8th June 2013
The day of our 48th wedding was full of mystery for me, like most of the time. Alex and Alejandro had worked together to create a truly traditional Spanish wedding…complete with a little modern twist…controversy depends how you look at it!
We had a very relaxed morning as the wedding did not start until late afternoon with a view to catching the dusky evening light for the pictures. We spent the morning doing laundry and trying to prepare Peggy for a wedding day. It is 100% guaranteed that the night of every wedding is spent digging our way into bed through discarded clothes, shoes and make up and the morning after every wedding is spent putting everything back into its place. We did the laundry, changed the bed and had a good tidy up.
The Plaza del Torro was built in 1851 and has held meetings with torero’s (more commonly known to us as Matadors) and bulls at least once a week for the last 150 years. The controversial ‘sport’ is still popular today with the Plaza de Toro holding over 100 shows a year. The Spanish in favour of Bull fighting claim that it is a fine art as there are no competitive elements involved in the spectacle and Portugal have now made it illegal to kill the bull inside the ring and often they live to be put to pasture. The Spanish not in favour of the fighting define it as a blood sport and call for the spectacle that has been referenced in literature since BC and has been tradition since the 19th century to be banned completely.
The bull ring was the perfect cultural location for for our 48th wedding and as much as we are not supporters of bull fighting we do believe that such a historical building can be put to so many wonderful uses. Its beautiful symmetry, stunning arches and dusty ringside seats are perfect for live music, artistic meetings and dance but to mention a few. The acoustics in the arches was just incredible, as the performers for our wedding were warming up in one arch the sound of Lidia’s feet tapping away sultrily on a wooden board was just mesmerising.
We met with the team from Romeos Y Julietas who were as busy as bees dressing the centre of the ring for the wedding, the dancers, singers and guitarist who were warming up their bodies, voices and strings for the performance and finally with our hair and make up artists who nattered excitedly with Susana who was telling them exactly what she had in mind for my hair and make up. The were all so animated and excited and I could only pick up a few words in my lacking Spanish.
Susana handed me over to Nuria, told Alex to change and off they went, Alex, Alejandro, Susana and Cristina (Ale’s wife) to go take pictures while I got ready.
Luckily everyone was too excited and concentrating hard to talk to me too much we just mumbled and communicated in smiles and nods of approval from everyone that was passing. I was so nervous, I hate been seperated from Alex before the wedding, it is such an alien feeling.
After what seemed like a decade they came back laughing, Alex said he didn’t know what his faces were and needed me to help him. Susana had been asking him for his angry face and he couldn’t do anything but laugh! I got changed and we went back to the amazing spots around the bull ring to take more pictures, we were waiting for just the right light for the wedding…and also for the TV crew to arrive.
Doing the filming and the pictures was great fun with Ale and Susana. They wanted to convey the passion, pride and the strength that is associated with Spanish culture.
The Matadors, the flamenco dancing the music, it all has so much pride. Heads held high, straight backs and a smoky intensity that is unrivalled throughout the rest of the world.
Before long we were ready to go. Alex looked so incredibly handsome (minus the hat), my dress looked fantastic and we had been given a real confidence boost by Alejandro and Susana making us look so amazing in the sneak peeks we had seen. I was ready to strut out into the ring and say I do once more!
We stood in the wings while everyone prepared themselves, the plaza had been decorated beautifully with an arch dripping in flowers and Fatima waited patiently for us to marry us once more…then, the music started…and I froze. Such an amazing sound, the beat of the drum, the low murmur of the guitar and Lidia had struck the most majestic pose I have ever seen. She looked just out of this world. Her strong arms in the air, her tiny waist and head held high with a fierce look of passion on her face…I was mesmerised.
We made it down the aisle and watched in awe as a passionate love story was danced out before our eyes. The sunlight was strong and golden and my eyes were starry with tears.
When the final beat of the drum was over we snapped out of the spell we had fallen under and were back 100% aware of each other and the fact that we were about to exchange our vows once more.
We had met with Fatima, our pastor already and discussed the ceremony and we were excited to hear her version of our adventure! The ceremony was all in Spanish but she translated for us afterwards and I was glad not to have understood during the wedding as I would have undoubtedly cried and with that much make up on I would have definitely made a mess of it!
The ceremony again, resonated so deeply with our journey. Each reference to our travels seems so in-line with marriage. The fact that we get through each day absolutely together in everything, our decisions, good or bad, which direction to go in next, whether we can afford to take risks or not, how we get to the next step in our journey, we are 100% together in everything that we do.
We were blessed again with another dance and more music from Lidia, Miguel and Begona, they were just mind blowing. I have never seen such passion in dance before and can only relate it to the passion we heard in the Fado singers voices in Portugal.
We answered a few questions for the press and then went to take a few more shots with Susana and Alejandro, we had such a laugh with them and once we were all happy we got changed and headed into town for some midnight tapas with them and Cristina.
As we went to leave the bullring we heard a commotion behind us and turned to see the bulls being let into the ring for a run around. They seemed to be playing, running in all directions and gently barging each other and we stopped in our tracks to watch. The beautiful animals were there in a cloud of dust and within minutes they had gone. We all stared at each other in disbelief and felt like we had been given a gift to see these animals at play.
We found a restaurant, ordered food and wine and laughed and talked non-stop for hours, we all have so much in common, mainly that we believe that everything happens when it happens for a reason.
We left on such a high, we had had a wonderful day and made more new friends for life. We talked all the way back to the campsite and laughed so hard when we arrived and it was closed for the night.
We parked up outside the gates, dug our way into bed (our preperations had of course, not worked) and fell soundly asleep on the streets.
Another day, another wedding, another adventure!
Video and more pictures to come!
Video – Alejandro Huyro Memoires | Photography – Love Photography Susana Barbera | Photographer assistant – Cristina Yabiku | Location – Plaza de Toro Valencia | Dress, suit and footwear – Josefina Huerta | Decoration – Romeos y Julietas | Flamenco dancer – Lidia Iglesias Orquin | Flamenco Guitarist – Miguel Vlc | Cajon Flamenco – Begoña Peña David | Make-up – Sonsoles Crespo Zazo | Hair – Nuria Pérez | Officiate – Fátima Domenech