MY ELOPEMENT ON THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR, U.K. MY WEDDING STORY PART 3.

MY ELOPEMENT ON THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4TH. GIBRALTAR, U.K. 

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The day of our wedding we woke early up with big smiles and our hearts filled with excitement. We still had a few requirements to fulfill in order to be married abroad so we spent the morning rushing around the narrow -and still quiet-streets of Gibraltar acquiring signatures, official stamps, and collecting last minute wedding items.  

After the last little bit of running around was completed my groom-to-be and I ordered up lunch and started the hustle to get ready -or rather I hustled, he lounged and read while I got ready. 

Before I had a chance to glue my eyelashes on, our wedding photographer was on-site and ready to document our day.

keep scrolling to see the work of Andreas Holm Photography documenting our day. 

THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS BY ANDREAS HOLM

Our wedding day was no different than any modern day wedding, except we didn’t have family or friends arriving, in fact we didn’t even invite a single guest. The only person we welcomed was our photographer Andreas Holm.

We were truly eloping, just as John Lennon and Yoko Ono had, on the rock of Gibraltar.

ANDREASHOLM.COM
ANDREASHOLM.COM

We rushed around our suite getting ourselves ready, Andreas was there to capture the blur of emotions and excitement that we -even as elopers- were experiencing.

andreasholm.com
andreasholm.com
BY ANDREASHOLM.COM

Craig was the first to get ready in a classic blue suit, he in turn would wait for me downstairs on the grounds of a beautiful 18th century library, this is where we would do our first look. Shortly after I completed dressing up in my wedding day attire I would follow Craig to the library to reveal my custom made wedding gown. This was the first time Craig was to see my dress -the dress I had envisioned wearing, the one I spent months creating with a dress maker abroad.  This day was all finally happening, our wedding day had started.

WE ELOPED. PHOTO BY ANDREASHOLM.COM

With our wedding vows, an extra set of shoes, and our Orox Rucksack we made our way down the busy streets of Gibraltar towards to the Alameda Gardens. Within the serene garden grounds is where we said our vows, laughed, and cried –accompanied only by our photographer. It was an absolutely perfect ceremony –unscripted, and private. 

WE ELOPED ANDREASHOLM.COM
gibraltar elopement
WE ELOPED. ANDREASHOLM.COM
WE ELOPED. ANDREASHOLM.COM

After exchanging our vows in the Alameda Gardens we found a taxi and picked up our little wedding cake from a local bakery. The next step was to have ourselves a celebratory dinner at The Landings Restaurant on the waterfront. During dinner we took turns reading AdLib wishes that we had brought, each filled out from our friends and family members back home. Afterwards, we broke into our coconut wedding cake, just like the little cake we had on the day we got engaged.

We finished our wedding evening with Andres capturing photos of us on the southern-most point in Europe with sprawling views of Africa's mountainous range -specifically Morocco. Our wedding day was filled with lots of unplanned adventure, from walking through the streets of Gibraltar in our wedding attire, finding a last minute location to say our vows, and walking into a boxing gym and taking wedding photos; our elopement stands out as one of the absolute best days of our lives. We were thrilled to be able to start our married life in this way, a day filled with us giving each other all of our attention, getting ready together, and having our first dance on our suite balcony over looking the Straight of Gibraltar.

WE ELOPED. ANDREASHOLM.COM
WE ELOPED. ANDREASHOLM.COM

The day after our commitment ceremony, we ran to the registrar’s office and where we were legally paper married. Complete strangers who we found outside the office were our witnesses, adding more adventure to our marriage.

Later that day, on our way out of Gibraltar, we made our way to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar and hung out with the curious thieving Barbary apes. They are the only population of wild monkeys in Europe and certainly not afraid of people as one ran across my back and made a grab at my wedding bouquet.

As wonderful as our actual wedding ceremony was, was also the 11 day honeymoon that followed.  

Check back soon to read about the rest of our time in Spain and to find out where else we traveled to. 

wedding photos: Andreas Holm Photography/ gibraltar hotel: o'callaghan elliott hotel/ flowers: stephanie's florist/ cake: piece of cake/ dinner: the landings restaurant/ custom-made wedding dress: Atelier Tami/ bride acessories: etsy.

OUR JOURNEY THROUGH SEVILLA, SPAIN + GIBRALTAR, U.K. MY WEDDING STORY PART 2

OUR JOURNEY THROUGH SEVILLA, SPAIN + GIBRALTAR U.K.

