Selina and Zam hosted their wedding in the heart of Seville, blending time-honoured traditions with bespoke elements for a unique and joy-filled party weekend
When Selina and Zam began planning their wedding weekend in Seville, they knew they wanted to make the very most of this spectacular setting to create something very special. Selina says: “We were hosting our wedding over three days. This gave us the opportunity to use different locations so that guests could experience the authenticity and history. Our goal was to combine this with a very fun weekend for our guests.”
Their choice of Seville was not chance. Selina had visited with one of her friends two years earlier and fell in love with its history and atmosphere. She says. “We were both single at the time. I still recall (and so does my friend Katie) saying: ‘I have no idea when I am going to get married or to whom, but I know for sure I am getting married here!’.” When Zam and Selina visited for the first time together he also fell under its spell and it had to be the place for their wedding.
“At the White Party, a Spanish guitarist was playing soft tunes in the background while guests mingled and got to know each other”
With guests flying in from all points, the first event was the Welcome Party at the city’s landmark Abades Triana Restaurant. “Our party was on the terrace, with gorgeous views for our guests of the city. Zam’s grandmother kindly designed a beautiful invitation for us which was based on a white background with red roses.
This inspired us for our first theme – a White Party.” With theme in place, the couple organised red roses for every guest so that they could pin them on their outfits. “We had a Spanish guitarist playing soft tunes in the background while our guests mingled and got to know each other. It was magical.”
The second event was the Indian Party, held in the beautiful Hacienda El Vizir – a traditional Moorish-style building, with lush courtyard spaces. “We wanted this day to be as traditionally Indian as possible,” says Selina. “Our guests looked fabulous in their outfits and had made a real effort to look the part.”
“We wanted the day to be as traditionally Indian as possible and guests had made a real effort to look the part”
A fun highlight of the day was Zam’s Pithi, a ceremony where a paste made mainly of chickpea flour, turmeric and rose water is rubbed on the groom’s face, hands and legs. “It is also traditional for the groom’s male friends and family to follow up by their own ingredients of choice – in Zam’s case it was ketchup, eggs, mayonnaise, Coke, cat food and more along those lines!” says Selina.
Indian canapés began being served at sunset, with live stations where guests could get freshly made pani puri and pav bhaji. This was followed by dinner inside the Hacienda and then dancing could begin. “We started with a dance off. It was Zam’s friends against my friends and we had been preparing our dances for months,” says Selina. “Zam’s team won, although I’m still convinced my dance was better!” The party continued to the early hours with a playlist of classic Bollywood and Punjabi music. “DJ Ravi from RV sounds was awesome,” adds Selina.
The final, and main event, was the wedding Itself. The afternoon religious ceremony was held at the Casa De Guardiola, a former palace just moments from their evening reception venue, Alfonso XIII Hotel. “Our final theme was Black Tie and the style and wonderful architecture of both venues meant it was the perfect choice,” says Selina. “Both venues were incredible, and with so much history that we went very minimal on flowers. We had a very simple stage decoration of flowers – white and red – and with the same colours on the tables at the reception.”
Selina and Zam say their MCs Tom and Feryal were “awesome”. Selina adds: “They are both great friends of ours and were super entertaining. We stuck with the traditions of a father of bride speech, groom speech and groomsman’s speech. All of them were so special.” Duo Who Killed the DJ were also a fantastic part of the celebration, with violinist Quike Navarro playing solo at the ceremony and saxophonist Guillarmo Fernandez soloing at the cocktail reception.
Then they combined for the reception proper with their DJ. Zam and Selina had prepared another surprise – a short first dance routine. After the reception, the couple and their guests moved on to the hotel’s Salon Betis for a brilliant after party lasting until the early hours.
Music and dancing were woven through the multiple joyful celebrations
With superb assistance from their team in Seville, including planners Optimum Weddings, this was a seamless party weekend, but time out for guests was also built in. “We had decided early on we would not have any early events. Guests were partying every night to the early hours and Seville is so beautiful we also wanted them to have the time to experience the city in the day,” says Selina. The couple were also meticulous in maintaining flow, ensuring no long gaps between evening parties.
Selina and Zam’s tips for other couples are not to stress about smaller details, especially the cake. “It was one of the last things on our list and we made a rushed decision. At the reception we both thought: ‘that’s really small and disappointing’. But not one of our guests even noticed or remembered it. In fact, the only two people who mentioned we should have got a better cake were our mums!
As to wedding highlights, there were so many. “My father’s speech was definitely one,” says Selina. “There was so much meaning and depth to his words which were beautifully expressed.” Another was Zam’s grandmother right in the centre of the dancefloor. “She is 86 years old and her energy and beaming smile was unforgettable.” The couple also love the fact that guests got involved in the fun of the Indian Dance Off. “Many of our guests had never done a dance routine before, let alone one to Bollywood music. But they took it really seriously with a real competitive spirit between the two groups. We are so proud of them!”
Selina and Zam’s wedding sourcebook
Planners: Dyana, Jess and Sarah at Optimum Weddings; optimumweddings.com
Photographer: Kuny Diamond Studio; @KunydiamondStudio
Wedding Dress: Cherie D by Sherina Dalamal; sherinasoni.com
Hotel events: Olivier Rust & team at Hotel Alfonso XIII; marriott.com
Welcome party: Abades Triana; abadestriana.com
Indian Night party: Hacienda El Vizir; haciendaelvizir.com
Indian Night catering: Passage to India; passagetoindia.co.uk
Wedding music: Quike Navarro and Guillarmo Fernandez at Who Killed the DJ; whokilledthedj.com
Party music: DJ Ravi at RV Sounds; rvsounds.com
Video: Bodas RVG; bodasrvg.com
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