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Ibiza weddings: Cardamom Events – Groom Power!

Photography by STUDIO by Ana Lui

Wedding planning is often a task most associated with the bride, however according to Ibiza wedding planning experts Cardamom Events Ibiza, modern day grooms are getting much more involved of late. Cardamom founder, Craig Colligan, says grooms are “increasingly more present in the organisation of their wedding. This is not to say that their fiancées are absent but more so that the grooms are stepping up and taking the creative helm of the events and wanting to be more involved to create a fantastic show for the friends and families”.

Such was the case for the 2016 wedding of Sweden-based couple Sofie and Bartek Gudowski, where the super creative groom took the wedding planning reigns and ran with them, enlisting Cardamom Events Ibiza to see his wildest dreams become a reality.

Wild indeed his dreams were, with Bartek’s brief being to create the ethereal theme of the Garden of Eden. As the CEO of a television production company in Sweden, his expectations were high. This wedding would be equivalent to stepping onto the set of a heavenly movie, complete with the voice of Morgan Freeman as God (for real – the award-winning actor was also enlisted to narrate the official wedding video, as seen at the end of this article, among other clips).

From the initial point of contact to event completion, the entire wedding planning process took place over 18 months. “For me, weddings are all about detailed planning and execution in close conjunction with the clients throughout the process,” says Craig. “There was a lot to organise for this event – from flowers and décor, entertainment, our catering, plus sound and lighting on another level. We smashed the challenges together and produced an amazing wedding.” The devil was in the detail…

When recreating the Garden of Eden, it’s all about location, location, location. While Bartek had selected Ibiza as the destination for the wedding due its easily accessible, central location for his international group of guests, the next challenge was to choose the right venue to fit the brief. A remote and luxurious, high-end private villa near Cala Llentrisica in the island’s stunning southwest.

“The high cliff top location with panoramic views of the ocean and Es Vedra made it fitting for the theme,” explains Craig. “On some days, there are layers of clouds beneath the villa, giving the feeling of being in heaven.” The next challenge was to transform this elegant setting with an even more heavenly aesthetic, complete with bespoke ‘Golden Gates of Heaven’ made to fit the property entrance, guarded by buffed and bronzed gladiators embellished in gold leaf (obviously!).

“Getting 150 golden apples from China to Ibiza for the table decorations via Customs was fun,” says Craig. “And then there was the snake…” A live six-foot python would be used in a Garden of Eden themed snake dance as canapés were served – just one of the many memorable entertainment offerings on the night.

The event was designed to be an extra sensory experience for all guests from start to finish. After enjoying a glamorous catamaran trip the evening before (check out the video here), guests – who were all accommodated at the glamorous Destino Ibiza resort – were sent to the villa in a convoy of eight 18-seater VIP sleek, black people carriers, complete with a custom playlist and special recorded message by God – aka, Morgan Freeman (yes, seriously). Mini bottles of champagne and chilled waters quenched their thirsts on the journey, as intrigue for what lay ahead was rising.

On arrival, guests were to utter a designated password to the gladiators and be led through the golden gates, presented with head garlands of olive branches and glasses of lavender-scented cava. The entry music consisted of several specifically created playlists for each part of the journey to the welcome area, starting with a ‘Mystic Pathway Mix’ to the golden gates followed by a more up-tempo selection on arrival to the welcome area.

A simple Christian blessing then took place, followed by a professional harpist – flown in from Italy – playing acoustic renditions of modern songs, before the aforementioned snake dance. Guests proceeded to dine on the roof terrace, where they were welcomed by yet another personal message and movie from Morgan Freeman as God, shown on a six by three-metre mega screen, followed by magic tricks from the talented MC.

The meal finished off with a stunning opera performance combined with fireworks and pyrotechnics, all planned down to the second with precision. “For me personally, the highlight of the day was the opera performance by Lucia from Ibiza,” says Craig. “In that setting, with that energy and such a fun group of guests, it was outstanding. When I requested she sing three songs in three different languages, throwing in an Abba song for the Swedes, I thought I was asking too much but she created a stellar performance and the roar of applause was incredible!”

Speeches followed, after which guests returned to the ‘Sky Lounge’ to kick off the party, with a fire show and music by DJ Beth Yen to end this truly heavenly experience. Bartek’s highly detailed wedding dreams really were coming true thanks to the groom’s great imagination and the expertise of Cardamom Events Ibiza.

One of Cardamom’s specialties is in-house catering, and for this heavenly event no detail was overlooked in the menu planning. Canapés included tropical fruits served on golden platters, spicy beef tartar on crostini, spoons of seasonal fish ceviche with pomegranate and lime, brochettes of sun dried tomato, baby mozzarella, basil and olives, oysters from Brittany and many more bite sized morsels of heavenly deliciousness.

The formal dining experience included a starter of sesame crusted seared yellow fin tuna with a Mediterranean salad of mixed leaves, figs, grilled peaches and raspberry vinaigrette, followed by a main course of grilled beef fillet with baby vegetables, Dauphinoise potatoes plus a wild mushroom and port sauce, or a wild mushroom and asparagus filo tart with rosemary potato gratin and watercress salad for vegetarians.

A five-tier lemon cake with lemon buttercream and fresh raspberries was served for dessert, and later in the evening guests who were still a little peckish could snack on a selection of sushi and mini empanadillas (Argentinean spiced beef pastries). For Craig and the Cardamom team, another highlight came when Bartek came to them at the end of the meal and told then they had surpassed all of his expectations. Hugs and all.

“Cardamom help you create your vision of your idea but more importantly bring own ideas to the table to make the concept even stronger,” Bartek said on completion of the event. “They are extremely professional, but also very humble and flexible at the same time. They have the creativity, people network and execution skills to make an event extraordinary and beautiful at the same time, with outstanding food and drinks and most importantly, it is stress-free.”

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