“Forest green is my favourite colour but since it is a bit dark for Summer and hot weather, I paired it with nudes and whites to make it a bit lighter.”
Names: Natasha Cangas & Daniel Correia
Length of engagement: 1 year
Wedding Date: August 15, 2019
Wedding location: Batalha, Portugal
Photographer: Tara Donoghue Photography
We met… We met in 2014 at my job. I am a hairstylist and my sister used to cut his hair. One day he worked up the courage to ask me out….and years later, the rest is history…
Our proposal… He proposed on July 27, 2018. We were on vacation in Portugal and the whole family was together that day visiting the town of Nazare. We all went to visit the lighthouse, and when we reached the top and the whole family was there, he went down on one knee and proposed while everyone cheered and clapped. One cousin even had a camera ready to go! It was a beautiful, hot, summer day with blue skies and couldn’t have been more perfect. Since it was all pre-planned by the groom and his family, there was a big family lunch after that at a local restaurant.
Our wedding theme/colours… Nudes, forest green.
We did a small wedding in the USA where we live and where my family lives. However, my husband’s family is mostly in Portugal and could not attend the wedding. So we decided to do a bigger wedding in Portugal a few months later to share that special moment with his family as well.
Forest green is my favourite colour but since it is a bit dark for Summer and hot weather, I paired it with nudes and whites to make it a bit lighter. This wedding was a big surprise gift for us and we had no part in the planning of it. So I mentioned our favourite colours and this is all the input I had. The family took that and worked that into the theme of the wedding, all the way up into our personal album design.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… We really didn’t make anything ourselves. As I mentioned before, our family in Portugal planned the entire wedding and surprised us that day. They took care of all the details and the whole family chipped in to work on the details. They made special dishes for the guests and powerwashed the house and everything….it was quite amazing how they came together.
The festivities in a typical Portuguese wedding start during the morning (typically around 9 – 9:30), the bride’s guests go the bride’s parents for breakfast and the groom’s guests go to his family’s house for breakfast. Each family usually helps by cooking a huge selection of food and pastries for their guests.
The houses gets decorated by the florist and family members. All the guests eat together, mingle, have fun and then everyone leaves together for the church ceremony in a long procession, with the bridal car in the lead.
My dress… Maggie Sottero. It was a tiny bit crumpled from the airplane ride and the fact I had already worn it another day. However, you couldn’t even tell and everyone commented on how beautiful it was and in the photos it does look beautiful.
My hair and make-up… I did my hair and make-up myself. I’ve always loved working with hair and
makeup and I’m good at it, so decided to simplify things that day and make it as easy as possible for
everyone. I did it all myself and a cousin helped to attach the headpiece / veil.
His suit… Ralph Lauren and he looked very handsome in it.
What our bridal party wore… We didn’t have a bridal party, just a flower girl. She wore a traditional white dress made by a local seamstress.
Our ceremony… We had a religious ceremony in the Monastery of Batalha, Portugal.
One of our cousins recommended the location and took care of the booking. It is a very unique
architectural monument in Portuguese history and the inside is quite beautiful. As we already had the first wedding in the USA I was not quite ready for the strong emotions that I felt during the ceremony as we shared this moment with the family and friends.
We chose our photographer because… They were highly recommended by a family member who knows them in person. We checked out their website, immediately fell in love with their work and decided to book them, even though we live in different countries and would never meet face to face until the day of the wedding. We made a great choice and their work was beyond our expectations.
They did great driving around new places and actually chose the location for the photoshoot. Our
settings were mostly improvised as we moved through the day and turned out quite beautifully.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… We did not have a wedding coordinator. Our family
members all chipped in and helped us plan the wedding. They did everything from booking the church, the restaurant, the chefs, took care of accommodations for the USA guests, car pooling…it was quite impressive that all we were required to do was show up.
We chose our venue because… a family member who lives in Portugal recommended it to us. She had used the venue for other events and was familiar with the settings, quality of food and so on. It turned out very well, the food was delicious and everyone had a great time!
Our menu…Selection of appetizers, Seafood & Vegetable Soup, 1 main course of meat, 1 main course of fish, full dessert menu. Open buffet with many choices of entrees, desserts, cheeses, cookies, and
In a traditional Portuguese wedding, the venue actually serves the guests twice. The first part of the
reception is during lunch time, which starts immediately following the ceremony. This is where they serve the soups and the choices of the main dish that are served directly at the table.
The party then continues throughout the day with different activities going on for the children and
adults. The bride and groom usually step out for a few hours with the photographers for a photoshoot during this time. The restaurant then sets up for dinner, the second part of the reception. Around 7pm or so dinner is served, and it’s usually a huge buffet which includes cheese / dried meat tables, seafood tables, several dessert tables, meat dishes, among many others. This part lasts a few hours, at the end of which, the cutting of the cake happens.
In a traditional venue, they also provide the wedding cake. Bride and Groom can choose the cake they want, and it will be made according to their choice and is included in the menu. The cutting of the cake happens around 11:30pm, and it’s an event in itself. It happens outdoors, where a special table is set up with the champagne and the cake and it comes with a unique show of fireworks!!
Our honeymoon… we went to Croatia for 10 days. We visited Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Split. It was relaxing and amazing after spending a few days with the family in Portugal after the wedding. After the trip we returned to the USA.
My favourite part of the wedding day… The Church ceremony was especially beautiful. Taking vows in front of God and our family was very special. It was lovely watching my husband being walked up the aisle by his parents and to watch something different than our usual tradition, but that meant so much to them. I walked up the aisle with the flower girl trailing behind holding my veil…very special ceremony.
My piece of advice for other couples… The day flies by, it’s important to have a good time and make memories. Try not to stress about details and live in the moment.
Don’t worry so much about things you cannot control, like the weather, or things not going according to plan…those are not the moments you will remember from that day. Everything has a solution and sometimes when you have to improvise, you make the best memories. This day is not about things,
plans, and perfection…it’s about happiness, joy and making memories with your loved ones.
Wedding venue: Quinta das Oliveiras, Leiria district, Portugal | Photographer: Tara Donoghue Photography | Videographer: Bruno Santana | Lunchtime music: Cantigas na Eira | Evening music: Elsa Gomes Entertainer | Hair and makeup: Natasha Cangas | Dress: Maggie Sottero | Suit: Ralph Lauren
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.