A dreamy destination wedding at the Algarve’s vibrant Vila Vita Parc

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.

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

 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!

The proposal

‘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!’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

The outfits 

‘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.

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

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!’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

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.

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

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.

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

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.

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

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.

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

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.’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Best decision

‘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.’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

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.’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Wedding planners

‘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!’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

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.’

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography

Suppliers: 

Reception Venue – Vila Vita Parc

Planners – Algarve Wedding Planners (AWP)

Church and reception bandTwin Flames (booked through AWP)

PhotographyJoáo Ataide Photography (booked through AWP)

VideographyOrlando Horta (booked through AWP)  – check out the video from their wonderful day:

DressBridal Corner

ShoesKorkys

Bridesmaid dressesCoast

InvitationsPrecious Buttons

CandlesKeepsake Candles

Grooms/groomsmen suitsCT2

Wedding websiteGettingMarried.co.uk

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

Destination wedding Algarve_Joao Ataide Photography_Vila Vita Parc

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 clare@wanderlustweddings.com

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Sunshine and Sparkles – Another Amazing Algarve Wedding

Emma and Andrew had their delightful destination wedding in the stunning Quinta Da Rocha close to Portimao and Alvor in the Algarve, Portugal.

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

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……

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

The proposal

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.’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

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!’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

The Venue

‘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.

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

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.’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

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!’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Wedding planner

‘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.’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

The Dress

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!’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Emma’s Advice

‘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.’

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Suppliers
Wedding PlannerAlgarve Wedding Planners
Wedding Band & DJTwin Flames
PhotographerJoao Ataide
VideographerOrlando Horta
CateringBon Bon Catering
Make Up ArtistMandy Ware
Groom and Groomsmen SuitsT.M. Lewin
Bridal DressSpecial Daze (Widnes)
Wedding Stationary & InvitesRSVP Designs
Wedding RingsCoolJoolz

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!

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

Algarve Destination Wedding_Joao Ataide Wedding Photography http://www.joaoataidephotography.com/

An amazing Algarve wedding full of heart and soul

You are going to love this fun and relaxed Portugal destination wedding from globe-trotting couple, Orla and David.

After getting engaged in Vietnam and planning their wedding from Australia and then the UK, Orla and David tied the knot with 64 close family and friends in a Catholic ceremony at Igreja Matriz do Alvor (Mother Church of Alvor) followed by a reception on  the Prainha resort (Alvor).

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Destination Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

How they met

Orla and David first met just before Christmas 2005 in the bar Orla worked in (The Ship) at University in Preston.

‘Dave used to go to the gym nearby with all his friends, and would then come in and ruin all the good work he had put in by having a pub lunch and a beer. Pretty much from the first day he met me, he asked for my number at the end of ordering his food, and even tried doing some magic tricks to impress me! The flirting continued and I found myself getting disappointed if he didn’t come in when I was working. I eventually succumbed to his charm on Valentine’s Day 2006 by giving him my number. But he waited to text me, abiding by the sacred 3-day rule, and we had our first date on 22 Feb 2006.’

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

The proposal

Orla and David set off on the trip of a lifetime in March 2009, backpacking for 18 months. At their leaving party, their friends and family joked they would either come back engaged or on separate flights. Little did they know that…..

‘On 25 June 2009 we were in Nha Trang, Vietnam and went out to celebrate a birthday of a good friend of Dave’s who had tragically passed away the previous year. We spent a lovely day with some friends we had met travelling at the Thap Ba Hot Spring Center having mud-baths and various spa treatments and went out for a lovely Mexican meal.

We then enjoyed some cocktails and got talking about the meaning of life, and how special our friend who passed away was to us. We agreed that we couldn’t see the future without us being together. And it was then that Dave asked me to marry him. The following day we went to the beach, and Dave wrote ‘Marry me’ in the sand. We bought my engagement ring in Vietnam and it cost millions in Vietnamese currency!!!’

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

The wedding party

Orla doesn’t have any sisters so chose three of her closest friends, Ríona, Jean and Rosie, each representing a stage in her life. Ríona, was her maid-of-honour, and a dear friend from secondary school. Orla had the honour of being her maid-of-honour a few years previously. Orla has known Jean since they were very young and finally Orla’s good friend Rosie was by her side, representing her time in England.

