Freelance fashion stylist with Spanish, Portuguese and Czech Vogue Alba Melendo Garcia met Europe public relations manager of an iconic French fashion house Elio Abass at the end of their courses at a fashion college in Milan. After dating for eight years, he proposed to Alba, who was pregnant at the time, in Tuscany after lunch overlooking the vineyards.
The two decided to get married at the Monasterio San Bartolome de Lupiana, northwest of Madrid (Alba’s hometown). “It’s an abandoned monastery; the cloister and the garden are extremely well preserved,” Elio says. “The chapel ceiling collapsed in 1929 and was never replaced, so at the moment, it’s an atypical and decadent open-air building. It was exactly what we were looking for.” To help plan everything, they hired Paola de Herrera, founder of A-Tipica.
Both of Alba’s dresses were custom-made by Palomo Spain. The bride and Alejandro Palomo met four times for fittings at his atelier in Posadas, a small town near Seville. Her shoes were also custom by Roger Vivier creative director Gherardo Felloni. Both designers attended the wedding as well.
The groom’s bespoke suit and his groomsmen’s looks were made by renowned Italian tailor Ilario Altasartoria. “I had to go to Rome four times for measurement, fittings, etc.,” Elio says. “I think the choices reflect our personalities—a bit of eccentricity, classic and modern at the same time, attention to detail, atypical.”
In the exposed chapel on a summer day, a gospel choir welcomed guests to their seats. Elio walked in, while they sang Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” and Alba followed to “Criminalmente Bella” sung by the officiant, their friend Julia de Castro (a.k.a. singer De La Purissima). The ceremony was conducted in English, Spanish, and Italian, so everyone could understand.
After sharing their first kiss as a married couple, the cocktail hour started in the garden. A piano bar greeted people with Italian music from the ’50s and ’60s and served Aperol Spritzes, Americanos, and Negronis. Then, they were invited to take a seat in the cloister for dinner.
Once done with the delicious dinner, guests again moved back to the transformed chapel for a dance party. Edgar Candel Kerri, who is part of music group The Zombie Kids and owner and DJ of Madrid Club Cha Chá, and Cha Chá resident DJ, Andrea Vandall, kept everyone on the floor until 6:00 a.m.
For their first dance, the newlyweds twirled to Drake’s “Best I Ever Had.” “It was a beautiful moment,” Elio says. “We didn’t prepare the dance, and our friends didn’t know nor expected this song. Everyone joined us in the dance. It was magic.”