Well Hello Monday! I hope you are all fit and well and ready for the week ahead! How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything fun? Any wedding related activities? I had a lovely weekend. Dexter and I made the most of getting out and about while we are still allowed to and went out both Saturday and Sunday. We met up with friends, obviously keeping to the rule of 6, in fact both days it was only the rule of 5 as we had to leave the men at home to keep the numbers down! So on with the first wedding of the week and today’s in an absolute corker! For me it’s the flowers and decoration in this wedding that steals the show. A rather stunning Pampas grass arrangement both at the ceremony and in the reception area. It really is breathtaking, the colours are beautiful and the sheer size is amazing. Natalja and Pablo really did get married in total style, her Katya Katya gown is gorgeous and the photos by Liene Petersone are wonderful.
It was a lot of fun, a party like we had not had in a long while. It was also beautiful and very emotional, I remember feeling exhilarated, totally absorbed by the moment. That feeling of total bliss really lasted a long time.
Natalja and Pablo were married on 10th July 2019, The ceremony and reception was held in Villa Santa in Latvia. For the smaller Spanish ceremony it was held in El Cigarral de Cembranos. ‘We first decided on the country. We chose Latvia because it is my home country and we saw it as an opportunity to show many of our guests where I come from and how beautiful and green it is. It is also a bit of an unusual destination for many of our guests. I knew from the start that I wanted to have a wedding outdoors and surrounded by nature as much as possible. We were looking at two venues that could satisfy my craving for nature and Villa Santa won because of their accommodation options. All our guests had to travel to these, even my Latvian family, so it was extremely important to us that all our guests can have a comfortable overnight stay there. Quite a few of us spent there a couple of days around the wedding which made it more special and gave us more time to spend with our friends and family. We had 50 guests , we booked the venue, wedding organiser and photographer a year in advance, but the rest of planning and most of the work was done in the last 4 to 5 months.’
How they met
We met through common friends on a trip to Berlin and started dating a month later. I lived in London at the time and Pablo was in Barcelona, so for the first half a year we travelled a lot and then Pablo moved to London. We had been dating for 4 years and 1 month before the wedding.
We decided to get married beforehand. It just naturally happened on one of our evenings out when we realised that it was the perfect step forward. Afterwards it was just a matter of waiting for the ring and Pablo proposed exactly one month after our anniversary – 20th July, and we decided to keep it as our wedding date.
How did you allocate your budget?
There were things that had to be in place no matter what, so budget had to be allocated there in the first place. The priority for us was to have accommodation for all guests and also host our parents, therefore, the budget for the venue was allocated straight away and I believe we found a very good deal at Villa Santa that allowed all of us to stay there and host the ceremony and celebration in one place which ultimately was what we wanted. For the rest of the things we worked within our budget limitations and what made more sense.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Finding an experienced and trusted wedding organiser was key, so we did not save money there. We invested quite a lot in entertainment and live performances which really paid off on the day. I can not say that we splurged on photographers as Liene’s prices were very affordable in comparison to what we’ve seen across Europe, so we were happy to pay. She really excelled and hiring her was well worth it. We ended up cutting the budget on some decorations and also on the groom’s suit; instead of made-to-measure we went for Hugo Boss, in part because of the budget and in part because of time limitations as it was left for last-minute to make sure that Pablo would fit in it!
How did you choose your photographer?
I started following a lot of photographers and wedding industry professionals on Instagram and from there I had my shortlist. There are truly remarkable wedding photographers in Latvia, it is hard to choose. With Liene, actually, we were a bit lucky, our wedding organiser was the one who proposed her instead of another photographer I had chosen. I am really glad that we got to work with her and I truly believe that, on top of her professionalism, she was also a perfect character-fit for us.
My dress was from KATYA KATYA London for both occasions. I choose a fern pattern lace dress for my Latvian ceremony matched with AQUAZZURA shoes and a stunning headpiece by Evita Vilde.
The groom’s suit was from Hugo Boss and we didn’t have any bridesmaids.
Theme or colour scheme
We did not have a theme or a strict colour scheme, in fact it actually changed in the process, but we chose pampas grass as a key decor element. I was slightly concerned that it may be conflicting with the green nature, but it actually worked very well with my dress and to my surprise created a tropical, slightly eccentric vibe.
For the Latvian ceremony all our decorations and flowers were made by Valters Ozolins and Augu Maja, We went for warm colours and wanted to create a whimsical bohemian feel.
We served fresh berries and some pastries before the ceremony as a snack. For reception there was a selection of canapes and then we had a 5 course dinner including desert and sorbet in the middle. There was a cake and night table with sweet and sour light bites for late evening / night.
We had the live band Dvines playing during dinner. They did a couple of sets starting with chill and mellow tunes and going for something livelier and more danceable towards the end of the dinner. Thereafter DJ Spinga took over from them, he played our chosen music and some of the guests’ choices while we sang and danced. We also had a traditional Latvian ritual called Michoshana before midnight with live folk music and songs. That was a very spiritual moment for us as a couple and also I believe for our guests it was both a one-in-a-lifetime event and a very intimate memory from the wedding.
Who supplied the stationery?
Our invitations and stationery were designed by Oksana Solnceva.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We had a big trip planned for November that took us around the world. We spent two weeks travelling around the coast in New Zealand, then we had a relaxing cruise in French Polynesia and ended our journey by a quick stop in LA on our way back to London.
The most personal touch was a photo album with pictures from our days together. The album was a memory collection of our journey and we used it as a guest book. Our guests could post Polaroid pictures from the wedding, write their wishes and in other ways interact with the book and our photographs. It is a book that we like to go through a lot. Besides that I made a special woodcut print with our portrait which we intended to give as a gift to our family members and some extras to friends who wanted to grab it along with some other giveaway artwork made by myself. We did not anticipate how popular that print would be and we ran short of it.
The live music and atmosphere it created is something that always comes to mind, the party that we had with our friends and family, we really felt that this was our day and our night of celebration. A very special moment was the ritual Michoshana. It was deeply touching, weaving threads and connections through life moments, relationships with ourselves and our parents, a journey through growing up and becoming this grown up couple, in a way cleansing and strengthening the connection between us. We all cried, but they were tears of revelation and fulfilment.
Advice for other couples
There is no process that is the same for two couples. Everyone has their own way of seeing their wedding, the things, or feelings they envision for that day. But you still need to set a foundation of things that you want or how you want things to be. In our case we felt strongly that we wanted to be in one place with our guests and spend as much time together as possible. Even between the couple you can see things differently, so you need to set your priorities straight from the beginning, know in advance what are the things you can’t let go of and where you can compromise. Be flexible with each other and listen to what the other person has to say, at the end this is the day for both of you.
Rather than a surprise, I’ll answer with a curious moment. We had an hour to go for our photoshoot in the nearby wilderness while the guests were treated to canapes and some bubbly chatting away. We got in a car where we had a snack box prepared for us and right as we moved, very unfortunately, the snack box ended up in my lap and all berries spilled around the car seat leaving bright raspberry stains on my wedding dress. I am still fascinated by my calmness and stoicism, not panicking at that moment. I think my brother and cousin were more shocked when they saw me. They helped me clean up the dress and we magically got the stain out without a trace with help of hydrogen peroxide (I suggest having one at hand for an emergency). The moment was memorialized by a photograph and remains a funny incident. We did not have time to go for the planned photoshoot, but the surroundings were beautiful enough and it all worked out.
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