A High-Fashion, High-Energy Wedding in Seville, Spain

karolina sorab wedding bride groom couple motorcycle
Benjamin Wheeler

Despite the fact that they live in Montreal, Canada, and were married in Seville, Spain, Karolina Victoria Jez and Sorab Alavi maintain that their favorite city is New York. It was there that Sorab proposed to Karolina after five-and-a-half-years of dating. "He booked the entire restaurant, The Blond, at our hotel for brunch (my favorite meal of the day), so it was just me and him, very intimate and personal—although I still had no idea what was about to come! He's great at keeping secrets!" says Karolina.

She remained completely oblivious right down to the moment; when the final course's dish arrived at their table and she lifted the silver lid, she was shocked to find a ring box there. When Sorab got down on one knee and told her he wanted to marry her, Karolina was giddy: "I felt like a million thunderbolts were running through me!"

It didn't take long for the duo to begin planning their destination nuptials in Seville. Southern Spain's iconic orange trees were an immediate source of wedding inspiration for Karolina and Sorab—this makes sense, when you consider the bride's history. Karolina, who grew up visiting Spain, had Andalusian culture on the brain during the preparation process. The result of her vision? A truly immersive experience of Seville for their 100 guests.

Virtually every big-day detail—from the grand venue, Villa Luisa, and traditional entertainment (which included a Tuna band and live flamenco dancers) to the fresh oranges on the reception tables—was influenced by the culture Karolina grew up loving. The couple's biggest commitment to Spanish culture, however, was made on the dance floor—they made sure to follow tradition and dance into the early hours of the morning.

01 of 18

Seville-Inspired Invites

karolina sorab wedding invites stationary suite
Benjamin Wheeler

Karolina and Sorab worked with Kromad to design their stationary suite, which included an illustrated map of Seville, gold, white, and green elements, and quintessential Spanish oranges. That Sky Blue Stationery printed the paper goods.

02 of 18

A Unique Wedding Dress

karolina sorab wedding bride fashion dress
Benjamin Wheeler

Karolina cited very specific reference points when designing her wedding dress with Viero Bridal: "My gown was inspired by my favorite show, Sex in the City, and Stephanie Seymour's dress in the video for the song 'November Rain' by Guns N' Roses, which is also my favorite music video." The rose on the dress was, like much of the wedding, inspired by the south of Spain. The skirt was also detachable—which made the garment perfect for dancing.

03 of 18

Old Loyalties

karolina sorab wedding groom help with cuff links
Benjamin Wheeler

Karolina and her mother accompanied Sorab to his longtime family tailor, HPadar, to have his tux custom made. The mother-daughter pair was very involved in the process of designing the slim-cut, dark navy suit with black detailing—so involved, in fact, that the tailor "nearly passed out from the stress!" she jokes.

Sorab completed his big-day ensemble with Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, an Elton shirt, a bow tie from Turnbull & Asser, and his late grandfather's cuff links.

04 of 18

No-Fuss Florals

karolina sorab wedding flower arrangement on stairs
Benjamin Wheeler

Cartamo Flores designed the entirety of the wedding's simple florals—including this pretty staircase moment and the bride's bouquet—which were comprised of white, green, and other neutral-toned blooms.

05 of 18

Princesa Moment

karolina sorab wedding bride looking back mirror
Benjamin Wheeler

Rosa Clara designed Karolina's veil; the bride also wore a gold headpiece by Rocio Porres Joyas, which was placed just above her flowing accessory.

06 of 18

Impromptu Vows

karolina sorab wedding ceremony chandelier
Benjamin Wheeler

Karolina and Sorab aren't ones to stress too much—which is why they felt perfectly comfortable writing their vows together in their room at the Hotel Palacio de Villapanes on the morning of the ceremony. Those promises may have been impromptu, but they were poignant and "made a lot of people cry," notes the bride.

The non-religious ceremony itself was held at the Hotel Alfonso XIII and was officiated Sorab's best friend, Jonathan Nuss, who is a lawyer. Karolina's favorite classical piece, Handel's "Water Music," played as her mother walked her down the aisle.

07 of 18

A Surprise Recessional

karolina sorab wedding couple recessional
Benjamin Wheeler

The couple was showered with fresh petals during the recessional, and Karolina used this as the moment to surprise Sorab with a Tuna band, comprised of students in traditional dress. "It's a very big tradition in Seville. They escorted us and our guests out to the surprise of many passersby on the streets—they joined in on the fun!" explains the bride.

08 of 18

Spanish Exit

karolina sorab wedding family and couple walking on street
Benjamin Wheeler

A mix of their childhood best friends and family, Karolina and Sorab's wedding party wore their own outfits on the big day. Seeing all of their loved ones in one place, gathered to celebrate their union, was one of the duo's favorite parts of their wedding: "We still get emotional about it when we talk about it," says the bride.

