Tiffany & Kyle: An Intimate and Wild Elopement in Barcelona, Spain | Europe Elopement Photographer
When you think of Spain, you think of bright colors, sangria, music and dancing, a relaxing and warm country with closed in streets and ancient buildings. You also think of football. In a wild turn of events, football (or soccer for Americans) is what led Tiffany and Kyle and I to fly across the world to photograph their love.
The moment I met Tiffany and Kyle was during their professional headshots. We realized our kids had played soccer together and actually knew one another. We sat and had wine at Kinship landing after their session and started talking weddings and I knew right away they didn't want the full expensive wedding ordeal. Having already bought a house together and raised their kids together, it was one of those "screw it, let's elope" situations. When they told me they were going to a football camp in Madrid for their son Ethan, I almost jokingly said " I'll come with you, you guys should just elope there." And they did.
When my couples elope overseas, I make sure all the planning is done by me. I made sure to secure florals and pick up, an elopement location, even an officiant. I send over detailed and customized elopement guides that include potential locations and their fees, accommodations and restaurants in the area. Elopements are so much more than just the photographs; I want my couples to follow my lead and feel as though they can just show up and expect the day to run smoothly.
I decided to bring my son Jude to Barcelona with me; the perks of my job is that I can also give these experiences to my kiddos and have them travel the world with me. We met Tiffany and Kyle and their kids in Barcelona, completely jet lagged, for some paella and everyone was so excited for all the planning to finally come to fruition.
This is where the story gets fun.
I showed up to Tiffany and Kyle's gorgeous airbnb in the heart of Barcelona and noticed Ethan slightly dying in what looked like a sick room from the 1300's with the windows closed. No worries, he had seen the doctor already. Kyle was dressed and ready to go, just had to grab some getting ready photos and we were to leave for the cactus gardens in an hour where we were to meet the officiant! When Tiffany went to put on her gorgeous dress from Anthropologie that had already been altered and steamed, the zipper broke. And I mean, didn't just break- practically fell off due to bad altering. So after calming Tiff down, we decided to do the first look with the broken dress and google every bridal shop we could find.
We end up walking to a bridal shop that is closed and a lovely man named David, after we called and pleaded for him to open his shop, came running down the street to help us. Our officiant wasn't going to wait much longer at the gardens. Did we chug a wine while waiting for him? Desperate times in Spain call for desperate measures. Unfortunately, all the dresses in David's lovely shop only came in one size and while they were stunning, we didn't have time for alterations. Cut to us panicking and calling my sister in law who knows Barcelona very well and her sending us to Mango (think of it as Spanish target or H&M). In Mango there was one dress, very Spanish, but it fit like a glove. We found some shoes, cut the tags off, made a last minute decision to meet the officiant at La Familia Sagrada (which, by the way, is a photographers nightmare due to the sheer amount of people) and stuck Tiffany and Kyle and the kids in between a group of homeless people and teenagers who were drinking some sort of beer.
Eventually a crowd formed; a homeless man kindly handed Tiffany and Kyle a statue of Jesus mid ceremony, which was really kind. Then after the ceremony the locals demanded in Spanish that Tiffany throw the bouquet, as is tradition. Me knowing how much the florals cost, made her throw Taylor's bouquet instead.
We say goodbye to our lovely officiant Xavier and thank him for his patience during a two hour search for a dress that ended up being whatever Mango had (Tiffany freaking ROCKED the dress, wowza). For elopements in Europe I want to incorporate as much European influence as possible; cathedrals in the background, touristy I "heart" Barcelona shops, alley ways, graffiti, city parks, Barcelona Football Club gift shops. Whatever it is that shows off the country. We had a great time wandering before the sun went down and settled in an Irish pub run by a woman from Scotland (Europe is weird) for some food. That's when the sweat started pouring down Kyle's face. The plague had somehow held off long enough for the ceremony and was now within him; he had to leave and go to bed. I was going to take their kids for the night while they had a wild evening in Spain. Instead, Tiffany left Kyle dying in their airbnb and had sangria at my hotel rooftop pool with me. You can't make this stuff up.
So yes, elopements and weddings don't always go to plan, no matter how hard you try and plan it. Things happen you can not foresee. But a good photographer will make the photos look like nothing happened bad happened at all. A good photographer will calm you down, drink wine with you while we wait for exclusive Bridal shops to open, tell you you are pretty even when you are sweating from stress. But most importantly, a good friend like Tiffany will trust you and put their faith in your work to make it the best day ever, no matter what.
Florals: Au Nom De la Rose
Officiant: Xavier Ortiz
Venue: La Familia Sagrada
Looking to elope anywhere in the world? I would love to be your guide.