The UK can be pretty drab at anytime of the year (it has actually been great this year but it wasn't worth the risk of rain). The wise choice is therefore to fly 2 hours away to the south of Portugal for guaranteed sun. By having the wedding just after the school holidays in September, the prices were very reasonable for flights and accommodation.
Because I was a long time friend and travelling from farther away from the UK, I got to stay in the family villa (see photo below). This meant I just had to cover the cost of the essentials like electricity. Most of the wedding party got a very reasonable deal at a small hotel down the road.
|Poolside at our villa|
The events included a pre-wedding brunch by the sea (turned out to be a late lunch for us due to a late taxi), stag and hen parties at night, a BBQ and lots of meals at local restaurants. It was a super week with bright sunshine every day. September is a great time to visit Portugal because the hottest weather is over and it is a very pleasant, slightly milder temperature.
The wedding itself was by the beach at a lovely spot on top of a cliff. Then the reception was at an outdoor restaurant 200 metres away. Finally a short walk down to the beach for the evening disco. It was a great location and I can't wait to see the videos and photos which were done by Bloom Imagery.
The wedding photographer was a team of maybe 3 guys (I didn't notice really, except for when dancing). It was drummed into us that they would be handling photos and videos of the event, to stop everyone holding their own cameras and phones throughout the big day.
Encouraging everyone to stay focused on the proceedings was a great idea. This is why I haven't attached any pics from the day. Far too many people miss important life events because they want to take a photo or video on their phones. By almost banning them from the wedding, I think we all enjoyed it more.
The wedding week was a great success and when I get married I would like us to do something similar. Portugal is a great place to have a wedding. I don't know the figures, but my guess is that even with the flights, it won't cost more than back in the UK.