This Destination Wedding in Sitges, Spain, Was Filled with Rustic Chic Details

happy wedding couple bride holding bouquet
Photo: Branco Prata

This garden-inspired wedding was set against the backdrop of a Spanish villa.

01 of 25
wedding couple groom kissing brides forehead with flowers
Branco Prata

When Arielle Williams moved to Kansas City in 2012, she spotted a cute guy at her new gym. That guy turned out to be Jeff Stegeman, and the pair quickly realized that they lived in the same condo building. After a couple of run-ins, a thoughtful plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, and a little moving help later, they had become close friends. When Arielle was transferred to Denver for work, Jeff helped her pack for the move. The two, both of whom work in the medical devices industry, visited each other for three years before deciding to officially date.

While the pair was in Portugal to attend a friend's wedding, they stopped at a beautiful building, Jerónimos Monastery. Little did Arielle know that Jeff had actually been planning this "random" stop for quite a while. Arielle wandered out into the middle of the monastery's courtyard under the guise of posing for a photo and as she remembers, "I turned around and he was down on one knee, fittingly asking me to take a leap of faith with him." Of course, Arielle said "yes," and the planning for their organic, Mediterranean-inspired celebration began. On May 27, 2018, the duo welcomed 100 guests to their celebration at Villa Catalina in Sitges, Spain. Although the pair is now based in Morristown, New Jersey, they had always loved Barcelona. When they discovered the small town of Sitges about 45 minutes to the south, it was a destination wedding dream come true. Event planner, Evoke, accentuated the lush, natural setting of the villa's grounds when designing Arielle and Jeff's enchanted celebration, which lasted until the wee hours of the night.

Watch Arielle and Jeff's wedding film by Pixel.

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The Invitations

natural stationery suite gray linen pocket folder invitation
Branco Prata

Saima Says Design created a natural stationery suite which featured a gray linen pocket folder with the invitation mounted on one side. The simple reply card and envelope were tucked in to the other.

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The Welcome Gifts

mailed welcome notes spain introductions
Branco Prata

Prior to the wedding weekend, Arielle and Jeff thoughtfully mailed each guest a note to give them an introduction to the destination and to get them excited for the trip. Designed by Saima Says Design, the notes said "Bienvenidos a Espana" in a terracotta-colored script, a nod to the wedding's color scheme.

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A Moment with Dad

wedding bride and father hug in formal attire
Branco Prata

"My dad melted," Arielle says of the moment her father first saw her on the wedding day. "I was the first out of three girls to get married. He was emotional the entire week. He had the time of his life celebrating with us."

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The First Look

wedding couple first look holding each other outdoors
Branco Prata

"Seeing Arielle at the first look brought me to tears," Jeff remembers. "She was so beautiful. It was in that moment that it hit me. We were about to take a ride of a lifetime together. A feeling I will never forget. I remember turning around like it was yesterday."

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Stylish in Spain

happy wedding couple bride holding bouquet
Branco Prata

During a girls' weekend in Boston, Arielle bought this classic Vera Wang wedding dress on the spot after admiring its simplicity and the touch of lace on the cap sleeves. She paired it with a similarly lacy veil from L'élite. Jeff sported a custom navy-blue tuxedo by Richard Contratti.

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The Bridal Bouquet

wedding bouquet ivory flowers and pink rose mix
Branco Prata

Arielle carried a bouquet of mostly ivory flowers, with a few soft pink roses in the mix.

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The Rings

wedding bands with terra cotta stone named pieces
Branco Prata

Although the pair went ring shopping together before getting engaged, when Jeff proposed, he decided to take a completely different route. "He spent weeks learning about diamonds and settings to make sure he was making the best decision," Arielle explains. Fortunately, his bride was thrilled was his final pick. "Classic and beautiful!" she exclaims of the Tivoli sparkler. The duo's wedding bands were from the same brand.

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The Bridesmaids

wedding bridesmaids in log v-neck dresses holding flowers
Branco Prata

The bridal party consisted of Arielle's two younger sisters, shown here, and two of her best friends. Jeff's two older sisters also stood by the bride's side. The ladies stunned in long dresses by Shona Joy, which were very much in line with the wedding's "vacation chic" dress code.

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The Ceremony Location

wedding ceremony outdoor location with floor mounted flowers
Branco Prata

Branco Prata built a floor-mounted wreath on the upper terrace of Villa Catalina's backyard to surround the couple as they were married. The structure included a variety of blooms such as white peonies, cappuccino roses, patience roses, white roses, beige carnations, hellebores, white matthiola, Italian ruscus, pittosporum, and other foraged greenery from around the property were also added to the ceremony installation.

