Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2012 Posted by About me, Delightful details, Halloween in Marbella, My Inspirations 0 thoughts on “Happy Halloween!”
Everyone likes scary, spooky, ghoulish stuff on Halloween and we will be no exception this evening!
But as we also love stylish pretty things, we had to share these gorgeous pumpkin inspirations with you found on one of our current favourite blogs Heart And Handmade facebook page, if you love pretty images you really should hook up to them. 
I really wish I had seen these images before, as this would work perfectly in my own home, but now stored in the ideas file for next year!
These images via Heart and Handmade are from Chatelaine, another fabulous website I have just discovered and now will be spending even more time on the computer, sigh!
Happy trick and treating and I am hoping for chocolate 🙂

Hats Off to Google

October 31st, 2012 Posted by About me, Copying blogs, My Inspirations, My life 0 thoughts on “Hats Off to Google”
I just wanted to shout out to Google who have been amazing this week.
I was alerted to a Copycat blogger earlier this week by
This blogger was copying my blog posts as if they were their own, word for word, picture for picture.  It is always very intrusive when this happens and very disconcerting especially when they are copying personal posts about events in my life.
So much work and effort goes into creating my blog posts, which occasionally include personal references as I waffle on about my life in Spain, share inspirations, often my own designs, talk about creating our weddings and sharing our weddings, and to see this sprawled across someone else´s blog is upsetting to say the least.
Anycase this is not the first time it has happened to me and will not be the last, I have  unfortunately had previous copycats.
I must shout out though about how brilliant Google have been from the moment I was alerted to this blog by Joseba , I was shocked and swiftly reported it that same evening to Google.
 Within 24 hours I had an email from the Google Team asking me for more information so they could investigate my infringement and copyright complaint. 
I sent Google more information which was not easy as there were so many pop ups on this particular blog it shut down my computer whilst I was trying to copy the copycat links.
 But having sent the Google Team more information late last night and informed them that over 50 of my blog posts were on this blog with some examples, I received an email tonight telling me they had investigated my infringement copyright complaint, and the offending blog has now been shut down 🙂
I am thrilled and all I can say to this person is go and find something else to blog about that is your own material and stop trying to copy others, that is not what blogs are about, we care, share and love what we do.

A Beautifully Chic and Elegant Wedding in Marbella

October 29th, 2012 Posted by About Us, Caterers, Delightful details, Elegant Weddings in Spain, Styling Weddings, Stylish Weddings in Spain, Weddding Photographers in Spain, Wedding Planning service, Wedding Venues in Spain 0 thoughts on “A Beautifully Chic and Elegant Wedding in Marbella”
It has been a chilly day here in Marbella, well my version of chilly is below 20 degrees and tonight is a meagre 14 degrees, so I have taken up residence on my terrace in my cosy socks, pj´s and my hugely cuddly and warm dressing gown in which apparently I resemble a polar bear according to Twinks ?!
I love this time of year as we gather in photos from our weddings and actually have time to sit down and enjoy them, it is wonderful to be curled up looking at so many beautiful images of our gloriously hot and balmy Mediterreanean weddings we created this year.
This very chic and elegant wedding was held in June at the Finca de la Concepcion for one of our favorite clients, Niamh and Brian, who were such a delightful couple to meet and work with.
Niamh and Brian contacted us and after our initial meeting with them, we were hired as their wedding planners and stylist and had a lot of fun organising and decorating their very elegant wedding.
Niamh and Brian are a professional couple whom once they had hired us, trusted us implicity to organise all the details and translate their vision into reality as apart from flying in for the odd visit they really did not have time to devote to creating their day here and wanted to hire someone who would take over every detail and plan their day.
Which we did of course! and exceeded their expectations as we created a truly stylish and beautiful wedding day for them.
The ceremony was held at one of the lovely local churches in Elviria and after a beautiful and emotional ceremony, the guests were then transported in luxury air conditioned coaches to the Finca for a party to remember!  The Finca is one of my favourite venues and just oozes style.
Niamh had chosen a very elegant colour scheme of ivory, navy and blush with silver grey accents.
We created many beautiful details from a very magical and twinkling atmosphere with lots of our fairy lights and candles to gorgeous bridal flowers using white peonies, quicksand roses and white orchids.
The detail and attention to the five star food and catering from LePanto was outstanding, overseen of course by Carla.  The tables were dressed with polished silver cutlery and sparkling glassware, crisp white napkins decorated with silver grey satin ribbons and white orchids.
White hydrangeas, peonies and quicksand roses created elegant centrepieces surrounded with glass tealight votives.
A white and silver Moroccan chill out area was set out under the trees and our dancing shoes, aka flip flops proved yet again to be a huge hit.
The whole day and night was fabulous and went without a hitch and we love these gorgeous images from Jeremy Standley.
Here is an extract from our wonderful testimonial from Niamh and Brian, do take time to read it as the comments about trying to get the drunk friends on the bus did make us giggle!
It is strange actually I chose tonight to blog this wedding as shortly after their wedding Niamh and Brian moved to New York for Brian´s work, so we are thinking about them tonight as the storms rage over the city and hope they are safe, as well as our other lovely clients based there.

