21.05.19 — Journal

The Bentana-Cho Wedding

Once again I write this post whilst on the move, the difference this time being that I’m not just catching a train to work, rather I’m flying down the coast of Northern Africa and on my way to Tenerife! I’m off to spend a long weekend relaxing on the island’s coast with my friend Cami (who I last saw when she visited Madrid last year), but for now I’ve other delayed updates to share, so let’s get straight to it…

As mentioned in my previous post, when my colleague Soyoung left Erretres, a few of us found ourselves bestowed with an invite to her wedding ceremony. I immediately RSVP’d to let her and Pablo (the groom) know that I would be there, and then as the date grew nearer, organised the final details such as a shirt to wear, a lift down with my two colleagues Blanca and Helena, and an apartment in which to stay just behind the hotel in Alicante where the ceremony was to take place.

At about 10am on Friday 3rd May, I headed along to the car park to help my auntie and uncle pick up their car and wave them off as they began their trip from Madrid northwards, and then I had just a couple of hours to run a wash, pack my bag, and head out to be picked up by Blanca who was to drive us to the south. I did manage to made it on time somehow, and from Madrid we began the car journey down to Villajoyosa, a beautiful little coastal town near Alicante. 

Upon arrival, we first picked up the keys to our lodgings, a gorgeous apartment with a balcony and a huge rooftop terrace with views of the sea and the hotel where the wedding would be held the next day. Once we’d decided who’d take which bedroom, we hoped back in the car and headed to Mercadona to pick up some supplies to keep us going for the time that we wouldn’t be at the wedding.

Whilst in the town centre, we also took the opportunity to explore its old centre, a pretty little collection of colourful buildings all squished together along the promenade. Not so pretty, however, was the weather forecast, with a blanket of menacing clouds threatening to linger for quite some time…

A row of colourful houses.
Me, Blanca and Helena on the beach.

Google was reporting that the stormy outlook would clear up by the following day and make way for a lovely sunny wedding afternoon, but with the dense cloud cover and chilly wind, we were convinced that the storm was going to outstay it’s welcome and cast a quite liberal shadow over the beach ceremony.

Not wanting to dwell on such preoccupations, we continued our wander up and down the beach, engaging in a spot of beach-combing whilst Helena took a few candid shots on her camera. Photo credit and thanks, then, go to her for the next couple of shots.

Blanca and I walk down the beach.
Blanca and I walk down the beach.
Blanca and I walk down the beach.

Growing weary and tired, we then hopped back in the car and made our way back to the apartment, whereupon we braved the cold and enjoyed a shared tea (standard English: dinner) on the balcony. The main attraction of the tea, though, has to have been the jamón (cured ham). Provided by Helena’s dad, a jamón producer, we had been munching on the delicious packet since we’d left Madrid!

Snacks on a balcony.

We then made like very sensible adults and headed off to bed for an early night, with a plan to get up early in order to give us enough time to prepare for the wedding and arrive in good time (which is the least subtle bit of literary foreshadowing I’ve ever written).

The morning started rather tranquilly, as Blanca and Helena had already left to pick up a few more bits for breakfast by the time I finally moved myself out of bed and made an appearance. I grabbed the pastry I’d picked up the night before and headed to the roof to take in the views and get some fresh air, and was overjoyed when I saw that Google had in fact been bang on the money with its forecast, and that the skies had cleared to form a beautifully sunny day.

Quite the way to start the day!

A pastry in front of a beachside hotel.

It was only after them two had returned, had breakfast, and had begun to get ready that the clock began to seemingly work against us. Helena came out with that she didn’t know how to iron, Blanca spent ages painting all her nails, and I managed to break the leg of one of the tables by sitting on it. What a group we made!

In the end, however, we made it to the hotel in good time, and descended the gorgeous pathway down to the hotel’s private beach where the ceremony was to take place.

The wedding not he beach.

Photos really cannot do the place any justice! The beach was gorgeous, the temperature was just right, and the music playing in the background set the tone perfectly as we milled around and awaited to be asked take up our positions to watch the ceremony.

The wedding party seated on the beach platform.

Before too long, the proceedings began, but I shan’t delve too much into the entire ceremony – just know that it was very personal and absolutely gorgeous. The arrival of both Soyoung and Pablo caused many a tear to be shed, and the gorgeous setting was the perfect backdrop to several fun speeches and cheers of “¡viva la nueva pareja!” (long live the new couple!).

Pablo and Soyoung meet on the beach.
Blanca, Pablo, Soyoung, Me, and Helena.

After taking the above photo (which I now highly treasure) with the newly-weds, it was time for us all to head to the beachside terrace for some pre-lunch drinks and canapés.

Once we’d enjoyed some gazpacho (the infamous cold soup) and a few sips of wine, we slowly made our way into the dining room and were seated for a feast which, in true Spanish style, was to carry on throughout pretty much the entire afternoon. We were treated to numerous courses of fresh seafood, rice dishes, and a slice of the lovely wedding cake.

With lunch wrapped up, the music begun, the bar opened, and the party got underway! We danced a selection of universal hits (think YMCA and ABBA) and Spanish classics (like this), and I even tried the waltz – which did not end well after a few gin and tonics…

Before heading back to the apartment for the night, we were sure to take advantage of the location as evening came around, and headed out to a rock formation to sit around and watch the sun set behind the sea.

Helena on the rock by the sea.

Once all was over it was time to head home, which we just about managed after having to jump a fence due to having lost our way and a stop at Burger King to soak up the gin!

Now that the weekend’s all over, I’d like to send my thanks once again to Soyoung and Pablo for inviting me along to celebrate their day. It was an honour to be amongst the invitees, we generally had an absolute blast, and their generosity in providing such a lovely meal and drinks thereafter knew no bounds. One of the loveliest touches was a gift for each guest, a pair of ducks as per Korean wedding tradition, which have now taken up residence on top of my fridge.

Two Korean wedding ducks.

I am still writing to you on my way to Tenerife, and of course there’ll be a blog on its way soon detailing the shenanigans I’ll inevitably get up to once there, but until then I’m going to disconnect and relax for the next few days!

Update: the inflight WiFi is not working so I guess this will be posted upon my return…

Anyway, and until then: long live the Bentana-Cho’s!