Anabela and Eric Portugal Wedding abroad

When was your wedding?

8th August 2009 in Portugal

How and when did you meet?

Eric and I met when I went to work at the secondary school he worked at in 2004


How old are you both?

Eric is 28 and I am 29

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

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!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?

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!

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

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.

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

I used confetti to get ideas. It was really useful to see what other people had done.

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?

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!

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

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!

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

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!

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

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.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

Religious ceremony

Where did you hold your ceremony?

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!

Where did you hold your reception?

In Hotel Sao Jose in Tondela, Portugal

Did you have any special wedding transport?

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.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

Altogether we had about 120 people at our wedding. All who came to the church came to the reception.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

Our colours of the day were Ivory, Gold and Light Blue.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

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.

Did you give your guests favours?

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.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

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!

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

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

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?

The cake was made by the local patisserie. It was four tiers of sponge filled with creme pattissiere.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had two live Portuguese singers and Eric and my brother spent ages preparing playlists of English music too.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

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!

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

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!

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Drinking Champagne and dancing to Michael Jackson with Father Paul at 3am!

Did you experience any “nightmare” moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

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!

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

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!

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