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!
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!
Coming soon to Wanderlust Weddings…..
Louise and Craig’s stunning cliff-top ceremony followed by an open-air farmhouse reception should surely inspire us all to have a Portugal destination wedding!?
Find out more about the couple’s big day which included sunshine and shorts, beers and ice-cream, fireworks and Scottish dancing and a trash the dress shoot…..
How they met
Louise and Craig first met at a club called the Tap n Tin in Chatham, Kent. Craig is originally from Glasgow and had moved to Kent for work and when Louise asked him if he was Scottish (as she loved his accent), his reply was ‘Yes I am, can I buy you a drink?!’ The rest, as they say, is history!
They had booked a week to go to the Scottish Highlands and on the last day of their holiday, they drove down to Gruinard Bay, a beautiful unspoilt beach in Gairloch. Craig asked Louise if she would like to go for a walk on the beach but the weather was starting to cloud over so initially she said ‘no thanks!’
After some convincing, she decided to go for a stroll with Craig and after a couple of minutes on the beach, he put his arm around Louise’s shoulder and asked her if she would like to get married! After the initial shock wore off and she realised he was serious, she said yes and they had a celebratory meal in a gorgeous old pub in Gairloch that evening.
Louise has always wanted to get married abroad, in a small and intimate celebration ith glorious sunshine. The couple had been to Carvoeiro (The Algarve, Portugal) for the last six years with Craig’s family so having their wedding there was a natural choice for them.
The couple were blown away by the amazing view from the cliff-top of the Tivoli Carvoeiro and it was an easy decision to have their ceremony there.
Louise is one of five, with three sisters and a brother plus seven nephews and one niece. As they are such a close family, she had always wanted them to be involved in her wedding ‘if’ she got married. Her sisters Anna, Sarah and Catherine were bridesmaids, with Catherine as Maid of Honour, and Louise’s niece Emma was also bridesmaid. Louise’s brother Paul was their witness and their little nephews wore matching pageboy outfits. Craig’s brother Philip was his Best Man.
Louise’s wonderful Mum was there to get ready with her and her bridesmaids in the morning and her dad walked her down the aisle which was very important to Louise, as he had recently been diagnosed with cancer. He was in the middle of chemotherapy when they flew out to Portugal to get married. It was touch and go whether he would be able to make it, but thankfully he was allowed to fly and travelled out with Craig and Louise. Craig’s family had a villa together and Craig got ready on the big day with all of them together.
The couple’s evening reception was at Quinta Da Pomona in Silves, an open-air traditional Portuguese farmhouse in a secluded area with a beautiful built in bar and BBQ. Nestled amongst orange groves, with a spectacular view of Silves and its beautiful cathedral and castle on the hill, the Louise and Craig were delighted with their choice.
‘The owner Rossi, was so friendly and flexible, he immediately showed us all the centre pieces he had to decorate tables and sent us away with bottles of wine to try!’ said Louise.
On the day of their wedding, he surprised the couple with an amazing cake which he had made for them to fit in with a beach theme!
Vision for the Day
Louise has never been the type of bride who dreams of a big fairytale wedding and wanted something simple which would include all of the people who are most important to them. They especially wanted something which would be relaxed and informal.
They encouraged their guests to wear clothes they would be comfortable as the weather would be hot, so they advised on no suits and that shorts would be fine. They wanted to spend money in the areas that they thought would make the day memorable and these were the venue, entertainment and food. Essentially they wanted something a bit different to the norm and personal to them – and we think this is exactly what they got!
Louise and Craig used Algarve Wedding Planners who they describe as ‘amazing, wonderful, friendly, genuine people with no details overlooked. We couldn’t have planned our day without them, they sorted all the legal side and all we had to do was turn up on the day.’
As with their wedding day, Louise wanted her dress to be very simple and something that would be suitable for the weather. After a few unsuccessful visits to wedding dress shops, Louise began to look online for more affordable dresses which were more unique than the ones she had tried on. After some searching, she found a pre-loved vintage lace strapless dress which she purchased for £100. What a bargain!
Louise’s mum attached a lace trim to the bottom of the dress to lengthen it and make it a scalloped edge and also transformed a lace top from New Look with bridal buttons into a gorgeous wedding top. Louise changed out of her dress after the meal into a short ivory number so that she could dance all night and be comfortable, which is a great idea for our party-loving brides.
Craig also wanted to be relaxed and comfortable in the heat so opted for shorts. His shorts were from Next, shirt from Debenhams and the plimsoles from Burton.
The couple did a ‘Trash the dress’ session with their photographer and videographer and were both in the sea in their outfits! One quick washing machine clean later and they were all sorted and ready to wear again at their wedding party back home!
The thoughtful things
As their guests were going to a lot of expense to attend their overseas wedding in Portugal, the couple wanted to give something back to them. They added some really lovely touches to their day that they hoped their guest’s would enjoy.
This included fans for the reception; a very personal order of service with a picture from Louise’s nephew Archie of them getting married and photos from when they were young plus a story of their lives up to now. They had ice cream served on the cliff top just after the ceremony along with beer and champagne.
On arrival at Quinta da Pomona, they had canapés and cocktails and they made individual favour bags with a variety of gifts personal to each guest. They also included a personalised notes thanking their guests for joining them on our big day.
They made individual gift bags with activities and toys to keep the younger guests entertained and had fireworks in the evening. Louise’s sister Anna made both Louise’s and the bridesmaids’ flowers which not only saved them money but also meant that they were very special to them.
They chose to have readings which were a little different from the norm and their friend Graham read a funny poem written about their time together. Louise’s niece Emma wrote and read a beautiful poem which Louise heard for the first time at the ceremony.
Renowned Algarve duo, Twin Flames, played their favourite songs throughout the ceremony in place of hymns and the couple’s Scottish friend David did the calling for some Scottish dancing in the evening!
Louise recommends using Algarve Wedding Planners – ‘For such a reasonable fee they arrange the whole day and get you the best prices for all of the services. They have an amazing team of suppliers who are top class.’
Her second tip is to think about whether you need all the extra bits of decoration etc. for your wedding. They kept their focus on good venues, food and entertainment and feel it guaranteed a memorable day.
Louise advises brides-to-be not to be pressured into creating another ‘conveyor belt wedding and if you want something a bit different then go for it. Ultimately it is your day and it should suit your personalities.’
Above all, Louise recommends to make sure you have time to enjoy it – ‘ having Algarve Wedding Planners meant we didn’t need to worry about anything. I danced away for the whole night and a group of us even headed into a bar to continue the dancing till 4.30am!’
The couple found their suppliers through Algarve Wedding Planners. They were delighted with their band (Twin Flames) who kept the party going till 1am and loved their talented photographer and their videographer (details below) who stayed till the end, as did their wedding planners.
Ceremony: Tivoli Caroveiro http://www.tivolihotels.com/en/our-hotels/algarve/tivoli-carvoeiro/the-hotel.aspx
Reception: Quinta Da Pomona, Silves https://www.facebook.com/#!/rossi.festasmaisfestas?fref=ts
Wedding Planner: Algarve Wedding Planners http://www.algarveweddingplanners.com/
Photography: Joao Ataide Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/
Videography: Orlando Hotra http://vimeo.com/orlandohorta
Band: Twin Flames http://www.twinflamesalgarve.com/
A huge thank you to Louise and Craig for sharing their wonderful wedding story and photos with us. Look out for Louise and Craig’s wedding video, coming soon to Wanderlust Weddings!
If you are interested in getting married in Portugal – contact email@example.com for any recommendations or advice….