You know that we’ve gushed about A Boy Named Sue in our review here, but now it’s time to gush over one of its chic founders’ Spanish weddings! Tania Reinert-Shcelkanovtseva’s Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired wedding channelled all the whimsy and slightly chaotic drama of the Shakespearian play. As the bard would say, the course of true love never did run smooth! After learning from experience, she’s got a few valuable tips and tricks for you ladies to make sure getting hitched goes without a hitch.
All love stories have to begin somewhere. How did you two meet?
We met ten years ago by the bar in a nightclub in London called Tramp. We were introduced by a mutual friend.
Where was your first date?
It took place half a year later. I was in Spain for the summer holidays and decided to come back to London for a weekend. I dialled Alex’s number to see what he was up to and he happened to be free. He picked me up from Gatwick Express, then we drove around London and drank jugs of Pimm’s on King’s Road. After that, we went up on the London Eye and then danced all night.
Can you tell us about the first time he said he loved you?
I don’t remember, but I remember I used to write I love you with my finger on his hand before I said it out loud.
Every bride has a proposal story. What’s yours?
It was a complete surprise. We were in our flat in the hallway, just about to go out for dinner. Completely out of the blue, he took out the ring and asked if I wanted to be best friends forever. I said yes.
Tell us about the ring.
He designed it and had a family friend of his make it for me.
What did you do for your hen party? We want the dirty details.
I went to Cannes with three friends of mine for a weekend. We danced, played silly hen games, drank a lot and sunbathed. It was easy and fun!
How did you go about planning your wedding? Did you go the DIY route or did you hire a wedding planner to help you out?
He proposed in May and in September, I was meant to move to HK. We decided to hold the wedding in Europe before we moved for good. I had three months to plan. I enlisted my mother and a wedding planner. We decided to do the wedding in Marbella where I grew up.
We decided to spread the wedding over three days. On Friday, we held a Spanish welcome night (think Jerez, jamon and lots of beautiful flamenco, in an enchanting villa just next to the beach) and then on Saturday evening, we held the wedding ceremony. It took place in an Italian style hotel, but the actual ceremony was held in a Roman amphitheater at sunset. We then held a beach brunch on Sunday with mini burgers, fresh juices and white sangria for anybody who still had any energy left.
The theme for the actual day was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I trailed ivy around the napkins and there was meant to be ivy around the chairs, but my wedding planner forgot that. The flowers were white and green, very clean and simple.
Tell us about the dress.
It was easy since I didn’t have that much time. I went to three shops in London. One was the Jenny Packham store (check our Sassy review of Jenny Packham here!). The dresses were easy, simple and slightly bohemian. I chose two. One for the wedding ceremony and one for the party after. All I really had to do was come in for dress fittings.
What was the wedding like?
All the guests were staying in the hotel where the wedding ceremony took place. The night before, I stayed in my parent’s house and came over for the ceremony the morning. We sat around the pool chatting for hours and welcomed the final guests who missed the party the night before. They were visibly fresher than the rest of the crowd!
Pool time was followed by a spa session, then it was time to get ready. This was super fun and all my girlfriends came over to the suite, we sat around listening to music. We had a few mishaps: half of the beads on the front of the dress came off as we took it out of the bag, so my friend had to saw them on at the last moment. We also hadn’t decided on a first dance song until about an hour before the ceremony, then I forgot my bouquet and walked down the aisle blissfully unaware that I’d left in my room.
Walking down the amphitheater with my dad holding my hand was really beautiful! It was a really magical moment. Seconds later, I found myself in front of the pries and it was just so surreal. Our priest was mutli-religious, gay and Scottish. He read out the vows and also a really cool Apache Poem that I found:
“Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there are three lives before you: his life, her life and your life together.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into your days together.
And may all your days be good and long upon the Earth.”
After the ceremony, I threw my bouquet and then we had a quick photo session. This was followed by dinner and a bunch of speeches, cake cutting and a lot of dancing. The night culminated with 20 people in our honeymoon suite. They decided it was the best place for an after party. Luckily someone broke the fire alarm and we finally called it a night!
Everyone remembers their first dance. What song did you choose?
We chose it about an hour before the start of the ceremony. My sister in law (whom I absolutely adore) suggested a song from 500 Days of Summer called Quelqu’un M’a Dit by Carla Bruni. I wasn’t initially convinced and kept on searching for an alternative, but couldn’t find anything. Then as I was heading to my room to start getting ready for the ceremony, I heard it playing in the corridor of the hotel. It was a sign. After the ceremony I told my sister in law that I found the song. She arranged for the song to be played once we stopped cutting the cake.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned while wedding planning?
Something always goes wrong! You forget your bouquet, the ivy is not tied to the chairs, the best man or some other guest will make an embarrassing speech- the list is endless. Don’t stress about it. No one will notice.
Have any tips and tricks for brides-to-be?
– A wedding planner is a must!
– Ban your guests from going out too late on the night before the ceremony.
– Skip excess heavy make up.
– Make sure you have a comfortable dress. Mine was too tight and I actually nearly fainted during the ceremony!
– Don’t underinvest in comfortable shoes, you’ll be dancing all night.
– Make sure to dance (a lot).
– The things you worry about most matter the least.
– Weddings are fun, they are a way of gathering all your loved ones together. They are NOT a reason to stress.
What do you remember most about the entire experience?
I remember pretty much the whole wedding: the dancing, the ceremony, our first kiss, cake cutting and most importantly having everybody in one special place.
Is there anything you would have liked to do differently?
The wedding was in 2009 before Pinterest and also before I met Sam, my business partner. If I was doing the wedding now, I would have spent more time planning out the wedding décor. I would also have banned the guests from going out till 5am the first night.
And that brings us naturally to your honeymoon. Where did you end up going?
We moved to Hong Kong a week after the wedding, so we skipped our honeymoon. Instead of a two-week journey, we embarked on a much bigger adventure together.
Loved Tania’s wedding? We guarantee you’ll love our other That Brides’ weddings too, take a look at them here!