Weddings are back in full swing after the pandemic caused approximately 70% of couples to postpone their Big Day in 2020. The industry can hardly keep up with the demand and top venues, wedding planners, photographers, and florists are fully booked for the rest of the year and part of 2023. The Costa del Sol wedding scene is sailing on the peak of this wave, since Marbella has always been a highly coveted choice for destination weddings. Marisa Cutillas talks to local planners in the industry to provide you with a report of key trends.


Weddings are back in full swing after the pandemic caused approximately 70% of couples to postpone their Big Day in 2020. The industry can hardly keep up with the demand and top venues, wedding planners, photographers, and florists are fully booked for the rest of the year and part of 2023. The Costa del Sol wedding scene is sailing on the peak of this wave, since Marbella has always been a highly coveted choice for destination weddings. Marisa Cutillas talks to local planners in the industry to provide you with a report of key trends.


Local Business Is Booming

The wedding boom is doing great things for Marbella’s economy, says Scott. “There are thousands of bookings coming into Marbella. Couples are reserving wedding venues, and their guests are booking stays at hotels like the Amàre Beach Hotel and the Meliá Banús. There is a growing interest in standalone venues where you can book a place for the night and party away.”

Togetherness Is The Theme For 2022

According to Scott, the biggest trend dominating the world of weddings, is that of togetherness. “Coming together and spending quality time with loved ones is the underlying factor. I have one client from Australia who hasn’t seen their family in two-and-a-half years. They are travelling all the way to Málaga to celebrate their wedding but they are arguably most excited about being able to see their loved ones. Couples are seeking to make up for lost time through their weddings.”

This trend is manifesting itself in two major ways: “We are seeing more intimate weddings with groups of 20 or 25 and the number of villa weddings has also increased. Renting out a villa for a few days is ideal for couples who want to relax in a luxurious setting with family.” Of course, Scott’s team is also organising larger weddings, with some couples preferring larger events with approximately 200 guests.

A Surge In Demand For Marbella Weddings

Scott Gibbons, founder of Sunshine Weddings (a leading events company that specialises in Marbella and Mallorca weddings), is celebrating his company’s 20th anniversary this year – and what a year it has been! On the day of our meeting, he is constantly interrupted by calls, notifications, and phone pings. Such is the demand for his services that he is working longer days than ever and expanding his team to cope. “We have over 120 weddings lined up for this year, compared to just 42 in 2020 (some of which were postponed),” he says. Sunshine weddings works with all of Marbella’s top venues and suppliers, so couples seeking meaningful, bespoke events leave all the organisation to Scott and his talented team. After speaking to him for a few minutes, it is clear that he has a true passion for making his clients happy on such an important day of their lives.

Outdoor Weddings Take The Cake

Across the globe, outdoor weddings are bigger than ever – as found in recent research conducted by global wedding giants, The Knot. If 2020 taught us one thing, it is that nature is a saviour in mentally challenging times, owing to its powerful effect on brain chemistry. Outdoor weddings offer an optimal safety factor and, of course, they are uniquely picturesque. Just imagine how Instagrammable a photograph of a couple standing under an ancient chestnut or walking along the seashore can be. Envision a white wedding tent surrounded by breezy palms, or beautiful al fresco tables embellished with floral arrangements while candlelit lanterns or fairy lights shine in the trees. These romantic images are brought to life by seasoned photographers such as Talia Giraudo of Thoroughly Gorgeous, who is known for her talent of capturing unique moments between couples and for her friendly, approachable manner. In addition to Talia, Scott recommends Jeremy Standley, Rachel from Balance Photography, Isabel Benchetrit from IB Imagery, and Nora from Nora Photography.

The Drinks Are On Us

Scott has additionally noticed that couples are offering open-bar services for up to six or seven hours – in other words, all night long!. “The idea is to really treat friends and family; to have a real party where good food and drinks abound.” Couples are also demanding a high standard from the food served. “Marbella is well-positioned to meet and even surpass expectations in this regard. Couples who come over for tastings are marvelling at how good the food is.”

