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

Classic Portuguese wedding dishes

Call us biased (and you’d be right to because we absolutely are) but there are plenty of very good reasons to get married in Portugal. From the sunshine, beaches, romantic venues, beautiful cities and more, this is a country that lends itself to incredible weddings.

Classic Portuguese wedding dishes

But there’s another very good reason: the food. Portuguese food may not have the classical refinement of the French or the sheer scale of Spanish tapas but what it does have is an abundance of stunning ingredients and a sense of tradition.

Check out these classic Portuguese wedding dishes to see what we mean.

Starters

The Portuguese love a soup, from the ubiquitous caldo verde (a kale soup with chorizo) to a variety of delicious fish soups, every good meal starts with one.

Classic Portuguese wedding dishes

Mains

It’s said there is a bacalhau (cod) dish for every day of the year, and it’s even Christmas dinner, so don’t be surprised to see it on the menu at a wedding. There’s bacalhau com natas (a creamy and potato filled type of pie), a bras (cooked with onions, rice and olives) and a Gomes Sa (with onions, garlic, potatoes parsley and egg). To name just three. Camarao (prawns) are another wedding favourite.

As well as a fish course, expect another meaty main. Iberian black pork, stewed goat and wild boar are all common choices for weddings.

Desert

The infamous pastel de nata is a great choice but the Portuguese also have a wide variety of classics including leite crème (like crème brulee), bolo do bolacha (a creamy cake made with coffee soaked biscuits, and fresh fruit. Mountains of fresh fruit.

Oh, and there’s the wine, aguardente, port, madeira, and more. But that’s a whole other blog post.

A wedding on the wild side

As well as bohemian cities and beautiful beaches, Portugal has a wild side that few people ever really get to see. But with miles of unspoiled countryside, ancient farmland, rugged mountains and traditional culture, if you’re looking for a wild wedding then this might just be the place for you.

But you might have to hurry. As this recent article in The Guardian points out, the secret might just be out of the bag. Get away from the coastal resorts to the north, east and south and you’ll find timeless beauty, rustic mountaintop villages and mysterious standing stones.

Serra da Peneda

North east of Porto, this mountainous region is one of Portugal’s wildest and most beautiful. Discover ancient Roman roads and villages that time forgot. You and your guests can swim in pristine mountain pools, feast on local delicacies including goat or lamb baked in a wood oven, and find incredibly romantic venues.

Setubal coast

Located just to the south of Lisbon, the Costa Azul is famous for its wine. But you can also encounter cliff top monasteries, sandy beaches and crystal clear water. It’s rare to find such unspoiled beauty so near to a capital city. But then Portugal is not like other countries.

The Alentejo

Vast stretches of rolling farmland, meadows and stone villages dot this sparsely populated landscape. One of Europe’s least densely populated areas, this vast region is timeless and beautiful. With national parks and historic cities like Évora, it makes a majestic setting for any wedding.

Top summer wedding trends 2017

As the wedding season really starts to get into its swing, here are some top wedding trends you’re likely to see this summer.

Watercolour

A great way to DIY your wedding. Watercolour your invitations, decorations, table numbers and more. It’s a fun, creative and very affordable way of adding big splashes of colour to your special day.

Forest

The forest can be a very romantic place, and a great venue to connect with wildlife. Shady, lush and with abundant natural material, why bother decorating your venue when nature can do it for you – and on a much grander scale.

Tropical

Brightly coloured flowers (think bold pinks and purples) and palm leaves cam bring a little slice of tropical paradise to any wedding. Think Hawaiian shirts, bold floral prints and patterns – all you need is some sunshine to set it all off. And here in Portugal you stand a pretty good chance of getting it.

Boho

If you’re looking for a more casual event, then go for a boho/vintage feel. Think wedding teepees, vintage fabrics, cowboy boots, rugs and anything else you can find inspiration from in junk shops. This is a great way to create a truly unique and individual event.

