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08/04/2014 // 57 comments

Our Wedding P.1: Nautical Chic Rehearsal Dinner

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I’m excited to finally share the first set of pictures from our wedding in June on the Spanish Balearic Island of Menorca. As soon as we decided that we were going to have a destination wedding we knew we wanted to organise a series of events across a weekend. This was so that we could make sure we had enough time to spend quality time with our guests who had generously travelled from across Europe, America and Australia to celebrate with us. Today’s post focuses on the first of those events – our wedding rehearsal dinner.bright-bazaar-wedding-rehearsal-dinner-2
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Since we first visited together some five years or so ago, the island has grown to be one of our most treasured spots on the planet (I’ll share more on this in part two on the wedding day on Wednesday), but it’s outstanding natural beauty certainly plays a big part in the reason we fell in love with this special place. The location of Sant Joan de Binissaida turned out to be more than we could have dreamed of. I say ‘turned out’ because we had never visited the location, nor tasted the food or met the staff, before the rehearsal dinner itself! When I returned from my American book tour at the end of May we headed straight to the island for three days of last minute planning. One of the items on our list was to find and book a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. We managed to do this, only for it to fall through the same day we were told by our landlord that we had to leave our apartment within a month because he had sold the property. No tears were shed, we simply turned to one another and laughed; it was almost as though the two problems (first world ones, at that) canceled each other out and became amusing. Having included Binissaida on the list of recommended hotels for our guests, it immediately came to mind as a potential venue. Plus, my best girl Rachie was staying there and due to help out with some fun games, so it felt like fate when everything fell into place and we had it booked within a week or so.bright-bazaar-wedding-rehearsal-dinner-6
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As this was the kick off event for our wedding weekend we thought it would be fun to introduce a theme to help kick start conversation and unite our guests. Naturally, we went straight for a Nautical Chic theme! Not only do we both love stripes (OK, so Tobes likes them whereas I am legitimately obsessed with them!) but we also felt it would be easy to dress for, while also suiting the exotic, sun-soaked location of the wedding. It was SO fun to see all our nearest and dearest dressed in stripes and maritime-flavoured outfits, and we’re really grateful that everyone made an effort to embrace the theme. The nautical look continued across the decor and tablescapes – an element that wouldn’t have shone nearly as much without the wonderful folks over at Minted. Their Sea Chart Too Party Decor collection was a complete lifesaver as we attempted to pull together a professional-looking event just a few weeks out from the wedding weekend, all the while in the midst of packing up our apartment! We had originally planned to use the navy linen table runners for our wedding table but we swapped and used them for the rehearsal dinner once we decided on the nautical theme. I am thrilled with how it came together, especially as Brooke, my dear, dear friend and fashion illustrator (for Vogue, no less!), kindly drew us in our nautical outfits to use as place name cards for the tables. Brooke and I met at the launch of Rue magazine in NYC in 2010, instantly became pen (email!) pals and have since enjoyed many adventures together in and around New York City together. Toby and I were honoured to have such a gorgeous personalised element to complete the tablescapes – it was a huge talking point and brought the event to life.bright-bazaar-wedding-rehearsal-dinner-11
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This photograph is my favourite from the whole set of rehearsal dinner images and I’m so grateful to Jean-Laurent for capturing this quiet moment. During my wedding speech I spoke of how thrilled I was that my dear gran was able to make it out to the island for our wedding. My gran has suffered with her health in recent years but has shown me, just as she has done for many, many years before, what it means to have strength, courage and wisdom. I certainly don’t say this lightly when I say that alongside Toby, my gran is the most important person in my life. Her passport is due to expire in three years and because of her health our wedding was very likely going to be her last ever trip abroad. When she turned to me at the end of the rehearsal dinner and said it was one of the best nights that she can remember, I just felt all the worry and nerves ahead of our Big Day ebb away. Knowing that she was happy, at ease and enjoying herself was the best wedding gift I could have ever been given. My gran actually visited the island over 40 years ago (I often wonder if this is one of the reasons I love the island so much; why I feel so at home there) and so it seemed like perfect synchronicity that this was probably her last visit overseas – almost as though everything had come full circle. I am filled with emotion when I look at this photograph and I know that I will cherish it for as long as I live.bright-bazaar-wedding-rehearsal-dinner-19
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When Tobes and I climbed into bed back at our villa we said to one another how we had felt completely overwhelmed, almost stunned, at seeing all of our loved ones in one space at the same time. I felt like I was in a daze for the first hour or two of the event; there’s something incredibly special and moving about seeing almost all of the important people in your life in the same place. We were so grateful that Rachie, my best girl, so kindly arranged a game to see who knew us best as couple (and how well we knew one another!) to play after the meal. It was just what we needed to help us relax and begin enjoying a weekend of absolute brilliant memory-making with our dear friends and family. I can’t wait to share the wedding day pictures with you later this week, but for now I’ll leave you with these stunning snaps from the rehearsal dinner – wasn’t that golden hour just incredible?!bright-bazaar-wedding-rehearsal-dinner-33
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// Photography by Jean-Laurent Gaudy

