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.