5 reasons to have an intimate wedding

Big isn’t always better. For more and more couples, inviting that weird guy from your fiancé’s work isn’t necessarily part of the most special day of their lives. Sometimes keeping it small but doing it really well is the better option.

Here are five reasons why.

Only invite your nearest and dearest

When you start compiling your guest list, it can get out of hand. If one set of distant cousins is invited, the other bunch have to come to. So why not keep it lean and invite the people you really want to celebrate with you. Close friends and immediate family only.

5 reasons to have an intimate wedding

Feel more relaxed

This a big day but you want to enjoy it too. After all, it’s your party. So why spend hours having the same conversation with hundreds of people? Fewer people means more time with the ones you love.

5 reasons to have an intimate wedding

Splurge

Spreading your budget too thin means the quality is diluted. Focus it more clearly and you can splash out on things you really want.

5 reasons to have an intimate wedding

Freedom to customise

Bigger weddings mean there’s less scope to put your own stamp on it. Keep it small and you’ve got compete control over the details.

5 reasons to have an intimate wedding

More options

There are only so many beautiful venues that can hold 300 people – even in Portugal. With a smaller guest list you can expand your event horizons.

5 reasons to have an intimate wedding

Why you need a wedding website

When planning a wedding, especially a wedding abroad, you’ll find that everyone wants answers. What time does the ceremony start? What are the best local hotels? Can I bring my dog? (Believe us, this does happen).

Why you need a wedding website

And when you’re focusing on creating the perfect wedding, you’ve just not got the time to answer everyone’s questions. Especially when all the information is already in the invite.

Why you need a wedding website

This is when a wedding website is invaluable. It’s the perfect place to put all the relevant info your guests might want. Times, gift lists, dress codes – anything to do with the wedding, get it online.

Why you need a wedding website

And don’t be put off by the tech side of things. These days there are plenty of template web design sites you can use to easily create your site. Use sites like Squarespace, WordPress and Wix to choose your style, pick your colour scheme and hey presto, it’s done.

Why you need a wedding website

You can use it as an online RSVP, share more details about the wedding, share your story and even provide updated about the weather. Although here in Portugal it’s almost always sunny.

So, make your site, keep people in the loop and let people know whether it’s ok to bring their four-legged friends – amongst other things.

Top five Portuguese honeymoon destinations

After the wedding, chances are you’ll want a little time to yourselves. Some time to rest up, enjoy each other’s company and not think about anything to do with weddings. And where better to go than Portugal, one of Europe’s most beautiful countries?

From north to south and east to west, there are countless stunning honeymoon destinations where you can enjoy everything from beach bliss to mountain seclusion. So here are five ideas to get you started.

Sintra

Located just outside Lisbon, Sintra is a magical town of fairytale castles, mountaintop palaces, lush valleys and more. Lord Byron called the town a ‘glorious Eden’ and he knew a thing or two about beauty.

Top five Portuguese honeymoon destinations

Porto

Sitting majestically on the Douro River, this ancient city inspires and enthrals. Take a boat trip up the river to visit the vineyards were the famous wine is made or simply relax in some of Portugal’s finest hotels. The obligatory glass of port is always close by too.

Top five Portuguese honeymoon destinations

Serra de Estrella

Huge rocky mountains, gin-like lakes, ancient villages and barely another soul in sight. If you’re looking for a secluded getaway, Portugal’s highest mountain range is hard to beat.

Top five Portuguese honeymoon destinations

Lisbon

Capital cities shouldn’t be like this. With narrow winding streets, alleyways and staircases, it’s really a collection of small villages fused together. Explore enigmatic Alfama, wander the gardens at Principe Real and enjoy majestic views over red tiled rooftops from Graca.

Top five Portuguese honeymoon destinations

Alentejo

Taking up around a third of the country but with few towns or cities, the Alentejo is one of Europe’s last great unspoiled farmlands. But it’s also home to some incredible beaches. You can also head a little south to the natural reserve of the Algarve’s west coast.

Top five Portuguese honeymoon destinations

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

If you’re planning a 2017 wedding, then Portugal could be your perfect wedding destination. Here are just 10 of the hundreds of reasons why.

