Today’s beautiful, intimate wedding is a real shining example of how you can still have the most stunning wedding with minimal impact on the environment. Opi from Open the Door Events is an eco wedding planner, based in Spain who organised this gorgeous wedding with aplomb – even when a thunderstorm threatened to stop the ceremony from being outdoors! (We also can’t get over the fact she sourced one of the musicians whilst they were busking on the street!) Heike and Christian’s day was purely magical, set in the most natural venue and we adore Heike’s boho Grace Loves Lace dress – swoon! With photography from Sttilo Photography, Heike and Christian tell us more about their day…
Heike + Christian’s Story
We met in the town we are from in Germany. We used to study together and have been together for more than 9 years. Two years ago we decided to move together to Australia (where we had been travelling before). We got engaged on a weekend trip to Tasmania. We were out early to see the sunrise at a beautiful beach at the Bay of Fires where Christian proposed.
We were looking for a place where all of our guests could stay to celebrate our wedding and enjoy a long weekend together. Hacienda La Colora was the ideal setting for that with enough accomodation for everyone, a pool, barbecue, games room, tennis court and overlooking a lake so we could even enjoy the surroundings.
The Inspiration + Theme
The idea was to keep it small, casual and informal whilst having a rustic festival picnic style wedding. Basically we wanted a laid back atmosphere with no seating plan nor timelines. We just hated the idea of a traditional wedding where you sit on a table most of the time, stuck next to the same people. There were no bridesmaids or best men, no speeches, no first dance, no cake cutting or bouquet toss.
We are living in Australia and most of our family and friends are living in Germany so it was important to spend quality time together, that’s why it was so important to find a venue with accomodation and no restrictions.
We absolutely love the outdoors and we are very active, which is why we had the idea of a picnic style wedding with hay bales and lawn games. We love going to festivals so having live music was also important to us, which is why we had acoustic music for the ceremony, cocktail and reception and a band that played later on. Colour tones, decoration and logistics was inspired by our wedding planner and stylist Opi from Open the Door Events.
Grace Loves Lace – I didn’t plan to get a wedding dress at all. A friend showed me the dress online and I fell in love straight away and booked an appointment. It was love at first sight. I had no idea a wedding dress could be so fuss free, lightweight and comfortable. I already had the shoes and I didn’t wear a veil.
The Hair + Makeup
Oui Novias – I wanted a natural fuss free do.
Cien Vinos, our caterers served local seasonal spanish food. Some was served buffet style and the rest was cooked live.
The Ethical Bit
The whole wedding took place in one place so no transport was used on the day of the wedding.
Our wedding was completely paperless. We had two wooden signs made on recycled wood by a local carpenter Opi knew. We took the signs home with us after the wedding 🙂
We didn’t want any unnecessary waste at the wedding. The money we might have spent on favours went towards entertaining our guests with lawn games such as bowls, badminton, table football, pin pong etc, good music and endless food and drink which we think they appreciated much more!
We were really glad to find Opi from Open the Door Events who is putting a lot of focus on sustainable weddings that don’t create much waste as well as working together with ethical, local suppliers. Our decorations for the wedding were more or less waste free, since the location itself was stunning and using things like rented hay bales, small potted plans etc. The only waste our wedding produced was waste that could be composted like leftover food and flowers (which we didn’t use much of).
Also as the whole wedding took place in one location, it meant we were able to keep our carbon footprint low, most of our guests used our wedding as there annual holiday.
All this would have been impossible to achieve without Opi.
We didn’t had a first dance and we can’t remember the first song that was played either haha! We confirmed the songs we liked and didn’t care about a specific order. Both bands played indie, rock, folk music and we danced the night away.
The Best Bit
The whole weekend, including the day before and after the wedding, since we stayed in the most stunning location.
It is very hard to pick one situation on the day itself. The moment we wanted to start the ceremony an unforecasted thunderstorm started. This is definitely a moment that stands out for us but not in a negative way even though it changed our plans. The main reason we chose to get married in Andalusia was for the guarantee to get married outdoors for the amazing weather. So when it started to thunder and lightening we asked Opi if we could wait and start the ceremony after the rain stopped. She sorted it so we would start the cocktail hour and music in the old olive mill (that we hadn’t planned on using) and start the cremeny as soon as the storm passed.
Two hours later the storm had passed and the heat had dried everything, the outdoor lighting had been turned on and we had the most romantic ceremony in the gardens under a sky full of stars.
Not stressing out and just living in the moment regardless of what was initially planned was quite nice. Looking back this “disruption” fitted perfectly into the wedding and made it even more unique and memorable.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
No, it was perfect, unforgettable and we would do it exactly the same second time round.
Focus on what is important for you and what you want this day to be – not what your family or friends might expect it to be, or traditions. If you don’t feel comfortable with something, don’t do it. Also don’t put too much pressure on yourself and follow rigid timelines. Most things in life don’t go to plan so your wedding day probably won’t either. The key is to adapt to the situation and keep an open and positive perspective so your experience will be of beautiful memories. We are so grateful that our wedding suppliers were flexible when the thunderstorm happened and we were able to switch the cocktail hour to before the ceremony so we could get married outside like we had always imagined. I’m sure if we had picked a more traditional venue and planner, this wouldn’t have been the case.
What an amazing wedding and such a beautiful example of how a sustainable wedding can turn out! We love the laid back and intimate atmosphere of Heike and Christian’s day and oh, that dress! Such a big thank you to Opi from Open the Door Events for sharing this wonderful eco wedding with us and to all the fantastic suppliers involved. Check them out below! For more real Ethical Bride posts click here.
Catering / Cien Vinos | Musicians / Version 2.0 + Sol Souvenir