“It’s scary how one decision can change your entire life,” says Blanca Armengol. After graduating university in her native Spain, she came to New York City on a student visa to improve her English. She had been there just three months when she noticed Adam Stempel at a trendy brunch spot. Liking the way he looked, acted and carried himself, Blanca told her girlfriends that he was hers. She caught his attention, they talked and he asked Blanca to dinner that night.
More dinners and brunches followed, until they found themselves together every night. “It was a bit strange,” says Blanca, “because my English was not that good, but Google Translate helped out.”
From early on, they knew they wanted to be with each other. At the same time, Blanca wished to remain close with her family and share her country with Adam, so they took several trips a year to Spain. On one of them, they visited the island of Mallorca, where Adam arranged for a hot air balloon ride.
“WHILE SNAPPING PICTURES OF ADAM, I NOTICED THE RING BOX IN HIS HAND.”
“I was scared of being up there,” says Blanca, “but while snapping pictures of Adam, I noticed the ring box in his hand.” Blanca said “Yes” to Adam’s proposal, and the next day they met with the event planner at the island’s hotel Cap Rocat, a military fortress revitalized as a luxury property.
Three and a half years after Blanca and Adam first met, 170 friends and family gathered in Mallorca for their wedding. Blanca, from a Catholic background, had no problem with Adam’s wishes to be married in a Jewish ceremony under a canopy lined with his grandfather’s prayer shawl.
“The ceremony was my favorite part of the entire wedding,” says Blanca. Bi-lingual rites included vows written by the bride and groom, his recited in English and hers in Spanish, and a grandmother from each side reading the identical Pablo Neruda poem in her own language. Immediately following the nuptials, guests enjoyed a rooftop cocktail hour with views spanning the entire Bay of Palma.
Before leaving for Spain, the couple took classes for their first dance at the reception. “We were rock stars; we had it perfected,” says Adam, “but the band played our song to an entirely different beat and we were totally thrown off!”
Because Spanish weddings go until dawn, Blanca hoped to pace the action with a sit-down dinner. “But the music was so good that people danced through the entire meal,” she says. At midnight, a bongo player led the party to the “bunker” where burgers gave guests an energy boost and espadrilles were provided to keep dancing feet comfy.
According to Blanca, Adam is an active traveler and had a full itinerary planned for what the couple calls their first honeymoon at Château Saint-Martin in the south of France. “But,” she says, “we ended up just relaxing.”
The second and third honeymoons came courtesy of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Blanca’s permanent residency paperwork did not come through before the wedding, keeping her from returning to New York. Three weeks after the honeymoon, Adam flew to Dublin to visit his bride, and the next month to Lisbon so they could be together. Two months after the wedding, Blanca was finally allowed back into the United States to begin her new life with Adam.
Location, Caterer and Cake: Cap Rocat, Mallorca, Spain; Event Design and Planner: Las Bodas de Araventum, Valencia, Spain; Floral Design: Ars Festum, Mallorca, Spain; Rentals: Jaiak, Mallorca, Spain; Lighting: Velvet Music, Mallorca, Spain; Wedding Dress and Veil: Monique Lhuillier ; Groom’s Tuxedo: La Rukico Tailors, New York, NY; Wedding Band and Groom’s Watch: Cartier