In last week’s blog, we detailed five very good reasons why you should always enlist the help of a wedding planner. But you didn’t thing we were done there did you? We could go on for weeks. But for now, here are five more very convincing ways a planner can help.
A useful advocate
Weddings can involve a healthy dose of politics. There are plenty of vested interests and not everyone shares the same ideas. A wedding planner can be a very useful mediator in tricky situations. Need someone to tell the mother in law to stop meddling? Then a planner has the skills and authority to do it without hurting anyone’s feelings.
We mentioned in last week’s post that a planner can help you bring it on budget. But did you know they could actually help you save money? Planners have contact networks that can actually save back the money you spend on them, making them an essential wedding tool.
Planners also know which vendors, services and venues you can trust to deliver exactly what you want. If you’re planning by yourself then it’s always a gamble using service providers you have no prior experience with.
Your wedding experience should be one you enjoy and remember fondly. A planner can make this happen, ensuring that you and your partner are happy and relaxed throughout the process.
Planners are expert listeners, knowing that it’s your vision that needs to be realised. They’ll take note of what you want, helping you to realise your dream.
Now, it might come as no surprise that we think that a wedding planner is an essential part of any truly magical wedding. But if you still don’t want to believe us, here are five very good reasons why we wedding planners are indispensable.
Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you probably have a budget for your wedding. Any when you start the planning process you will almost certainly realise that it won’t go as far as you’d like. That is, unless you have a wedding planner keeping on top of every penny, sourcing deals and using their extensive contact network to bring your wedding in on budget.
Your wedding day is supposed to be the best of your life. So do you really want to spend it worrying about why the caterers are late or why the tables have ben set up in the wrong place? Let a planner handle the details, leaving your free to enjoy your big day.
Once you and your planner have agreed upon your wedding ideas, they’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure you get everything exactly as you want it. Planners have a knack of being able to persuade venue managers, catering bosses and others that what you want is really the best thing for everyone. (Just don’t ask us how we do it).
During the course of your wedding day there are a thousand things that can go wrong. And it only needs one to happen for the whole thing to be derailed. Your planner will be there , keeping all the plates spinning so everything goes off with bang (and at the right time).
This may or may not be your first wedding (although with any luck it will be your last). But the chances are you’ve done this once or twice before at most, if it’s not completely new to you. A wedding planner will have done this several or more times a year, every year, perhaps even for decades. So, they’ve got the right experience. And believe us, it really, really helps.
OK, so it might be a little early to get into the Christmas spirit. But with only a month to go, it’s worth thinking about your plans. Here in Portugal, we do things a little differently over the festive period, but it’s just as magical. If you’re planning a Christmas wedding for 2018 (it’s a little late for this year) then here are a few things you can expect.
Don’t worry, Father Christmas (or Pai Natal as he’s called here) still visits on Christmas eve so you’ll have plenty of gifts to open. However, the Portuguese celebrate their traditional Christmas meal – called Consoada – on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
As you might expect, the dish consists of cod (what else?) with potatoes and vegetables. This is sometimes followed by shellfish and other expensive treats.
Christmas trees were only really introduced to Portugal in the 1970s but have become a firm family favourite. And, being a Catholic country, the nativity scene and story play a big part. Many people still go to mass after dinner on the 24th before returning home to open their gifts.
The traditional Christmas cake is called Bolo do Rei, or King’s Cake. Plenty of port goes around, and everyone indulges in a few azevias of felhozes – traditional sweet treats.
After Christmas (never before) people will go from house to house singing the Janeiras – January songs. The singers are treated to gifts of snacks, like dry figs, chorizo and cheese. Careful, as if you don’t offer them snacks, they might sing songs about you (but it’s all in good fun).
As is the case all over the world, Christmas in Portugal is a time for family fun, tradition and generosity. So if you’re planning a winter wedding, you’re in for a real treat.
Ok, so we’re still not done with 2017 but look around you at the shops and you’ll notice Christmas decorations everywhere. And with the festive period fast approaching, it also means that the New Year is just around the corner. Besides, it’s never too early to start planning your wedding. In fact, maybe we should be focusing on 2019?
But for now, here are some top ideas for wedding trends for 2018 to give you a little inspiration.
Navy is the new black
Instead of the classic black and white theme, many brides and grooms are opting for a classic dark blue. Navy for bridesmaids dresses is also going to be big.
Formal is back
Over recent years there has been a lean toward more informal weddings. But in 2018 informal is back. Tuxedos, classical flowers and more. Just remember that formal doesn’t have to mean stuffy.
Moving away from traditional wedding fare, couples are looking at roll your own sushi, Korean barbeques and even more exotic food to make their wedding stand out.
As well as the main meal, puddings are big in 2018. Of course, the wedding cake is a main attraction but don’t forget about the dessert, and be creative.
As the autumn slowly comes to end giving way to winter, there’s a whole new season of weddings on the horizon. If you’re tying the knot at this time of year, there‘s a whole load of wedding ideas and inspiration to make your winter stand out. Here are just a few of our favourites.
Every wedding needs flowers. Every wedding needs ice. Why not combine the two in an eye catching ice sculpture complete with incorporated flowers? It’s a real show stopper, and practical too (sort of) if you create sculptures with a purpose, such as champagne ice buckets.
