Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
Heather and Yann decided on a 'coming together' celebration for friends and family

Heather and Yann hosted a glorious summer fiesta at their Ibiza home, bringing together friends and family for a joyful Mediterranean wedding capturing the spirit and energy of the island they love

Photographs: Tara Moller; Wedding planner: Ibiza Wedding

When Heather and Yann began planning their wedding, it was clear that they needed to choose middle ground because she’s from London and he’s from New York and with a guest list spread across the globe. Heather says: “Friends and family were going to have to travel, no matter what, so we decided to ask everyone to Ibiza. We chose to have our ceremony at home there at our house, which we finished building in early 2018. So, it was a wedding and a housewarming – a double celebration”.

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
With friends and family spread across the globe, Ibiza was a perfect meeting point

This set the tone for a relaxed ‘coming together’ party. Heather and Yann have a long association with the Spanish island. “Ibiza has been a very special place for us all, firstly for a number of years for my family and then my husband and I spent a lot of time there when we first met, and have done so ever since,” says Heather.

The design for the day was traditional but relaxed, with a dress code for women of glamorous dresses and trainers (essential for dancing and to navigate the rough terrain). Men were asked to wear cool linen. “The vibe was very natural, bohemian, rustic, colourful,” adds Heather. The couple didn’t want some traditions – so no cake, bridesmaids, groomsmen or best man. But their families were core to the ceremony. “Our four adult children brought along the rings and joined together with speeches, and my two daughters walked me down the aisle.”

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
The couple’s four children were closely involved. Heather’s daughters walked her up the aisle and, along with Yann’s two sons, acted as ring bearers

When it came to what she should wear, Heather says she got a bit stuck. “Getting married in your 50s is brilliant and challenging in equal measure. The challenging part was finding a dress, which took several attempts, a lot of reality checks and, eventually, an inspired intervention from my daughter.” The inspired intervention came with the suggestion of a trip to see London designer Charlie Brear. The Nyika kimono-style dress with wide sleeves Heather found was perfect for a warm-weather wedding and suited her and the party vibe perfectly. Heather is grateful not only to her daughter, but also to Naimh, the miracle worker at Charlie Brear who helped with such a last-minute order.

“The island of Ibiza has a particular energy which lends itself to celebration and also to love and a sense of safety”

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
Heather’s elegant gown was a last-minute find from Charlie Brear

Somewhere during the journey to wedding day Heather says she just stopped worrying. “The important thing isn’t really about how you (or anything) looks but more about how you are. Several days before I think a random outbreak of brown patches on the lawn prompted me to entirely jettison any notions of perfection and go instead for full blown happiness and gratitude for what was happening around me.”

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
Heather and Yann’s home had only recently been finished, so this was also a perfect housewarming

“It made me relax and just enjoy being present with my incredible husband and having an additional household of our nine favourite people – our children and their partners – and then having 60 more friends and family arriving on the island.”  She adds “I confess I ate masses, laughed a lot and could have gone to bed earlier in the run up but I have never felt so happy.”

“As the music started everyone just cheered and broke into applause. I knew then we were in for a special time”

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
This was the most joyful of parties in the Ibizan sunshine

Relaxing (along with a ‘rocket fuel’ espresso martini before the speeches) is one of Heather’s key survival tips for other couples, but so too is assembling the right team.  “This approach works well if you have an expert wedding planner to take all the worry load off your shoulders, which I was extremely lucky to have.” Her wedding planner, Kerry-Anne Winton of Ibiza Wedding was, she says, a total rock, great company and a brilliant organiser – also on hand into the small hours ironing out those tiny hitches that happen at all the very best parties. “Candles blowing out just before dinner, guests getting in the wrong taxis at 5.30am, etc. Flawless!”

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
The wedding feast began in cool of evening and lasted long into the night

The other members of the crew were all, says Heather, brilliant. Tara Moller captured the day in a way that reflected the relaxed fun they were having and became: “a much-loved friend and guest”. In fact, from Ana who did hair and make-up superbly to Clem at Velvet Circus who styled and decorated so beautifully, this was a team that made their day flow. The bar was superb and Pedro, who did their lighting blew everyone away with his amazing transformation of their courtyard using lasers and projectors. Heather says: “He is well known for creating the Ibiza Light Festival and by a few airline pilots as he does the lights at famed club DC10, which is at the end of Ibiza Airport runway”.

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
All elements – from flowers to feast – came together beautifully thanks to the planners

Heather also gives special mention to DJ Luka. “If anyone can really nail wedding music, which means simultaneously pleasing a huge cross section of ages and cultures, then they have probably answered the question to life, the universe and everything. Luca did a brilliant job and guests reported aching limbs for days after all the dancing.”

This was a party of so many high points that it’s hard to choose, but Heather singles out the marriage ceremony. “Being walked down the aisle by my two daughters and seeing my wonderful husband waiting for me was really like a magical dream. We chose ‘At Last’ by Etta James for me to walk in to. As the music started everyone just cheered and broke into applause. I knew then we were in for a special time, and it certainly was! I think everyone was crying and laughing at the same time for much of it.”

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
Ibiza is a famed party island so Kerry and Yann’s specialist suppliers included a legendary DJ and brilliant lighting specialist

As to their choice of Ibiza – their second home – for Heather and Yann this was a spot-on decision. “I think the island has a particular energy which lends itself to celebration and also to love and a sense of safety and I think that everyone who came to the wedding responded to that,” says Heather.

Real wedding: Ibiza fiesta
Heather and Yann say Ibiza is perfect for a special party

Heather and Yann’s wedding sourcebook

Photography: Tara Moller; & @taramollerphoto

Wedding planning: Kerry-Anne Winton at Ibiza Wedding; & @officialibizawedding

Bridal gown: Charlie Brear;

Bridal hair & make-up: Anai Perez;

Décor design: Velvet Circus Ibiza;

Wedding flowers: Flowers Ibiza;

Lighting: 3D Light;

DJ: Luca at LookaBarbi;


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