Destination weddings are always glamorous, but Jessica and James’ chic celebration at Cap Rocat, Palma was a dream day of feasting, partying and fabulous music surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Med
Photography: Jonny Scott
Destination weddings are always a glamorous option, but Jessica and James struck gold with their stunning wedding at Cap Rocat, an ancient fortress overlooking the bay at Palma de Mallorca that is now a unique boutique hotel.
There was lots of significance in the decision to choose Spain, and the island of Mallorca. “We chose to travel back to Spain for the wedding – it’s where the engagement began,” says Jessica. Mallorca was the next logical step – for its beauty, great weather, endless wine and breathtaking sunsets. But there was extra significance for the couple. “It was the destination of our first holiday as a couple and James’s family had been visiting the island since he was a child,” says Jessica.
While the island part was easy, narrowing down to the right venue in a place with so many beautiful options took time. Jessica says: “We did lots of research! I think we saw every wedding venue and hotel on the Island”. But then they happened upon the one. “As soon as we drove up to the entrance drawbridge at Cap Rocat we knew it had to be the venue. It’s one of the most impressive places we’ve ever been.”
“Mallorca was the natural choice – it’s where we had our first holiday and James had been visiting the island since he was a child”
Formerly a military fortress, the luxury hotel and spa on the quietest part of the island overlooks a marine reserve. It offers wonderful suites sunk into the rockface, fabulous food and superb views – as well as swimming and snorkelling heaven. “Every viewpoint is breathtaking and the atmosphere from the minute you arrive is warm and peaceful,” says Jessica.
Destination weddings always require on-the-ground support, and here there was superb service. “A big part of our decision was the Cap Rocat team,” Jessica adds. “The incredible staff arrange large-scale events and weddings with impeccable precision and take care of everything so we knew we’d be in good hands – especially as we don’t speak Spanish and planned everything remotely.”
With such an awe-inspiring backdrop, there was very little extra styling required. “Our style was to keep all details clean and simple as the venue’s location and architecture made such a special backdrop. We wanted evening glamour, with a holiday spirit and classic wedding details,” says Jessica.
With that in mind, the couple went for Hollywood-style elegance for their outfits. Jessica chose a simple and beautifully cut gown with square neckline and low buttoned back from London designer Louise Selby, while James wore a bespoke white tux. His groomsmen were all in black tie, while bridesmaids wore soft blush pink.
The mellow-stone fortress walls and brilliant Mallorca sunshine were pretty much all the scene-setting you could ever want, so the couple chose pure white flowers with green foliage for the bouquets. “A simple white aisle carpet shaped the ceremony space in the courtyard where our cerement stood at the end with a gold ceremony book in front of tall glass chapel doors,” says Jessica. The ceremony was conducted by their close friend to make it feel even more significant.
When it came to traditions, Jessica and James wanted to honour one in particular. Jessica says: “We decided our favourite wedding tradition is the post-ceremony speech, so we made this part of the evening”. With everyone getting in on the act – from bride and bride’s sister to groomsmen and uncles – this became a real highlight. “Our MC went around the room and handed over the mic! This made the dinner so memorable and entertaining.”
The band, Who Killed the DJ, were also stars of the celebration – they made the couple’s day with the aisle walk, covering some of their favourite songs on a solo violin, and both the ceremony and reception felt very special with their musical accompaniment.
Any real wedding needs great speeches, but for Jessica and James this was a favourite tradition, so it became an open mic event that everybody loved
Their advice to other couples is to try and get an early night before the wedding day – even if you are at a glamorous destination venue with all your guests. “And don’t drink too much the night before the wedding – however excited you are to celebrate. We definitely made this mistake!” says Jessica. She believes couples should also avoid getting too hung up on detail on the day itself. “Of course, we wanted everything to be perfect, but in reality guests don’t notice and you will be busy having the best day of your lives.”
In a beautiful day of feasting, music and weather, there were many great moments, but two stand out. “One of our close friends gave us a great tip for the wedding day, which was to take a moment out, stand together as a couple and watch your wedding carry on,” says Jessica. “We will never forget that moment of feeling completely content with happiness and watching our friends and family all having the best time dancing to the live music and soaking up the Spanish air. Also, we will never forget our first dance – no practice, we just chose a song we loved and went for it!”
Jessica & James’ Real Wedding Sourcebook
Venue, food & flowers: Cap Rocat; caprocat.com
Photography:Jonny Scott; jonnyscottphoto.com
Bride’s dress: Louise Selby; louiseselby.com
Bride’s shoes: Manolo Blahnik; manoloblahnik.com
Groom’s Suit: Dress2Kill; dress2kill.com
Bridesmaid dresses: nelly.com; nelly.com
Band: Who Killed The DJ; whokilledthedj.com
Honeymoon: Hotel Casa de la Tortugas, Mexico; holboxcasalastortugas.com
MORE REAL WEDDING INSPIRATION?