Dear Laura, Carla and Anoulka
Following Friday 15 June, we decided that, once our honeymoon was over, it would be a number one priority for us to take the time to sit down and write you an email to express our heartfelt thanks and admiration for the truly magnificent job you did with our wedding in Spain. I thank my lucky stars that I came across The Wedding Decorator blog in late 2010 … and that it then turned out that Laura was free to meet us on a sunny day in January 2011 in Arte Cafe …. That much felt like fate! From the moment we met you both, we felt very comfortable having you help plan our wedding in Spain and that feeling only increased and multiplied as time moved on and the wedding day grew closer.
Laura: your taste and vision brought our wedding to a different level. The unique style of the wedding was always very important to me, even though I struggled at times to articulate precisely what that style was, but I can honestly say it was just 100% us. The bouquets for myself, the four bridesmaids and the two flower girls were the prettiest I have ever seen, while your decoration and lighting turned Finca la Concepcion into a more magical place than we could ever have imagined: the venue was so dreamy, beautiful and very, very classy. The table plan, the place settings and the displaying of the table names in their frames were all perfect and I literally could not find a single fault or think of how any of it could have been done any better. We absolutely loved every bit of it. THANK YOU so much for all your work, interest and infectious enthusiasm – you have a true gift for style and it is inspiring to see you using that talent and being successful doing something you love.
Carla: what can we say? Both Brian and I have always been deeply impressed by, and had a lot of respect for, your professionalism, organisation, attention to detail and dedication to our wedding; but even so, we were blown away by your performance on the day itself. You were extremely discreet and observant, always there in the background, watching what was going on, looking after everything (including, at various points, my dress – which involved you doubling as a fifth bridesmaid) and our wedding would simply not have happened or worked without you. Neither of us will ever forget the stress you strove to take away from us, or the fact that you were at Finca la Concepcion until well after 4am (when you had another wedding the next day in Seville!), herding Brian’s drunk friends onto the last shuttle. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. You are simply brilliant at your job.
Anoulka: we wish that we had come to you on day one to help us with our invitations. We couldn’t have been more pleased with how you stepped in at a very late stage, recreated (and, in our opinion, improved) an existing design and produced a set of stationery of such beautiful quality and style. You were always extremely thorough and responsive and you instilled great confidence from the start. Our guests kept commenting on all the “little touches”, including the various items of stationery. Thanks also for bringing our flowers to Le Papillon the day after the wedding: we had hoped to meet you then but Nic, the manager, said you had been and gone already. It was really great to have the flowers the next day as they added to the ambience of the restaurant – so we are very appreciative that you took the time to do that.
Just to let you all know that the feedback from our guests has been exceptional. “Best wedding I have ever been at” was uttered to us numerous times throughout the night and the next day. One of Brian’s friends took it even further and told us it was the “best day of his life” (Carla – this may have been one of the guys you were trying to get on that bus ….). The overwhelming message was that people had a very unique and memorable experience – and this is down to all your work.
Reviva Weddings looks like it is deservedly going from strength to strength and I can promise you that I will actively seek out opportunities to promote your company to anyone who will listen in New York, London or Dublin! 
So, the best of luck with the rest of the summer – I hope you have a little break in July and August – and THANKS AGAIN for a job amazingly well done.
Love from,
The new Mr and Mrs Maher