Dave chose his three friends who he lived with at University and are like brothers to him. Carl & Matt were his best men, and Mike an Usher.

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

The outfits

Orla’s dress was a Linea Raffaelli design. She had seen it on a website approximately a year previous to actually trying the dress on. When she went wedding dress shopping with her mother in Dublin and the shop they went to happened to stock that dress (Ciara Bridal), she tried it on and straight away knew it was the ONE.

‘I thought it was quite different with the detail on the halter neck, and wanted a bit of colour in the dress, and this dress helped me to do that. The material, silk taffeta, was also very light and travelled well so was perfect for a destination wedding in the heat! The girls in the shop were extremely helpful and accommodating with all my fittings and alterations.

Dave chose his 3-piece suit from NEXT – he didn’t want to hire a traditional groom’s outfit and having a destination wedding proved difficult if we were to rent for returning it etc. plus the materials were a lot heavier. Dave wore the jacket in the church, but for the rest of the day, just had his waistcoat on which went perfectly with the relaxed beach theme.’

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

The venues

Orla and David wanted to have a Catholic church wedding, so Portugal was the perfect choice for them – a Catholic country, where non-resident couples can get married in the country’s charming churches (and other locations). Once they had decided on Alvor as their destination,  the couple agreed that Igreja Matriz do Alvor was the right venue for their ceremony and loved the traditional look which this beautiful church offers.

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

‘Our wedding planner, Carla, had a great vision of what we wanted for the day. She took us to see four different venues along the Algarve, and we just fell for this one. The Atlantic Pool Restaurant at the Prainha Resort in Alvor is managed independently of the resort, by the Canico restaurant on site.  We had such a good feeling about it when we saw the venue and loved that we could have the whole reception outdoors.

The setting allowed us to create something magical, have some amazing wedding photographs taken, and it gave our guests the WOW factor when they arrived – we kept the venue a secret from everyone so they didn’t look it up on the internet! It also had a stunning late bar at Canico restaurant, built into the cliffs on the beach.’

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Prainha Resort Alvor_Algarve Wedding_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Prainha Resort Alvor_Algarve Wedding_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Prainha Resort Alvor_Algarve Wedding_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Vision for the day

When the couple lived in Australia following their engagement, they had the beach at the end of their road and made a pact to go and see it every single day to realise just how lucky they were to be there. They loved having barbeques and even when they returned to the UK, the first thing Dave wanted to buy (in Winter!!!) was a barbeque.

They wanted to incorporate the beach, a barbeque and their travels into their big day and began discussing the idea of getting married abroad.

Orla explains ‘We soon settled on the Algarve, mainly due to it seeming relatively easy to have a Catholic Ceremony there, and also I was keen to make sure our guests could get there without too much trouble and on a budget. We were so conscious that people would be spending a lot more money than they would be if the wedding had been at home, and choosing our location was based on a variety of things such as choice of accommodation, being appropriate for all ages etc.

We also felt we wanted to do more for our guests, and show our appreciation for them coming all that way. We didn’t just have a wedding “day”, we had a wedding “week”, which included a Welcome Party, and also the night before we left for our honeymoon, we arranged a boat trip for our guests.’

The fabulous girls from Unique and Chic Weddings (http://uniqueandchicweddings.com), Amelia and Jane, organised the couple’s Welcome Party at Hickey’s Irish Pub in Alvor. This was a great opportunity for Orla and Dave to catch up with their friends and family before saying their vows and meant everyone was even more relaxed on the day.

Welcome Party @ Hickey's Irish Pub, Alvor by Unique and Chic Weddings

Welcome Party @ Hickey’s Irish Pub, Alvor by Unique and Chic Weddings http://www.uniqueandchicweddings.com

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Prainha Resort Alvor_Algarve Wedding_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois
Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Twin Flames_Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

The special touches

‘We made a huge effort to ensure from the outset that our wedding was personal. Dave is a keen artist and did all the designing himself from the invitations to the thank you cards. We had welcome packs at the hotel check-in for our guests with a special message from us, and information they required for their stay and a few little bits to make them smile, including custom-made “do not disturb” signs for their bedroom doors.

