Agnes & Julio: Amor En Madrid

On October 4, 2014, about 170 friends and family members – from as far as Hawaii to Hungary – came together in Madrid, Spain to celebrate the marriage of Agnes and Julio. Filled with love, languages, art, architecture, and of course, delicious tapas, it was an international affair to remember.

The Ceremony
Julio is one of five children in a family with dozens of cousins, so they decided to have their wedding in Madrid, where the least number of guests would have to travel great distances. Even though Agnes has friends and family all over the world, it didn’t stop them from coming to Madrid to celebrate: from Hawaii to New Jersey, and Denmark to Hungary, guests were happy to travel great distances to share this special day with the happy couple.

It was easy to choose the impressive San Jeronimo el Real as the location for their wedding ceremony. Being in the city center of Madrid, right across from the Museo Prado, San Jeronimo was also an ideal location as it was easy for their guests to get to.

The beautiful ceremony consisted of a full wedding mass, and trilingual programs were provided so that all guests could follow along with the ceremony, which was in a mix of Spanish, English, and a little Hungarian. The bride wore an elegant lace dress and cathedral veil, and the sunshine-yellow flowers in her bouquet and flower girls’ dresses accented the happiness of the day. “One of my favorite moments,” says Agnes, “was walking into the church with my mother toward the altar, and seeing Julio’s smile framed by the smiles of my friends and family on either side of the aisle.”

The Reception
As if the church wasn’t awe-inspiring enough, wedding guests were then invited to a reception at nearby Casino de Madrid, a behemoth of an architectural gem that was constructed in 1910 as a gathering place for the Spanish social elite. Cocktails and appetizers were served in the patio de honor, which was followed by an incredible feast in the equally impressive royal hall. The lunch featured a “XXIst century” Spanish omelette, gilt-head bream, and young lamb terrine with juniper and cru apple sause – all paired with the perfect wine. The entire menu was designed by Head Chef Paco Roncero (two Michelin stars), who trained under Ferrán Adriá at El Bulli.

Spain-Wedding_Destination-VowsThe highlight, however, was the wedding cake – ”The Best Chocolate Cake in the World” – which boasted layers of crunchy meringue, separated by chocolate mousse and covered in a rich chocolate glaze. Julio and Agnes had devoured this Portuguese bolo do chocolate together on one of their first dates at a now-closed restaurant. They called the restaurant and as luck would have it, they were still able to provide the cake for their wedding.

After the feasting, guests were escorted downstairs to the Casino’s nightclub to dance the night away. Agnes and Julio began their first dance as husband and wife with a slow waltz to “The Blue Danube,” and about 30 seconds later broke into Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” to invite everyone to the dance floor and get the party started. While their guests were tearing up the dance floor, the bride and groom snuck away to take a few photos in the restaurant where they first met.

…but a Spanish wedding doesn’t end there! After the DJ played the last song, buses were waiting outside to bring guests (who had the stamina to keep celebrating) to the after party at Fortuny, a hip restaurant with a romantic terrace setting that features a full bar under trees with twinkling lights. It was the perfect way to cap off a wonderful day.