Ibiza weddings: Cris Crown Ibiza – The personal touch
“It’s the smile,” laughs expert Ibiza wedding planner Cristina Rey de Viñas Harras, when asked her favourite part of her multi-faceted job as director of in-demand island wedding planning agency Cris Crown Ibiza. “When the bride emerges and everyone is standing and looking at her – that’s always such a special moment.” Of course, there are many other reasons why Cristina decided to follow the path of becoming wedding planner in Ibiza, but this answer really sums up her passion – for her, it’s a privilege to be intimately involved in any couple’s wedding, and the ultimate aim is always to ensure both bride and groom have grins plastered across their faces for the entirety.
Born and raised in Ibiza to British and Spanish parents, Cristina has been immersed in the hospitality business from a young age – her parents run the beautiful finca (and wedding venue) Païssa d’en Bernat, meaning she grew up learning first-hand how to seamlessly throw stunning events. Naturally, the young Cristina was inspired. After graduating from university in the UK, she returned home to the island to launch her own businesses: Silver Spoon Ibiza – a catering company, and Cris Crown Ibiza, in which she plays the role of wedding planner extraordinaire. She completes bespoke, one-off tasks for busy brides who need a little extra help or organises entire weddings on behalf of clients, many whom are often overwhelmed by the prospect of arranging such an important event abroad.
“It can be so overwhelming to plan a wedding on Ibiza,” Cristina explains. “A lot of wedding planners don’t like to give exact figures, but I provide catering and all-inclusive prices, so you can have an idea of cost from day one. I’m a one-stop shop for clients, and that way there are no surprises!” Fluent in both English and Spanish, Cristina also has access to an extensive list of contacts and suppliers, meaning she can source the very best for the big day. Seriously – anything. “I have access to things other people don’t,” she affirms, proud of the little (big!) black book of contacts she has built up over the years and the bargaining power her dual-language skills affords her. Understanding the costs involved can also be a little overwhelming to the newly engaged, or those uninitiated in the costly world of destination weddings, Cristina also creates payment plans that allow her clients to realistically manage the process.
Her role as wedding planner goes beyond logistics however, and leads to long-lasting relationships with her couples too. “I also have a relaxed, easy-going approach,” she explains. “I find real joy in building relationships with my clients.” Understanding that every couple, and every wedding is different means she can revel in the challenge of creating completely unique events for her clients, always staying ahead of the game. “It’s never monotonous,” she says. “Every day is different, every wedding is different. Not one request is the same.” Working tirelessly to see her clients wedding dreams come to life, Cristina works round the clock, seven days a week when needed. “It’s my ethos,” she explains. “Some people don’t understand where I get the energy from, but it’s really what I enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like work.”
One of the more unique aspects of Cris Crown Ibiza’s wedding planning services are the complimentary tasting experiences Cristina sets up for her clients – en masse. “I invite all my couples over at the beginning of the season for a tasting at Païssa d’en Bernat,” she explains. “Anyone who’s booked the catering with Silver Spoon Ibiza for the forthcoming summer gets to come over to see the venue, taste the food and wine, and to meet other couples going through the same experience – it’s a really lovely thing and it’s all about having fun.” This is also the ideal opportunity for couples to make final choices on catering and décor, allowing them to make changes where necessary.
“The tasting day takes the format of a wedding without the ceremony,” Cristina continues. “When everyone arrives, I give them a welcome drink, then we skip straight to the reception! There are canapés before they sit down to taste their main wedding meal, and at this stage I give everyone a pen and paper so they can take notes. Then the following day, we have a one-to-one meeting to go through the entire wedding planning and catering.” As well as serving a function purpose, it’s a nice opportunity for the couple to take some time for themselves and to savour the excitement in the lead up to the big day.
“How involved couples want to be in the planning depends entirely on them,” Cristina – who also often travels to London to meet with her UK-based clients during the planning process – explains. “I am there to make the planning run smoothly.” And with a huge network of suppliers, a natural affinity for building relationships with clients and a realistic but optimistic attitude, Cristina achieves that with ease. “I just want to make sure they have the best day possible,” she says, joking that the lead-up to the wedding can also be considered ‘bridal survival week’. “To ensure that everyone can just relax, go with the flow, be happy and enjoy themselves – and I am there from beginning to end to see that everything goes to plan.”