Check out Maryjane and Michael’s video from their beautiful Algarve destination wedding at Vila Vita Parc.
Orlando Horta has captured their day beautifully…..
A wedding full of sunshine and laughter – read about Maryjane and Michael’s amazing day which they shared with their closest family and friends in the heart of the Algarve, Portugal.
How they met
‘Michael and I grew up in the same area only a few doors apart. He was close friends with my older brother who was very protective. I had a childhood crush on him ever since I was young. I wrote him Valentine’s day cards and blushed when he passed my garden (we were only 13/14!).
Shortly before my 16th Birthday, Mick knocked at my door selling a concert ticket for Eminem. He had heard that I lost mine and he got his hands on a spare. So I jumped and bought the ticket from him.
We met up the morning of the concert, had breakfast and got the bus together. We were chatting away and before we knew it there was chemistry flying! I ended up leaving my friends at the concert and enjoying it with Mick instead who finally under the shelter of a raincoat in the rain leaned in for a kiss.
It was definitely love right from the start for me! We were inseparable and shortly after, Mick asked me to officially be his girlfriend. It was a bit of a shock to my brother but of all of his friends to steal his sister’s heart, he was glad it was Mick!
We were both only 16 but became the greatest of friends and moved in together when we were 17. Our relationship has been a wonderful adventure ever since.’
Ahhhh, we love this story. So sweet!
‘I was 5 months pregnant with our only son during Christmas 2010. Mick had promised me a new laptop for my Christmas present and on Christmas morning, he handed me a card but no gift – I read the card and it didn’t click for some time that the card was “to my Fiancé” and he was on one knee in front of me. So of course I cried full of emotion and the engagement was official!’
‘I bought my dress in Bridal Corner in Glasnevin. I came across it when I was just browsing one of the first few shops I went into in and I fell in love. It was just perfect and it had me written all over it. They were offering a discount for deposits paid by a certain date so I decided not to waste time and paid my deposit.
My mam paid for my wedding dress as my wedding gift (it was a bit over the planned budget but it was worth it).
Although it wasn’t ideal for an overseas wedding as its was bulky and hard to transport, I knew that it just suited me and my wedding.
It was fairy princess teamed with a Spanish like veil – my photographers said it was a popular Portuguese type dress and not what many Irish/English brides wear in the Algarve. They loved working with it in my photographs! The heat on the day was unbelievable but not at one stage did I want to take it off – I felt a million dollars in it!’
Vision for the Day
Maryjane tells us about her vision for her amazing Algarve wedding…..
‘When we decided to marry on our 10 year anniversary to the day, we met Algarve Wedding Planners in the RDS in Dublin and told them our vision for the day.
I wanted sheer luxury with breath-taking backdrops. I wanted to be able to take a dip in the sea the morning of my wedding and have a champagne breakfast with my bridal party.
I had dreamed of a stunning church with original features and to walk up the aisle listening to a live performer with my family and friends taking part in the ceremony, and being driven there and to the reception by coach. I also wanted my bridal party to arrive in style and Mick to arrive in a top class car followed by me arriving in a more classic top end car.
The wedding would be intimate and followed by photographs with family and friends.
The cocktail reception had to be overlooking the sea with champagne and nibbles that expressed my taste fpr the finer things. I wanted photographs by the beach and in the cliffs to cherish forever.
The evening meal had to be a 5-star standard of catering for the adventurous and not so adventurous again overlooking the sea with gentle music in the background. I wanted a special place setting for Mick’s late mother and for the evening reception, to have traditional Portuguese elements/fireworks/ a band followed by a DJ into the early hours.
In our heads we decided “this is our day” and it’s the only time we’ll do it so we wanted to go all out and treat our guests to the most unforgettable experience.’
The special touches
‘From the start we were very hands on although our planners took care of everything – I am a control freak!