Tara

04 / 4 / 2014

Such a lovely event – thanks for sharing with us!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Tara – My pleasure! Thanks for the kind words.

Brooke

04 / 4 / 2014

Aww! Its so wonderful to see these gorgeous photos and relive the evening. And i’m so happy you and Tobes loved the sketch and it was such a hit at the dinner. Can’t wait to see the wedding photos next! xx

Inge@simplyfabulouschic

04 / 4 / 2014

This post really warmer my heart, you two make such a great couple! I am so happy for you Will, and for everything good that already happened (your first book, the response your getting,…). It almost feels like I’m part of it all, thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pictures with us! A very warm hug, Inge x

Claire

04 / 4 / 2014

Wow! Such beautiful and happy pictures. Can’t wait to see the wedding on Wednesday :-)

Paloma

04 / 4 / 2014

Thank you a lot for share and receive my best luck for the future! Cheers from Madrid!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Brooke – It was the best, B! Such brilliant memories! xx

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Inge – Thank you for following along and for your kind support! x

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Claire – Thank you!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Paloma – Very kind, thanks!

Charley

04 / 4 / 2014

This looks and sounds an utterly magical way to begin your celebrations! The planning sounds a little stressful but amazing how it all came together just perfectly. Beautiful photos and write up!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Charley – It was pretty crazy leading up to the Big Day but thankfully everything worked out and it was just brilliant! :) Thanks for the lovely comment x

Rachie

04 / 4 / 2014

Oh I didnt know your gran had said that! Made me well up! So happy she could be there!! Gorgeous images and even better memories of such a wonderful day! I loved the rehearsal dinner. It was so relaxed and it was so nice to meet everyone. And the food was great too!! xx

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Rachie – Thanks again for everything, hun, you made it so memorable and special for us both! Oh my goodness, I had forgotten about the food – yes, so tasty! xx

geraldine@littlebigbell

04 / 4 / 2014

fantastic photos and such lovely memories. so happy for the both of you! Your gran is such an sweet and wonderful lady, really enjoyed talking to her! x

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Geraldine – Thank you so much! :)

susan // fleurishing

04 / 4 / 2014

I can already see how emotional and beautiful your wedding was…how very special indeed to have all of your loved ones there, especially your Gran. Very touching. I can’t wait to see more Will! xo

Kimberly Hughes

04 / 4 / 2014

What a gorgeous location and such beautiful photos! So sweet that your gran could join you, makes it all the more special. Thanks for sharing, hun, couldn’t be happier for you both! xxx

Lindsey

04 / 4 / 2014

It was such a beautiful weekend and this was the perfect way to get started. You really get the sense of Menorca’s golden hour, too! So thrilled to have been part of this special moment in your lives.

xoxo love you guys!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Susan – Thank you so much! Yes, it was very emotional but in the best possible way!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Kimberley – Thank you, hun! X

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Lindsey – Amazing light, right?! So pleased you and C were with us! xo

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Susan – Thank you so much! Yes it was emotional but it the best way!

@ThismintymOment

04 / 4 / 2014

What a beautiful event! Everyone looks radiant. Love the nautical theme! The part about your Gran is so touching. Thanks for sharing!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Thismintymoment – Thank you for your kind words!

cassie {hi sugarplum}

04 / 4 / 2014

Such a stunning and precious night!! The pictures are amazing, and the love you all share is palpable! Love seeing you and Rachie…my fave Brits! ;) xoxoxo

Gabrielle

04 / 4 / 2014

What a beautiful dinner, captured so well. Your story about your gran had me welling up! So vital to treasure the important people in your life while you have them.

