It has been 6 months since, Clara, Pitusa Mama extraordinaire, got married in San Sebastian. In true Clara style, she was able to throw the party of the century all the while looking glamorous, seeming so relaxed and poised and putting out fires when it was needed and still having the time of her life. We gleaned zero bridezilla vibes from her, which seems a feat in itself in this day and age. From her hen weekend early in the summer to the wedding itself – everything was done with such class, style, and fun that we left thinking, DAMN, that girl knows how to throw a party.
But I have some bad news: we may as well all pack up and go home, sweet readers, because @pitusamama did it, she schooled us on how to host and we’re here to tell the tale (and give you a couple of tips, to boot). Somehow Clara and her husband, Assadollah, managed to make an insanely beautiful and sometimes formal event feel laid back like you were in their home – and not a single detail was missed. And the cool thing about them is, that they’d help you plan your wedding to be just as fabulous because at the end of the day they just want us all to have a wild ride and feel the love.
These days we all go to a lot of weddings! I know a particular nutcase who went to twelve weddings this summer..yes, Every. Single. Weekend. And a lot of them are indeed very beautiful but let’s be real: it can all start to blur together when the soggy chicken is served yet again and we hear Despacito for the millionth time. Just kidding. If you don’t want to hear Despacito for the rest of your life on repeat there is something seriously wrong deep in your soul. But this particular Pitusa wedding? This was certainly one for the history books—where one feels the love of the two people just emanating off them, and it’s less about the day itself and more about the life they’re building together—and it becomes totally infectious. Where you can see it still working and thriving in 10, 20, 50 years time. You could tell that a lot of love went into the planning of this wedding and they made sure everything was spectacular: from the black-tie event the night before, to the unbelievable mountainside setting facing the ocean the day itself, to the gorgeous ceremony at the Iglesia Santa Maria, to the couple riding off into the cobblestoned streets of San Sebastian in a vintage car, looking like old Hollywood royalty, to the scrumptious food that just kept coming from every angle (there was a ceviche station, people – that’s right, a ceviche station manned by a top peruvian chef that they flew in for the occasion and don’t get us started on the jamon), to the dinner and the dancing and the fireworks. Nothing was forgotten, and no detail too small—everywhere you looked there was beauty. Even the table names were of locales around the world like Bali, Paris, and Ibiza – which is only to be expected from our OG Wanderluster-in-Chief. It all ended on Sunday with lunch at a Cider House and a cheeky visit to the beach (well, of course). In between wedding events, guests were lucky enough to sample some of the finest cuisines in the world: San Sebastian has the most Michelin starred restaurants of any city in the world.
SWITCH IT UP AND KEEP EM GUESSING
The first night, a black-tie dinner at the Maria Christina Hotel in the center of the fabled sea-side city, was the perfect set-up for the rest of the weekend. Clara and Assa like to do things a bit back to front so they decided to switch things up. Usually, you show up for a weekend, have some casual drinks the night before and then the wedding itself is a more formal affair. Leave it to these guys to keep guests on their toes. It made things all the more exciting to meet new people and see old friends in their finest, it added an electric element to the night to get to know people in black-tie. The next day guests dressed a bit more casually – and could let loose and party, wearing all the colors of the rainbow dancing into the early hours of the morning.
PITUSA DRESSES AND HANGOVER KITS
Every guest got a little gift bag with, of course, some of our classic styles, like the Moroccan Kaftan and the Aegean Long Dress. This was not only SO exciting for guests to rock up to, it was also the gift that kept on giving. We used them to lounge around in the day after and wore them to go to the beach in San Sebastian. The Tylenol and mints didn’t go too far amiss the next day, either. At the wedding itself, the happy couple had the foresight to provide us with some excellent party favors: slippers (replete with pompoms) for people in heels and throws to keep people warm when night fell. We absconded with both the scarf and slippers and now get to use them every day.
LET THE BRIDE SPEAK!
In our opinion, in 2017, the bride should talk! There was nothing better than hearing Clara take to the mic periodically throughout the weekend to thank her guests, tell them where to go next or generally just be the voice and life of the party. Gone are the days of the silent bride – so much of a wedding is about the bride and we want to hear from her on the day! It was a joy to have Clara, who has an undeniably distinct voice and even better way with words, tell people where to go, what to do and always encouraging her guests’ to-no matter what: Keep. Having. Fun.
BRIDESMAIDS IN PITUSA? YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES
It’s no secret that the bridesmaid game can sometimes be an unlucky one: either you’re given a cut or color that just doesn’t suit your skin tone or body type or everybody is too matchy-matchy for photos that will last a lifetime. Clara deftly avoided this rookie mistake by making dresses for each of her eight bridesmaids, which was not only an incredibly thoughtful gesture (and indicative of her great eye for detail and what works) but beautifully thought out. Each outfit seemed to match so well with each woman’s personality. It got us thinking…should we be starting a bridesmaid line? For now, check out some of our styles in white (or any color really) and you’re sorted on your bridesmaids’ outfits.