We designed and created our save the date cards ourselves by taking photographs at a Dublin beach with handmade signs and doing a little “photoshopping” and hand gluing the printed photo’s to card
We also designed our wedding invitations which were created by Precious Buttons (fb) they turned out amazingly perfect.
We commissioned Keepsake Candles to create our perfect wedding candles and a memorial candle for Micks late mother to display by her photograph at the top table.
We decided to eliminate favours and donate to Kare4Kasey Trust Fund instead and we had cards made for the tables to let everyone know that we donating on their behalf.
We invited our siblings and nieces/nephews to do readings at the church.
The wedding planners consulted with us on all aspects of the wedding and we made sure that every little detail oozed Mick and MJ so our guests would walk away from the wedding knowing that is was unique to us and had a very personal touch.’
‘I think the best decision was to have it abroad start! And then to use Algarve Wedding Planners. It honestly led to the best decisions in all aspects and resulted in the most memorable day of our lives and a wedding which is still the topic of discussion among family and friends over eight months on.’
If I did it again….
‘If I was to redo the whole day which I’d love to do over and over and over and over again, there isn’t much I’d change at all!
I think my page boys and flower girls were maybe too young to walk up the aisle so maybe I would have sat them with their parents in their gorgeous little outfits and took photos of them rather than expect them to manage the aisle at 18 and 24 months old.
I’d probably have met the priest that was marrying us prior to the day. I didn’t feel I had a bond with him which is a shame but it didn’t dampen the day at all
Lastly I would have examined my mass booklets too. I took it to chance that the printers would do a great job but sadly they were a bit messed up, but again it didn’t have much of an effect on the day.’
‘We used the Algarve Wedding Planners (AWP) – Paula/Karina/Valarie/Patricia we also had Manuela from the Vila Vita Parc Events team working with us from start to finish.
We met AWP in the RDS in Dublin in January 2012 and then a number of times then when they visited Dublin or we visited the Algarve – these girls are amazing! Every wedding they plan is like they are planning their own. Every inch of detail is considered and they go above and beyond in terms of their duties. That went for all the Algarve suppliers we used!
AWP showed us a few venues that suited our requirements, vision and budget and Vila Vita Parc was top of the list. When we went to the Algarve a year before the wedding we viewed the venue and OMG there are no words! Once you’ve seen Vila vita Parc it would be a crime to choose anywhere else to host your wedding. It had everything and more and so many option in regards to locations for the cocktail/meal and evening reception. So many choices for photograph locations and the rooms too! I’ve never seen something so beautiful in all my years. I truly got a sense of how the other half live!’
Some helpful advice
‘If you are planning a wedding in the Algarve my only warning would be to check with the hotel you are staying at for the duration of the holiday about their policies on family/friends visiting the hotel. We booked an all inclusive/ exclusive hotel not realising it was exclusive and we had a lot of run ins with management when our wedding guests popped in to to discuss plans or just to say hello. Had I have known that they were not allowed in the premises, I would probably have booked somewhere else.
The only other advise I can give is to use the AWP team and trust them! There is nothing to worry about once they are in charge.’
Reception Venue – Vila Vita Parc
Planners – Algarve Wedding Planners (AWP)
Church and reception band – Twin Flames (booked through AWP)
Photography – Joáo Ataide Photography (booked through AWP)
Videography – Orlando Horta (booked through AWP) – check out the video from their wonderful day:
Dress – Bridal Corner
Shoes – Korkys
Bridesmaid dresses – Coast
Invitations – Precious Buttons
Candles – Keepsake Candles
Grooms/groomsmen suits – CT2
Wedding website – GettingMarried.co.uk
Wanderlust Weddings is delighted to be able to offer a discount on accommodation to couples (and their wedding party) getting married at this stunning location. For more information on hosting your wedding at Vila Vita Parc or for info on any other Algarve destination wedding venues, contact Clare on firstname.lastname@example.org
……Coming soon to Wanderlust Weddings – another stunning Algarve wedding which we are really looking forward to sharing!
