Anabel Maldonado didn’t start out with a specific theme in mind for her wedding to fiancé Lennart. But after collaborating with event planner Javier Monge, she found inspiration in their wedding location of Seville, Spain, ultimately deciding on a "tropical yet elegant" vibe with white décor details framed by palm trees and earthy touches. “I realized that tropical yet elegant is my vibe,” says Anabel, a fashion journalist and founder of e-commerce site Psykhe, of the four-day event in the south of Spain. “It’s all very Seville and very cinematic. It felt like an old movie.”
Anabel and Lennart’s destination celebration kicked off with a day of horseback riding, followed by a welcome dinner at Manolo Leon, one of their favorite restaurants in the city, that night and a festive dinner-and-dance party at Casa de Pilatos the next day. Their wedding day included two ceremonies at two different locations and an alfresco reception in a private hacienda. Finally, before guests departed, they munched on brunch dishes by the pool then wandered the town as part of the Feria flamenco festival. “We have such a diverse, international set of friends who are pretty well-traveled, so we wanted to have a fun schedule of things they wouldn’t necessarily expect,” Anabel says. “We liked to keep them guessing.”
“Our wedding luckily fell on the first day of Seville’s Feria, the grand fair that the city has every year,” Anabel explains of making the town’s festival part of the wedding itinerary. “People dress up in the traditional Flamenco style and ride around on adorned horse carriages.”
Anabel and Lennart invited guests to join them on a day-long horseback ride through Andalusia.
Anabel and Lennart threw a welcome party-slash-rehearsal dinner at Casa de Pilatos, a grand Andalusian palace. “It’s one of the most beautiful places, architecturally, that I’ve ever been to,” Anabel says. “I loved the topiary in the garden, marble sculptures, and the colored glazed ceramic tile walls.” In fact, the palace lays claim to one of the largest azulejos collections in the world.
Dinner was served around a beautiful fountain, and each guest’s place setting included a traditional Sevillan fan with their name hand-painted.
“It set a high bar for the wedding day,” Anabel says of the rehearsal dinner which, she admits, turned into a rather epic dance party.
Anabel wore a Viktor & Rolf satin and tulle ball gown, a brand she knew she wanted for her big day. “They’re the only ones creating more fashion-forward bridal,” she says. She actually stumbled upon the gown at Bergdorf Goodman, while in New York City for business, and stole one hour in her schedule to go look at dresses. “I wanted a dress that best encapsulates who I am: classic with a twist,” she adds.
She paired her gown with white Gianvito Rossi sandals and a cathedral-length veil. As a nod to her time working at CoutureLab, she carried a bag by Bea Valdes and borrowed jewelry from Fernando Jorge. “We have great relationships with the designers we carried,” she says.
Lennart donned a bespoke suit with a white jacket, while his groomsmen wore classic black tuxes.
Anabel admits that getting her dress from New York City to her home in London and finally to Seville was no easy task. It involved multiple flights, hiding it in her apartment, and plenty of begging flight attendants to hang it in the captain’s closet. “Each time I was at the mercy of the airline,” she says with a laugh. She paired the gown with a custom headband from Buffuna Hats, a milliner in Seville.
“I thought he looked like my ideal guy, but I am really proud, so I got my drinks and pivoted away,” Anabel says of first seeing Lennart in a West London club. “Ten minutes later, he came and introduced himself, and we talked for the next four hours.” Lennart proposed four years later while the couple spent a laid-back day in East Hampton, New York. “The fact I was wearing sneakers and denim cutoffs felt so much more real,” she adds.
Anabel rode to the church in a vintage Rolls Royce with her bouquet of white peonies. Her father helped her adjust her dress before the pair walked down the aisle.
The ceremony took place in an old Moorish fortress, Puerta de Sevilla. To echo the natural hues of the stone walls, the décor stuck to neutral tones and greenery with pops of white. Two large arrangements of white hydrangeas framed the altar where the pair said “I do.”
After walking down the aisle to an orchestral version of “Unchained Melody,” Anabel and Lennart exchanged traditional vows in a civil ceremony.
“Seeing the expression on Lennart’s face and the look in his eyes when I arrived was a once in a lifetime moment I will remember forever,” Anabel says.
The newlyweds exited the ceremony to one of Anabel’s favorite songs to play at home: “Married Life” by Michael Giacchino. (She swears it’s not because of the name!)
Guests crowded to shower the newlyweds in white rose petals as the newlyweds made their way to the reception at a private hacienda nearby.
However, before the reception, the couple took part in a second ceremony to honor Anabel’s Sephardic Jewish heritage. Since Saturday is the Sabbath, they waited until sundown to exchange vows with Rabbi Haim Casas, the first Sephardic Cordoba-born rabbi since the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. “Our ceremony felt like part of this history,” Anabel says. To distinguish it from the earlier event, Javier set a more mystical mood with 100 outdoor candles and sparklers that blazed after Lennart broke the glass.
Like the ceremony, Anabel wanted to highlight the historic venues with the wedding décor. At Hacienda Molinillos, the private hacienda where they held the reception, that meant large palm arrangements on the long tables, gold accents, and more white hydrangeas.
Anabel admits she absolutely loved wedding planning, even if it involved several trips to Seville for meetings and flights to New York City for dress fittings. “Never settle—this is a once in a lifetime event,” she says. “In a way, it’s your one chance to produce, direct, and star in the movie of your life.”
Anabel and Lennart were extremely excited about the menu for their wedding, which included imaginative canapes served on dry ice trays and torrija, a traditional caramelized bread pudding served with crema Sevillana.
The pair cut into a five-tier caked filled with pistachio and caramel flavors. From there, it was onto the dance floor, with throwback favorites like Backstreet Boys, reggaeton, hip hop, and old-school salsa. “The DJ first kicked it off with Drake’s ‘Nice For What’ and everyone erupted,” Anabel says. “It really brought home the love. Everyone was really there for us.”
Ceremony Venue: Puerta de Sevilla || Reception Venue: Hacienda Molinillos || Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Casa de Pilatos || Wedding Planner: Javier Monge || Officiant: Rabbi Haim Casas || Bride's Dress: Viktor & Rolf || Bride's Veil: Bergdorf Goodman || Bride's Shoes: Gianvito Rossi || Bride's Jewelry: Fernando Jorge || Hair & Makeup: Josema Mena || Maid of Honor Dress: Self Portrait || Groom’s Attire: Custom || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: David Wayne Weinberg || Floral Design: La Galería Jesús Fuertes || Invitations: Noble Fine Art || Catering: Alfardos || Cake: Mr. Cake || Favors: Ines Cabra || Transportation: TCB Clásicos y Limusinas || Accommodations: Hotel Casa 1800 || Videography: Pablo Ruiz Sanchez || Photography: Volvoreta