Glamorous Destination Wedding In Sintra, Portugal

Oh Sintra, Portugal, you most definitely are pretty. And today, we have seen why the savviest of brides & grooms are flocking for this up-and-coming region thanks for this glamorous destination wedding.

Meeting in Australia, with family living all over the world, our dapper couple chose this pastel-colored town within the Southwest of Portugal because of its natural splendor and excellent meeting point its their guests. Choosing a venue with impeccable beauty and plentiful back yard, and hiring a specialist local planner, planning their wedding from afar appeared like a relative ‘piece of cake’. After all, Passionate Photography‘s photos from the event are absolutely flawless.

But it had been the bride’s modern wedding gown & glamorous beauty look which has all ‘heart eyes’. Wanting a gown developed in her beloved Australia that featured clean lines and pearls to pay for homage to her Vietnamese heritage, Tonia instantly fell deeply in love with Made With Love‘s Sienna – hitting all of the marks.

Are you planning for a wedding from afar? Bride Tonia was sweet enough to provide oodles of advice for destination (and local!) couples. We particularly appreciate her mention in steps to make sure non-English speaking (or even the language from the majority of guests) guests feel included in your wedding day.

Our Love Story

We met in Sydney on the summer day of 2015 in a friend’s BBQ. We connected immediately and spent the entire time referring to everything in our way of life. It was very casual without any romantic intentions plus some inappropriate jokes and thus we quickly became friends. We had our first kiss throughout a Chet Faker concert a couple weeks later in front from the Sydney Opera House. But it had been not until four months later, your day we returned from your trip to Vietnam, both of us knew we thought about being exclusive.

We planned a visit to Morocco in August 2017 because it had been my lifetime dream. Mario knew it's impossible to surprise me (I get annoyingly curious and merely spoil surprises). So he chose to throw another surprise beforehand to knock-off any suspicions. Days before going to Morocco, Mario flew us towards the Zurich Open Air Festival to determine my favorite band Mumford and Sons. We then continued our travels to Morocco. Mid-way with the trip in Morocco, we'd booked to remain at this Luxury Desert Camp in Merzouga. When we reached the nearest town, our tour guide said we'd need to swap cars and also the camp manager would drive us rather than him, everything seemed pretty normal (a minimum of for me).

On the way towards the camp, we designed a stop within the middle from the desert to hang out with several beautiful camels. I remember finding yourself in a complete shock the entire ride – it had been truly stunning. We finally reached the camp and everything am picturesque, there is no one around.

They setup dinner for all of us on top from the hill. As we finished dinner, it went dark and that we were encompassed by candle lights in heart shape. I really thought one's heart shape candles is what they setup for couples’ dinners. Mario eventually believed to me he had a gift prepared for our twelve months anniversary that people never were built with a chance to celebrate. He even asserted some friends had helped out. I remember thinking then “Why can you ask friends to chip set for our anniversary gift…”

The waiter delivered to our table a laptop bag. Mario opened laptops and began playing a relevant video. The video would be a compilation of short videos he have been filming of different moments we shared within the year plus some from our friends filming. The video ended with quick recordings all of our closest friends wishing us a ‘happy life together’.

When the recording finished, I turned around and here he was on a single knee using the box…He said he'd prepared the entire speech but am nervous had forgotten everything. But I honestly didn’t care and said ‘Yes’.

I am not usually romantic type, but I need to admit, he truly nailed the surprise and acted so cool. The whole time I had no idea and following the Zurich festival, I had already thought maybe not this trip. The funny thing is, it had been so hot within the tent that night, that people could not even hold hands.

The Destination

In planning the marriage, both of us quickly decided on the mood and also the vibe from the day we desired to have. It needed to feel warm, inclusive, intimate, casual and encompassed by nature. Since we originated from different cultural backgrounds, the very best was to eliminate all of the rituals and traditions. We wanted our guests to have the least formal as you possibly can.

