Getting married in the mountains

Stunning backdrops, clean air, quaint villages – getting married in the mountains has a lot of advantages. Especially here in Portugal where we’re blessed with a huge choice of unique mountain top destinations. Built for defending this ancient country against invading hordes and as remote farming communities, today these incredible mountaintop settlements make stunning wedding venues. Here’s why:

Getting married in the mountains

The view

Gazing out over the granite-dominated landscape, the line of Knights Templar villages that dot Portugal’s borders with Spain were built to protect it from Moorish invaders. These days, the views from Monsanto, Monsarraz and Marvao can rival anything else you can find in Europe. Don’t believe us? Just check out the pictures below.

Getting married in the mountains

The towns

Walled mountaintop villages complete with centuries old castles. Houses hewn from the rock or made using gigantic boulders as walls. Schist stone villages that have remained unchanged for generations. It’s all here in Portugal, and with a choice of wedding venues across the country, you can choose an incredible and unique wedding destination.

Getting married in the mountains

The churches

As a catholic country, no village or town is complete without a church. And with many dating back centuries, these are often incredible places to make your vows. Teetering on the edge of vast rocky cliffs, gazing out at the land below, these are some of the most special churches in the world. For a church wedding straight from your dreams, the mountains of Portugal are hard to beat.

Getting married in the mountains

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Why get married on a farm?

You probably don’t necessarily associate livestock and wedding ceremonies. But in recent years, farms and barns have become very popular wedding destinations. And when you think about it, there are a number of good reasons why.

The natural world

There’s been a definite shift back towards nature, with the organic food and modern back to the land movements. And a farm is the wedding equivalent. This is a place where nature is all around, in the landscape, the purpose and more. So what better way to get in touch with your natural side?

Why get married on a farm?

Blank canvas

A barn is a large space, perfect for parties and one you can dress in any way you like. Go for a rustic inspired design or surprise your guests with a futuristic disco. The barn is a blank canvas that you can use as and how you want.

Why get married on a farm?

Privacy

Barns and farms tend to be out in the country. Which means they’re away from neighbours, giving you the privacy and freedom to party all night long.

Why get married on a farm?

Families

These are also spaces that are perfect for all the family, especially children. While the formality of a palace might not be ideal for the curious minds of kids, on a farm they are free to lay without the risk of breaking anything priceless.

Why get married on a farm?

Go your own way: Five completely unique wedding ideas

When you’re planning a wedding, there’s no escaping the traditional. The idea of two people coming together to declare their love for each other in front of their loved ones is as old as time. Plus, the need for the event to be witnessed and certified by a legitimate authority is also pretty clear cut and died in the wool. But there are ways to stray from the formula – ideas that can help to make your wedding day a little more unique.

Guest transportation

Why not make the way your transport your guests from ceremony to reception all part of fun? Think antique busses, horse and carts or even taking to the skies.

Go your own way: Five completely unique wedding ideas

DIY ideas

There are plenty of elements of a wedding that you can encourage your guests to get involved in. From a make-your-own cocktail bar to DIY flower arranging – getting your guests involved is a great idea.

Go your own way: Five completely unique wedding ideas

Showstopping exit

Rather than just letting the party wind down around you, why not plan a memorable exit? Stage a mini parade through the venue, have a band play you out – that kind of thing.

Go your own way: Five completely unique wedding ideas

Wedding music

Don’t fancy a DJ? A string quartet a little stuffy?  Then how about a mariachi band? Or a German oompah ensemble?

Go your own way: Five completely unique wedding ideas

Food frenzy

Can’t decide between the meat or the fish? Then why not go left field and try something new. We’re not talking kebab vans but ice cream trucks, posh fish and chips, pizza ovens – these are the kinds of things that people really love.

Go your own way: Five completely unique wedding ideas

Season’s greetings from The Wedding Portugal

So, somehow we’re just a few days away from Christmas once again, and 2017 reaches its end. It’s been another fantastic year here at The Wedding Portugal, doing what we love best: planning and delivering stunning weddings in one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.

Season’s greetings from The Wedding Portugal

From vineyards to castles to sun-kissed beaches, our happy couples have celebrated in style throughout the year and there’s more to come in 2018.

Season’s greetings from The Wedding Portugal

If you’re thinking about tying the knot in the coming year or even beyond, then have a look at our website to find out more about the comprehensive planning services we offer, our stunning venues or to look at the gallery of the weddings we’ve staged over the last year. Get inspired by our decoration ideas, and start thinking about your own big day. Or you can get in touch to have a chat about your plans.

Season’s greetings from The Wedding Portugal

And in the meantime, have a wonderful festive season full of joy, love and happiness.

Why get married on: The Silver Coast

Not as famous (or as busy) as the Algarve, Portugal’s Silver Coast offers stunning stretches of beach, quaint fishing villages where the pace of life is positively horizontal, and a choice of secluded wedding venues.

Why get married on: The Silver Coast

The Silver Coast begins about an hour north of Lisbon and stretches right up the brilliant blue Atlantic coastline. From the mysteries of Fatima to the surfer’s paradise of Nazaré, there is everything you could possibly need for a sensational wedding, and all without the crowds.

Why get married on: The Silver Coast

As Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve boom with tourists, life on the Silver Coast is relaxed and unhurried. Glorious beaches extend as far as you can see with barely a soul on the horizon. Inland, the open countryside stretches away towards the Serra de Estrela mountain range.

Why get married on: The Silver Coast

There’s golf and surfing for your guests to have some fun, and stunning architecture at the monastery at Alcobaça. You can also follow the underground river through the spectacular caves of Mire de Aire (which are stunning venue in themselves) or canoe around the lagoon at Foz do Arelho.

Why get married on: The Silver Coast

Not quite on the tourist map (at least for now), the Silver Coast offers a charming reminder of how Portugal used to be for a relaxed and fun wedding destination.

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.

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.