Anita Suárez de Lezo and Yago Calderón headed 20 minutes outside of Madrid for an autumnal-inspired wedding that was both intimate and massive. They kept the ceremony small, with just friends and family, then invited nearly 500 guests to celebrate with cocktails and dinner. “We took a lot of time organizing the dance party, which was very important for us,” Anita says. “We wanted everyone to enjoy as much as possible.”
The forest-inspired affair took place at La Quinta de Jarama, a Moorish event space and gardens not far from the capital city. Anita, an artist by trade, worked with the onsite event planners to create a flower-filled ceremony and reception, from the floral headpieces for the flower girls to the tree-like arrangements topping the long dinner tables.
Beyond decor, Anita and Yago made sure their guests had the best time. They hosted several themed bars, including a cigar lounge, gin and tonic bar, and risotto station. Close friends and family shared readings during the ceremony, and instead of tossing her bouquet, Anita followed a sweet Spanish tradition. She gave it to a couple they wanted to marry next: Yago’s father and his girlfriend, Carmen. “We were so happy, we just wanted our guests feel the same way,” Anita says.
Keep reading for all the details on their beautiful Spanish wedding, photographed by Volvoreta, below.
Anita accented her dress with a pair of emerald earrings, borrowed from her cousin, and an emerald ring which belongs to her mother. Her bracelet was a nod to her groom, who popped the question with a Cartier Love bracelet after nine months of dating.
Anita collaborated with a favorite Spanish designer, Juanjo Oliva, to custom design her crepe gown. It featured a round collar, long sleeves, thick belt, and open back. I wanted a dress that would be very simple but elegant,” she says. “His first design was perfect.”
She wore strappy Gianvito Rossi sandals and carried a bouquet of dusty pink roses.
Following Spanish custom, Anita had witnesses rather than bridesmaids. Her best friends all wore dresses that they felt best represented their personal styles. “They looked absolutely gorgeous,” Anita says.
Anita’s two nieces served as flower girls, donning white dresses with floral headbands.
Anita describes the ceremony location as “magical.” A raffia carpet lead to the floral-covered altar. It looked as if it were an extension of the trees and fountains of La Quinta de Jarama.
One of her favorite memories was her processional with her father. A choir of 40 children sang during the ceremony, including Anita’s entrance to “Over the Rainbow,” and she says she’ll never forget seeing Yago crying as she walked toward him.
The ceremony included readings by Anita’s and Yago’s brothers as well as cousins and friends. “All of them made us cry,” Anita says. A friend who is a priest gave a blessing after the officiant declared them wed.
“Focus on what really is important,” Anita says of wedding planning. “You are marrying the love of your life on that day and nothing else matters.”
Cocktail hour featured a Champagne bar, Mojito bar, and oyster station, while a jazz band played.
“We wanted the guests to feel like they would be entering a forest,” Anita says of the inspiration for the reception.
With nearly 500 guests, Anita admits the seating plan was the most difficult part of planning. It all came together, though, with tables full of flowers and large centerpieces simulating trees.
In addition to a cigar bar and a gin and tonic station, the reception featured a Jagermeister ice fountain and doughnuts served on the dance floor.
Anita and Yago picked “Stay” by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs for their first dance. “Although we rehearsed so much, we didn’t stop making mistakes on the day,” Anita says. “Luckily nobody noticed. We had so much fun!”
“The day of the wedding passes so quickly that your photos and video are going to be the best memory,” Anita says of spending time hiring a photographer and videographer.
For the dance party, Anita changed into a mini dress with puff sleeves and a pair of Jimmy Choo flats. She adds, “I wanted to be comfortable and dance all night long!”
Ceremony & Reception Site: La Quinta de Jarama || Bridal Gown: Juanjo Oliva || Jewelry: Cartier || Shoes: Gianvito Rossi || Hair & Makeup: Alvaro Talayero || Reception Dress: Fraile || Groom’s Attire: Just One || Flowers: Floreale || Stationery: DIY || Music: Las Veredas, Mad 4 Dixie || Violinist: Miguel Lara || Catering: La Quinta de Jarama || Transportation: La Sepulvedana || Videography: Instantanea & Tomaprimera || Photography: Volvoreta