MY WEDDING STORY PART 2.

SATURDAY, MAY 31ST

On May 31st, Craig and I boarded our first plane ride outside of our familiar north American continent and across the Atlantic Ocean to begin the start of our euro-lopement; our elopement, and European holiday rolled into one, a merry moon.

With our bags severely over packed, and our wedding finery in tow the first stop on our grand itinerary was to Sevilla, Spain, where we pictured ourselves eating tapas and drinking sangria into the wee hours of the morning, attending our first flamenco show, taking leisurely walks about the city and nursing wine hangovers. However as luck would have it, our initial flight involved a 4 hour delay in departing Portland, which toppled over into missing our one and only night to explore Miami, Florida, during a planned twenty hour layover. After successfully boarding our cross Atlantic flight we were once again dealing with a delay in reaching our final destination. 

 Once we disembarked our cross Atlantic flight we found ourselves in queue for customs for almost two hours. As more luck would have it we wound up missing our flight out of Lisbon, Portugal to Sevilla, Spain (who knew customs during the world cup would was the place to be?).  There we were excited to start our European holiday and found ourselves stranded at the airport with our excessive luggage, battling our first bout of jet lag, encountering language barriers and the only other flight out to our final destination was 13 hour away. Needless to say this was not how we had envisioned starting out our first big trip abroad.

MONDAY, JUNE 2ND. SEVILLA, SPAIN

The morning following our airport fiasco we officially awoke in Spain with our brains full of excitement and bellies full of hunger, we were finally here. Although we were an entire day behind our schedule, we would just have to squeeze all of the things we had wanted to do into one day, there was no room to work through our jet-lag and little time to be leisurely, however we were finally on the path to start our trip.

With a general idea of where we were going, we excitingly set out on foot in search of our first Spanish meal of the day, where we would also encounter our first language barrier. While ordering breakfast I chose items that were of familiar words. But to my surprise I had ordered an array of Spanish charcuterie and fried potatoes. so we quickly realized I wasn’t as versed in Spanish as I had believed and that Craig’s Spanish was down to two words; yes and thank you. It would turn out I would remain the Spanish speaking interpreter for our entire Spain visit, we were in trouble. It was at that moment that we decided to go all-in Spanish-style. Ordered beers accompanied with our 10am breakfast, and we introduced the Catalonian lisp into our Spanish conversations. We were quickly falling in love with this city.

MY EUROTRIP SEVILLA, SPAIN

 While in Seville we encountered the first of many cathedrals, including the world’s largest gothic cathedral, the Seville cathedral, which is also the burial site for Christopher Columbus.  Among the many other sites the one that truly left us amazed was the Alcazar, a stunning palace rich in Moorish influence and design. It’s the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe-. The Alcazar also happens to be where a portion of the fifth season of the popular novel turned HBO series Game of Thrones was filmed. We later started to see and learn about the huge Moorish influence that we would later encounter throughout many areas of southern Spain. After a long day of unbelievable beauty we decided to skip naps explore the city by going for an evening run along the waterfront. we ultimately wound up a lost but had fun trying to find our way back, we were able to swiftly explore a lot of the neighborhood that we had missed.

MY EUROTRIP. SEVILLA, SPAIN
MY EUROTRIP. SEVILLA, SPAIN

THE ALCAZAR

MY EUROTRIP. SEVILLA, SPAIN
A FEW SCENES FROM HBO'S FIFTH SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES WAS FILMED HERE.

A FEW SCENES FROM HBO'S FIFTH SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES WAS FILMED HERE.

MY EUROTRIP. SEVILLA, SPAIN

PLAZA DE ESPANA

MY EUROTRIP. SEVILLA, SPAIN
MY EUROTRIP. SEVILLA, SPAIN

TUESDAY, JUNE 3RD. DEPARTING SEVILLA, ARRIVING IN GIBRATAR, U.K.

After a full -and very packed- day in Seville, we drove our little rental down the southern coast of Spain to a tiny little stretch of UK territory known as the Rock of Gibraltar. We arranged for a small room at the O’Callaghan Elliott Hotel, and were surprised with an upgraded honeymoon suite with sprawling views of Spain across the bay and views of North Africa’s mountain range from across the strait. We were finally in the right location and on time with our itinerary, the following day was to be our wedding ceremony. 

Promptly following our arrival to the O'Callaghan Elliot Hotel we made our way downstairs to have a few drinks al fresco. We were so excited to finally be on schedule and just a day away from our wedding. 