An Alternative Pretty White Halloween

October 27th, 2012 Posted by About me, Delightful details, Halloween in Marbella, Halloween Parties, Halloween table settings, Table Settings, Wedding Trends for 2013 0 thoughts on “An Alternative Pretty White Halloween”

After the wonderfully staged and ghoulish Strictly came on tonight, there was much excitement eminating from Twinks, not only practising her fantastic and rather worrying Shakira dance moves but also a hugely animated excitement about Halloween.
So I finally succumbed to rummaging in my understairs cupboard and digging out our traditional spooky decorations which consist of:
 A Whittards ceramic orange pumpkin and a Whittards white ghost tealight holder
My pumpkin fairy lights and our purple and black hanging bat garland
All very tasteful of course and just enough to add a bit of spookiness to the house for the Halloween week! 
I did see some rather lovely glittery yet spooky door signs in Dunnes this week, but refrained already knowing my bill on kitting Twinks out with a basic winter wardrobe was going to be quite high!
Trying to find a real pumpkin here in Spain takes a master class in driving around all the local supermarkets hoping to spot an object that resembles something round and orange.
I suppose this will be my mission on Monday, I may strike lucky at Supersol or El Campo, if not I am considering how a carved aubergine will fair?! 
It already has a ghost shape so this is my plan b!  In fact I could perhaps start a new trend of aubergine ghosts covered with gold glitter!
Tonight I have found some rather lovely white pumpkin images, I am sure they have another name as they are part of the squash family, but living in a country where we cannot easily find an orange pumpkin the chances of being able to find a white one is non existent!
But it is always so refreshing to see and share something different.  I found the first photo on pinterest a few weeks ago and love use of the white pumpkin as a ceiling pendant, although what practical use this has I have no idea but design does not have to always be practical!
Tonight on one of my current favourite blogs, Heart Handmade UK, they are sharing a gorgeous white pumpkin Halloween post which I could not resist sharing with you.
I love the use of the Liberty fabrics and gold teacups with the mint accents, definitely a popular colour combination for 2013 weddings and very fresh and pretty and what a lovely alternative to the orange and blacks that we are being bombarded with albeit I do love it!
So here is wishing you all a wonderful and spooky week and a Happy Halloween!

Tutus and Tea

October 25th, 2012 Posted by About me, Caterers, Life in Spain, My Inspirations, My life 0 thoughts on “Tutus and Tea”
Gosh, as I type this blog post I am sitting curled cosily up on my terrace listening and watching some pretty serious rain! 
When it finally decides to rain here in Spain it really does chuck it down, hundreds of litres of the wet stuff is currently pouring out the skies along with a bit of lightening and thunder thrown in for good measure.
The weather here in Spain is never what I would describe as mild, it is either gloriously sunny or dramatically torrential rain!
Many of my clients, past and future, I have noticed are emailing me at the moment asking what I am up to and what we get up to in the winter 🙂  I thought this was rather sweet so sharing some of my ´what I get up to in the winter months with you!´
Well today the weather was grotty, and still is so it has been a day of working on wedding designs, blog and new ideas and inspirations, putting quotes together and it seems numerous cups of tea, tea first thing, tea with biscuit, tea with a chicken sandwich and tea with a cake! 
I have a dog that hates the rain so have had a day of trying to ply him out his hiding place and put him outside. I also have two cats I hate, they are a nuisance and of course with the rain they have been hanging around all day meowing and driving me insane.  However I ended up with all these animals is due to my two older daughters, pleading with me as children to get pets, now they have both left home and muggings here is left feeding and looking after them?!
Currently I am contemplating duck egg blue for my long neglected kitchen and considering making a tutu for Twinks, not sure why would just be fun! 
I have new lights and taps for the house but need to find a good handyman to put them all up, bedrooms need tidying up, reorganising and a freshen up and generally some housekeeping is going on!
We have a Halloween party planned for next week at Twinks´s school and of course now decorating the house with spooky things, so perhaps this is a good excuse to make a tutu for a Halloween party, if not it will be for Christmas fairy things! 🙂
It is a month for me of birthdays, me and my wonderful mother, friends and family visiting us, my aunt arrived last night and so far has not been blessed with the best weather Spain has to offer but nevertheless remaining cheerful!  We will see how she is on Saturday ;)!
Yesterday was spent decorating a corporate cocktail party and we are looking forward to a wedding in November so making lists and getting ready for this as well.
This evening I made a rather yummy beef curry, it seemed Mercadona had predicted the entire population would all want beef tonight and had a vast amount of it proudly displayed on their fresh meat counter so along with some very yummy Indian green chillis given to me by a lovely caterer this week, I was on a roll in the kitchen this afternoon.  It was delicious and we ate on our terrace albeit we are under cover and garden is currently waterlogged so did not venture out there!
We are currently refurbing the shop and also putting together a new very exciting spanish vintage stationery range with one of our brides from this year, updating all our products and planning marketing strategies so it is all very exciting times that we only have time for in the winter.
Many new clients are visiting us and we had 4 weddings book with us in the past week including a wedding in Girona which is very exciting as we expand across Spain 🙂  I have also noticed we are taking bookings for the entire year rather than isolated popular months which is interesting.
Life is a strange one though and you have to live it whilst you can, we had some rather tragic news today which I will not blog about as it is not appropriate at this time but life is there for today, make the most of it, I am, you never know what is around the corner x