BABYSITTERS ARE A GODSEND
For the families that were invited, the couple provided a babysitter. We know we might be biased when it comes to Pitusa’s boss lady, but this was truly a boss move. Not only were the parents eternally grateful because they got to be fully present at the event, it was also just so easy to not have to think about coordinating these things, leave at a certain time or have to be looking at their phone the whole time for the dreaded “can’t get your baby to sleep” text. No matter where you get married: think about providing childcare if you can. It’s such a gift for the parents and for you, too – you get to have your friends with you for your entire event and that’s priceless.
A PHOTOBOOTH IN A VW BUS IS A SUREFIRE WAY TO CAUSE MISCHIEF
Oh, the Photo Booth, that friendly little feature we see so often at a wedding, with the black backdrop and stock standard accessories. These guys? They had one of those cute lil Volkswagen buses with weird and wonderful costume accessories (there were even top hats with their names stitched on them) that made you feel like a festival-goer minus the mud or having to go back to your cold tent. A win on all fronts, if we’re being honest. And we realize that this may be a little bit of a stretch, but they somehow managed to coordinate the date of the wedding with a festival of fireworks in San Sebastian, called the Semana Grande de San Sebastian. It was incredibly dramatic, when, at the witching hour we got to watch one of the world’s best firework shows from atop a hill in the north of Spain. Well played, very well played Clara and Assa.
THE NEXT DAY WILL MAKE YOUR GUESTS JUMP FOR JOY
As I’m sure you will have gathered if you’re a fan of Pitusa, how much we love island life and all the many joys it brings. Clara somehow managed to get her hands on coconuts and bring the island to us for the morning after and please all her electrolyte-deficient friends (read: deathly hung-over). So passionate was she about these babies full of liquid gold that she ran around making sure everyone had them to hand! If you can throw in something like this for your guests – they may just love you forever.
KEEP THE PARTY GOING
You know that warm, fuzzy, loved-up feeling you get when you leave a wedding and you don’t really want to leave but you have to get a cab home and you wish the license went a little bit longer so you can finish that deep and meaningful chat with an old friend you haven’t seen in 10 years? These guys kept it going and then a little bit more. They took us to a party on a boat to dance the night away and the next day, that warm feeling still thick in the air, we had lunch altogether – one big happy wedding family – at a Cider House in the mountains. Still, no one wanted to say goodbye, but we kept it going as long as we could. Take. Us. Back.
A Special Note From Clara:
Our three day wedding celebration was the happiest three days of my life, not only because I married the man of my dreams (literally) in the most beautiful city in the world but also because I got to spend time with family and friends from all over the world, many of whom I had not seen in a long time. A wedding is a social testament really, the act of marriage is signing a piece of paper, which we had done earlier in the USA just the two of us (in a white abaya on the beach nonetheless), but what really authenticates the marriage is it being witnessed by the ones that love the couple most, making it more a social act rather than a legal one. There is also the spiritual element that takes place between the couple, that prompts a shift in how the couple views one another, no longer as separate individuals but as one.
Planning our wedding while running a company was extremely difficult. I had a wedding planner from hell who would respond “No” to everything and anything I asked for that may be required a slight bit more work she would complain. Everything that was wrong with our almost perfect wedding was due to her negligence. On the day after all the celebrations, she called me yelling, literally yelling, that one of the payments had not gone through to a vendor. She made the wedding planning unenjoyable but in everything, I believe we must draw a lesson and mine was to reflect back to my own company and ask “are we providing the best customer service possible?” I only want the best level of service for our customers how can I do that? A wedding, like dress sense, is a testament to your style and so in true Pitusa bohemian style I had pompom slippers made, Pitusa-esque shawls made and all my bridesmaids’ dresses were made from Pitusa designs. Not to mention that I, of course, designed my own dress.
My husband and I were able to pay for own wedding which is probably one of the things I am proudest of thus far in my life. We are both 31, (born one week apart) and both entrepreneurs, we started our companies with nothing and now within the same year, we were able to purchase our first home and pay for our own wedding with no outside help. I think back to before Pitusa days and I always worried about how I would ever have a wedding because I knew my parents would not have been able to afford it, at least not something as extravagant as I had dreamed of it to be. Therefore our wedding was a very special achievement for us, it essentially marked the success derived from our continued partnership in life for over 6 years.
Now, how have the last 6 months been as a married couple? I often tell people when they ask me this question, I say marriage is a lot like a business partnership (something I have never been able to do as I am too strong willed to have business partners) and the business to which you are partners? Your life. It’s not always easy compromising within the marriage but at the end of the day having someone to come home to every night that loves you and that you love back, so much so that your heart aches a little when you stop to think about it, is one of the most beautiful gifts life can give us. I am so grateful for the husband I have and I look forward to this life adventure called marriage.
*** A special shoutout and thanks to the Pitusa team who helped execute wedding details and made the long trip to San Sebastian to be there for the special day. Also a special thanks to our factories that made all the slippers, shawls and bridesmaid dresses. Also to Nora for writing this beautiful post ***