The Boho-Chic

Theme Prevails
I also spoke to Silvia Kessels, Event Stylist and Props Supplier and founder of Marbella Parties (, which launched some 22 years ago on the Coast. Silvia and Scott both tell me that in so far as themes go, boho-chic vibes are what it’s all about. This theme is reflected in everything from bridal bouquets to wedding arch decorations, and fashion styling.

When It Comes To Food, Make It Slow

Slow, organic, zero-kilometre food is all the rage on the international and local wedding scene. Couples with a passion for green living are seeking to feed their guests healthy, pesticide-free produce obtained from nearby sources. Scott informs me that plant-based foods are often requested, with more and more couples offering vegan and vegetarian dishes and venues catering to guests with specific dietary requirements.

Chilling Out In Luminous Splendour

As an event decorator who founded her business “when nobody else was offering this type of service,” Silvia has developed a truly impressive array of features which lend weddings that magical, romantic feel that couples crave. She is also an agent who supplies couples with bands, DJs, and other forms of entertainment, as well as cocktail makers, caterers, and indeed all they require to make their dream wedding a reality.

Silvia says, “I supply items like arches, pergolas, carpets, chairs, balloons, linen and glassware, dancefloors, and chill-out areas.” The latter – zones where people can relax and lounge after the reception meal and rest in between dance sessions – are a popular choice, especially in venues that are large enough to house a separate relaxation zone. “White chill-out areas are ideal for weddings. We can embellish them with beds, carpets, and tables in pristine white.” In line with the trendy boho theme, couples are opting for warm lighting in the form of fairy and festoon lights. They are also choosing natural furniture in materials like wood, which evokes the vital bond shared between human beings and nature.

Sustainability Rules

International trends reveal that eco-warrior couples are opting to go fully green, which is good news considering the fact that the carbon footprint of the average wedding amounts to a whopping 63 metric tons of CO2. In some parts of the world, couples are supporting green energy initiatives by purchasing offsets by the metric to an equivalent extent of the footprint their event is leaving behind. When calculating their carbon footprint, they are adding up aspects such as honeymoon travel, food, drinks, ground transportation, electricity, and venues. Dedicated organisations such as Terapass are offering eco-friendly wedding offsetting packages that make the process easier.

Fresh Flowers For The Bride

In terms of flowers, some couples are opting to use potted instead of cut flowers to decorate their ceremony and reception areas. Others are using artistically sewn or paper floral arrangements. On the Coast, Scott says, fresh flowers are still the order of the day and most are flown in from abroad. However, couples are doing their share by reusing arrangements from their ceremony to jazz up their reception zones. Some of the most popular local suppliers include Deseos Florist, the Unique Flower Shop by Roberto Silvosa Floristas, and Holland Flowers.

True Romance

Scott tells me of a special bouquet that Deseos made for a unique proposal. “We don’t normally do proposals but someone rang us wanting to propose to his girlfriend. He escaped from his hotel at 8:30am one morning to meet me, and we discussed how we would plan the event. We set up tables in the middle of a plaza in the Old Town. The couple sat down and suddenly, a saxophone player appeared, playing all the future bride’s favourite songs. She was gobsmacked at the seemingly random playlist – which was, of course, shared with us by her boyfriend. She also loved the tango and unexpectedly, a couple appeared performing this dance – another ‘strange coincidence’. When the dance finished, a ‘flashmob’ choreography started featuring Bruno Mars’ Marry Me and she still didn’t really understand what was going on… until a staff member handed the young man a gorgeous bouquet of roses and he got down on his knees and proposed. It was a fantastic moment and it happened at the height of the pandemic. I think everyone needed a little magic at that time.”