The Business of Commissions for Wedding Planners in Spain

October 23rd, 2012 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Business of Commissions for Wedding Planners in Spain”
Ok here we go again, to stick my neck out and become hugely unpopular yet again, as I broach the sensitive subject of commissions passing from the suppliers to the planners.
No pretty images on this blog post as it is serious subject that makes me growl :)!
So having finally quietened down from our actual weddings, wedding world here in Marbella is very sociable and a lot of the suppliers involved are good friends having spent years together working on weddings.
We meet up for lunch, coffees and generally chat about the past year, what we achieved, where we can improve and of course lots of gossip!
I am still saddened to hear the stories that go on about planners literally bullying suppliers, whether it be photographers, cake makers, entertainment, etc into building in commissions into their prices in order to pay wedding planners.
This to me is completely wrong, as most of my followers will know, I stormed this subject last year and fell out with a few planners who then refused to use me for decorations, but I had already planned for this to happen, I was not stupid.
A year on we have had an amazing year of weddings without parting with any commissions, backhanders, etc so I am ready to give yet another opinion 🙂
 So you hire a planner as their fee seems reasonable, bargain in fact at 800 euros, but how do you feel if you then find out they have been paid another 800 euros by the venue, plus another 370 euro in commissions from the suppliers, bargain indeed. 
 This means the client has paid nearly 2K to this planner without even realising it.  None of this is declared to the client, the planner has made another 1200 euros on their wedding without their knowledge and had not even attended the wedding day. 
What amazed me, in this instance that I quote, is that on the actual day it was the Reviva team that oversaw the wedding and not the planner´s company.

Bargain indeed?
So where does this lead us, I had a client tell me he did not care about commissions as long as he does not know about them and as long as the planner is good, well fine, but is it not better to be transparent or charge a higher fee for the planning and not take commissions off the already disgruntled suppliers?
If the suppliers are being paid what they are worth then they are happy and will breeze into your wedding without having to worry about cutting corners and scraping back that 10 or 20%. 
If they are paying out commissions to planners, who is going to bear that cutback because believe me there is one.
Noone is about running a business here without making money and least of all your suppliers, if they are paying out 10% to a planner you can bet your bottom dollar they have reduced the quality of their service in order to accommodate this loss of profit in order to pay a planner that insists on commissions.
It is a ludicrous situation and a gripe I have had to listen to yet again from all the wonderful suppliers that make weddings here what they are. 
They are bullied, fear not getting work or being recommended and yet most savvy couples have already come across all the suppliers via the internet and already know about them. 
I am still puzzled by clients insisting on telling suppliers that so and so is their planner and recommended them, I do wonder what that client has been told, perhaps if they say a planner has recommended them they are going to get a discount, well in fact it is the opposite, they are going to have to build in a 10% at least for the planner and yet many of these clients already know about that supplier having googled them.
All it means is your supplier is going to be about 300 euros short so they will scrape this back from the service they offer you. 

