The Algarve might be best known as one of Europe’s premier holiday destinations but it’s also an incredible place to get married. With a unique micro climate keeping things warm all year round, plus a choice of some of Portugal’s best beaches and most romantic settings, this could be the perfect wedding destination.
From hill top light houses and windmills to ancient castles and endless stretches of beach, you’re spoilt for choice of wedding venues in the Algarve. But why stay on dry land? An evening champagne boat cruise is another option for a truly unforgettable wedding day experience.
Accommodation for you and your guests won’t be a problem. As one of the most visited regions in Europe, there’s an incredible range of hotel and villa options including places like the Sheraton Pine Cliffs resort and the Cascade resort.
The natural world plays its part too, with a magical landscape of sea caves and arches, backed by stretches of golden sand. Plus, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, the chances of beautiful weather for your big day are as good here as anywhere on the continent.
And despite being in the far south of Portugal (and Europe in general) getting to and from the Algarve is easy, with regular flights across Europe from Faro airport.
Portugal’s second city, Porto sits in a stunning location on the steep banks of the River Douro. With its UNESCO World Heritage Site centre, iconic iron bridge and myriad port cellars, this is one of the most charismatic cities in Europe and a perfect setting for any wedding.
If you’re looking for a wedding in a vintage style then Porto is a great choice. With a plethora of venues across the city that show off the city’s antique charm to the full. Host your reception down by the river, overlooking the city’s famed port cellars and add a few special reserves to your menu for your guests to sample.
This one-time European Capital of Culture is not short of places for your guests to enjoy. The Serralves Museum is one of the country’s leading cultural hubs, and there are river tours, port cellar tours and the beach just a few miles away.
Porto is also known for its culinary prowess, with exquisite and fresh seafood caught and cooked daily.
It’s little wonder that Porto is one of Portugal’s most popular wedding destinations, offering a unique combination of ancient charm and modern amenities.
One of Portugal’s most historic and sunny cities, Évora is the capital of the vast Alentejo regions. This agricultural area is one of the Europe’s least densely populated areas, so if you’re looking for peace and tranquillity for your big day, this is the place for you.
Évora boasts Roman and Arabic influences, with the walled city surrounded by endless rolling countryside. Stroll around Roman temples and beautiful churches, staying in converted former monasteries and choosing from a range of superb venues.
It also sits in the heart of Portugal’s famed gastronomic regions. The food in the Alentejo is envied all around the country, and as the capital this is the place to come for incredible cuisine.
The city sits on a hill, with beautiful views in every direction. And the historic squares are filled with a lively hum, courtesy of the university students who study here.
With golden sunshine, ancient history, stunning food and incredible views, Évora is a wedding destination that’s got the lot.
Looking for a beautiful beach wedding with all the glitz and glamour? Then look no further than Cascais. This beautiful former fishing town and now stylish beach resort boasts dozens of superb hotels and some sumptuous wedding venues – not least the beach itself.
Within striking distance of Lisbon, just over half an hour by train and with great road links to the city and airport, you and your guests can also enjoy all the fun of one of Europe’s great capital cities. As well as Lisbon, the historic and enigmatic town of Sintra is close by. Discover mountain top palaces and fantastical country estates.
Cascais’s heritage as a fishing port means it’s home to some of Portugal’s best seafood, and the sunsets aren’t bad either. And with around 300 sunny days per year, the chances of clement weather are very good indeed.
Then, of course, there’s the venues. From mansions located in secluded coves to stunning cliff top hotels frequented by some of the world’s most famous people, Cascais spoils you for choice of majestic reception destinations.
Tie the knot looking out over the brilliant blue Atlantic ocean and enjoy a wedding day to remember forever.
Everyone wants their wedding day to be the most special and perfect of their lives. But nowhere does it say that it can’t also be a sustainable and low impact affair.
For more and more brides and grooms, keeping their big day green is a big part of the celebration. So here are some top tips on how to reduce your wedding footprint.
Dressing the venue is very important but try and use materials that you can reuse or recycle. Even better if you can source recycled materials to begin with. Think paper, card and glass rather than plastic.
Local and seasonal food
Here in Portugal there’s an incredible range of local and seasonal produce to choose from. From classics like sardines and cod, to olives, chorizo and olive oil, keep your food miles to a minimum.
It wouldn’t be a wedding without flowers but try and use native flower species that haven’t been treated with pesticides and other nasty chemicals. You can even add foliage like olive leaves to keep it greener.
Invites, wedding info, photos and more can all be sent and stored online (just make sure you back up). This will help to keep your paper trail to a minimum.
These days most couples have already set up home or at least have plenty of stuff so the traditional wedding gift list is dying out. Think about if you really need any more stuff or ask for donations to a worthwhile charity instead.
Most of us dream of a beautiful sunny day for our wedding. Endless blue skies, gorgeous sunsets – it’s what perfect weddings are made of. And here in Portugal you have about as good a chance as anywhere in the world of your dreams coming true, especially in the summer months.