ASH

04 / 4 / 2014

What a beautiful piece! The bit about your gran had me choked a bit and I really enjoy reading about your family. Thanks so much for sharing x

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Cassie – It was just so perfect, Cassie! Rachie is a gorgeous girl and I am so lucky to have her in my life! Thanks for your kind words! xo

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Gabrielle – Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for stopping by. x

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Ash – Cheers, Mr. Your unwavering support means so much. x

Joe RUDI

04 / 4 / 2014

That really is a beautiful blog post. And so touching in a way so many people can relate to. Feeling very happy for you. Joe x

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Joe – Thank you for taking time to stop by and leave such a lovely comment, Joe. x

Fabulous pictures Will and so nice to read about your Gran. You have been very fortunate and it is so heart warming to read how much you realised that. Take Care.

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Steph – So true, Steph. Thanks for all your kind words. x

Jeff MINDELL

04 / 4 / 2014

Will this looks awesome! As Kel and I are stressing about our own rehearsal dinner in just a few short months, this sounded so relaxed, carefree and fun, which is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Great photos too!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Jeff – Cheers, man! It was a really relaxed dinner but still felt special, if that makes sense? Good luck with the planning and if you guys have any questions or want a sounding board, just shout! :)

Michaela Rae

04 / 4 / 2014

Lovely photos, what an amazing location! I must know, were all the stripes intentional??

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Michaela – Thank you! Yes, it was a nautical theme!

Emma

04 / 4 / 2014

Such lovely photos, everyone looks so happy, and so sweet to see your Gran and hear you talk about her.

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Emma – It was such a wonderful dinner, thank you!

Trude

04 / 4 / 2014

Absolutely beautiful, and beautifully photographed! Your thoughts on how it was to see everyone in one place is what keeps me from running off to Vegas. :)

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

04 / 4 / 2014

@Trude – We almost eloped as well but I am so pleased we didn’t!

Something Gorgeous

05 / 5 / 2014

How absolutely beautiful. Love your gran. x

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

05 / 5 / 2014

@Something Gorgeous – Thank you! x

Fiona Duke

05 / 5 / 2014

I think you should go into wedding planning. it all looks so perfect and calm. the photos just oooze happiness :)

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

05 / 5 / 2014

@Fiona – Thank you very much!

markus

05 / 5 / 2014

hey will.

thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures and words with us.

It took 3 attempts to read the part about your gran ‘caus the tears in my eyes made it impossible to read it the first and second time…. this picture is so touching… and while writing this comment the tears come back again… but those tears are tears of joy….

the love you share is just stunning. i wish you all the best for your future together…

best wishes,
markus

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

05 / 5 / 2014

@Markus – Thank you for stopping by to leave such a heartfelt comment and for your kind well wishes. :)

sivan

05 / 5 / 2014

Gorgeous Photos. I love Jean Laurent style. Looks like a beautiful day

All things nice...

05 / 5 / 2014

Wow your wedding looks amazing! Love the theme too- really cool and trendy.

All things nice…

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

05 / 5 / 2014

@Sivan – Thank you so much – we are thrilled with the pictures he took!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

05 / 5 / 2014

@All things nice – Thank you, it was such a fun theme for a rehearsal dinner!

Rachael Hare

06 / 6 / 2014

It’s early morning and I’m sitting in my armchair, having my first cup of tea of the day.
It’s my favourite time, calm before the chaos of the day.
This morning though, tears are falling! Yes, I’m reading your latest email, I don’t personally know you and Toby of course, but the emotion in your pictures is overwhelming, I love that everyone is just so happy for you both!
Of course the pictures are beautiful, the attention to detail and the natural flair you have is stunning – but ultimately it comes down to love doesn’t it – it really is all you need.
Thank you for sharing your day.

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

06 / 6 / 2014

@Rachael – Thank you for taking time to stop by and leave such a lovely comment.

Ame

06 / 6 / 2014

Gorgeous, everything, just stunning!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar

06 / 6 / 2014

@Ame – Cheers!