Unique summer wedding ideas 2017

As well as adhering to tradition and ticking certain classical style boxes, everyone wants their wedding to be unique. Whether it’s jumping from a plane before the ceremony or wearing a black wedding dress, making your wedding stand out from the crowd is a great way of making it even more special and memorable.

Unique summer wedding ideas 2017

Of course, being unique doesn’t always mean having to go to such extreme lengths, so here are some slightly simpler ideas for making your big day special.

DIY cocktails

Why limit your guests to bellinis and martinis when they can make their own? Create a few cocktail stations with all the tools and let them get creative. It’s a great ice breaker (you’ll need one of these too) and a great for getting the party going.

Unique summer wedding ideas 2017

Video guest book

Instead of the traditional wedding guest book, why not set up a video booth and let your guests record their message in person? It’s sure to be more fun and a great way to gather embarrassing footage of your friends and family.

 

Festival vibe

Set up a stage or hire a tipi for the entertainment and turn your wedding into a fun summer festival event. Or you could fill it with cushions and blankets and make it a fun chill out area.

Unique summer wedding ideas 2017

Polaroids

Why bother hiring a photographer when you can let your guests do it (for free). Provide a bunch of Polaroid or equivalent cameras and let your guests have fun with film. You’ll be sure to get some fun (and even more embarrassing) snaps for your album.

Unique summer wedding ideas 2017

How to make the most of your wedding day

With so many people to talk to, a million things to think about, not to mention trying to look as magical as you ever have, your wedding day can go by in a blur. But there are some things you can do to regain control.

Take the time to connect

Make time throughout the day to actually enjoy it with your new husband or wife. It can be easy to get caught up with old friends, chatterbox aunties or work colleagues. The last thing you want is for the day to go by without taking the time to enjoy it together.

How to make the most of your wedding day

Minimise travel time

Add up the drive to the ceremony and back to the reception, another change of venue in the evening and then a trip back to the hotel and the chances are you’ll spend several hours on the move. Try and keep things central, with a venue that doubles or triples up in functions.

How to make the most of your wedding day

Hire a planner

Obviously, I’m a little biased but using a wedding planner really can free you up to enjoy your day. Of course, you still get final say in everything from flowers to first dances. But the difference is you don’t have to worry about any of that on the day.

How to make the most of your wedding day

Keep the toasts on the short side

Great wedding speeches are amazing. But think about it, how many do you actually remember from weddings you’ve been to. Funny and moving speeches are fine but try to keep the admin side of things to a minimum. The more time you can free up for fun the better.

How to make the most of your wedding day

 

Congratulations, you’re maid of honour. Now what do you do?

It was probably a big emotional moment. Your best friend asked you to be maid of honour. You’re touched. You’ve probably cried a little bit with joy. It’s all just so exciting. Then it hits you. Just what does being maid of honour really mean? Panic ensues and as the day approaches, sheer terror, as you realise it’s way too late to ask just what it is you’re actually supposed to be doing.

Congratulations, you’re maid of honour. Now what do you do?

Well, don’t worry readers. We’re here to help. We’ve read all the wedding books, had the experience and literally got the t-shirt. So don’t panic. Below is a detailed list of everything that’s expected of you.

The Hen Do

This is probably your number one responsibility before the big day. It’s your job to make sure the bride has the very best send off before she ties the knot. Remember, this is not about you. Think carefully about what kind of party your bride-to-be really wants, enlist the help of the other bridesmaids, then make it happen.

Congratulations, you’re maid of honour. Now what do you do?

Bridal shower

This is a relatively recent US import into the maid of honour’s repertoire. It’s often the case that the bride’s mother or sister(s) will handle most of the planning but you need to be on hand to organise food, invitations, venues or anything else that’s needed.

Dress shopping

Believe it or not, your opinion counts. Which is why the bride might very well want you there when she’s dress shopping. Be honest, but remember that tact is always a good idea (even if it’s a terrible choice).

On the day

Basically, you’re at the bride’s beck and call. She’s going to be mega-stressed and probably bite your head off at several points throughout the day. Grin and bear it. Trust us. This is the best way for everyone to get through it.

Congratulations, you’re maid of honour. Now what do you do?

Witnessing the marriage

Traditionally, you and the best man will be the ones to sign on the dotted line and make everything nice and legal. It’s a formal recognition of your role on the day.

Emotional support

Once all the formalities are out of the way, there’s a huge release of tension and your bride will probably need a bit of emotional support. And, depending on who she’s marrying, your role as unofficial counsellor may last for several months before and after the big day.

Congratulations, you’re maid of honour. Now what do you do?

