An Intimate Ceremony at a Beautiful Chapel in Spain

The couple made it official days before their big celebration

Updated 04/02/18

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

From their first date to their engagement, things came full circle for Natalia del Rivero and Christopher Darling. The couple first met at a mutual friend's party in Brooklyn, but Natalia didn't give Chris her phone number until they got stuck in an elevator together (for almost two hours!) leaving a party. He asked her out immediately, and they had their first date at Mermaid Inn, followed by a nightcap at Death & Co., which is where they returned to celebrate their engagement a little over a year later.

When it came to their wedding, Natalia and Chris opted for a destination celebration in Spain, where Natalia grew up, and chose Marbella because it’s where she used to spend summers with her grandmother. (She didn’t want 600 people at her wedding, which would happen in Madrid!) And because their garden venue at Finca Cortesin, a hotel in Marbella, wasn’t able to host a legal wedding, they planned a small chapel ceremony as their civil wedding on September 14, 2017. That was followed by another larger event two days later, when the couple had a garden ceremony and celebrated with 300-plus guests.

Natalia and Christ invited family and five close friends to a small chapel where the bride's aunt had been married, and where she attended Mass with her grandmother as a child. “I have good memories within these walls, so it was this church or no church." she says. The stylish bride also used her grandmother as a muse for her "I do" style—so keep reading to see photos (by [Patricia Lyons Photography(http://www.patricialyonsphotography.com/)) of just how chic she looked!

bride wearing hat

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

bride solo shot with hat

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

Natalia’s style inspirations for her original civil ceremony bridal look came from Audrey Hepburn, her grandmother, and the ‘50s. Her good friend from university, Adriana Rivera, made the dress for her in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she has an atelier.

bride wearing hat

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

Natalia's throwback hat and flowers completed her retro look, which was unexpected yet perfect for the chapel ceremony. The bride wore her hair in a tight chignon and did her own makeup.

bride with father of the bride

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

Natalia’s dad joined her while she finished getting ready and spent time with his daughter before the ceremony.

vintage getaway car

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

bride getting into car

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

After taking photos, the bride and her father rode to the chapel in a vintage 1954 Citroen, keeping within the time period of the bride's dress. While en route, they detoured to the beach where she spent her summers to take photos on a nearby golf course as a nod to Chris, who is a big golfer.

bride and father of the bride in car

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

At the chapel, Natalia and her father were greeted by guests who cheered them on. Her father also walked her down the aisle for the ceremony. "It was intimate, emotional, and special," explains the bride.

bride and groom during ceremony

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

In Spain, bridesmaids and groomsmen act as witnesses, sitting on both sides of the altar and signing the marital contract book toward the end of the ceremony. For their special moment, “Chris even practiced the Catholic vows in Spanish so he could deliver them in my native language,” says the bride, adding that she choked halfway through and it took her awhile to put the ring on his finger.

bride and groom exiting ceremony

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

The newlyweds recessed to “Salve Marinera,” which was selected in honor of Natalia’s grandfather, who was admiral of the Spanish navy and to whom she was very close.

Their first married kiss was followed by champagne in the chapel's courtyard before a casual lunch by the pool at Finca Cortesin, where Natalia and Chris also hosted an even larger party two days later. Stay tuned for more on that!

Venue: Capilla de Guadalmina, Marbella, Spain || Planner: Claudia Aguirre of A-Tipica Madrid || Bride’s Dress: Adriana Rivera || Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Kiss the Ring || Photography: Patricia Lyons || Second Shooter: Lori Miles

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