Warm and wintry textures such as velvet and leather help to give your wedding luxurious feel. Choose winter colours such as burgundy and dark green, and be creative with where you use it. Think ring boxes, grooms outfits, bouquet wraps and more.
Keep your guests warm, cosy and in the mood with a selection of hot drinks. This could be everything from hot chocolate to something a little more fun, such as hot toddies or mulled wine and cider.
A true white wedding complete with snow can be incredibly romantic but the chances are you’ll get grey, miserable and rain. So why not plan a winter wedding escape here in Portugal where even in deepest, darkest December you’ll get endless sunshine and mild temperatures. Sounds tempting doesn’t it?
Once the home of Portugal’s kings and queens, the village of Sintra is one of the most unique destinations in the country. Nestled at the feet of the Sintra mountains, this forested village is home to some of the most unusual buildings including pastel coloured palaces and ancient Moorish castles.
Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with its palaces, mansions and monasteries, is the perfect destination for a romantic Portuguese wedding. It’s also close to Lisbon as well as the Atlantic coast. Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point in Europe is just a few miles away, with its stunning views of the rugged coast.
Sintra is also well known for its gastronomy, with traditional dishes such as suckling pig, as well as sublime seafood readily available.
With so much architectural heritage, an incredible selection of wedding venues and an enviable location, Sintra is one of the most popular locations for Portuguese weddings. Is it any wonder that Lord Byron referred to the place as a ‘glorious Eden’? When you visit the lush gardens and majestic mansions it’s easy to see why.
Summer is officially over and we’re in the midst of autumn (although you wouldn’t know it here in Portugal with temperatures still up in the 30s and endless hours of sunshine). So with that in mind, lets take a closer look at five top trends for autumn weddings this season.
Rich and warm colours are a must, with burgundy and plum big favourites. Think ivory rather than white and darker hues that reflect your seasonal surroundings. Metallics are also popular in 2017.
Cakes that drizzle or cascade should be teamed with bare tiers, sugar flowers and autumn colours. The current trend is for scaled back cakes in both size and design so don’t go overboard – keep it classy.
Craft beer tasting
Craft beer is everywhere, so why not make it a part of your wedding? Rather than serving up standard lagers, treat your guests to an array of local brews. And with a growing craft beer scene in Portugal, there are some exciting tipples to try.
Keep arrangements green and leafy, with succulents a popular autumn choice. Eucalyptus (everywhere in Portugal) and pines (also everywhere) make striking and effective centrepieces and foliage motifs.
Seasonal foods and flavours really work in autumn, with this being the season of harvest. Freshly pressed and gorgeous green olive oil is a must, teamed with the traditional seafood and pastries of Portugal.
Blessed with one of the best climates in Europe and countless hours of summer sun, the June to August season is always popular for weddings in Portugal. However, even outside of the high season, there are plenty of reasons to get married here.
The months of September to November are when the harvests take place, when villages across the country hum with activity as people pick grapes to make wine and olives to make oil. These were traditionally times of celebration and with the weather still often remaining sunny and warm for weeks on end, it can be a beautiful time to have a wedding.
After the scorching summer, the cooler autumn temperature and showers bring life back to the ground, with lush green colours returning and ripening of many fruits. This means there’s an abundance of natural autumn foliage with which to decorate your wedding venue. If you’re looking to source food locally, this is also a bountiful time of year.
The colours, weather, food, and if we’re being totally honest, affordability, of Portuguese autumn weddings make them a very attractive proposal. And with less competition for venues, you can get the weeding of your dreams at a truly beautiful time of year.
The main event of any wedding is the moment the bride and groom say ‘I do’. Of course it is. But then again, as a guest, what you’re really looking forward to is an incredible meal in beautiful surroundings with lovely people. Taking nothing away from the happy couple, obviously. Which is why putting a lot of thought and effort into your tables can help to make this even more special.
So here is a handful of really great wedding table ideas, some inspired by the beautiful Portuguese landscapes all around.
From pine trees to eucalyptus and cactuses, all around you in Portugal is stunning greenery that can be used to dress any table. Don’t forget about the olive branches that cover the countryside from north to south.
As the evening wears on, having candles and even table lamps can help to create an atmosphere conducive to good times. Choose styles that suit your overall design theme.
Experiment with adding colour in different ways, with glassware and crockery that matches your tones.
Think about the table itself
Why dress the table too much when it can be the star of the show? Think chunky wood tables and chairs for a natural option that looks beautiful too.
Create space and add another dimension by hanging flowers and centrepieces above the table. That way everyone can see each other and you can create eye catching displays that don’t get in the way.
These days it’s more or less possible to get whatever flowers you want at any time of year. But just like going local with the food, more and more people are choosing to use flowers that are seasonal, arranging their floral displays around the flowers in bloom when the choose to get married.
And here in Portugal, there’s an extensive calendar of flowers running right through the year.
In January, February and March you should be looking at camellias, orchids and hyacinths. May through July is time for hydrangeas, carnations and lavender (which has the added bonus of smelling incredible).
Roses and sunflowers are big in July and August, with gladiola and irises coming in September to November.
If you’re going for a winter wedding, then white lilies usually flower in December. Plan your wedding around these beautiful plants and you’ve got a ready made colour and design scheme from Mother Nature herself. Add some native foliage, such as olive branches and you can dress your wedding without the environmental impact.