Childhood sweethearts, Jennifer and Andrew, tied the knot with 90 friends and family to the sweet tune of The Vard Sisters in The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Clondalkin Village. This was followed by a romantic reception at Killashee House Hotel in Co Kildare – Ireland.
Find out more about their wonderful day…..
How they met
‘We are childhood sweethearts and met at school. I was 15, playing the lead role in a school play, whilst Andrew was 16 and working backstage. We have been best friends ever since!’
‘Andrew is mad about cars and we decided to take a trip down to the Irish Festival of Speed which was being held at Adare Manor, Co. Limerick. It is such a nice venue so we decided to make a weekend of it.
I thought I might get a proposal during a romantic dinner on the first night but nothing happened! However, Andrew proposed unsuspectingly the next morning whilst having breakfast in bed. It was so lovely and unexpected.’
Jennifer’s dress was from Truly Bridal Boutique in Naas, Co. Kildare (Ireland) from the La Sposa range. She had tried on many dresses before this one but apparently nothing came close to it. We adore Jennifer’s dress and can see why she fell in love with it too.
‘It was made of the softest tulle and had the most beautiful intricate detail such as beading on the waist and lace applique on the veil to match the lace in the dress. When shopping for a wedding dress, you can sometimes feel like you’re on a conveyor belt system but the ladies in Truly Bridal made the experience very special for me and they were great!’
‘Andrew hired his suit from Aston Formal Wear. He was initially going to buy his suit but he found it quite difficult to find one that he liked. He kept it quite simple by going with a classic grey suit with matching waistcoat. He looked very handsome on the day!’
‘We chose our Killashee House because it had everything we were looking for. Sometimes you have to make a compromise to get exactly what you want but there was nothing to compromise on!’
‘We had beautiful gardens for great photo opportunities, we had our own private use of the house, which kept things very personal for us and we also had all of the great amenities that come with a hotel venue so that our guests could have more options when choosing where to stay and what to do the next day.’
Vision for the day
‘I’m a very girly girl and wanted to use my personality to bring out the style of the wedding. I wanted to keep things soft and classic whilst also bringing out a bit of vintage elegance. I particularly love the 1950’s style of Grace Kelly who is a style icon of mine.’
Jennifer and Andrew made their own Ferrero Rocher trees which were inspired by Andrew’s grandparents who are apparently quite partial to the odd sweet or two!
‘It took forever to put all the sweets on as I bought the wrong size polystyrene balls which were too big. I think there was plenty of Ferrero Rocher to go around anyway!’
‘Spending as much time with my new husband on the day as possible. We took some time out for ourselves and really lived in the moment as a newly married couple.’ Ah, we think this is just lovely!
‘I was so nervous that morning so I would have liked to have been a bit more relaxed before arriving at the church. I was fine once I saw Andrew at the top of the aisle!’
‘Naas has some lovely local coffee shops and trendy boutiques. There are some local pubs around the area but if you are staying on a Friday or Saturday night, Killashee House have the most adorable ‘snug’ hidden away from the hustle and bustle of it all. It’s a really nice hideout after a busy day!’
Cathal Farrelly captured their day beautifully. Check out the couple’s stunning wedding video below.
Nick O’Keeffe also did an amazing job as photographer – check out his portfolio here
‘I am a stickler for research and I spent many hours scrolling through reviews and websites before making my decisions. Once we found the right suppliers, we went ahead and booked them!’ A girl after our own heart!
Venue: Killashee House Hotel
Wedding Dress: Truly Bridal Boutique
Bridal Shoes: Aruna Seth
Suits: Aston Formal Wear
Makeup: Rhona Cullinan from The Powder Room Girls
Hair: Susan Peggs from The Powder Room Girls
Stationary: Coill Design
Flowers: Tiger Lily
Photographer: Nick O’Keeffe Photography
Videographer: Cathal Farrelly Cinematographer
Church Music: The Vard Sisters
Venue Music: Pat Coldrick (Classical Guitarist)
Wedding Band & DJ: The Great Escape
It looks like Jennifer and Andrew had the prefect day! We have loved seeing the photos of their stunning venue and finding out more about how they planned their day. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
If any of you are wondering whether to use a videographer on your special day, check out the beautiful video by Orlando Horta from Emma and Andrew’s Algarve wedding:
Such a stunning destination wedding in the heart of the Algarve Portugal. We think Orlando’s videos give couples deciding whether to get married abroad a really great feel for what it would be like. Check out more videos on Orlando Horta’s site…..