Scott and his team are currently organising a special wedding package prize for couples from the UK and Ireland wishing to get married in Marbella. The competition will be up on their website in March and you can enter once a month until October, when the winner will be chosen. For further information, see

Beach-Inspired Fashion, Makeup, And Hair Prevails

When it comes to fashion and makeup, the boho vibe also prevails. Wedding dresses are delicate and striking, with features such as guipure lace, dramatic sleeves, and a mix of fabrics and influences holding sway. Forget about boning, wires, and corsets. It’s all about beautiful yet effortless gowns that express a bride’s free spirit. Hair and makeup echo the trend, with nude and lightly bronzed hues dominating makeup and hair being worn down (or half-up), in loose, beachy waves.

Trending Venues

Marbella is home to a plethora of beautiful seaside and mountainside settings.

Finca La Concepción

This venue, the first-ever foundry to exist in Spain, is one of the most sought after places to celebrate weddings and special events, with its stunning gardens (with ancient palm trees and tropical plants) spread over 10,000m2 of land. One of its star features is a 100-year-old walnut tree, which provides welcome shade and which stuns by night when its leaves are graced with fairy lights. The Finca has various spaces for weddings, including El Cenador, La Fundición, and El Portico de la Capilla (a gorgeous spot right in front of the main house).

Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort

Say ‘I do’ in a Roman amphitheatre or in romantic gardens. Enjoy a picture-perfect feast at a chic beach club with views that reach the coast of Morocco. Celebrate an intimate ceremony in a secluded chapel. Invite your guests to an open-air celebration at the resort’s Linares Terrace and Ballroom or at the private, sophisticated setting that is La Veranda Terrace. There are so many options for celebrations at the Anantara but regardless of which you choose, you will be surrounded by lush greenery or dreamlike sea views.

The Puente Romano Beach Resort

A Mediterranean destination of choice for vibrant, creative, unforgettable weddings. An authentic sense of place is married to the warmth of Southern Spain and the contemporary style of this renowned luxury resort. The Puente Romano has various places in which to celebrate your dream event – from unique Mediterranean gardens, patios, and plazas, to its elegant ballroom and exclusive nightclub. Venues include La Concha (an outdoor Mediterranean-style area for up to 80 guests), Calle Málaga (an Andalusian inspired outdoor setting for up to 100 guests), and Salón Andalucía (an indoor setting for up to 450 guests). La Suite and Supperclub, famed for hosting Marbella’s exclusive weekend nightlife, are privately available for midweek celebrations.

The Marbella Club

Under the shade of the lush subtropical gardens or by landmarks rich in Marbella Club history, there is nothing more romantic than feeling part of something exceptional. The Marbella Club’s venues span from the majestic Villa del Mar (an expression of timeless old-world nostalgia with a spectacular Andalusian patio and ample gardens providing a private seafront haven) to charming and casual seaside restaurants. For more intimate celebrations, excellent choices include MC Beach (with its laidback vibe and azure-hued Chiringuito), the Beach Club (with views of the pier), or The Grill (a classic event choice for an al fresco celebration). The resort offers wedding packages as well as additional services – including fireworks, themed furniture, and stylists.

Higueron Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

The Higueron Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a renowned location for weddings. Its Med Gardens combine elegance and warmth in a verdant Mediterranean landscape and the views of the Coast from the rooftop Infinity pool are unparalleled. The venue is also home to naturally lit grand interior halls with terraces, where couples can share a toast with guests. Brides and grooms can commence their beauty preparations long before their wedding day, working out and relaxing with specially designed spa and fitness packages, or unwinding with friends. Many choose to commence the journey of their lifetime with cocktails, sunset gazing, and live music at The Beach Club Higueron. The experienced staff is ready to help couples plan an exclusive party that reflects the rhythm of the Mediterranean.

Weddings are back and they are warmer, more purposeful, and more expressive than ever. After a tough couple of years, couples are ready to host celebrations that stand out thanks to values like sustainability and a new appreciation of nature. Marbella is uniquely positioned to rise to these demands, with its combination of stunning venues, passion for service, and experience dealing with discerning visitors from around the globe.