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.
If you’ve made the superb decision (not that we’re biased, obviously) of getting married in Portugal, there are plenty of things to look forward to. Great food, beautiful sunshine and a whole range of stunning venues make Portuguese weddings some of the best in the world (again, we’re being completely impartial). But there are also some Portuguese wedding traditions that will make your day even more special.
Walk to the church
In many small villages and towns, it’s customary for the bride to walk to the ceremony in the church accompanied by her wedding party and important guests. So bring your hiking boots.
Passing the shoes
At the reception, the bride takes off her shoe and passes it round for guests to stuff with money to launch the happy couple on their new life. So maybe go for a size or two bigger than usual when choosing footwear.
This is when young single men pay money to dance with the new bride. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as weird as it sounds.
Slice of luck
The first slice of cake is usually given to a single friend to bring them luck in love.
Towards the end of the night, the newly weds are expected to try and escape their own reception to spend their first night together. Not so easy when everyone wants to talk to you/pay you to dance.
Portugal’s capital is a stunning mix of historic venues, beautiful sunlight, scintillating views and sumptuous cuisine. As one of the oldest capital cities in Europe, it’s positively dripping with history but be warned, many of its secrets are well hidden. In fact, it can take years to discover all of its charm, with surprises around every cobbled corner.
The city sits on the banks of the vast Tejo river, rising up over seven hills and traversed with narrow alleyways and broad boulevards. Catch the iconic number 28 tram for a tour through its heart and up the the highest point at Graca. From the view point here, the terracotta rooftops stretch right the way out to the colossal red 25 April bridge and Cristo Rei statue.
The city is brimming with beautiful venues, from baroque ballrooms to traditional tascas. And if you’re looking for a gastronomic extravaganza, the seafood doesn’t get better or fresher than this.
Take advantage of the city’s majestic sunsets for wedding photos straight from the pages of a magazine, and then party the night away in the famous Bairro Alto district.
Lisbon is a unique city with a distinct personality, which makes it a fantastic wedding destination. Oh, and did we mention the beach is only 20 minutes outside the city?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With golden sunshine, ancient history, stunning food and incredible views, Évora is a wedding destination that’s got the lot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tie the knot looking out over the brilliant blue Atlantic ocean and enjoy a wedding day to remember forever.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for a genuine vintage wedding? Then look no further than Portugal. This is a country where vintage never went out of fashion.
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.
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.
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.
There are plenty of reasons to get married here in Portugal. The weather, the beaches, the stunning venues all have significant appeal. But there’s also the fact that Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Topping countless lists as one of the hottest capitals of the moment, it’s not surprisingly home to some incredible restaurants too. So if you’re looking to entertain your wedding guests before or after the big day, you couldn’t find a better place to do it.
Here are a few of the best:
A Taberna de Rua das Flores
A faithful recreation of an old Lisbon style eatery, this is the place to go for traditional dishes the way they were meant to be served. Expect the best oil, best wine and a selection of delicious cheeses too.
Casa de Pasto
Run by Diogo Noronha, one of the city’s most promising young chefs, you can experience long forgotten recipes made with unusual ingredients. Think cockle rissoles and oxtail consommé.
Time Out Market
Presenting the very best of Lisbon’s food all under one roof, this vast collection of restaurants and bars is located in the old market in the once run down Cais do Sodre dock area. Regeneration has really kicked in and this is now the place to be.
Located in the hip Principe Real neighbourhood, this place specialises in Peruvian ceviche. If you’ve never tried it before, this is a great place to start.