09 of 18

A Motorcycle Ride

karolina sorab wedding couple smoke bomb on motorbike
Benjamin Wheeler

Karolina and Sorab's relaxed approach wedding planning didn't prevent them from indulging a bit. To celebrate their newly-married status, they hopped onto a motorcycle (or, in Karolina's case, hopped into the bike's side car) for a pre-reception ride; the bride set off orange smoke bombs as they traveled through the city streets.

10 of 18

A Quick Photo Session

karolina sorab wedding family and couple portrait
Benjamin Wheeler

The couple paused for portraits after their nuptials ("We wanted the images to be very natural and organic, so we did a quick session after our ceremony on the streets of Seville and at our reception venue," says the bride)—which included this sweet family snapshot.

11 of 18

Photo Booth Guest Book

karolina sorab wedding photo booth van
Benjamin Wheeler

Karolina and Sorab skipped a traditional guest book and opted for a photo booth, instead. They encouraged their guests to tape their printed-out images into a book, along with notes. It was left out well into the evening, so "some of the entries are really funny," laughs the bride.

12 of 18

Dinner Under the Palms

karolina sorab wedding couple outdoor reception
Benjamin Wheeler

As soon as Sorab and Karolina saw Villa Luisa, they knew that the locale was the spot for their wedding reception. The venue's Neo-Mudejar style was representative of southern Spanish architecture and the palm trees and fountains were grand and opulent, but still imbued the space with warmth coziness and warmth—two elements essential to the celebration's relaxed vibe.

13 of 18

Strawberry Delight

karolina sorab wedding bride groom cutting cake with strawberries
Benjamin Wheeler

Aquarela Cakes brought the couple's heart-shaped vanilla custard cake, complete with strawberries on top, to life.

The bride changed into a gold-flecked Temperley London dress (and swapped her classic updo for loose beach waves!) for the latter half of the event.

14 of 18

All-Night Serenade

karolina sorab wedding entertainment band guitar player
Benjamin Wheeler

Their Spanish band, Son de Cuba & Cia, serenaded guests all throughout dinner.

15 of 18

Flamenco to Start the Party

karolina sorab wedding flamenco dancers reception
Benjamin Wheeler

Along with live music, Karolina and Sorab kept their guests entertained with flamenco dancers; the traditionally-clad performers set the tone for the rest of the evening's festivities.

16 of 18

A New Kind of Ballroom

karolina sorab wedding neon sign dance for love
Benjamin Wheeler

The neon "Dance for Love" sign flooded the party space with warm, fluorescent light and contributed to the after-party vibe. Xite and Co, the newlyweds' DJ, drummed up such good tunes that Karolina and Sorab completely forgot they had actually planned a first dance. "We wanted to do a Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman-inspired dance—and we even took classes learning it—but by the time the after-party kicked in, we forgot about it!"

Though that forgotten moment was supposed to serve as the couple's first married spin, they didn't mind the default alternative: "Technically, our first dance was 'The Conga,' by Gloria Estefan, which we danced to after our outfit change after dinner," notes Karolina. "That song caused all our guests to form a giant Conga train around the main table—and really started the party!"

17 of 18

Unforgettable Moments

karolina sorab wedding couple dancing
Benjamin Wheeler

Before setting off for Ibiza and Barcelona, Karolina and Sorab left it all out on the after-party's dance floor. A particular music highlight? The Polish disco hits—they caused the bride's side of the family "to get really wild," says Karolina.

18 of 18


karolina sorab wedding couple hugging surrounded by candles
Benjamin Wheeler

Photography, Benjamin Wheeler

Videography, Cayuela Videos

Wedding planning, Love a Tope

Venue, Abades Triana (welcome dinner), Hotel Alfonso XIII (ceremony), Villa Luisa (reception)

Catering, Tu Otra Cocina

Cake, Aquarela Cakes

Flowers, Cartamo Flores

Rentals, Big Love Ball, Ris Box (photo booth), Sonido Al Sur (lighting)

Stationery design, Kromad

Stationery printing, That Sky Blue Stationery

Music, Xite and Co (DJ), Son de Cuba & Cia (band)

Makeup, Marieta Nogueras

Hair, Adrien Dupuis

Bride's dress, Viero Bridal, Temperley London (reception dress)

Bride's accessories, Rosa Clara (veil), Rocio Porres Joyas (clip), Hats by Roiz (floral headpiece), The Neon Muse (jackets), Maison Goldberg (engagement ring)

Groom's attire, HPadar, Salvatore Ferragamo (shoes), Eton (shirt) Turnbull & Asser (bow tie)

Wedding bands, Maison Birks

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