As the driving force behind the many beautiful and luxe weddings at Ibiza beach wedding venue Pura Vida since its opening in 2007, expert Ibiza wedding planner Alexandra Sixt is nothing short of a godsend for Ibiza brides-to-be in the lead up to their big day. So when the time came for her very own Ibiza wedding in 2013, she knew exactly how things needed to happen!
We caught up with the newlywed to find out if her profession was helpful or a hindrance, and to see what she gained from the experience that she can take into her future wedding planning endeavours.
How did your experience as Pura Vida’s wedding planner affect your own wedding? On one hand, my experience was really helpful – we knew every last thing we needed to plan and all those little details that other couples might not think of. We knew exactly how to make our wedding comfortable and enjoyable for the guests as well as ourselves… I knew I could make it 100 percent perfect. But on the other hand, I wanted to make it too perfect and that made me a little more stressed on the wedding day and in the days beforehand…
Were you able to relax and enjoy the experience of being a bride on the day? I think if you’re the bride, it’s hard to be completely relaxed – it doesn’t matter whether you planned the wedding yourself or not. You are so emotional and running at such a high level of energy. The whole lead up to the wedding is quite a process, and for me, it was like any other wedding I would plan and felt quite normal until I was sitting in front of the mirror having my hair and make-up done and I had the realisation it was actually MY wedding day!
Did your experience as a wedding planner help you keep calm over the course of proceedings? There were a couple of hours when I was completely in the moment, but there were other points when I noticed the music wasn’t quite right or felt really responsible for all the guests to have a good time … Of course I knew there would be things on the day that we couldn’t plan for, but I hadn’t realised that when you are the wedding planner, you can easily step in and sort things out but when you are the bride and in the middle of it all, it’s not so easy to instantly react. As a bride, you should do nothing – just party and enjoy your day.
Did your experience in Ibiza make it easier or harder to choose your suppliers? Surely you must be spoilt for choice! It was SO easy and clear! I knew exactly how I thought an Ibiza wedding should look and feel like and I knew exactly who I could trust to make it happen. I got to choose all the best elements from weddings I had previously planned and had the benefit of knowing all the suppliers through work too.
So give us the lowdown… Our own company Samos Deli did the catering – it was Spanish Mediterranean with a twist! We started with all the canapés that we love personally – sushi, foie gras and mini burgers – and then had a casual buffet style dinner with salads, garlic prawns and mussels to start, followed by lamb (on a spit roast) and a mero with typical Ibicencan style potatoes and pimientos de pardon plus Oriental couscous with vegetables. We then had a cake buffet (because I couldn’t decide on one!) with five different types of cake from our own bakery plus sweets on a really beautiful rustic, wooden table with a lot of candles… it was very romantic!
Did you also assist with finding accommodation for your guests? Yes of course! This is something we do for our wedding couples at Pura Vida too, organise accommodation, transfers… anything. It’s nice to be able to help because you know all of your guests are really traveling to Ibiza just for you, for this one day… we had 65 guests from Germany, Hong Kong, London, Austria and Switzerland as well as Ibiza! Because we live here and really know the island we have a lot of options.
How do you think the experience of being an Ibiza bride will affect the way you plan weddings in the future? I think now I am much more patient, more understanding and I can be of much more help with the finer details to take away the stress for each bride. For example, I now completely understand why the guest numbers change so often, and so close to the event, and that it’s something that is unavoidable, but that can be fixed.
Any other lessons you learnt? You have to realise that even though it’s your special day together, you will be separated from your husband for quite a lot of the time – every guest wants to spend time with you and you’re moving around from family to friends, dancing and toasting and talking. It’s unavoidable. I’ve seen brides upset by this in the past, but now I can advise on how to deal with it… and prepare for it.
Is there anything you would change? No, it was really perfect. Everything ran smoothly… except for the last guests who didn’t want to leave in the very early hours of the morning (they told us it was the best party they’d ever been to)… but only because I was looking forward to my wedding night! The day just goes so quickly so you really need to enjoy it… you only have the experience once in a lifetime (although we were lucky enough to also have a church ceremony in Austria!), but it was so good we are already planning to do it all over again in five years!
ALEXANDRA’S TOP TIPS FOR IBIZA WEDDINGS
- First of all, if you don’t live on the island, you should definitely use a wedding planner to take the stress out of everything. We only took three days off from our work with Pura Vida because it was a busy time of year and I learnt from experience if you are the bride AND the wedding planner, it’s too much!
- For brides, I’d really say you should listen to your stylist’s advice as they know the climate along with your skin and hair type and can create the right looks to prevent shiny skin or flat hair on the day. I always recommend and chose Luiz Mantei for my wedding, as he is just amazing!
- Choose a photographer from Ibiza – I always recommend Maria Simon and Ana Lui (and used them both for my wedding!) – as they understand the light on the island, have a good knowledge of the locations and their images are always just perfect.
- It’s worth getting to know your photographer before the wedding, over lunch, so they get an insight into your relationship and personalities, and feel a connection with you. And take your time with the photos, even if you have to extend your aperitivo or delay something else! They are all you are left with after it is all over, so it’s worth getting them right.
- Keep the heat in mind and don’t start too early… our civil wedding was at 2pm, so we were up and getting ready at 10.30am with a family breakfast beforehand. It’s a really long day – we didn’t finish until 5am!
- Be sure to drink water in between glasses of champagne! It’s so easy to forget, but everyone wants to have a toast with you and are always topping you up – be sure to tell your wedding planner do she can help you. It’s much better than fading early in the day and not enjoying yourself.
- Don’t start planning more than a year in advance – you discover so many things and change your opinion and vision as you are discovering everything that it creates too much work. Of course, you should lock in your venue and photographer as soon as you know the date, but the other details can wait until about nine months before. I planned my Ibiza wedding in six months… with the benefit of experience!
When reserving Pura Vida as your wedding venue, the expert wedding planning services of Alexandra and her team are included at no extra cost. Intimate, modern, chic and romantic, set right on the intimate beach of Playa Niu Blau, with uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean across to Formentera, the spectacular east coast venue never fails to impress at weddings – a picture perfect backdrop, with a team dedicated to making your important day as wonderful as possible.