Blessed with one of the best climates in Europe and countless hours of summer sun, the June to August season is always popular for weddings in Portugal. However, even outside of the high season, there are plenty of reasons to get married here.
The months of September to November are when the harvests take place, when villages across the country hum with activity as people pick grapes to make wine and olives to make oil. These were traditionally times of celebration and with the weather still often remaining sunny and warm for weeks on end, it can be a beautiful time to have a wedding.
After the scorching summer, the cooler autumn temperature and showers bring life back to the ground, with lush green colours returning and ripening of many fruits. This means there’s an abundance of natural autumn foliage with which to decorate your wedding venue. If you’re looking to source food locally, this is also a bountiful time of year.
The colours, weather, food, and if we’re being totally honest, affordability, of Portuguese autumn weddings make them a very attractive proposal. And with less competition for venues, you can get the weeding of your dreams at a truly beautiful time of year.
The main event of any wedding is the moment the bride and groom say ‘I do’. Of course it is. But then again, as a guest, what you’re really looking forward to is an incredible meal in beautiful surroundings with lovely people. Taking nothing away from the happy couple, obviously. Which is why putting a lot of thought and effort into your tables can help to make this even more special.
So here is a handful of really great wedding table ideas, some inspired by the beautiful Portuguese landscapes all around.
From pine trees to eucalyptus and cactuses, all around you in Portugal is stunning greenery that can be used to dress any table. Don’t forget about the olive branches that cover the countryside from north to south.
As the evening wears on, having candles and even table lamps can help to create an atmosphere conducive to good times. Choose styles that suit your overall design theme.
Experiment with adding colour in different ways, with glassware and crockery that matches your tones.
Think about the table itself
Why dress the table too much when it can be the star of the show? Think chunky wood tables and chairs for a natural option that looks beautiful too.
Create space and add another dimension by hanging flowers and centrepieces above the table. That way everyone can see each other and you can create eye catching displays that don’t get in the way.
These days it’s more or less possible to get whatever flowers you want at any time of year. But just like going local with the food, more and more people are choosing to use flowers that are seasonal, arranging their floral displays around the flowers in bloom when the choose to get married.
And here in Portugal, there’s an extensive calendar of flowers running right through the year.
In January, February and March you should be looking at camellias, orchids and hyacinths. May through July is time for hydrangeas, carnations and lavender (which has the added bonus of smelling incredible).
Roses and sunflowers are big in July and August, with gladiola and irises coming in September to November.
If you’re going for a winter wedding, then white lilies usually flower in December. Plan your wedding around these beautiful plants and you’ve got a ready made colour and design scheme from Mother Nature herself. Add some native foliage, such as olive branches and you can dress your wedding without the environmental impact.
Vintage weddings just never seem to go out of style. There’s something about the past that resonates in the present, and a vintage style can create a timeless feel that won’t date. So if you want a wedding where you won’t look back in 20 years time and wonder at what you were wearing, here are five vintage trends to try.
Rather than the groom party all wearing the same suit, why not mix and match while sticking to one colour scheme. Just make sure the groom stands out.
Velvet and marble are just two examples of vintage materials that add a touch of glamour and luxury to your big day.
The Pantone colour of 2017 and an effective and, we might add, affordable way of dressing your wedding in an elegant way.
Flowers and floral
From lush arrangements to floral prints, flowers in a vintage style are big for 2017.
If icing is a bit much for your palate, then leave your cake undressed and drizzle some delicious colour and texture to the top.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beautifully coloured and fragrant, lavender is a an excellent framing flower around which you can add further colour and texture.
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.
What kind of a wedding would it be if there wasn’t a cake? A beautiful, stylish and delicious wedding cake is like the icing on the…well, you get the drift. But like anything, cakes are subject to style, trend and personal preference. And as this is the most important day of your life, the cake has to be just as special.
This summer, there are some big wedding cake ideas that you can use to make sure your cake is bang on trend.
A real design statement, beads can be used to stunning effect, creating the appearance of thousands of jewels adding colour and texture to your design.
50 years after the original Summer of Love, flower power is back in a big way. Perfect for rustic or country weddings, iced or real flowers add a dash of boho chic.
Making your cake look like a lump or volcanic rock might not sound like a great idea but marbling can have stunning results. Think precious metals, crystals and natural geology for a wedding cake with a difference.
This classic wedding material is making a big comeback, with delicate piping and details that really show the craftsmanship.
Green weddings continue to appeal, with foliage and leaves adding a natural glamour to your cake.
As the wedding season really starts to get into its swing, here are some top wedding trends you’re likely to see this summer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The centrepiece is a big part of any wedding design scheme. But who ever said that they had to be flowers? You can create a real talking point with some unique centrepiece ideas. Just remember, try not to make them too big, as your guests generally like being able to see who they’e talking to.
How about a living breathing centrepiece? Goldfish are beautiful creatures and are one of the few animals you could actually incorporate into your wedding and be sure they’re not going to get out of control. Just remember that you have to find good homes for them after the big day. Maybe your guests could take them home as favours?
A bunch of carrots is just as beautiful as a bunch of flowers. Why not get creative with fruit and veg? Use a pumpkin as a vase or carve up some courgettes to make an eye catching display. Vegetables also have the advantage of being significantly cheaper than flowers.
Why not get your guests involved in the centrepieces? Think Lego blocks or Mechano pieces for your guests to create their own centrepieces.
Piles of leather books give off a great vintage vibe. Make them all classic love stories for an added touch of romance. Who knows, your guests might even get inspired.
Why not incorporate the meal into your wedding centrepiece? Make it a big pile of delicious cupcakes, or chocolate lollies that your guests can nibble.
Less is more, or so the saying goes. But for 2017 weddings it’s definitely true. This year you should try to avoid ostentatious ceremonies, overly frilly dresses, floral overkill and keep things, simple, chic and sophisticated.
Think minimal. Keep the dress soft and feminine, with long straight lines. Let the small details have a big impact.
For flowers, choose one or two favourites and build your displays around these.
Carry on the theme across the wedding, with uncluttered tabled settings and elegant invitations.
You should also try and stick to a limited colour palette. Think neutral tones and try and avoid big bold colours or clashes.
Think about creating one big design statement rather than lots of little ones. People don’t always remember the centrepieces but they will recall a room lit up with hundreds of candles as a lighting statement.
Ideally, you want your carefully chose details to stand out, not get lost amongst all the bling and glitz. It’s all too easy to get carried away, but remember to keep your design choices simple.