11 of 25

The Ceremony

real weddings outdoor ceremony with over hanging trees
Branco Prata

Given that Jeff's aunt is close to both Arielle and Jeff, the pair chose her to officiate the ceremony. Two of Arielle's best friends from high school performed readings during the nuptials.

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The Recessional

real weddings ceremony recessional happy couple hold hands
Branco Prata

The joyous newlyweds exited the ceremony to the sounds of the Gipsy Kings' "Volare," played by a Spanish guitarist.

13 of 25

The Cocktail Hour Fare

served cocktail hour appetizer treats
Branco Prata

Following the ceremony, guests moved to a different part of the villa's upper terrace for cocktail hour. There, they were treated to a traditional Catalan buffet from Catering Sensacions which featured a spread of gourmet local cheeses, pickles, grapes, quince jelly, assorted freshly baked breads, hand-carved Iberian ham, and pan con tomate. Passed appetizers were in no short supply, and delicious offerings like watermelon and burrata, salmon sashimi, flatbread with eggplant, tomatoes, and grilled onions, and mini scallops with dry tomatoes and hazelnut mayonnaise were enjoyed by all.

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Family Photos

shelving unit with old photos candles and floral arrangement
Branco Prata

Arielle and Jeff had black-and-white photos of their parents framed to display at the wedding. In addition to personalizing the space, the photos served as a reminder of the two most important marriages to them.

15 of 25

From Near and Far

wedding guests pose with bride outdoors
Branco Prata

Guests traveled from all over to attend the destination wedding, including Arielle's friends from high school.

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Smiling and Swaying

wedding couple dance black and white image
Branco Prata

Arielle and Jeff beamed as they danced to "Better Man" by James Morrison. "We actually had a tough time deciding but then this song randomly came on and we both knew it was perfect," says Arielle. They then danced with their parents to Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" because the bride and groom had special memories of their father and mother, respectively, singing it to them as children.

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The Wedding Hashtag

destination wedding pool with hashtag floating words
Branco Prata

To further personalize their destination wedding, the couple used floating letters placed in the villa's pool to showcase their hashtag: "#wedinbarca."

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Family Time

bride and groom pose with parents mother in navy dresses
Branco Prata

The bride and groom asked their moms to wear navy blue, and each important woman found a dress that matched her style perfectly. Both sets of parents are an inspiration to the newlyweds—Arielle's parents have been married for 30 years, and Jeff's for 29. Their parents advised the bride and groom on the importance of practicing patience, loving one another even when it may not come easy, and prioritizing time together.

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The Reception Setup

outdoor reception setup with round tables black and white chairs
Branco Prata

A mix of round tables and black and white metal chairs were set up outside the villa's wine cellar. After dinner, guests headed inside for dancing.

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The Centerpieces

outdoor reception tables with colorful floral arrangements and candles
Branco Prata

On each table, colorful floral arrangements were housed in terracotta pots, along with taper candles and moss in smaller versions.

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The Place Settings

slate boards included with table setting floral centerpiece
Branco Prata

Slate boards were used as chargers to add texture to the tablescapes. Plates made by local potters sat atop the chargers and green stemware was chosen to inject some color. Printed on gray linen, the menus by Saima Says Design were topped with laser-cut leather in the event's signature terracotta hue. For dinner, guests enjoyed three different types of paella, all served family-style. The escort cards were beautiful pieces of broken terracotta pots that were calligraphed with each guest's name and placed at their seat.

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Happy Together

guests enjoying outdoor reception with hanging lights
Branco Prata

"My favorite moment was at dinner, looking around and seeing all the people that mean the most to us together in one place in such a beautiful location," Arielle says.

23 of 25

Instead of Wedding Cake

wedding dessert chocolate mouse with leaf cookies
Branco Prata

The couple skipped a traditional wedding cake, instead opting to serve their guests chocolate mousse.

24 of 25

The Cookies

terracotta colored hexagonal cookies
Branco Prata

T Bakes provided terracotta-colored hexagonal cookies, inspired by Spanish tiles, for both families and the bridal party. The bakery also created leaf-shaped cookies for these special guests.

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wedding couple posing in front of stone wall
Branco Prata

Photography and Flowers, Branco Prata

Locations, Villa Catalina

Event planning and Calligraphy, Evoke Design and Creative

Catering, Sensacions Catering

Videography, Pixel

Stationery, Saima Says Design

Cookies, T Bakes

Music, Nuno Franco

Rentals, Crimons

Bride's gown, Vera Wang

Bride's accessories, L'elite (veil and jewelry); Kate Spade (shoes)

Hair and Makeup, Estilista Barcelona

Bridesmaids Dresses, Shona Joy

Groom's suit, Richard Contratti

Lighting, Atmosferas

Patience roses, David Austin

Rings, Tivol

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