Our proposal… Was in New Zealand on a blustery day at Milford Sound, one year on.
Our wedding theme/colours… Was neutrals, we didn’t actually want a colour scheme. The theme was relaxed and home grown! We wanted our wedding to feel like a big relaxed garden party so that’s exactly what we did – with a few special extras to make it so memorable.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… my bridesmaid’s mum made us rows of personalised bunting it was absolutely beautiful. We got net curtains to make lots of wraps for posts and used lots of battery lights in the trees. My arty bridesmaid made lots of handwritten signs and posters and the other girls spent hours bunching together paper flowers for the railings. My mum personalised some decorations from a newspaper bought on the day I was born that we hung from the trees and my uncle made little tee pee tripods from garden sticks to hang white lanterns from. It was a real team effort!
My dress… Was a little lace crop top and a really high waisted tulle skirt with flip flops! As soon as the dancing started, I changed into some white denim shorts.
My hair and makeup… Was relaxed. My sister did my makeup and a lady from the local salon Jayne Jackson came to do all the girls hair. There wasn’t a theme or style I just asked the girls to request what they wanted to feel happy, they all ended up with loose updos and we all had some fresh flowers.
His suit… Was non-existent! Having been to a wedding a month or so earlier in England with the sun shining and Chris feeling uncomfortable, hot and sweaty in a suit, I encouraged him to go smart casual to get married so that he could enjoy the day. It took a little persuasion but it really paid off, he looked so smart. His blue shorts were a different colour to the guests’ so he was still set apart as the groom. The pop of colour in the photos looks great too and he was so much happier to have freedom from a suit and tie.
What our bridal party wore… The bridesmaids chose to wear the same. They wore pale dusky pink tulle skirts which worked well with mine, and a lined white silky vest top with a bow detail on the shoulders. Nothing too formal or too clingy in the sunshine.
Our ceremony… Was super chilled, people sat down with their prosecco and beers! We had a civil ceremony which required a translator too and the pair were great. We made our own personal vows. We had a poem read by my uncle that was written by my 97 year old grandad, a short but sweet poem read by Chris’ sister and a light hearted verse to finish on that we personalised.
We chose our photographer because… The shots on Charlotte’s website were exactly the relaxed and natural style we were after.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… We were lucky that Cheryl who owns the villa and Liza who did the food put us in contact with a few local businesses that helped us on our way. Otherwise google was basically our wedding coordinator!
We chose our venue because…it’s absolutely stunning and so private. It was a blank canvas for us to be able to make it completely as we envisaged
Our menu… was like a really posh barbeque spread! We had lamb and prawns and wonderful salads and dips and paellas. It was simply delicious. We kept it informal to suit the rest of the day, no table plans and no top table and everyone just got given a plate and went up buffet style. I think just about everyone went back for more, people still talk to us about how good the food was.
Our honeymoon… will be this October in Botswana, camping on safari.
My favourite part of the wedding day… reading our vows with our friends and family there against such a beautiful backdrop.
My piece of advice for other couples… Don’t get caught up in what you think you should have. Do exactly what you want, have your day your way.
Wedding venue: Figs on the Funcho, Algarve, Portugal | Photographer: Mario from Charlotte Jane Photography | DJ: Charlie from Kaleidosonix | Hair: Jayne Jackson | Dress: Department store, closed now | Bridesmaids dresses: Online | Caterer: Liza from The Fat Pig Hog Roast | Cake: Helen Walker | Celebrant: organised by Tania Fascia | Flower: Suzannah’s Flowers | Equipment hire: Algarve Marquees