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A Champagne and Dusty Pink Wedding in Portugal

“We went for a rustic theme with champagne and dusty pink with a lot of greenery.”

Bride and groom: Lee Lillie (was Calwell) Mark Lillie

Length of engagement: 1 Year and 6 months

Wedding Date: 12th August 2017

Wedding location: Sao Rafael Atlantico, Albuferia, Portugal

Photographer: Portugal Wedding Photographer

We met… Mark and I met in 2012 at a Primary school where we both worked in Sunderland.

Our proposal… Being from Northern Ireland and Mark from Sunderland we normally don’t spend Christmas together, we spend it with our own families. So each year we have our own Christmas together in our own home the weekend before. After opening our presents Mark said he had one present left for me and he handed me a Christmas Bauble. I opened the clasp and inside, sitting on a bed of white feathers was the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen. Next thing I know Mark is down on one knee asking to spend the rest of his life with me… It truly was a magical moment that I will never forget!

Our wedding theme/colours… We went for a rustic theme with champagne and dusty pink with a lot of greenery.

My dress… My dress was a Pronovious Dress (Olympia). I added my own little touches such as floor-length buttons to make it bespoke. I also had a floor -length veil edged with pearls.

My hair and make up… For my hair I went for a classy up-do as I wanted to show off the amazing details in the back of my dress. And make up I went for something natural that tied in with my theme.


His suit… Mark went for a sharp Navy suit, Navy Dickie bow with brown shoes and belt.

What our bridal party wore… The girls wore floor-length champagne dresses from ASOS. The boys wore matching navy trousers, bow tie with brown shoes and belt.

Our ceremony… We had a stunning outdoor ceremony with breathtaking views looking over Sao Rafael Beach.

We chose our photographer because… I had researched numerous photographers in Portugal and there wasn’t any standing out. Then I came across ‘Portugal Wedding Photographer’ on Instagram and I just loved how natural and bright her pictures were. She captured our day perfectly!

We chose our wedding coordinator because… A friend of mine recently got married in Portugal and had recommended Carla from Sonho a Dois. I am so glad I chose her. She made sure the day ran absolutely perfectly and I couldn’t have done it without her help.

We chose our venue because… We have a place in Portugal and have been visiting Portugal for years! It has kind of become a second home to us. So we knew we wanted to get married here. We had looked at many venues but Sao Rafael Atlantico stood out from all the rest.

Our menu… with our wedding being abroad, we wanted our day to be relaxed and chilled so we went for a Buffett option. The food was outstanding, our guests still comment on how delicious it was!

Our honeymoon… We have booked our honeymoon to the Maldives next year.

My favourite part of the wedding day… people ask me this question all the time and I find it so hard to answer. Everything exceeded my expectations from getting ready with the most incredible bridal party, the breathtaking ceremony, the saxophonist during the cocktail hour and the speeches. But one moment where I looked around and was filled with pure love and happiness was during our first dance. We danced to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran while our loved ones waved sparklers in the night sky. It was a picture perfect moment! I didn’t stop smiling all day!

My piece of advice for other brides… If getting married abroad I would definitely get a wedding planner as I couldn’t have had the day I did without her expertise and knowledge! One last tip, enjoy every moment and the day goes by so quickly and you will be wishing you could do it all over again.



Venue: Sao Rafael Atlántico | Dress: Pronovias Olympia | Photographer: Portugal Wedding Photographer | Videographer: Maria Imaginaria | Florist/Stationary: Oura Flores | Wedding Planner: Carla from Sonho a Dois | Band: Nicole Silver and band | Saxophonist: Mr Sax | DJ: DJ Tiggy | Celebrant: Leonard Beard | Cake: So Good Algarve

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

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.

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