We bounced around different choices for the location, from Bali to Ibiza but wound up agreeing on Portugal. It made perfect sense, it's a beautiful country with many of Mario’s friends and family there and amazing food and lastly, good weather was guaranteed. Portugal was very central for everybody to fly to.

The Destination

In planning the marriage, both of us quickly decided on the mood and also the vibe from the day we desired to have. It needed to feel warm, inclusive, intimate, casual and encompassed by nature. Since we originated from different cultural backgrounds, the very best was to eliminate all of the rituals and traditions. We wanted our guests to have the least formal as you possibly can.

We bounced around different choices for the location, from Bali to Ibiza but wound up agreeing on Portugal. It made perfect sense, it's a beautiful country with many of Mario’s friends and family there and amazing food and lastly, good weather was guaranteed. Portugal was very central for everybody to fly to.

The Dress & Attire

I were built with a pretty good picture of the items kind of dress I wanted. It needed to be classy, minimalistic and stylish. I always prefer comfort over ‘dressy’ so I knew my dress wouldn't be a princess type ballgown or include much lace. I wanted an outfit by an Australian designer, as Australia have been one from the biggest a part of my life and where Mario and I met. As for details from the dress, I have envisioned so that it is straight line, mermaid long tail, open shoulder and more importantly pearls to focus on my Vietnamese heritage.

I spent exactly just a couple weeks researching until came across the Sienna dress by Made With Love Bridal. I scheduled a scheduled appointment and tried their three dresses. But it didn’t take too long for me personally to choose that Sienna was the main one – I never doubted once. I felt absolutely so confident and delightful on your day wearing Sienna. The dress was filled with gold heels and pearl earrings. After our first dance, I turned into a white jumpsuit.

Mario’s outfit ended through an Australian tailor Institchu. His look would have to be aligned with my dress, be classy yet casual. We spent a while picking the colours and material and made a decision to have a deep blue jacket and lightweight grey pants, with brown leather items and shoes.

We also have asked all of our guests to decorate in a smart casual style in pastel and blue tones.

The Venue

After many months of search so that as we were going to agree on a single venue, our wedding coordinator Sofia available on Instagram a Quinta which were built with a huge park within the middle of Sintra. Since i was in Sydney and couldn't see the venue ourselves, Mario’s dad and Sofia visited inspect it and both returned saying, “This is exactly what we have been searching for.” Quinta da Penalva, unlike a number of other Quinta or villas, would be a private estate with lavish greenery in Sintra’s spirit, a number of different natural areas through the estate. The villa itself had this beautiful green wall, two huge indoor and outdoor pools along with a small bar house.

We wound up splitting the venue into three sections: on the hill close to the pond, we'd the ceremony where we felt complete peace and isolation; after which it guests were guided through hidden road to go up towards the back lawn from the house and outdoor pool for reception with lounge furniture and dinner was hosted at the front from the house with view towards the green wall. There was no signage simply to allow guests to wander and explore the area. For us it had been important to possess different spaces for guests to have interaction. We also were built with a projector setup to experience photo slideshow. The party area was in front from the outdoor pool.

The Flowers & Decor

Once the venue was selected, Mario happily left me with decoration duties. We envisioned the area as more romantic, intimate and laid-back like if you were on the summer date. For this theme, we combined soft hues, delicate lighting, chandeliers, calligraphy and soft flowers.

Picking theme colors was fairly simple, I did not care a lot about trends. Our hero colour ended up being to be blue or dusty blue in line using the color from the engagement ring – sapphire. We also desired to include both silver and gold tones to complement with Mario’s wedding ring. Finally, white splashed across flowers along with other details to focus on our star signs belonging towards the same astrological birthstone – moonstone.

Since the venue itself provided lots of green colour, we desired to use simple white with dusty blue tones to include extra pop. Flowers used were pulled together by our wedding coordinator and contains mostly white roses, white lilies, some greenery as well as for blue and grey accents we used Dusty Miller Flat and Brunia Berry. We also used some blue accent flowers on tables centrepieces and enormous floor vases with increased bushy setup of white flowers. We kept flower decoration in a minimum essential number to provide extra wedding feel.

