Shane and Ciara have been childhood sweethearts since they were 16. On a trip to New York, Shane finally popped the question whilst walking in Central Park. They chose the ring in Tiffanys, and whilst window shopping on 5th Avenue, Ciara spotted her dress in the window of a bridal shop. Having sent Shane off on an errand for an hour she got the dress she always wanted.
They both live in the fishing village of Howth but wanted to get married abroad and chose Portugal as their destination. They contacted Collette of Elegant Events, who had been recommended to them by a friend, and she told them about a charming fishing village called Ericeira, about 40 minutes from Lisbon on Portugal’s Silver coast. Ericeira is also a surfer’s paradise, with some of the best surfing beaches in Europe, and as Shane is a keen surfer, the matter was settled. They travelled over with Collette in January 2011 to look at venues, and having viewed several they decided on a beautiful traditional Portuguese farmhouse on top of a hill, called Quinta do Casal Novo situated inland from Ericeira.
The Groom was dressed in a navy Tom Ford suit with matching sunglasses and
the bridesmaids were pretty in pink from Bridal Heaven in Boston.
Would you stop this lot and ask them for directions to the church??
The church, Igreja Sao Pedro, one of 3 beautiful churches in Ericeira, was a magnificent backdrop for the ceremony, which was performed by Father Dermot Brennan, an Irish priest and who made the occasion seem relaxed rather than formal. Music was provided by Faz Musica string quartet. In Portugal, the tradition is that the groom’s mother walks him up the aisle.
After the beautiful church ceremony all the guests were bussed inland to Quinta do Casal Novo, through quaint farming villages, past men riding on donkeys and women harvesting grapes from the vines. The entrance to the Quinta was covered in glorious pink & purple bougainvillea, almost like a secret door which revealed on the inside, a sparkling blue pool glinting in the sunlight, surrounded by magnificent tropical shrubbery, and the string quartet playing in the shade of the palm trees. Delicious barbecued canopies and chilled champagne delighted the guests as they took in the surroundings of the Quinta.
After a very pleasant couple of hours, everyone adjourned to the banqueting room where the Quinta staff served up a wonderful wedding feast, and where another Portuguese tradition was to serve all of the women before serving the men. The tables looked fabulous, Collette had opted for simple elegance, white hydrangea for the centre pieces with mirror and candles everywhere. She placed flip flops in white organza bags for the ladies to dance the night away with, and the gents enjoyed Cuban cigars on the terrace. Though they weren’t needed, there was a basket of pashminas outside, for the ladies. 100s of paper candle bags which she had placed all over the outside terrace made it look amazing.
After dinner, we kicked off our shoes put on our flipflops & danced the night away to the sounds of the Portuguese DJ. Later on we were served a late buffet before returning to Ericeira where the younger guests continued to party on in one of Portugal’s oldest discos, and word has it that the sunrise was quite spectacular.
Verdict? The whole Portuguese wedding experience was a wonderful success. The venue was terrific, the food magnificent, the location superb, and the weather!!! The staff in the Quinta could not have been more attentive or pleasant, nothing was too much trouble for them. Everyone was agreed that it was one of the most enjoyable weddings that they had ever attended, including weddings abroad.
Dress Macys of New York
Bridesmaids Dresses Bridal Heaven of Boston
Make-up Chloe Green
Wedding Planner Collette of Elegant Events
Photographer Carlos Fernandes
Reception Quinta do Casal Nova
Flowers Sourced from the local market in Ericeira