They are handing over a commission, which is usually not declared by the planner, therefore no invoice can be raised and it cannot be shown on paperwork so it means a double whammy for the supplier as they are also then paying tax on the whole amount and not the amount less the commission.
I could rant and rave, but it is not this, it is merely brilliant suppliers struggling with the unfairness of the whole wedding commission thing that still exists here, albeit it is becoming less popular but never the less still popular, you pat my back and I will pat yours and relieve you of 20%?!
The suppliers are stuck with three choices.

Firstly, for those trying to get their foot in the door and perhaps not so established or have a lot of competition, they opt to pay the commissions albeit reluctantly.

Perhaps there could be an argument that it is a form of advertising which is fine if it is transparent.
Secondly you could cut back on the quality of what you are supplying to the client, perhaps the quality or amount of materials you are using, spend less time on the wedding, anything to justify the actual charge and not the full price the client is paying.
Thirdly to opt out of the commission structure and risk not being recommended or in some cases being completely blacklisted by a planner.

So is this fair to you as a client that a supplier who is perfect for your wedding is not recommended as they have taken the decision to not pay commissions. 
If you are a couple looking to get married here please ask your planner if they take commissions, most of them don´t but there are a few that do still operate this policy in order to run their businesses. If they do take commissions ask them to be transparent about them, there are a few that still deny they operate in this rather old fashioned stratch back philosophy. 
If you are told to contact a supplier whether it be a photographer, cake maker or entertainment do be honest about where you found them and not assume if you mention a planner you will get discount in fact it is normally the opposite.
I think my parting shot with this perhaps rant is that I have heard a planner is setting up a governing body for wedding planners here in Spain and yet takes commissions, so I watch this space with interest.

Destination Wedding Spain featured in Weddingbells Magazine, Canada!

October 22nd, 2012 Posted by Beach Weddings, Delightful details, Destination Weddings, Our Weddings, Wedding Planning service, Wedding Venues in Spain, Weddings in Spain 0 thoughts on “Destination Wedding Spain featured in Weddingbells Magazine, Canada!”


How time flies, I cannot believe Kelly and William´s wedding was over a year ago as they flew from Canada to Spain with their immediate family and friends for their dream destination wedding here in Marbella at the prestigious Puente Romano Hotel.
We were contacted today by Weddingbells Magazine in Canada, to let us know as well as being previously featured in their fabulous magazine, Kelly and William´s wedding is now live on Weddingbells website and we were delighted to see the actual gorgeous photos taken by Joee Wong.
To read more please do pop over to Weddingbells and our thanks to Kelly and William for trusting us and allowing us to share, plan and decorate such a special day for them.

Wedding Stationery Shiny Sponsor!

October 22nd, 2012 Posted by Delightful details, Ideas for Weddings, Shiny Sponsors, Vintage Style, Wedding Stationery 0 thoughts on “Wedding Stationery Shiny Sponsor!”
We are delighted to welcome on board our newest shiny sponsor Invites Weddings.
At Invites Weddings you can browse a huge range of wedding stationery and with so much to choose from we are certain you will find something that matches the style and theme of your wedding, from vintage to contemporary and elegant styles.
Their collections of wedding invites, cards, stationery and accessories provides everything you need from wording and personalisation along with many style choices with different papers, colours and designs.
You can order samples so you can see and feel the quality before you purchase anything and they also have an online catalogue you can browse through, the prices are also very competitive as wedding stationery can take up quite a large part of any wedding budget.
So hop over and have a look, from classic to vintage or elegant there are many styles, colours and different designs to choose from.

Mediterranean Olive Wedding Inspirations

October 19th, 2012 Posted by About me, Delightful details, My Inspirations, spanish wedding themes, Spanish Weddings, Vintage Spanish style 0 thoughts on “Mediterranean Olive Wedding Inspirations”
I love the colour olive, I am not sure why but it is a colour featured a lot in my own home mixed with whites and a very deep raspberry magenta pink, love it 🙂
I also love olive trees, I have a miniature olive tree on my terrace which is very pretty, no olives yet but patiently waiting.
I cannot say I am a huge lover of eating olives and even though I watch all my three daughters scoffing them, I am still not convinced but believe me I have tried as I live in olive country!
One of the best ways I have found to enjoy eating olives is to mash them up with garlic, a sort of olive tapenade, which is very yummy particularly if mixed with some salty anchovies.