The sunshine

Endless hours of hot sunshine in the long summer months and mild, warm winters give Portugal one of the best climates in Europe. Beautiful weather is never guaranteed but it’s as close as you’re going to get.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The coast

With more than 1,000 km of coastline – with rugged rocks, golden beaches and secluded coves – this is the ideal place for a wedding by the ocean. Just imagine a warm sea breeze in your hair as you walk down the aisle.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The architecture

From luxurious villas to the red tiled townhouses of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal’s romantic buildings offer an incredible choice of inspiration and accommodation.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The attitudes

One of the first countries in the world to allow same sex marriage, Portugal is a liberal and welcoming country that opens its heart to everyone.

The legalities

No residence is required before the big day and witnesses are not required by law, so if a secret wedding is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The cost

As one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe, Portugal offers incredible value for money.

The planners

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet too often, but Portugal is also home to some of the world’s most stylish wedding planners. Check out our site to see what we mean.

The food

With traditional cooking and some of the best seafood in the world, you can serve up an unforgettable wedding feast for your guests.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The wine

Home to some of the best wines imaginable, not to mention the port, madeira, and a choice of traditional spirits, you can perfectly accompany your wedding menu.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The honeymoon

Combine your wedding with a dream honeymoon in one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Historic cities like Porto, Lisbon and Evora combine with stunning coastline, mountaintop castles and more to create a truly romantic honeymoon destination.

Top 5 wedding trends for 2017

OK, it’s not quite 2017 just yet but it always pays to be ahead of the curve. Besides, if you’re getting married in 2017 you should definitely be thinking about the big day by now – if you haven’t been for the last few years that is.

 

So if you want your day to be bang on trend, here are five top ways to nail your 2017 wedding.

Colour

It might be a nice day for a white wedding but big and bold colours are definitely making a comeback too. Add huge bursts wherever you can.

Top 5 wedding trends for 2017

Destination weddings

Bored of going to the same wedding week in, week out? Well you’re not the only one. Which is why you should be thinking about a beautiful destination. Call us biased but we think that Portugal is pretty hard to beat.

Top 5 wedding trends for 2017

Engage your guests

Weddings are getting less formal every year, with people looking for new and exciting ways to engage their guests and make them feel comfortable. Expect some fun new developments in 2017 – fire eaters, circus clowns who knows what we’ll see.

Top 5 wedding trends for 2017

Rustic

In keeping with a move away from formality, rustic is the way to go. Think barns, olive groves and countryside – just without the farmyard smells.

Top 5 wedding trends for 2017

Big entrances

Walking down the aisle looking incredible is one thing, choppering in or skydiving is a whole different ball game. Get your guests attention for a memorable wedding.

Top 5 wedding trends for 2017

Why choose a springtime wedding in Portugal?

You could argue that Portugal is at its best in the springtime. The warmest and sunniest country in Western Europe bursts into life after the winter rains, with wild flower blooms and greenery creating a stunning colour palette.

Spring wedding in Portugal image by Paolo Valdivieso

And what better place to enjoy it than along the rugged Atlantic coast or in the sun-kissed Algarve? As temperatures rise and sunlight hours extend, it’s the perfect place for a spring wedding.

Spring wedding in Portugal

It’s warm enough to enjoy the outside – even to hit the beach – but cooler than the scorching summer sun. The rainy season has restored the brilliant greens to the vegetation and the wild flower blooms provide a colourful inspiration for your wedding.

Spring wedding in Portugal image by dronepicr

Dazzling colours carpet the landscape, the fruit and nut trees are in blossom, with incredible fragrances all around. And the light of a spring time evening is a joy to behold.

Spring wedding in Portugal

 

Of course, you can also make the most of Portugal’s year round wedding appeal. Incredible wines, stunning cuisine and a choice of unforgettable wedding venues combine to create a perfect place to tie the knot.

Spring wedding in Portugal

The summer, autumn and even the winter in Portugal all have their advantages, but a spring time wedding is hard to beat.