College sweethearts Arielle Lafuente, a product manager at Farfetch, and Michael Paolini, a vice president at Mastercard, met at the University of Pennsylvania, but saw their relationship take them to Washington, D.C., then London. After Michael proposed at The Connaught Hotel in London, the search began for the perfect wedding venue, with the couple checking out venues in the bride’s hometown of Santa Barbara as well as locally in the U.K. That’s when they realized Mallorca—where they took their first getaway together since moving to Europe—would be the perfect destination for the guests coming from far and wide, and Cap Rocat, a converted fortress, would be just the spot.
Since Arielle had previously worked with an event design company, she took on most of the planning herself, which in total, took about two and a half years. The spring date, May 27, meant Arielle’s favorite flowers were in season, and the rustic beauty of the venue would inspire the rest of the details. The couple simply added a few glam notes, like metallic accents and uplighting, and found ways to show off the island to their friends and family over the course of four days. After a catamaran sail, paella feast, drinks in a speakeasy, beach club hangout, and, of course, the wedding, Arielle and Michael jetted off to Ibiza for a mini-moon following the all-out celebration.
Keep reading for all the details on their destination wedding, coordinated by Mille Papillons and photographed by Erich McVey.
Palma de Mallorca was the destination of the couple’s first getaway after moving to London five years ago. Plus, Arielle’s father hailed from Spain, so it was the natural setting for their nuptials.
The couple’s invitations included custom illustrations of the weekend’s events, including a catamaran sail and "recovery day" at a beach club. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with gifts like straw hats embroidered with Spanish phrases, packs of the couples’ favorite snacks, and mini bottles of liquor.
Michael donned a John Varvatos floral jacquard midnight blue tuxedo that he paired with slippers and a classic Brioni bow tie, a gift from Arielle.
Arielle didn’t expect to have a “crying aha moment” when dress shopping at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York City. But when she put on this strapless Alon Livne gown, she broke down. Obviously, it was the one.
Arielle actually found her veil through Instagram: She discovered Daphne Newman on the social media platform, and ended up contacting the designer directly about a cathedral length veil. The result? A bespoke lace creation that matched the material of her gown. She paired the look with green Aquazzura shoes for a splash of seaside color.
“Take your time and do as you see fit,” Arielle says of wedding planning. “All good things come to those who wait. A wedding is most importantly a celebration of the two of you.”
Arielle and Michael really wanted to highlight the raw beauty of the fortress venue, so they kept décor to a minimum to focus attention on the palm trees, agaves, ocean, sandstone, and sun.
The ceremony was set for the late afternoon guests, so guests were able to enjoy the view (and snap a few photos!) in daylight.
Arielle made her entrance to her late father’s favorite song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” played by Spanish guitarist Toni Cruz. She was escorted by her mother and brother.
The couple exchanged personalized vows of their shared experiences over the years, but they made sure the guests also felt involved in the ceremony. They had a blessing of the rings, where the wedding bands are passed around to the guests to grace with their best wishes for the marriage.
Arielle’s bouquet included garden roses, peonies, and ranunculus as well as succulents, a sweet ode to the arid environment of the island.
The couple’s wedding bands were a last-minute gift from Arielle’s mother. While they were picking up their marriage license before traveling to Mallorca, Arielle’s mother gave them her and her late husband’s wedding bands to exchange during the nuptials.
Cocktail hour took place on the terrace, with guests munching on Spanish tapas and sipping signature drinks, like an Americano, a Campari-based aperitif.
Arielle let Cap Rocat shine by dining alfresco in the fortress. Uplighting accented the architecture while pillar candles offered a romantic glow to the dinner tables. To honor the island’s textile tradition called lenguas mallorquinas, the tables were topped with La Tavola metallic linens featuring a geometric pattern.
Guests dined on a Spanish-inspired menu that included a smoked tuna tartare, local sausage, and Mallorcan almond cake. During the dance party, they served Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, from a tower of glasses along with late-night hamburgers.
The night ended with a dance party in the fortress’s bunker, where gunpowder was stored during the Spanish-American war. A saxophone player led the guests to the dance floor after the couple’s first dance to “Happy Birthday” by Kygo.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cap Rocat
Wedding Coordinator: Mille Papillons
Officiant: Kristin Frascella
Bridal Gown: Alon Livne
Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier
Veil: Daphne Newman
Jewelry: David Yurman
Reception Dress: Parker
Hair & Makeup: B & A Beauty Eco Salon
Bridesmaid Dresses: Ghost London
Groom’s Attire: John Varvatos
Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein
Engagement Ring: Harry Winston
Wedding Bands: Harry Winston, David Yurman
Flowers: Ars Festum
Stationery & Paper Goods: Grayling Studio
Rentals: Ars Festum, La Tavola Fine Linen
Ceremony Music: Toni Cruz
Reception Music: DJ Bono Solera, Norbert Fimpel
Catering: La Fortaleza
Photography: Erich McVey