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.
So Donald Trump might not think the future of the planet is worth bothering about. But, as with a few other of the President’s opinions, we don’t necessarily agree. So if you want to keep your wedding green and do your bit for Mother Nature, here are some top ideas.
Some of your guests might have to travel to your wedding but there’s no reason your food and drink has to come from far away. Source locally and reduce your food miles, plus you’ll be sure you’re getting fresher and better quality produce. Here in Portugal, sourcing local food is an absolute must, from freshly caught fish to freshly pressed olive oil.
Wedding invites, decorations, place settings – there’s a fair amount of paper and card being used in any wedding. So make sure you’re using recycled products. Then, when the big day is over, recycle it all over again. The same goes for glass too.
Reduce the damage
Try to limit the amount of non-recyclable materials used. Keep plastics to a minimum and ask your guests that they don’t buy gifts with harmful chemicals. In fact, environmentally responsible gifts is a great way to go in general.
Off set the rest
It’s likely that your event is going to have some kind of impact so think about giving back in a positive way. Find an off setter like Terrapass or Native Energy and make a contribution that covers your wedding. If you can leave the planet no worse off after your big day that’s a great wedding present.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Portugal oozes romance. Everywhere you look there is beauty and history. From the terracotta rooftops of Lisbon to the rolling farmland of the Alentejo and vineyard covered Douro valley, there are perfect romantic getaway destinations all around.
So, if you’re looking for a destination to rekindle the romance, as a first break together or even to pop the big question, here are some top choices.
One of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful capitals, the red rooftops and pastel coloured buildings tower over a labyrinth of cobbled streets, stylish restaurants and boutique hotels. Check out the views from hilltop Graca, stroll the exotic gardens at Estrella or hang out in hip Cais do Sodre.
Portugal’s second city is perched on a steep hill beside the Douro river. The other side of the river is covered with vast port cellars and the city’s tall stone buildings line streets that almost all lead down to the lively Ribeira. Catch a boat up river or cross the towering iron bridge for the best views of the city.
This ancient city and one time capital is home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Gown wearing students wander the streets of this most typical of Portuguese cities, with its steep hill side and grid of narrow alleyways. The iconic Quinta das Lagrimas is steeped in romantic tragedy.
This steep valley sides are covered in rows of vines, in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. Stay in an estate, sipping stunning wines as you gaze out over the river sparkling below.
OK, it might be in the mid-Atlantic but technically it’s still Portugal. These volcanic islands are simply majestic. Huge sharp peaks rise out of rolling green hills, covered with waterfalls and fringed by rocky coves. Soak in thermal springs or stroll tropical gardens. It’s enough to make you fall in love all over again.