It occurred to me early on that when Lucy and Ivan decided to tie the knot that the one wedding I would have loved to photograph more than any other was going to be somebody else’s pitch. They wanted to marry abroad and after several recces it was decided that the gorgeous village of Valldemossa nestled in the Serra de Tramuntana of Mallorca would be the destination. So it was to be a Valldemossa wedding and we just needed to find a church, a priest and a reception venue!
We all fell in love with the very amiable Padre Ricardo who agreed to conduct the service in English and Spanish in the beautiful Iglesia de San Bartolome in Valldemossa. The reception venue was a 15 minute amble away at the Hotel Valldemossa, perfectly positioned on a small hilltop overlooking the famous 14th century monastery, La Cartuja de Valldemossa, previously home to Frédéric Chopin and his companion George Sand. This was certainly an inspiring and romantic place for a wedding.
Lucy located Richard, a British photographer specialising in Mallorcan weddings, after trawling the internet. We met with him almost a year ago and I told him that although I was a wedding photographer too, documenting the day would be his responsibility and that I wouldn’t interfere. Little did I realise how difficult the urge to resist would be on the day!
The wedding was set for 3 pm on Saturday, 1st June. We went over a few days early to make final arrangements and as we planned to walk to and from the church through the streets, we kept a beady eye on the weather with our smartphones throughout the week. As it turned out, the weather was perfect. After a leisurely family breakfast together time seemed to accelerate as the momentum of the day picked up rather scarily. The hotel had given Lucy the magnificent Michael Douglas Suite which would be where the bridesmaids and family would collect for hair and make-up.
Richard was to be accompanied by two other photographers on the day; his partner Hannah, and Ian, who had popped over from the UK to escape the weather and who would be focusing on the video capture. They agreed to turn up at the hotel at around 1 pm to shoot the bridal preparations. But what about those precious hours beforehand? Who was going to capture those moments?
I reasoned that the father-of-the-bride could legitimately step in for a few hours until ‘the photographers’ turned up. So I did tell a little white lie when I spoke to Richard but I just couldn’t resist. I’m glad I did too! There are moments that would have been lost as the girls’ excitement mounted but those memories are now with us forever.
The bridesmaids, Lucy’s sister Abby, Ivan’s sister Alexia, and two of Lucy’s friends, Elaine and Tel took it in turns to be pampered by Virginia, the wonderful hairdresser and make-up artist, whilst myself and Meera, another of Lucy’s friends, documented those passing moments. So, for instance, there were some lovely moments when it was Tel’s turn to have her hair done and she dutifully passed Kaianne over to Lucy to hold. She looked in her element but thankfully Ivan wasn’t around to witness all those loving cuddles.
Come to think of it, wedding photographers are so privileged to share moments like this with the family and to ultimately share those moments in time with other friends and family. That’s an honour and responsibility I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I retreated to my own room after Richard, Hannah and Ian turned up. After all the frenetic activity so far it was nice to have a few moments on my own to contemplate the significance of the special day ahead. I wondered if all ‘fathers-of the bride’ do this beforehand. I gave my wedding speech the once over and reflected on how those years from holding Lucy as a 7lb 12oz baby to this day had flashed by and how much joy she had brought us. The little things you recall that stay with you throughout time enhanced even more if there’s a photo to hold on to as well.
Our Valldemossa wedding was due to start at 3pm. Given that we had a 15 minute walk to the church, I texted Lucy to tell her that I would come round to her room at 2:40. When I did pop round I was instructed to sit outside on the terrace as Lucy wasn’t quite ready. Anyway, time passed and twenty minutes later, yes, at 3 pm, Lucy was almost dressed and ready to go. She certainly wasn’t flustered and didn’t have the slightest concern about the time. I know I’m a little biased, but to say she was stunning was an understatement. She was positively radiant and so, so happy. Me, I was so, so proud.
Richard and Ian had left sometime beforehand to set themselves up at the church so off we went on our walk to the church – Lucy, accompanied by her bridesmaids, the photographer Hannah, and myself, without a camera hidden away. It was a wonderful moment, almost magical, walking through the cobbled streets with everyone clapping and cheering us on our merry way. Besides Hannah, it was the tourists, not me, who were capturing these special moments so if any of you are reading this you know where to send the photos!
As we turned the last corner we could see Ivan and his mum, Jocelyn, waiting at the back of the church so we hastily pushed Lucy back out of sight. So, as it turned out, Lucy was right and there really wasn’t any rush. Then everything started to happen – the bridesmaids had walked up the aisle and then it was just the two of us, another moment with the beautiful Lucy standing arm in arm beside me. Once again, as I had been doing throughout the day, I stopped and took my own mental photo whilst the photographers and guests clicked away and captured them digitally.
The service was beautiful and Rony B and his choir were absolutely amazing, everything from Schubert’s Ave Maria to the newlyweds exit song, Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’. It was only after we were back out in the street that my wife, Mary, handed me my trusty little Fujifilm X100 so that I could capture a few moments on the walk back to the reception. Once again, I’m so glad I did. I love the moment I captured as Ivan kissed Lucy in the street, Lucy glanced towards me with a cheeky smile and the locals were singing and clapping. It may not be an amazing photo but to me it’s precious!
Seeing a wedding from another perspective has been really enlightening. As the father-of-the-bride, I’m so grateful that there are professional wedding photographers on hand who will do their utmost to allow family and friends to relive one of the most special days of our lives. As a photographer, I’m glad I sneaked in a couple of my own photos and I realise even more that this is an amazing job!
I’ve never seen Lucy happier or more stunning. She smiled throughout the whole day. From the bottom of my heart, I wish Lucy and Ivan all the happiness in the world together.
Update: One of the fantastic surprises for me is that I have now been invited to be a Mallorca wedding photographer for other couples, and I now know exactly how the parents probably felt on the day! We even had an opportunity to photograph Kathleen and Michael’s wonderful Valldemossa wedding.
Take a look at Laura and Sam’s amazing Port de Soller wedding and Carrie-Ann and Fraser’s beautiful Capdepera wedding. We have absolutely fallen in love with Mallorca and we would love to be your Mallorca wedding photographer too!
Hair and make-up by the lovely Virginia
Flowers from Laura at Gilma Floristas
Amazing vocals by the Rony B choir
Reception at the beautiful Hotel Valldemossa
The official photographers were Richard, Hannah and Ian at Wedding Photography Mallorca
Cake supplied by Gabriela Alposta
Guitarists were the superb Muntaner Duo
DJ was Chris Boydell