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.

It is easy being green

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

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.

Recyclable décor

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.

It is easy being green

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 is easy being green

Friendly flowers

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.

It is easy being green

Go digital

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.

Gift list

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.

It is easy being green

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 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.