This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are countless other little jobs that fall within your remit. You’ll be informed about these along the way and on the wedding day itself. Just remember to be patient, smile and wait until it’s your turn to pick a maid of honour.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Choosing your dress is one of the most important parts of your big day. It’s right up there with picking your venue, your honeymoon, even your future life partner. OK, maybe not that important but it’s a pretty big deal.

So, you can’t afford to get it wrong. Which is why we’ve compiled this handy guide to getting it right.

Don’t leave it until late in the day

You want the full attention of the salesperson, which you won’t get if it’s late in the day and they’ve already seen two dozen brides to be. Book early and the store will be quieter and you’ll be clearer in the head.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Do think about shape and silhouette

Before you start focusing on frills ( or lack of them according to taste) think big picture. Imagine, or even draw, your perfect outline and work up from there.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Do think top down

People generally start looking at your face and work down (apart from some less gentlemanly types) so choose your dress in the same way.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Don’t just follow trends

We’ve all seen pictures of unfortunate girls from the 80s and 90s wearing hideous dresses. Well, guess what? That was the height of style back then. Choose a trendy dress now and in ten years time you’ll be the equivalent of the girl with poofy sleeves and half a ton of hairspray.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Do bring a camera

And take plenty of snaps. Your mind plays tricks and you need to be 100% accurate with this decision.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress Christine Juette

Do try them all on

You never really know what works until it’s on. Yes it can be a pain getting in and out of every dress, but it’s all about the research.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Don’t get talked into it

Keeping the above point in mind, don’t get talked into trying dresses on that you really hate. It’s a waste of time and, after all, this is supposed to be fun not frightening.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

You don’t need an audience

On the TV they always have an entourage but if you’d rather keep it intimate, then do it. It’s your decision at the end of the day.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

Don’t forget that sales are usually final

No pressure, obviously. But make sure you are 110% before you buy.

The dos and don’ts of choosing a wedding dress

 

Don’t panic about sizing

Dresses can be adjusted, that’s the whole point of a fitting.

Wedding on the water

Imagine a wedding day overlooking the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A day spent celebrating in a stunning and sophisticated hotel venue just outside Portugal’s elegant and seductive capital of Lisbon, in the upmarket port town of Cascais. That’s what brides and grooms-to-be can enjoy in the magnificent Farol Hotel.

Wedding at Farol Hotel

Unlike some of the other five star hotels in the town, Farol enjoys the advantages of being literally located ‘on the water’. It’s balanced perfectly on the cliff top overlooking the ocean and the town’s picturesque marina.

Wedding at Farol Hotel

The hotel, a member of Design Hotels, is the result of a restoration of a 19th century mansion owned by several members of the Portuguese aristocracy and lately owned by the Count of Cabral. The Chalet was converted into The Farol Design Hotel in 2002  perfectly combining traditional architecture and the best in modern design.

Wedding at Farol Hotel

As you might expect of a hotel of this calibre, there is everything here you and your guests could possibly need. From a choice of sensational venues for your reception, to private terraces, pools, and massage facilities.

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There are eleven garden view rooms, ten sea view, eight designer and four suites – plenty of accommodation for your most treasured guests. The happy couple might like to slip into bed at the end of happiest day of their lives in the majestic penthouse. The perfect way to end the day.

Wedding at Farol Hotel

With a striking interior designed entirely in black and white (which just happens to be our very own preferred design scheme) this is one of our very favourite wedding venues in the Lisbon and Cascais area.

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Weddings here, which have included the Daniela Ruah and David Paul Olsen celebration recently featured in Vogue magazine, look scintillating. From saying your vows down on the sand to strolling back up the cliffs and dancing the night away in one of the most spectacular settings imaginable – it’s a hard one to beat.

Wedding at Farol Hotel

If you’d like to find out more about wedding celebrations at the Farol, then please get in touch to discuss your dream wedding day.

Wedding at Farol Hotel

It ain’t easy being green. Or is it?

We have to take our responsibility to the planet seriously these days, even if it is our wedding day. That’s why we are seeing more and more couples asking us to plan low impact weddings that don’t damage the environment. With all those people travelling and so much planning to do it might not seem easy to keep things simple, but trust us, it might be easier than you think.

Green weddings in Portugal

The key is to think local. Use the materials and environments around you to both connect you with place and reduce transportation. In Portugal, that means using olives…

Green weddings in Portugal

oil…

Green weddings in Portugal

flowers…

Green weddings in Portugal

Green weddings in Portugal

decorations and props…

Green weddings in Portugal

Green weddings in Portugal

and of course, the array of stunning wedding destinations and venues on offer…

Green weddings in Portugal

Green weddings in Portugal

As this F&F wedding in Portugal proves, you can keep things simple, use local produce, facilities and venues, and still have a stunning wedding that’s as green as possible. We told you it was easy. Oh yes, and don’t forget the haystacks for seating. Can’t get greener than that.