Emma and Andrew had their delightful destination wedding in the stunning Quinta Da Rocha close to Portimao and Alvor in the Algarve, Portugal.
The couple said their vows in an intimate outdoor ceremony with their closest family and friends, followed by a reception at the same venue and a party with a performance from one of Algarve’s favourite musical duos.
Emma and Andrew had a brilliant day and told us that choosing Portugal as their destination wedding venue was one of their best decisions. Let’s find out more……
The couple met in 2007 through a mutual friend who Emma worked with, and hit it off straight away. They got engaged in Florida while on holiday with Emma’s family in September 2011:
‘We went to Disney on the last day of the holiday and Andy proposed outside the castle. I couldn’t have been happier and could not wait to get home and to share the news with our family and friends.’
Vision for the day
‘We had always wanted a private and intimate wedding day in the sunshine with close family and friends which was quite relaxed. Whilst I had always dreamed of my wedding day we wanted something informal with the people that mattered to us.’
‘We had personalised wedding favours for people to have as a keepsake. We chose small packets of love heart sweets with our names, the date and thanking people for sharing our special day. We also chose songs that meant something to us as a couple. We had fireworks as we cut the cake which the guests did not know about, they loved it!’
‘My parents own an apartment in Alvor and we visit a couple of times a year so Portugal was our obvious choice. It is a beautiful place and not too far to travel or expensive for our friends and family. The girls at Algarve Wedding Planners listened to what type of day we wanted and then gave us a few venues in the area to choose from.
From the moment we saw Quinta Da Rocha in the pictures we knew it was the venue for us. However, after seeing it in the flesh when Karina took us to see it, we knew it ticked every box and was perfect for us.’
The best decision they made was…..
‘Choosing Portugal and making sure we made the right decisions about the day for us as a couple! We wish we could do it all again!’
‘We used Algarve Wedding Planners and we could not recommend them highly enough. The girls were brilliant and made sure our day was perfect and things were exactly as we wanted. The attention to detail was amazing. Nothing was too much trouble for them and it completely took the stress out of our day.’
Emma looked like a princess in her Mark Lesley Style 2080 dress:
‘I had always said that I would like a simple destination wedding dress, however, Hazel at Special Daze in Widnes pulled this one out and told me to try it on and I was so glad she did as I fell in love with it instantly! Whilst the dress was not a typical destination wedding dress, the detail looked lovely in the sun and I couldn’t have been happier with it!’
‘The Algarve is a beautiful place and the locals are so friendly. I would recommend anyone hoping to get married abroad to consider Portugal and use a wedding planner who will work with all the best suppliers in the Algarve. The legal requirements are also very simple so don’t be tricked into thinking it’s difficult just because travel agents don’t advertise Portugal so much as a destination wedding location. We had a Portuguese Lawyer who took care of all of the legalities for us via email.’
Wedding Planner – Algarve Wedding Planners
Wedding Band & DJ – Twin Flames
Photographer – Joao Ataide
Videographer – Orlando Horta
Catering – Bon Bon Catering
Make Up Artist – Mandy Ware
Groom and Groomsmen Suits – T.M. Lewin
Bridal Dress – Special Daze (Widnes)
Wedding Stationary & Invites – RSVP Designs
Wedding Rings – CoolJoolz
Check out the video from their perfect Portugal day:
Thank you so much to Emma and Andrew for sharing their wonderful wedding day with us. Wishing you lots of luck and best wishes for the future!