Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 15, 2009
8th August 2009 in Portugal
Eric and I met when I went to work at the secondary school he worked at in 2004
Eric is 28 and I am 29
Eric took me out to dinner to a posh restaurant (something we don’t have money to do any more since we bought our house) and proposed over desert!
For Eric’s stag, the boys went bowling in the afternoon and then later on had dinner and a dance in a local bar. For my hen, the girls stayed home and we recalled the good old days as we have been friends for many years. To be honest, I was too exhausted to go out!
Eric is the creative one out of the two of us so he sorted the colour theme and helped come up with ideas for the day. He also sorted out the clothes for the best man and usher and helped find the bridesmaid dresses.
I used confetti to get ideas. It was really useful to see what other people had done.
I visited the London store and bought online. I bought table numbers, place cards, champagne bubbles and disposable cameras. There was so much to chose from!
I bought my ivory dress from Berketex Bride off Oxford Street, London. The ladies there were so helpful and made me feel so special. My alterations were done on the same day of my fitting!
I had two bridesmaids, Susi my best friend and my maid of honour and Sahel, another close friend. Eventually we found a beautiful silk dress from John Lewis which fitted them so well. It took us over 6 months to find it and everything was on hold since the colour of their dress was the third colour of our theme!
Eric chose his younger brother as his best man and my brother as his usher. They wore sand coloured suits with blue waistcoats and tan coloured shoes.
Santuario de Nossa Senhora de Esperanca, Tondela, Portugal…. In English that’s the Sanctuary of our Lady of Hope in a town called Tondela in Portugal. In fact, its the same place my parents got married over 35 years ago!
In Hotel Sao Jose in Tondela, Portugal
We originally hired a 16 seater mini bus for our guests from the UK and the day before the wedding the company called to tell me they didn’t have the bus available so they were going to give me a 50 seater fully air conditioned coach! Bonus… As we drove to Portugal this year, we used my car to take me to the church.
Altogether we had about 120 people at our wedding. All who came to the church came to the reception.
Our colours of the day were Ivory, Gold and Light Blue.
Yes, we had ivory place cards and ivory with gold trim table numbers. The floral decorations in the centre of the tables had blue and ivory flowers.
Yes. As Eric is of Irish decent, we gave the men miniature bottles of Jamesons whiskey which we decorated ourselves. For the women, they were given a crystal rose which came encased in a box and we also decorated.
My bouquet was a mixture of white flowers with three blue roses in the middle. The bridesmaids had miniature versions of my bouquet. The florist was local to the town but the flowers came from Holland!
The hotel catered for our wedding. We had a feast! Starter ‐ Cream of leek soup Main 1 ‐ Traditionally prepared cod with potato purée Main 2 ‐ Roasted baby goat with potatoes, green beans and baby carrots Main 3 ‐ Roasted suckling pig with crisps and green salad Desert ‐ Baked apple with vanilla ice cream followed by coffee and biscuits
The cake was made by the local patisserie. It was four tiers of sponge filled with creme pattissiere.
We had two live Portuguese singers and Eric and my brother spent ages preparing playlists of English music too.
As we have already been living together for 4 years, we asked that if anyone were to give us a gift, it was a monetary one, however small. Thankfully no‐one was offended and now we can afford to go on our honeymoon!
Our first night was spent in the hotel where we had the reception. As I’m of Portuguese decent, we go to Portugal every year so our honeymoon is still to come. We’re going for 5 days including Christmas to New York, then onto Vegas for 5 days and then onto Hawaii for 7 days including New Years! Can’t wait!
Drinking Champagne and dancing to Michael Jackson with Father Paul at 3am!
The night before the wedding, when I took my contact lenses out, my eye was a bit inflamed. By the next morning it was swollen and blood shot. I had to put my contacts back in but spent the morning in the hairdressers putting eye drops in my eye! Fortunately, by the time I turned up at the church it had settled down!
The only advice I can give is to prepare and do as much as you can as early as you can. Oh, and enjoy your day. There were little bits that didn’t go 100% according to plan but I wasn’t going to stress about it on the day! What will be will be!