Favorite Moments

First would be a particular moment within our vows. The back story for this is both of us had this inside tradition to ‘high five’ whenever our thoughts or choices would suddenly function as the same which is the way we started becoming very friends as we noticed i was constantly ‘high fiving’.

We wrote our vows separately and both emailed these phones our celebrant to possess a quick check. Our celebrant only comment was ‘it's crazy how similar you think’. Little did we all know that both of us wrote within our vows to ‘never stop high fiving one another during mind reading moments’ – it had been a real mind reading moment.

You understand how normally either the groomsman or groom is late? Well, we'd our late, runaway groomsman. One from the groomsmen – who's known for always becoming lost – got very hungry right before the ceremony started and left the villa to enter town for any snack. He lost tabs on time and inside a hurry returned twenty mins late when i was all trying to find him. We were built with a good laugh.

The best and final part from the day, was after local police reached the villa around 2.30 AM and inspired to shut on the music due noise complaints, our DJs happily decided to continue inside villa round the indoor pool. We continued until 5 AM and also at the end, all jumped in to the pool using the DJ!

The Reception & Important Details

Music and food were one of the most important things for all of us. We wanted everyone to possess a beautiful meal and possess a fun party being that most from the guests were quite young. We also desired to make sure we pick the very best photographers and videographer because these would function as the only physical memories from the wedding.

We had requested to have all of the stationary to become calligraphed including vows, table carts, seating plan and menu. We added Polaroid and Kodak 35 mm cameras for guests to experience around and take photos of themselves.

Special Traditions

Since the ceremony was civil and never to a specific culture, we asked our celebrant as we could execute a unity ceremony. She then told us the ‘charity’ ritual. Since both of us talked about the way we love the childish side that exists in one another and how important it's to keep that inner child alive for that rest of our way of life, the Charity Ritual symbolizes this can. During the charity ritual we exchanged gifts with this childhood photos. This exchange of childhood images symbolizes dedication to treat each other using the kindness that certain wouldn’t hesitate to exhibit a child but so frequently refuse to exhibit grown-ups.

The Cake & Favors

The cake is made by amazing Migalha Doce. We desired to have a small cake and also have doughnuts concentrating on the same design next towards the cake. Fillings had hazelnut, berry and chocolate flavors. The cake design had two layers with abstract blue tones at the end and gold highlights for that top layer. It would then be decorated using the same flowers we used within the bouquet and native Australian flower protea. Doughnuts were covered with abstract blue painting. Outside from the cake, we'd a dessert buffet served after dinner.

For favors, we desired to give our guests gifts that will symbolize a mixture of two worlds: locally sorted essential olive oil infused with chili along with a custom mixture of ‘China Lychee’ (my personal favorite flavor) and ‘Citrus Twist Black Tea’ (Mario’s favorite flavor).

Advice to Other Couples

Some advice on the actual big day planning: 1) For destination weddings we'd recommend to help keep it small (50-100 guests) and plan a meet up before the big day for everyone to trap up. 2) Have a clean and organised Pinterest board – it'll really help your wedding coordinator! 3) Start by adding stuff that are truly necessary because it can get really overwhelming with all of the wedding ideas available and plan round the theme and color. 4) We had a global wedding with a few families not speaking English perfectly. We do advise to translate scripts where possible to make sure everyone feels included.

We also didn’t follow some traditional rules from the wedding day. 1) We did the wedding cake cutting having a champagne tower right following the ceremony and it had been definitely great advice from your wedding planner. Just a different start for your day! 2) We played a game title to break up the evening meal 3) It is worth having a wedding coordinator on your day so you can take just as much time to enjoy your personal day and one another.

Some tips about the emotional part: 1) Not everything goes as planned so just allow it to be. 2) Only you know what went wrong when it comes to small details. Guests never notice small details. 3) Guests will notice if you're having fun or otherwise – so simply have fun!


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