Love outside the rules
Over the duration of the last century, the nature of marriage – along with many other social norms – has changed. While in the past it was used almost solely as a means to establish legal boundaries between man and woman, these days it’s considered more of a union (at least for the majority) – the joining together of two souls, in all their wonderfully diverse forms; the merging of two hearts and the jubilant celebration that follows. This spirit of marriage is very much alive and kicking on the white isle, and nowhere more so than at Aiyanna Ibiza, where laid-back declarations of love and commitment are par for the course.
With a stunning seaside location on the island’s north-east coast, Aiyanna Ibiza is perfectly placed for the kind of easy, breezy wedding ceremony that so many couples yearn for. Set at the far end of Cala Nova – a long stretch of golden sand caressed by the softest blue Mediterranean waves – it’s drenched in sunshine by day, starlight by night, and always majestically framed by towering palm trees that sway according to the soothing swoosh of the zephyr. In short, it’s a venue that sings with sun-kissed nonchalance – the kind of place that begs for bohemian brides.
And so they come, in their droves, drawn like magnets to a setting that’s enchantingly interwoven with nature. Aiyanna Ibiza embodies an approach to marriage that lays aside any proper or pretentious guidelines dictated by tradition, instead allowing happy couples to mould the day into an event that allows them to truly express their feelings for one another. “Aiyanna isn’t traditional or formal,” explains events and wedding manager, Natalia G Mayoral. “Here it’s a barefoot affair – we encourage our couples to make the most of the elements around them.”
That means taking a cue from the surrounding environment, so instead of white or black tie (though of course this can be arranged if you so desire), couples tend to go for a more casual dress code, with flowing robes, flower garlands and unbuttoned shirts – Ibiza in midsummer is hot after all, so it’s essential that bride, groom and guests are as relaxed and comfortable as possible. The ceremony itself is often carried out with a celebrant, so it’s more of a blessing than a civil ceremony, with sofas and cushions provided for everyone to lounge on as the vows unfold.
Some couples also choose to eschew a formal sit-down meal, replacing it instead with a more easy-going approach to dining. “After the ceremony we replace canapés on the terrace with our Ibérico station [a selection of Spanish cured ham, chorizo, cheese, bread and tomato and olives],” explains Natalia. “And then we offer a set menu for barbecues.” This includes mini burgers, marinated chicken, beef and pepper skewers, sausages, vegetables and potatoes all cooked on the grill, as well as a range of healthy dishes like quinoa salad and Ibicenco potato salad, breads and mezze, and finally, delicious desserts: “Happy food,” Natalia smiles.
In spite of this casual attitude on the day, it’s all underpinned by impressive attention to detail and high level of service. “We are laid-back but professional,” says Natalia. “We’re never on top of our clients but you’ll never be short of a drink – our guys will notice!” In fact, she reveals that this method has proved one of Aiyanna Ibiza’s biggest selling points. “I am in charge of coordination on the day,” she adds. “But you won’t see me or my team unless you need to – we let everything flow the way our couples want, gently guiding it with our experience and presence.”
It’s worth mentioning that children are welcome at Aiyanna Ibiza, too – in fact their happiness on the day is rated as highly as everyone else’s. “In the past we’ve had kids’ corners with tepees,” says Natalia. “We make sure there’s plenty to keep them occupied.” In terms of music, the soundtrack is entirely down to the bride and groom, but live bands are often the perfect pairing with the chilled-out atmosphere. “We’ve had reggae, flamenco, all sorts,” Natalia says. “It’s entirely down to you to choose the vibe.”
This cheerful, carefree advice sums up the Aiyanna Ibiza wedding experience. In the business of creating celebrations that glide through the hours with ease, the aim is always to build an event that everyone involved goes on to remember forever. Which all makes perfect sense, of course – love doesn’t follow the rules, so why should you?
Photography by Marc de Groot