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A Fun-Filled Destination Wedding in Portugal

“Pauric and I decided that we would like to see each other before our ceremony, just to have a few moments to ourselves and I’m so glad we did.”

The couple: Adrienne & Pauric Gallen
Length of engagement: 18 months | Wedding date: 7th July 2017
Wedding venue: Quinta do Hespanhol, Portugal
Photographers: Claudia Casal – Hello Twiggs

We met… We met when we were in school but we didn’t get together until years later though when I came home from abroad at Christmas for a few months and then never went back!

Our proposal… I had always said I wouldn’t want to get engaged around Christmas time so Pauric decided to take me to our favourite beach, in a storm, on Christmas eve to propose! It took a serious amount of persuading to get me there and when I did actually realise what was happening I almost backed into the sea with shock but it was absolutely lovely and made for a great story too considering the amount of moaning I did on the drive down!

His suit… Pauric’s suit was Remus Uomo and came from Black Tie in Derry. They had a great selection and we hired the boys’ suits from there too.

My hair and make up… My make-up was done by Rita Amorim and her friend (also Rita) did my hair. They were recommended to me by our photographer and I was so glad she did because they were just lovely and did a fabulous job! The girls met me in Lisbon a few months before the wedding to do a trial and were so chilled and relaxed. They really listened to what my bridesmaids and I were looking for and were great on the day. I couldn’t recommend them enough to brides travelling to Portugal for a wedding!

What our bridal party wore… Sinead and Emma wore Needle and Thread dresses. I didn’t have particular colours in mind for my bridesmaids but loved the dusty blue of these dresses with their soft tulle skirts.

Our ceremony… We opted to have a civil ceremony because Portugal is one of the few countries where it is possible to have your legal ceremony there, without having had any ceremony at home or having to be a resident in the country. We loved the idea of getting married outside and the area the Quinta uses for their ceremonies is absolutely gorgeous! The trees surrounding the clearing and the simple, natural décor they use was exactly what we wanted.

My dress… I loved the House of Mooshki dresses so I was thrilled when Vintage Pearl in Galway city was having a trunk show because it can be hard to find stockists in Ireland. It was the only appointment I made and about four dresses in I knew Jocelyn was the one for me! We’ll dance pretty much anywhere if the right song is playing so I couldn’t think of having a long dress that would get in the way and having spent months scouring the internet for my shoes – I wanted them to be seen! Michelle in Vintage Pearl was absolutely lovely and her boutique really is a hidden gem of unique and unusual dresses! My veil had belonged to my mum and had little appliqué flowers along the edges to it went really well with my dress.

Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t go in too much for a theme or for particular colours for the wedding. I really liked the idea of a rustic feel to go with the venue so a lot of the finer details were handmade and after we chose the bridesmaids dresses, that shade of blue just seemed to continue through other things.

We chose our photographer because… We actually met Claudia (Hello Twiggs) before going to view our venue and in my head I had decided that even if we got married at home, I would want to fly her over! She was the nicest person to work with and actually gave us some of the most useful advice and tips we got. The fact that she knew the venue so well and spoke so highly of their service was a huge contributing factor to us deciding to get married abroad. Claudia is very much into more natural photos and the light and colour in her photos is stunning! Having her there on the day was like having a friend with you throughout the day and we were over the moon with our photos!

We chose our venue because… We were travelling to Lisbon shortly after getting engaged to see friends who mentioned that they had been to a wedding in the nearby Quinta do Hespanhol and that we might want to check it out! We hadn’t really started looking at venues or thinking about the wedding yet but it was only half an hour from Lisbon by bus so we decided to check it out! When we saw the Quinta we completely fell for it! Everything about it was perfect; from the gardens and the different buildings to the drinks and reception areas! Ana and her team are so professional and were open to absolutely anything. They have weddings down to a fine art!

Our menu… We wanted to try to mix typical Portuguese cuisine with something a little more familiar for our Irish guests when choosing our menu, as well as considering the summer heat.
In the end we chose melon wrapped in prosciutto as a starter. This was followed by a fish course of traditional Bacalhau with coriander, lemon and garlic, and then a main of sirloin roast with wild mushrooms. Our dessert was caramel ice-cream with meringue and butterscotch sauce! Yum!

My favourite part of the wedding day… Pauric and I decided that we would like to see each other before our ceremony, just to have a few moments to ourselves and I’m so glad we did. It meant that the first time we got to see each other wasn’t with everyone else looking on and we could have a few minutes to hug and chat and be excited together! The day is so busy once the ceremony begins, so it was lovely just to have those few minutes together.

My piece of advice for other couples… We made all the decisions for the wedding together and the result was a day which reflected both our personalities and which we both felt was absolutely perfect! We would advise other couples to plan the day they want and not a day that tries to be everything for everyone there.

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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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