Amaia Gonzalez and Javier Pardo first met at university (where they were both attending Law School at The Complutense in Madrid) and became close friends. Shortly after, the two started dating.
Years later, an engagement took place that coincided with Amaia’s birthday at her favorite restaurant. It was a magical evening complete with Spanish gin and tonics, and a wonderful array of food that led up to the proposal and engagement ring. Amaia recalls this as an intimate and romantic moment without any fuss, and something that closely reflects her personality.
“THIS WAS A DAY TO REMEMBER FOR ALL THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO HAPPILY DANCED UNTIL DAWN.”
The couple’s Basque mountain wedding in Spain was celebrated June 22, 2019 in the medieval town of Otxandio. Amaia’s parents and grandparents were born there, and she has spent all her childhood, weekends and holidays at the ancestral country farm. The ceremony was performed in a baroque country village church, and guests were immersed in the voices of a magnificent Basque Choir – the world-famous Orfeon Donostiarra. One of the most memorable moments of the wedding for Amaia is when they both pronounced their vows. The choir was singing “Amazing Grace,” which is a song that reminded Amaia of her late grandmother.
For her wedding gown, the bride chose the Atelier of Romancera in Madrid. Inspired by the outfits worn by Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice, she walked down the aisle in a long-sleeved silk, crepe, and linen creation that featured a back of muslin and appliqués of delicate ruffles. The dress made such a lasting impression that many of the guests commented on its natural beauty and the romantic effect of the organdy sleeves.
Every detail of the couple’s traditional Basque mountain wedding was carefully considered, including the bride’s symbolic bouquet. The bouquet was made of flowers that grow on Amaia’s own estate. Alejandro Muguerza from Le Basque worked with his long-time collaborator, the famed European florist, Urquijo Taller de Flores, and Ines Urquijo herself spent hours foraging the fields to create the exceptionally unique and temporal arrangements for the bridal party.
The wedding design and the concept of every element came from Alejandro Muguerza from Le Basque in constant consultation with Amaia; the colorful Basque traditions being the connecting thread to all the design decisions. While Muguerza has a successful catering and event design firm in Miami and has designed weddings all over the world, it was the first time he has had a chance to fully explore his own Basque roots for a wedding.
The coordination and planning was executed impeccably by Itziar Ortuondo. She was an important asset for the wedding reception since there were so many details and vendors to manage, and the location for their traditional Basque mountain wedding was incredibly remote. Ortuondo brought everyone’s vision to life; and for Amaia, teaming up with Ortuondo was one of the best decisions she ever made.
Basque gastronomy took center stage for the wedding reception and was conducted in partnership by Le Basque and Bokado Eventos. Many of the guests came from Madrid and Javier, and the groom was excited to serve regional specialties such as wood grilled Txuleton (T-bone steak). Muguerza came up with the idea to have the grills not only in view, but where hundreds of guests could interact with the grill chefs and choose from beautifully displayed cuts of meat. It was such spectacle that guests couldn’t help but take photos and rave about the experience.
To keep everyone warm at night, Muguerza used outdoor cast iron bonfires surrounding the reception tent at a safe distance, which added magic and significantly warmed the circulating air. A forest was also created within the tent with tall birch saplings, and Urquijo mixed all types of wild meadow flowers, willowy branches, and rust-colored hydrangeas. Muguerza directed the lighting design so the forest and fields were highlighted, and so the reception felt like an extension of the nearby Basque caserio, or farmhouse. Muguerza also incorporated antique country furniture, white glazed ceramic water and wine pitchers, and other traditional details that gave the wedding a feeling of timelessness. For a personal touch, Amaia’s aunt wittily dressed scarecrows for the cocktail area which greeted wedding guests after they crossed a small bridge over a creek.
As Javier and Amaia share, they couldn't be happier about their wedding and how their family and regional traditions were honored. This was a day to remember for all the family and friends who happily danced until dawn.
Photography: Inma Fiuza Photography, Bilbao, Vizcay