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A Destination Wedding in Portugal Brimming with Gorgeous Details

“We even had a good luck sign from the seagulls as we were about to walk down the aisle – yes we got pooped on!”

The couple: Faye & Liam Shaw
Length of engagement: 2 years 9 months | Wedding date: May 29th 2017
Ceremony: Lady of the Rock – Puro Beach | Wedding location: Puro Beach Club, Vilamoura, Portugal
Wedding planner: Sonho a Dois Algarve Weddings

We met… We met when we were in school. Liam was a few years older than me and I was friends with his sister. Once I had the approval from her, we went out together.

Our proposal… Liam had planned on proposing in Thailand 2014 as we were going for Christmas but once he received my engagement ring he couldn’t hold out until then. In August 2014 I had been away for the weekend with my Mum to Jersey and he picked us up from the airport. Liam was desperate to go to our house on the way home before dropping my mum off which I didn’t understand (I thought he had damaged our new couch whilst I was away.) I went in to roses on the floor which spelt out ‘marry me’ surrounded by candles and Liam got down on one knee!

My hair and makeup… My hair was done by the lovely ladies of Sakura and makeup was done by Andreia… and again I just wanted it to be natural and effortless. I wanted my hair loose and to have a messy feel to it! Once the wind caught hold of it at Lady of the Rock I soon achieved the look I was going for!

My dress… My dress was Sottero and Midgley – it was only about the seventh dress I had tried on. I just loved how it felt on and it was one of the only wedding dresses I had tried with no sequins or diamantes which was something I really wanted to fit in with my natural rustic theme.

Our wedding theme/colours… Liam and I had always talked about having our wedding abroad to help to guarantee the weather! I wanted a rustic themed wedding with nothing being too neat and tidy from my hair down to my flowers. I wanted everything to have a natural and relaxed feel to it! I chose pale blue and blush for my theme colours as the pale blue would forever remind me of the sky and sea.

His suit… Liam decided against wearing a suit due to the warm weather and to fit in with our theme. He wore cropped trousers and a very tiny and faint dotted shirt which he had made. His groomsmen wore shorts (to help the relaxed aura) and they all had the same shirt. They had matching shoes and Liam searched Villamoura for matching belts on the wedding morning!

Our ceremony… Was perfect. It rained slightly when I was in the car and I hoped and prayed it wouldn’t be raining where we were heading! The views were breathtaking and when we arrived, the weather was perfect, not too hot no rain and a nice ‘breeze.’ The saxophone player made the hairs on my neck stand up as my Dad and I walked down the aisle. We even had a good luck sign from the seagulls as we were about to walk down the aisle – yes we got pooped on!

We chose our photographer because… We looked at Yes I do!- Algarve Wedding Photography’s previous work and his photography style was just what we were looking for… naturalistic! We didn’t want ‘set up’ photographs, we wanted the photographer to catch the joy and love of our special day as it occurred and he did just that!

We chose our venue because… we had been to a birthday party in 2015 in Puro Beach Club and the laid back and chic feel it had was just what myself and Liam were looking for. When I explained to Noelia where I wanted to get married, she shared some wedding photos that she had been a part of in the same location. She then went on to show me ‘Lady of the Rock’ and suggested I kept the ceremony location a secret from our guests – which we did! It was worth hearing and seeing everybody’s reactions to the idyllic views. Good food at our wedding was also something that was a high priority for me and Liam. Puro Beach Club and the Tivolli Hotel had great reviews for food which sealed the deal for us!

We chose our wedding coordinator because… when I was researching online, I saw that there was a wedding fair in Manchester and it was a Portuguese wedding planner. When I went to speak to Noelia from Sonho a Dois Algarve Weddings and told her where we wanted to get married, she instantly shared some pictures from a previous wedding that she had done there! She was so genuine and I knew she had my best interests at heart! I was never made to feel I had to agree to anything I didn’t want to, there were no language barriers and I went on to meet her two times after our initial meeting. On the day of our wedding, all our family and friends commented on the professionalism and genuine care that Noelia and her team had for us and our family on our special day.

What our bridal party wore… I had the bridesmaids dresses made by a local dressmaker in Liverpool. I loved the idea of them having one shouldered dresses and they flattered each bridesmaid. My older flower girls had blush sequin dresses form Monsoon along with the babies dresses which were also from Monsoon.

Our menu… We visited Vilamoura in the February before our wedding for a weekend of wedding planning and food tasting. The hotel treated us so well and couldn’t do enough for us. We had cream of asparagus soup with an oregano crostini followed by seafood puff pastry. Our main meal was supreme chicken stuffed with ricotta and spinach dauphinoise potatoes and madeira sauce. Lastly our dessert was a refreshing passion fruit mousse with coconut ice cream – perfect for a wedding abroad!

Our honeymoon… We holidayed after the wedding in Portugal for another six days and went on our main honeymoon (in the six week holidays-due to my job) We started off by going to Disneyland Florida for four days a 4 night stay in Miami and then a 7 night Carribean cruise- visiting St Thomas (AVI) Peurto Rico and Bahamas! It was our first time on a cruise and we cannot wait to do another one! Brilliant food drink and visiting lots of beautiful places.

My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s too hard to pick one part of the day! Arriving at the ‘Lady of the Rock’ and seeing the views and how it was all set up was amazing! And seeing everything that had been planned for us all come together. Sitting on the top table with my family looking down at all our guests who had travelled to Portugal to celebrate with us was a favourite part of my day and made me feel very special!

My piece of advice for other couples… Get a good wedding planner who takes away all the stress! I remember emailing mine the week before the wedding asking what I should be doing because I didn’t feel a bit stressed or panicky. She had everything under control and it was more perfect than we could have wished for!

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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