Imagine a wedding in one of Portugal’s most ancient and beautiful cities. Évora lies at the heart of the vast Alentejo region, a UNESCO World Heritage site and area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s also home to the historic Convento do Espinheiro – one of the city’s most spectacular hotels and wedding venues.
The Convento dates back to the 15th century, when an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared above a thorn bush (espinheiro in Portuguese) in around 1400. A shrine, church and convent were built to honour the event over the course of the following century. And over the next several centuries, the convent was visited by Portuguese royalty and nobility many times.
In the last few years of the 20th century, the convent (no longer in use for religious purposes) began the process of being turned into the region’s first five star hotel. Today, the Convento do Espinheiro is one of just two Luxury Collection hotels in Portugal.
Situated just outside the city and sitting in eight hectares of beautiful gardens, the Convento has maintained it’s ancient charm but added some luxury features – it’s the perfect combination of old and new. There are 90 rooms, stunning event facilities and a spa – making it the perfect size for wedding celebrations. Plus, couples can even get married in the church on site, which has been painstakingly restored to its former glory – complete with iconic Portuguese hand painted tiles and engravings.
If you’re looking for a venue that combines the historic charm and beauty of Portugal with the modern convenience and comfort of a luxury hotel venue then the Convento do Espinheiro ticks all the right boxes. Celebrate your special day in an exquisite venue creating memories that you and your guests will never forget.
If you were in a play, a band or a sporting event, you’d spend hours rehearsing, learning lines or training to make sure it all went right on the night. Yet, your wedding is probably the most important day of your life and you’re going to leave it all to chance?
That’s why you need a rehearsal dinner. So that everyone knows what they’re doing and when. But unlike the movies, rehearsal dinners don’t have to be boring. In fact, with a little imagination you can make them a fun and integral part of the wedding. Here’s how…
Keep it informal by having a fun and funky BBQ in the back yard. Keep the drinks flowing and your guests won’t even mind a little bit of wedding admin at the same time. Get people to bring food ideas and include them as part of the event.
Who doesn’t like Mexican food? So why not have your rehearsal dinner somewhere fun and feisty? A taco party is always enjoyable and while they’re constructing their tortilla treats, you can run through a few things for the big day. Or think Italian, sushi or whatever you like.
Bring a grill and a load of fun games to play – from croquet to cricket, whatever you’re into. That way you and your guests can have a lot of fun outdoors, while you discuss your plans.
Sticking with the informal theme, order in a huge load of pizzas or hit the local trattoria. The communal eating experience should get everyone in the mood for taking part.
What better way to keep things relaxed (and your guests interested) than with a beach party. Play beach games, swim in the sea and top up your tan while you work out the finer details of the big day. And if you’re planning to have your venue right here in Portugal, you’ll have some of the world’s best beaches to choose from.