“This was the most special day of our life because it’s the only day in which everyone we both love was there with us,” says Macarena Villa Maese of her wedding with Cheché F. de la Mora Murillo in Northern Spain. The pair, who live in Madrid, invited 200 friends and family to Meres, Asturias, Spain, to celebrate in a palace. “This was the first location we went to and we were convinced since the first moment we first stepped on its gardens,” Macarena adds.
The couple let Palacio de Meres lead the charge for the day, including using the onsite Catholic church—the largest in all of Spain—for the traditional ceremony. After, they had two hours of pintxos in the gardens and dancing late into the night at a cider factory on the palace grounds. Throughout, the florals and décor stemmed organically from the architecture of the space and the local Asturian culture, such as white Asturian hydrangeas.
But the couple did add some flair by using a unique detail as inspiration: their African safari honeymoon. They tapped quintessential safari colors and sweet nods to "the Big Five" for their invitation suite and paper goods, including the names of each table at dinner. Macarena and Cheché put plenty of personal touches on the day as well, like one huge undertaking that resulted in sore wrists the week leading up to the nuptials. “We wrote personalized thank you notes for each guest or couple,” Macarena says. “We must confess: We had a bad wrist ache for writing so much! But it was totally worth it.”
Read on for all the details of Macarena and Cheché’s sweet Spanish wedding, as planned by the couple and photographed by JFK Imagen Social.
Cheché donned a dark gray morning suit from Harry’s 1982. He added a burgundy tie with sky blue flowers to accent his sky blue shirt with white collar. He also wore a wristwatch that was a gift from Macarena’s parents during their engagement celebration.
Macarena says that she loves the way her hair and makeup turned out for the big day. She appreciated that her makeup artist, Lorena Carvajal, and hairstylist, Barbara, from Barbareando, struck the right balance between formal and casual so that Macarena felt completely herself with the natural makeup and low, loose bun.
Macarena worked with designer Isabel Nuñez for her custom satin silk dress, which featured puff shoulders, intricate detailing on the long sleeves, and an embroidered tulle skirt.
"My earrings were really special,” the bride says. She wore multiple in each year, which combined family heirlooms—her grandmother’s diamonds—with playful: One featured a Mexican hat as a nod to Cheché’s Mexican heritage.
“Ever since I met Isabel, I felt she perfectly understood my style. I didn’t know how to express it, but she understood it anyway,” Macarena says of working with the designer on her custom gown. Ultimately, Macarena loved that the dress felt both modern and elegant.
Macarena’s florist drew inspiration from the palace’s architecture and local foliage for her bridal bouquet. On the big day, the bride added a Virgin Mary metal to the stem.
Macarena’s full bridal look included an intricate headpiece of white hand-made paper flowers by Charo Agruña as well as a cathedral-length veil by Isabel Nuñez. “I couldn’t be happier with the final result,” Macarena says of her wedding gown experience.
“We wanted to enjoy to the fullest every single moment with our family and closest friends during the wedding,” Macarena says of hosting everything in one place, the Palacio de Meres.
Macarena’s father, Alfredo, escorted her down the aisle of the Catholic church to a section of Handel’s “Water Music.”
“We wanted to keep the chapel’s elegance and decay untouched, and therefore we kept it simple,” Macarena says of accenting the church with just arrangements of white Asturian hydrangeas and candlesticks.
The couple wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony that honored Spanish customs. “The groom’s mother sits beside the bride and the bride’s father sits beside the groom,” Macarena explains. “This is the classic Spanish way of seating: the bride’s father accepting the groom into his family, the groom’s mother accepting the bride into her family.”
Macarena and Cheché’s guests exited the church first, so they could cheer as the newlyweds walked out to Vivaldi’s “Spring Allegro” performed by a string quartet and vocalist.
“Remember the important part is merging the family,” Macarena says of the wedding day. “If something happens, it will be enjoyed the same, and it may be more exciting.”
Cheché proposed in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. “We went up by ourselves to a café located on top of Chipinque's Ecological Park,” Macarena recalls. “After a quick coffee, we went out to a lookout and it happened there, with great views above Cheché's city, close to everyone but with no one to disturb us.”
Remember the important part is merging the family. If something happens, it will be enjoyed the same, and it may be more exciting.
The couple took their first dance to “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King in the courtyard of the palace as guests munched on 12 types of pintxos.
As a nod to their honeymoon in Africa, the couple named the tables after popular animals they expected to see on safari: lions, giraffes, elephants, and zebras, among others.
At dinner, the menus also kept with the African safari theme as did the colors of the florals and tableware at each place setting.
The only jewelry that Macarena wore on the wedding day, besides her earrings, was her engagement ring, given to her by Cheché the week before. The couple hosted a traditional Spanish engagement with their families in which Cheché presented Macarena with a bezel-set diamond ring from Perez de la Rosa.
Food was a big deal at the reception, which commenced with two hours of Spanish pintxos and continued with a two-course formal dinner of hake in champagne sauce and Asturian sirloin with a mash potato foam. They topped it off with a sweet finish, mille-feuille with berries accompanied with a mango-banana sorbet, but that’s not all. There were two more rounds of food served during the dance party, including late-night McDonald’s at 4:30 a.m.
After the wedding, Macarena and Cheché took off to Africa for an epic journey through four countries. They kicked off with a trip to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, then went on safari in Botswana through Chobe National Park. They stopped off in Cape Town, South Africa for the Cape of Good Hope and wine tastings in Stellenbosch, then jetted to Seychelles for a week in the islands.
Wedding Venue Palacio de Meres
Bridal Gown & Veil Isabel Nuñez
Bride's Shoes Flor de Asoka
Makeup Lorena Carbajal
Mother of the Bride's Dress The 2nd Skin
Groom’s Attire Harry’s 1982
Engagement Ring Perez de la Rosa
Floral Design Doña Cúrcuma
Stationery & Paper Goods Casa Pomelo
Music Siapro DJ
Catering Real Balneario de Salinas
Photography & Videography JFK Imagen Social