But sunshine does come at a price. It can get hot. And with you and your guests dressed to kill, plus food and drinks to serve, too much sun can cause a few problems. So here’s a quick guide on how to beat the heat.
Choose timings sensibly
Think about where you and your guests will be during the hottest part of the day. For example, planning an outdoor ceremony in the middle of the afternoon sun is not ideal. Try and time events to make best use of the light and temperature.
Weddings by the ocean have the advantage of cool breezes and the refreshing cool of the water. Try and use natural ambient temperatures to your advantage and always think about shade.
If it’s going to be a scorcher, think about adjusting the dress code or letting guests know that they won’t be expected to be formal all day.
If you want the party to go on long into the night, keep everyone hydrated throughout the day. Water and ice are everyone’s friend.
Oh yes, and don’t forget about the wedding cake. Leave it in the sun for any length of time and it won’t be pretty.
Looking for a genuine vintage wedding? Then look no further than Portugal. This is a country where vintage never went out of fashion.
The Portuguese are great lovers of tradition. This is probably because they have to look back fondly on a time when they conquered the world and possessed and empire on which the sun almost never set. Which might also explain the British’s fondness for retro chic too.
Explore the Portuguese countryside even today and you’ll find countless villages where not much has changed in hundreds of years. Charming stone houses and stunning palaces range from north to south.
So, if you’re looking for a vintage inspired wedding destination, you’re spoiled for choice. But Portugal’s affinity for vintage doesn’t all go back hundreds of years to the Age of Discoveries. Throughout the 20th century they have created some iconic design that overflows with retro charm. You only have to look at the sardine tins in the supermarket to see what we mean.
From wicker covered wine bottles in the olive grove, to the ubiquitous arca chests that were present in every home, create a vintage inspired wedding in one of Europe’s most tradition rich destinations.
The bridal bouquet can often be the centrepiece of any wedding design theme. Think about what you want to carry down the aisle and very often you can build your whole wedding style around it.
With that in mind, here are five top ideas to give you some ideas and inspire you to create a bouquet that’s a little different.
An ancient symbol fertility, the orchid also brings beauty and charm to your bouquet. Different colours have different meanings too, with white bringing reverence and humility, as well as innocence and purity.
These fleshy and geometric plants bring a beautiful contrast to any bouquet. There’s a huge variety to choose from with patterns and textures that can bring your bouquet to life.
Why opt for the traditional bunch design? A cascade can be draped over the arm and add a trail of colour to your dress. Plus, the bigger it is the more flowers you get to use.
Beautifully coloured and fragrant, lavender is a an excellent framing flower around which you can add further colour and texture.
Representing new life and bountiful fruits of nature, berries make a stunning addition to any bouquet design. They also contrast with the colour and texture of flowers for a unique bouquet.
There are plenty of reasons to get married here in Portugal. The weather, the beaches, the stunning venues all have significant appeal. But there’s also the fact that Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Topping countless lists as one of the hottest capitals of the moment, it’s not surprisingly home to some incredible restaurants too. So if you’re looking to entertain your wedding guests before or after the big day, you couldn’t find a better place to do it.
Here are a few of the best:
A Taberna de Rua das Flores
A faithful recreation of an old Lisbon style eatery, this is the place to go for traditional dishes the way they were meant to be served. Expect the best oil, best wine and a selection of delicious cheeses too.
Casa de Pasto
Run by Diogo Noronha, one of the city’s most promising young chefs, you can experience long forgotten recipes made with unusual ingredients. Think cockle rissoles and oxtail consommé.
Time Out Market
Presenting the very best of Lisbon’s food all under one roof, this vast collection of restaurants and bars is located in the old market in the once run down Cais do Sodre dock area. Regeneration has really kicked in and this is now the place to be.
Located in the hip Principe Real neighbourhood, this place specialises in Peruvian ceviche. If you’ve never tried it before, this is a great place to start.
So Donald Trump might not think the future of the planet is worth bothering about. But, as with a few other of the President’s opinions, we don’t necessarily agree. So if you want to keep your wedding green and do your bit for Mother Nature, here are some top ideas.
Some of your guests might have to travel to your wedding but there’s no reason your food and drink has to come from far away. Source locally and reduce your food miles, plus you’ll be sure you’re getting fresher and better quality produce. Here in Portugal, sourcing local food is an absolute must, from freshly caught fish to freshly pressed olive oil.
Wedding invites, decorations, place settings – there’s a fair amount of paper and card being used in any wedding. So make sure you’re using recycled products. Then, when the big day is over, recycle it all over again. The same goes for glass too.
Reduce the damage
Try to limit the amount of non-recyclable materials used. Keep plastics to a minimum and ask your guests that they don’t buy gifts with harmful chemicals. In fact, environmentally responsible gifts is a great way to go in general.
Off set the rest
It’s likely that your event is going to have some kind of impact so think about giving back in a positive way. Find an off setter like Terrapass or Native Energy and make a contribution that covers your wedding. If you can leave the planet no worse off after your big day that’s a great wedding present.