At Swish we are a bunch of old romantics- we just love a good wedding, especially a Marbella wedding!
If you are curious about holding your wedding in Marbella but not sure where to start, read on.
Here is our comprehensive guide to planning and more importantly, surviving your wedding in Marbella.
It takes a lot of preparation to look this effortless!
Where to Start: Are you Wedded to Marbella?
Thinking of a destination wedding? Before starting your nuptial preparations, first you need to be set on the location.
Planning a wedding abroad means more logistics and can mean less control for the couple over the specifics. You may have to put more trust in your wedding planner than if your wedding was in your home-town. Can you handle not checking every single aspect yourself if you’re not here locally? You’ll also need to think about how you will ensure those who matter can attend from abroad or other regions too. Will they all be able to fly?
As well as the practical elements mentioned above, are you really happy with the location of Marbella for your wedding? Those charming sunsets and blue skies tend to swing it for many, but are you aware of the nuances of the climate over the year? Did you know there is more chance of rain in Spring for example, or that if you go for a summer wedding you and your guests are likely to be sweltering in temperatures in excess of 30 degrees? Have you spent time here and do you really, really like the place?
(If the answer is no, then come and stay for a week and get a feel for Marbella and its surrounding areas. We never like to be over-confident, but we know we can change your mind!)
Why Marbella Weddings are (Always) a Good Idea
If Marbella is a place you love, we have good news for you. There are so many reasons to get married in Marbella that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. In fact, it’s worth falling in love just for the possibility of walking down the aisle here. (Pick wisely though, you’ll be together forever!).
Marbella is an attractive and easily accessible area, with Malaga airport just down the road. The resort is already extremely welcoming to international tourists with a bustling and established wedding industry ready to help you. (Just Google “wedding planner Marbella” and you will see scores of experienced companies looking to provide their services.) The luxury beach clubs, villas and hotels here give you plenty of out-of-this world venues to choose from and the resort itself offers plenty to do and explore before and after the big day, from golf to spas to beach time.
Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Spain
As deliciously inviting and paradisical as Spain is, there is just one little catch you should know about before you get married here: Paperwork. A good wedding planner will help you with this but those wishing to conduct a civil ceremony here need to submit their papers well in advance, and one of the couple must be resident in Spain for at least two years to be accepted. This is nothing to worry about however, as there are alternative options. You may wish to consider having your civil ceremony at home and a symbolic ceremony here in Spain. Read more about legal requirements for getting married in Spain here.
There are different types of ceremony of course too. Spain is a Catholic country and the rules are actually more lenient for Catholic weddings than the state weddings. Some prefer an elopement to a wedding, which is a more intimate affair and which can be more cost effective.
Same Sex Marriages in Marbella
Same sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005 and there are plenty of LBGT couple weddings in Marbella. Photographer David Biasis specailises in taking high quality, stylish photography for same sex couples in the area.
Same Sex Weddings have been legal in Spain since 2005
Insider’s Tips: How to Plan your Wedding in Marbella by Wendy Sherwood, Wedding Celebrant
Wendy Sherwood, Wedding Celebrant
We spoke to Wendy Sherwood, a wedding celebrant based on the coast. Having experienced hundreds of weddings over the years here in the area, Wendy shared her advice with us;
- Find your venue first and then plan and style your wedding around that. It’s easier to style your wedding around the venue than the venue around the wedding!
- The whole of the Malaga region gets very hot in the summer so I always advise my couples to get married in the evening at around 7.00 pm, an early afternoon wedding in the sun is just too hot. Always ensure you have some shade for your guests.
- Have an unplugged wedding. You want your guests to enjoy being in the moment with you, not seeing it through the lens of a phone.Factor in a time for guests to take their photos.
Where to Get Married in Marbella
So if you are madly, deeply in love with Marbella, now you just need to choose a venue…
Wedding Locations are plentiful in the area given that it has some of the most stunning sunsets, sea views and luxury hotels on the coast. Our recommendation is to work with a good wedding planner to start looking at options well in advance. If you are going to a popular wedding venue, look for online reviews from other couples who have got married there and try to think with your head as well as your heart.
Here are 5 things to consider when searching for a wedding venue in Marbella as well as just the look and feel:
- Are the staff friendly and welcoming?
- Is there parking or is it easy to get to?
- Will there be other events on the same day?
- Does the image of the place fit with your vision of your perfect day?
- Will your guests be comfortable?
Luxury Private Villas for Weddings in Marbella
Considering a villa for the big day? We think it’s a great idea, naturally. The advantage of getting married or having your ceremony in private accommodation is that you will have the whole thing to yourselves, unlike in a hotel where only sections will be reserved for you.
Another benefit of a villa is that you will quite possibly be the first one to ever get married there. How great is that? And even if the residence has hosted other weddings, there is more scope to put your personal stamp on things than in a hotel.
For those wishing to find a jaw dropping villa in Marbella for their big day or simply to host guests, here’s a list of our top 5 villas for weddings in Marbella.
Our final thoughts on Marbella Weddings
There is a lot of planning to do, and even if you want to, you can’t get complacent. To avoid Bridezilla syndrome creeping in we recommend keeping stress levels low by working with a reputable wedding planner and booking far in advance. (Post-pandemic, some venues are already booked for summer 2023.)
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