Why get married in: The Algarve

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.

Why get married in: The Algarve

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.

Why get married in: The Algarve

 

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.

Why get married in: The Algarve

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.

Why get married in: The Algarve

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.

Why get married in: Porto

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.

Why get married in: Porto

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.

Why get married in: Porto

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.

Why get married in: Porto

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.

Why get married in: Évora

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.

Why get married in: Évora

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.

Why get married in: Évora

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.

Why get married in: Évora

 

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.

Why get married in: Évora

With golden sunshine, ancient history, stunning food and incredible views, Évora is a wedding destination that’s got the lot.

Why get married in: Cascais

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.

Why get married in: Cascais

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.

Why get married in: Cascais

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.

Why get married in: Cascais

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.

Why get married in: Cascais

Tie the knot looking out over the brilliant blue Atlantic ocean and enjoy a wedding day to remember forever.

How to beat the heat

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.

How to beat the heat

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.

How to beat the heat

Location

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.

How to beat the heat

Dress code

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.

Hydration

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.

How to beat the heat

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.

Portugal: Where vintage lives

Looking for a genuine vintage wedding? Then look no further than Portugal. This is a country where vintage never went out of fashion.

Portugal: Where vintage lives

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.

Portugal: Where vintage lives

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.

Portugal: Where vintage lives

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.

Top ideas for your bridal bouquet

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.

Orchids

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.

Top five ideas for your bridal bouquet

Succulents

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.

Top five ideas for your bridal bouquet

Cascade

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.

Top five ideas for your bridal bouquet

Lavender

Beautifully coloured and fragrant, lavender is a an excellent framing flower around which you can add further colour and texture.

Top five ideas for your bridal bouquet

Berries

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.

 

Top five ideas for your bridal bouquet

Eating out in Lisbon: A quick guide

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.

Top Lisbon restaurants

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.

Top Lisbon restaurants

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.

Top Lisbon restaurants

A Cevicheria

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.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something green?

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.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something green?

Source locally

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.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something green?

Recycle

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.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something green?

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.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something green?

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.

Top tips for planning an outdoor wedding

Outdoor weddings are romantic and beautiful but they’re not as easy as they look. There’s a whole new world of things to think about if you’re planning on hosting your event in the great outdoors. So here are some top tips on what you might need to think about.

Make sure guests are comfortable

Have contingencies in place to make sure your guests are comfortable. Leave them standing around in the sweltering sunshine, in their wedding outfits, and things are going to get sweaty. Provide shade, some fans (or heaters if it’s chilly).

Top tips for planning an outdoor wedding

 

Have a plan B

Here in Portugal there’s a good chance the sun will be shinning. But there are no guarantees. And if the heavens open and you have no contingency, then things could get unpleasant quickly. Have an inside space set aside or at least some kind of covering.

Make use of natural beauty

One of the big bonuses of an outdoor wedding is that you get to make use of the natural world around you. But you need to make sure that this is all going to work on the day and that flowers and shrubs will be flowering at the right time. Remember, nature is constantly evolving.

Top tips for planning an outdoor wedding

Can your guests hear?

If it’s windy and you have no amplification, hearing the speeches is going to be tricky. And it’s very frustrating only catching the odd word of an otherwise beautiful father of the bride’s speech.

Keep bugs at bay

As the sun goes down, your beautifully lit wedding comes into its own. And then a million winged things descend biting everyone in sight. Think citronella candles and fly zappers to keep the plagues at bay.

Top tips for planning an outdoor wedding

Use the natural light

Plan your day carefully around the light. Don’t make your guests stare into the sun during the ceremony and use the beautiful sunset to your advantage.

Top tips for planning an outdoor wedding