Perfection in PortugalWords by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of Quem Case Quer Fotos
Melissa and David’s love of adventure and exploring new places sparked the idea for the couple to wed abroad in picture perfect Portugal. Excited to share a new country with their friends and family, Melissa and David began planning their unforgettable wedding excursion.
With a wide age range of guests, the biggest concern in choosing a locale was picking a destination fit for both the party-seeking 20-year-olds and the 50-year-old history buffs. Portugal accomplished just that! Almost all of the couple’s guests were new to this stunning European country. With ample notice of the wedding date, many guests made Portugal their summer vacation, touring parts of Spain as well.
The greatest challenge was getting the bride’s 89-year-old Nana, who had always dreamed of visiting Portugal, to their destination. With the help of private transportation, Melissa’s Nana made it safely and by the end of the trip, didn't want to go home. “She ended up having an incredible time and saying it was the best trip of her life,” says the bride.
Planning a destination wedding required a great amount of trust in the wedding planner and vendors. Living so far away, it was difficult for the couple to make decisions on aspects such as food and flowers. Although the couple had to let go most of their control, the couple admits it was almost nicer to leave the job to someone else. “We didn’t have to get stressed out about all the little details – we just picked vendors that we trusted and left it in their hands. In the end, what they provided was even better than we could have imagined,” explains Melissa.
The couple definitely advises other couples to do their vendor research carefully, as great vendors are key to making the planning process stress-free. For example, Melissa and David sorted through and interviewed over 20 tour operators in Portugal, narrowing it down to the one they saw most fit for the job. Although their chosen tour operator was not necessarily the cheapest, it was the person who made them feel the most comfortable and went above and beyond to accommodate them. Melissa and David’s guests even commented on how thoroughly the trip was planned out.
Overall, Melissa and David feel they benefited much more from having a destination wedding as opposed to one at home, not just from costs but also from memories. The couple even held a Portugal reunion where their guests gathered to cook their favorite dishes from the country and share photos. An elongated wedding celebration with the couple’s closest friends and family also created many new friendships. “We got to spend so much quality time with each and every person, and they got to spend so much time getting to know each other too. It’s funny seeing my dad add my university friends as friends on Facebook!” says the Melissa. With memories to last a lifetime, there is no doubt Melissa and David would have had their wedding any other way.
Vendors: Photographer: Quem Case Quer Fotos, Wedding Planner: Casamento Tours, Ceremony/Reception Site: Pousada do Geres - Amares, Sta. Maria do Bouro, Florist: Pousada do Geres - Amares, Sta. Maria do Bouro, Stationery: Appy Couple, Hair: Lola Torino Cabeleireiros, Gown Designer: Modern Trousseau from Pearl Bridal House & Michael Kors, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Hugo Boss & Cole Haan, DJ: Ricardo Machado from Factor Musica, Ceremony Music: Kendra Abel & John Maiorano
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