After a few drinks and a sunset dinner we went to bed for the following day we were going to be married.


wedding photos: Andreas Holm Photography/ gibraltar hotel: o'callaghan elliott hotel/ flowers: stephanie's florist/ cake: piece of cake/ dinner: the landings restaurant/ custom-made wedding dress: Atelier Tami/ bride acessories: etsy.

WHY WE CHOSE TO ELOPE AND HOW WE PLANNED IT, MY WEDDING STORY PART 1

WHY WE CHOSE TO ELOPE AND HOW WE PLANNED IT

Shortly after my fiance -now husband- and I were engaged we knew the stress and financial strain of planning a traditional wedding was not for us. financially we could either have a big wedding day, or spend the money on a two week honeymoon; but not both. With a busy summer on the horizon, we couldn't bear to think about spending our free time running from place to place picking out table linens, flowers, and stationery for just a few hours of celebrating. I already have a hard enough time deciding which ipa to drink -how was I supposed to decide on a small guest list? with all of those thoughts laid out, and the blessings of our families, we decided to completely forgo tradition and instead put our money towards the vacation of our dreams, with a little planned elopement in the middle.

We couldn’t have made a better decision.

photo by andreas holm

Now that planning a big wedding was crossed off our marriage agenda, I did have a few things left on my wedding wish list, a mere three items long: for one, I wanted to feel beautiful and be married in a wedding dress; secondly, I wanted to have our marriage ceremony be legal; and lastly, I wanted to have an amazing photographer -a photographer that I had been crushing on because if we weren't going to have guests I wanted to preserve the joy and excitement of our wedding day and interpret the day via amazing photos to share with the family and friends we would not be inviting.

why we chose to elope at the rock of gibraltar, spain

With a custom made dress on the way (all designed via e-mail with a dress maker I had found via etsy.com, who lived in Greece) and a friendly little budget, we just need to find an amazing photographer, decide on a two week travel itinerary and find a destination where we could legally marry, this all sounded easy enough.

why we chose to elope at the rock of gibraltar, spain

Turns out the next step was as easy as picking out a dream location and finding some type of clergy to marry us. Every place we had initially picked had some sort of extreme requirement, some places required a length of residency, some required a blood relative for a witness, while others demanded a wedding date to be booked in person. These were all proving to be dead ends for what we were capable of. the idea of marrying at our local courthouse came up, until we realized we would have to have witnesses present for this, that then posed the challenge of who would that be. we had never intended to invite anyone from the start, now we would have to have witnesses and who would it be? We didn’t want to alienate family and be selective with our friends, so that ideal was quickly crossed off the list. With hope starting to fade, I set out on a mission to find out how numerous others have had a destination wedding. One of my biggest resources was looking through elopement posts on wedding blogs, and pinterest. One day while scanning through one of my favorite wedding blogs i came across a post titled "an elopement in spain," i read the entire post and loved the parallels of why they too chose to elope. i clicked on the photographer link at the bottom of the post and discovered my dream photographer, Andreas Holm. Andreas has an impressive gallery of wedding’s he’s photographed around spain and just about all of Europe, our ideal of marrying on the sun-soaked southern coast of spain was inspired from Andrea’s portfolio. after very little, to no discussion, we mutually jumped on the ideal of traveling and marrying in spain, yet another road block appeared; to legally marry in spain one must have blood relatives present. With a little faith left, we decided to reach out to the photographer and start the process of booking for photos even if not for our wedding we would like some in our wedding outfits. After discussing our dilemma and desire to have photographs Andreas advised us that the rock Gibraltar (located on the southern coast of spain) was an easy place for foreigners to marry as its U.K. territory and does not follow the Spanish laws. with that advise i first broke out in a happy seated chair dance, and then started to research the requirements to marry at the rock of Gibraltar (If you happen to know any beetles trivia, the rock of Gibraltar is where john lennon and yoko ono famously eloped before they had their famous bed-in). Given a quick internet search I found out that we would be able to marry while traveling about spain. after a few e-mails with the registrar’s office, we booked a marriage date, faxed over copies of our passport and birth certificates, summited a payment online to hold our date, and both installed skype to make some late night international calls to verify everything was in order. The next step was to arrive at the registrar’s office 24 hours ahead of our booked date to present our birth certificates, passports, and to have a few official documents notarized. 

why we chose to elope at the rock of gibraltar, spain

With over three weeks of vacation days stored up, a custom-made dress on the way, and the blessings of our families, we just needed to start building our fantastic little euro-lopement merry-moon. Thanks to the advice of our photographer andreas holm, our elopement dreams were all going to come true.

why we chose to elope at the rock of gibraltar, spain

Stay tuned for details on our wedding day, and our trip about eurorpe; five countries in two exhausting and unforgettable weeks.