I had a meeting today which has lead me back to the olive theme for weddings, particularly here in Spain, the land of the olives, it is a lovely theme to incorporate into a Mediterranean wedding.
Whether is it just the colour or taking it further with an olive bar, olive martinis as a signature cocktail or using the olive tree and it´s branches as decorations.


We have blogged about an olive wedding scheme before but it is always lovely to revisit ideas and take a fresh look at colours, ideas and inspirations for weddings.
Most of these gorgeous images are from the amazing Elizabeth Messina and Elizabeth Anne Design, I have just spent a good few hours on Elizabeth Messina´s blog tonight it is truly inspirational and absolutely love her work. 
Some of the other images are from our weddings where we have created olive bars and the rest were found on Pinterest so I hope by sharing this colour combo and some ideas we have inspired you.

A Few Words of Wisdom

October 18th, 2012 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “A Few Words of Wisdom”
In the light of some very sad recent events here, I think it is important to offer some wise advice to couples looking to get married abroad and what to think about when parting with large amounts of money to book suppliers and organise your wedding in another country. 
Let´s face it, it is not every day you sit down, decide you are going to get married in another country and then be expected to know all the pitfalls you will come across.
As I run this blog, not only for inspirations, but occasionally some wedding advice, I thought I would share some with you, it really is just common sense.
It is very easy to get swept away with the whole romantic notion of tying the knot abroad and often good old common sense flies out the window as the wedding whirlwind descends and organising your special day abroad takes over.
Organising a wedding abroad usually requires hiring a wedding planner located in the country to wish to host your wedding in.
So a very simple question for you to ask them.
Does your planner insist your entire wedding budget is to be paid into their account in order to book all the suppliers for you on your behalf or do they organise your payments to the suppliers directly?
If you are paying money for all the suppliers directly to the wedding planner and trusting them to pass the money on, there is only really one reason for this, that they are covering up the true supplier costs and marking up the prices. 
By paying the planner your wedding budget directly gives them the opportunity to mask the mark ups and not have to divulge any real costs to you apart from what they choose to share with you.
I will go on to tell you another story about planners operating in this way in a minute.
It is a huge risk to hand over your entire wedding budget to one person, regardless of how much you trust them.
Unless a wedding planner can set up a separate ´client account´they, as a company, have the headache of constantly justifying large amounts of money being passed through their bank accounts to the local tax authorities. 
The paperwork to operate a business in this way would be huge and take up a lot of time.
Perhaps they are not declaring accounts to the authorities, if this is the case, this sort of activity in bank accounts will be noticed and particularly here in Spain will be seized or frozen, unless it is being conducted properly.
If you are paying the suppliers directly, overseen by your planner, then you know the actual costs involved and your wedding planner will obtain individual receipts and confirmation of booking from every supplier involved. 
They will inform you when you have to pay instalments, deposits, etc and send you receipts for every payment you make directly to that supplier, whether it be the catering, venue, dj, florist or photographer. 
These past months we have heard of some awful stories emerging about misconduct and misuse of clients budgets, being told they had certain suppliers booked, whether it be a particular DJ, Hair and Make Up Artist or Cake Designer requested by the couple, the planner was apparently taking the money and finding cheaper, not so good suppliers, booking them and pocketing the difference.
The end result is a sad one with some couples showing up here recently to find nothing had been booked or organised. 
Do keep your head firmly screwed onto your shoulders when planning your wedding, ask the same questions that you would if you were in your own country.
 It is important to highlight it is only one instance here but like all these situations, it casts a horrible shadow here over wedding world just because one person got it so wrong.
The wedding industry here goes from strength to strength with many fantastic wedding planners, caterers and suppliers here all operating very professional businesses and all supporting each other and we all continue to offer clients a fabulous range of services in a beautiful sunny country, well not tonight actually as it is raining!