Green weddings in Portugal

Setting the date: How to choose your wedding season

 

When you chose to have your wedding is one of the biggest decisions you need to make. The time of year you have your big day affects the venue, flowers, food, decorations and even your dress choice. So you need to think carefully about when you plan your celebration.

Seasonal weddings

Choose a winter wedding and an exterior venue and you’re going to have a lot of chilly guests on your hands. Of course, each season has its own distinct beauty and advantages, but there are also drawbacks too.

Seasonal weddings

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose your perfect wedding season.

Spring weddings

Advantages

  • In Portugal, the spring has beautiful weather. Sunny but not too hot, so perfect for wedding celebrations
  • A great selection of flowers, fruits and vegetables to serve

Seasonal weddings

Drawbacks

  • There are no guarantees with the weather, and rain is a possibility in spring months
  • You may have to work around existing festive celebrations at Easter
  • All those flowers means allergies could be an issue

Summer weddings

Advantages

  • Long, hot days with almost guaranteed sunshine and sunsets
  • It’s holiday season so more guests will be available to come to your celebration, along with their kids

Seasonal weddings

Drawbacks

  • In Portugal, the summer can be very hot indeed so you’ll need to plan extra shade
  • It may clash with guests’ existing holiday plans
  • Flights and accommodation is more expensive in holiday season
  • It’s the busy wedding season which means booked out venues

Autumn weddings

Advantages

  • Beautiful colours and foliage to use as decoration
  • Mild weather and stunning sunsets
  • Plenty of stunning seasonal produce around the harvest time

Seasonal weddings

Drawbacks

  • The cold weather can suddenly appear forcing a quick change of plans
  • Guests may have burnout after holidays in the summer
  • Autumn weddings are increasingly popular so you may face competition for venues

Winter wedding

Advantages

  • Wintry scenes and landscapes can be very beautiful and romantic
  • It’s off season so you can get the best deals
  • Flowers, food and drinks do better in cooler temperatures
  • Cosy atmospheres

Seasonal weddings

Drawbacks

  • Even in Portugal, it can get cold. So you need to have a plan to keep people warm
  • Less daylight for ceremonies and photos
  • It can conflict with winter and Christmas holiday plans (it is ski season after all)

Whenever you get married, it can be a stunning affair, especially at our incredible Portuguese venues. But you do need to think carefully about what kind of wedding you want and plan contingencies for the season.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

You can’t have a wedding without wine (well, you could but your guests might not be best pleased), and here in Portugal we’ve got some of the best in the world.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

But what we’ve also got are plenty of beautiful and traditional wineries, where this delicious nectar has been made for centuries.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

From the enigmatic slopes of the Douro valley in the north, famous for its Port wine, to the rural idyll that is the vast and majestic Alentejo region, small wineries dot the countryside.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

So, why not choose a winery to be your dream Portuguese wedding venue? Set up the tables among the ancient oak barrels, and wine and dine in the place where the magic happens.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

And, of course, you won’t have any worries about what to serve. You’ll be able to give your guests some stunning Portuguese wine, right in the place where it was made. How’s about that for reducing your wedding’s carbon footprint?

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

We just love winery weddings. There’s something so magical about dining amongst the history and elegance of the wine barrels that makes these weddings so special.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

As far as wedding venues go, it’s a hard one to beat.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

Paper wedding – not just an anniversary anymore

Paper generally doesn’t featured heavily in wedding celebrations. Paper napkins, table clothes and even invitations are usually a big no-no in the wedding world. It just doesn’t scream class and quality – you might as well eat off paper plates. In fact, the only time paper should really feature is as the name of your first anniversary.

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding

However, since the Chanel 2011 all white spring show, things have changed and paper has increasingly become a big part of weddings. And we just love it here at The Wedding Portugal.

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding

Karl Lagerfeld decorated that whole show with white paper flowers that looked simply stunning and since then we’ve noticed a big increase in this versatile material. You still won’t find any table clothes or napkins, but as part of the venue décor it makes perfect sense.

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding

Paper flowers are less expensive than the real deal but still look stunning. And because they’re paper, they won’t wilt or dry out in the heat. Hang them from ceilings, cover the walls, dress the tables – there is no end of ways to use this flexible and colourful material to dress a venue.

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding

Here in Portugal, paper is one of the country’s biggest exports, which means top quality paper is affordable and in great supply. There’s even a whole town, called Tomar, that decorates itself in paper flowers every four years, so we know a thing or two about it.

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding

So, why not consider paper flowers as an option for your Portuguese dream wedding?

The Wedding Portugal - Paper wedding