Interested in reading ahead? click here to be directed to Orox Leather's blog post about our wedding day!

all photos above by Andreas Holm.

more on my gibraltar elopement below:

THREE DAYS OF EATING IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

husband-guy had to travel quite a bit for work early in the start of the year. when march rolled we were anticipating some down time together but that never came, instead work needed him to head over to nashville, tennessee. since we were not looking forward to another weekend apart we both flew to nashville together, a few days ahead of his scheduled work. 

i had never been to nashville, tennessee (husband has been many times for work) and since i am quite the food lover, i figuratively went to town asking around and searching online for things to not miss. thankfully we have family right over there, it was very nice to have someone that can give honest reviews of the places i had researched.

our nashville adventures started THURSDAY, MARCH 26TH.

straight off the plane and buckled into our rental, we went straight to pinewood social. he ordered an ipa, i ordered a whiskey ginger lime. we started our trip on a great happy note.


PINEWOOD SOCIAL


next stop, craft beer! since husband had already been to nashville a few times he had a brewery in mind; yazoo. we ordered our golden ipa's and took a seat in their cozy brewery. we knew rain was to be during our trip, but wow, it was incredibly chilly.


last stop for the night and it needed to be food. since we were in tennessee it only seemed fitting to search out some tennessee barbeque; peg leg porker it was.

 



the following morning, FRIDAY MARCH 27th.

we woke up early and went to start our afternoon with our lovely cousins, plus we got to formally met our newest cousin and it was love love love! after everyone was fed and burped, we went for our first meal of the day. hot chicken or burgers?


we started at burger up; since my stomach is such a delicate flower i knew i wouldn't be able to handle a heavy burger for my first meal, so I went with beet salad and moscow mule instead... cause you know, a beer would have been just a little too much.


after we planted a good base in our stomach's we just had to stop at edley's bar-b-que for this well talked-up, boozed-up milkshake. cause you know, a beet salad only offered little calcium and no chocolate to my diet. let's fill in the missing deficiencies with a boozey milk shake, which is called a bushwacker, i being somewhat sensitive to dairy had a halfwacker and i was a silly happy gal afterwards.


and because i am me and i just had to find the 'i believe in nashville sign' and get a photo taken of me doing my happy chaplin kicks. mission completed!


after a long day of running around nashville and spending a good hour in traffic, a home cooked meal in the comforts of our family's home was perfect.

the boys cooked up salmon (caught during a trip with our other family members living in alaska) grilled squash and asparagus, and a quick bruschetta 



SATURDAY, MARCH 26TH. since it was going to be my last full day of nashville we decided to be grown-ups about it and do a little driving around day.

we started with breakfast at Mack & Kate's, we had to try some pimento topped fried green tomatoes and like usual i ordered the crab cakes eggs benedict as honey badger went for the the shrimp and grits. 


went back to the cousin's to sneak in some baby snuggles.


we then headed to the beautiful replica of the parthenon in centennial park in nashville, tn, no not athens.

 

to almost finish the day we then met up with our buddy at the flying saucer brewery. being a gal of distinguished taste i had to try a taster trey. some were delicious but it is safe to say i do not like belgium beers, doesn't matter what side of the north america's i am on, i do not like them, no i don't.


THE FARM HOUSE

for our last tennessee supper and i chose to go off a recommendation to the farm house as the restaurant was comparable to our portland favorite. although i had read some not-so-stellar reviews online; i still had to see how it could turn out. our night started with a really bad beer on tap list (it doesn't exist), at that moment i should have ran, instead i ordered a cocktail and honey badger had a beer. his canned beer was what he expected and my cocktail was awful. we had better hopes for dinner. oh yeah that was worse. we shared everything and everything was bad, the worse part was our deconstructed hot chicken. allow me to just apply these flavor profiles; dry, starchy, fryer oil. yuck. not only were our dinners awful, so were our appetizers which i already buried deep past my frontal lobe. if you want to read more about my experience, head to yelp. you'll see.


bye nashville! time for the husband to work and i would get to get home!