecozina.com) and you'll have a thoroughly Andalucian day out. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 10 minutes
5. Sierra de las Nieves Natural ParkWith a mix of jaw-dropping 2000-metre peaks and labyrinths of caves, this natural park near Ronda is truly spectacular. There are plenty of opportunities to go trekking, caving, 4x4 touring, mountaineering, mountain biking or horse riding. Nearby villages El Burgo, Istán, Monda, Parauta, Tolox and Yunquera are all worth a visit, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
6. Los Alcornocales Natural ParkSpanning Cadiz and Malaga provinces, Los Alcornocales is very different to the Sierra de las Nieves. Famed for its cork oak trees and humid conditions, it’s actually the rainiest place in southern Spain and so has a large network of rivers and streams. Organise a hike through this park with lunch in one of the area's pretty, remote villages. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 25 minutes
7. TangierYes, Africa is a realistic day out from Marbella! You can charter a boat and travel to Tangier in Morocco for a day. On top of the fantastic boat ride across the Mediterranean, it's wonderful for lunch and a spot of souk shopping. (Or see our trusted partner Toma & Coe's Tangier trip, here.) Distance from Marbella by car and boat: 3 hours
8. Rio GuadalminaIf you like a bit of adventure, walk the Guadalmina river and jump into rock pools, shower under waterfalls and hike through the gorgeous countryside. A guide can be arranged. Distance from Marbella by car: 25 minutes
9. CasaresThis picture-perfect whitewashed village makes for a lovely day out. Stroll about, take in the views and have a spot of traditional villagers’ lunch. A great contrast to the more sophisticated and cosmopolitan Marbella. Distance from Marbella by car: 40 minutes
10. Setenil de las bodegasA trip to Andalucia is as much about hanging out in small towns and villages as ticking off the big historic sights in cities. Setenil de las Bodegas has an incredible street where the houses are built into and under an overhanging rock face (pictured above). An utterly unique place. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 20 minutes
nearby citiesFive of Andalucia's finest cities are within easy reach of Marbella. Each has their own allure...
11. MalagaMalaga is a city with A LOT going on. With plenty of great restaurants, historic sights and art galleries to pop in and out of, there's more than enough to keep you busy all day long. (For more information on Malaga, see our guide.) Distance from Marbella by car: 55 minutes
12. GranadaIf there's one thing you have to see above and beyond all others in Andalucia, it's the Alhambra Palace. A breathtakingly romantic 12th-century Moorish palace, it’s beautiful whether you're inside, outside or looking onto it from the pretty Albayzin area of town (pictured). Make sure you buy tickets before you go. (See our guide to Granada here.) Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
13. Jerez de la FronteraA great day trip from Marbella is Jerez de la Frontera. A relativity small city, it's perfect for strolling old streets lined with handsome palaces or lingering in lovely, historic squares. Don’t miss the Spanish Riding School (Realescuela.org) or one of the Sherry bodegas for a tour and a tasting. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 50 minutes
14. CadizSouthern Spain's longest continually inhabited city, Cadiz has great beaches and a lively but laidback vibe. Visit the cathedral, eat in the market and see the city from above via the 'Camera Oscura' (Torretavira.com). Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
15. CordobaAs the Alhambra is to Granada, so the Mezquita is to Cordoba. A cathedral inside a mosque, it's a mesmerising building. There’s also a Roman Bridge, a beautiful 17th-century main square, the Plaza de la Corredera, and a network of narrow old streets to explore, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours 10 minutes So, that's our pick of the best day trips from Marbella. You can plan your day yourself or get in touch with us and we can organise it all for you. One way or the other, though - happy exploring! Alternatively, if you're looking for a beautiful villa in Marbella to rent, check out our selection. [post_title] => Perfect Day Trips from Marbella [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => marbella-day-trips [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 07:56:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 07:56:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=37138 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1