We also made fans for the church on the wedding day which were a welcome relief for our guests. Our table plan Map of the World was based on our favourite countries from our travels, and each table centre-piece had photos of us from that country and some funny facts on it. I stitched a little message on to the inside of Dave’s tie to see the morning of the wedding.’

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Sonho a Dois (Wedding Planners)

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_Sonho a Dois (Wedding Planners)

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Sonho a Dois (Wedding Planners)

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Sonho a Dois (Wedding Planners)

Wedding planner

‘We had Carla from the amazing Sonho a Dois and from the initial meeting and emails, we knew we had chosen a winner!’

Best decision

‘Making the day exactly what we wanted it to be and not feeling pressurised by conforming. Even though we followed a traditional format, we still managed to create a relaxed informal atmosphere and all the personal touches made it all the more special. We also tried to ensure we met all our guests separately at their hotels to show our appreciation for them travelling to share our special day with us.’

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Prainha Resort, Alvor_Algarve Wedding_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

If I was to do it again…..

‘…..I’d have kept an eye on timings more – we got delayed in between the ceremony and the reception and in the end before the wedding breakfast, I jumped up on stage and announced to everyone, “the food will be here for a few hours, but our photographs will last a lifetime,” and off we went to the beach, while our guests tucked into the BBQ!!’

Useful tips

‘We loved Alvor as the village itself has a lovely traditional Portuguese feel to it, and appealed to all age groups. Even though it was small, it still had enough of a choice or bars, restaurants and hotels at different budgets to suit our guests’ tastes. I would definitely suggest to anyone planning a destination wedding to visit beforehand if possible.’

The suppliers

Sonho a Dois found all our suppliers for us – Carla sent me different links to various suppliers and we chose our favourite, or if one didn’t suit, she would source some more. Also we looked on their Facebook page and website to see if there were any ideas from other weddings that we liked.

We found the cake supplier ourselves – we were keen to have a unique wedding cake and when we met Yvonne, an English lady who lives on the Algarve, we had a great connection with her. Dave was involved in designing the wedding cake, and the little touches Yvonne made were just amazing, not to mention it tasted amazing!

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Cake from Made in Sugar

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Cake from Made in Sugar

Wedding Planner: Sonho A Dois – http://sonhoadois.com/weddings/index.php

Stationary & Centrepieces: The husband!!!

Ceremony: Igreja Matriz do Alvor (Mother Church of Alvor) http://viajar.clix.pt/tesouro.php?id=228&lg=en&w=mother_church_of_alvor

Reception: Atlantic Pool Restaurant, Prainha Resort – http://www.prainha.net/en/galeria-1/common-areas/atlantic-pool

Photographers: Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography (Ana & Fernando) – http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/

Wedding dress: Ciara Bridal, Powerscourt Centre, Dublin – http://www.ciara-bridal.com/

Cake: Made in Sugar (Yvonne) http://www.madeinsugar.com/

Music (Church ceremony & Reception): Twin Flames http://www.twinflamesalgarve.com/

Welcome Party: Unique and Chic Weddings (http://www.uniqueandchicweddings.com) / Hickey’s Irish Pub http://www.hickeysirishpub.com)

Thank you so much to Orla and Dave for sharing their wonderful wedding with us. This is just the sort of wedding we love to feature on Wanderlust Weddings and we have really enjoyed reading how they ended up getting married in the Algarve, along with their really useful tips for a destination wedding. Wishing them a lifetime of love and happiness together…..

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Algarve Wedding_Alvor_Yes I Do! Algarve Wedding Photography_http://www.yes-i-do.com.pt/_Sonho a Dois

Amazing Algarve – A cliff-top wedding overlooking the sparkling sea

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…..

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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!

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

The Proposal

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.

The Ceremony

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.

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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.

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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.

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

The Reception

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.

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

‘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!

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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!

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Wedding Planner

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.’

The Outfits

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!

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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.

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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!

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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.

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography,  Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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.

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

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!

Useful tips

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!’

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal - Algarve Wedding Planners - Destination Wedding

Joao Ataide Photography, Quinta Da Pomona, Algarve, Portugal – Algarve Wedding Planners – Destination Wedding

Suppliers

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 clare@wanderlust-weddings.com for any recommendations or advice….