Real Wedding – Portugal Was The Perfect Fit

05/03/2014 |

You Mean The World To Me

Jessie & Elliot   ♥   Lisbon, Portugal

Photographer:   Piteira Photography


All of the pieces fell flawlessly into place for Jessie and Elliot’s destination wedding.

As they searched for somewhere to become husband and wife, they were drawn to picturesque Portugal where they had spent their first holiday together and where they truly fell in love. With such a special meaning to them both, this lovely locale appeared to be the perfect fit.


In pursuit of the ideal venue they discovered the dreamy Quinta de Sant’Ana (what a find!) and chose to hold their intimate reception in the wildly romantic, rolling vineyards surrounding this magnificent manor house.


The stunning location was infused with Jessie and Elliot’s personality with a delicately decorated ribbon alter, luscious lavender detailing and Jessie even made her own dress from the fabric of a vintage dress that she had found and with a little helping hand from a talented tailor.


This is the kind of wedding you wish you’d had an invite to, relaxed and informal and full of fun, yet oh-so-elegant, wonderfully whimsical and pretty as a picture all at the same time.

Jessie was right – Portugal really was the perfect fit.


You Mean The World To Me

You Mean The World To Me


Piteira Photography:

“There are so many things that we loved about Jessie and Elliot’s wedding that it’s difficult to even know where to start… Right from the very first emails we knew that these guys had something special going on and Jessie’s efficiency and organisation skills are just out of this world… she kept in constant contact with us throughout the planning and when she asked us for suggestions as to what time the light would be best for the ceremony, and which way the altar should be positioned in relation to the sun, it was right there that we knew we had booked one of the most awesome brides ever.”


You Mean The World To Me

You Mean The World To Me


“Their ceremony was one of the most beautiful we have ever witnessed, not just because of the evening light (although that definitely helped!) but because Jessie and Elliot incorporated many little gestures and traditions from their collective family heritage…to honour Elliots Swedish roots they walked into the ceremony together, signifying equality in marriage; they passed their wedding rings around for their friends and family to bless before exchanging them with one another… and many other little traditions that made their day truly about them. It was everything we love in a wedding day and totally our style, from the preparations at the Aldeia de Mata Pequena (such a beautiful place!) to the intimate evening ceremony in the vineyards at the Quinta de Sant’Ana and we honestly loved every minute of it, thank you guys for choosing us to be a part of your amazing day and for your kind hearts and generous spirits, we wish you every happiness for the future.”


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Jessie says:

“People say that Paris is the most romantic city in Europe but our love story began in Portugal. Well technically it began in Ethiopia, where we were working, but Portugal was the destination of our first vacation and where we truly fell in love with each other. So when deciding on a wedding location, Portugal was the perfect fit.”


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“Once we decided on the country we spent hours researching venues – quintas, hotels, vineyards, pousadas, you name it. We chose Quinta de Sant’Ana because it really was the perfect fit. Anne and her husband run a beautiful vineyard, guest house, and wedding venue and could not have been more helpful. The Quinta’s grounds are stunningly beautiful and offered us a number of spaces for each part of the wedding. The ceremony was held overlooking the lush vineyards, the cocktail reception was in the courtyard and wine cellar, dinner was in their reception hall and dancing was in the old theatre. And to top it off, Anne was fantastic. She responded right away to all my questions and took care of everything from catering to flowers to hiring transport. ”


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“As for the dress, choosing the right one was a little more challenging. After trying on numerous dresses, I finally decide to just make my own. We bought an (almost) vintage dress from a local wedding store that had a long train. A local tailor then used the lace from the train to craft a beautiful top to the dress that I designed. It was a little stressful but ended with a fantastic result. As for my hair, we didn’t have time for a trial hair appointment but Lena, my hairstylist, was great. Even though we could only communicate with hand gestures (I didn’t speak Portuguese and she didn’t speak English), she managed to create a look that was even better than planned. And for make-up, my now mother-in-law, a professional esthetician, created a beautiful and natural look for me.”


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Ceremony music:

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“For the theme of the wedding, we wanted something that reflected our personality but also highlighted the beauty of the venue. Since it was a destination wedding we were limited in the amount of DIY we could do. We wanted to create a vintage romantic atmosphere with a simple color palette and high quality fabrics and ribbons. By focusing on a few special elements we were able to spend more to create a designer look. We wanted things to be really personal and tried to incorporate all the things that we love. We used lavender throughout the decor, flowers, and meal and brought some special Ethiopian tej (honey wine) glasses to use as vases.”


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What were the highlights and your favourite memories from the day?

  • “Our favorite moment of the day was the ceremony. We wrote our entire ceremony from scratch and had a good friend officiate. Through the ceremony we were able to involve most of the guests and honor our family heritage. Dinner was also amazing. Quinta de Sant’Ana serves excellent food and wine. My family is still talking about the pork cheeks!”


  • “Now a year plus away, the most memorable moments are the funny ones. Elliot’s favorite memory is the drunken karaoke version of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ on the bus ride home (appropriate since we were living in Africa at the time.) My favourite funny memory is when I slipped on the hardwood floor returning from a bathroom break during dinner. I somehow managed to slip, fall on my butt, and pop back up again with only my three best friends noticing. I’m notoriously clumsy, and this little secret fall cracked them up for a good 30 minutes.”


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Do you have any advice for couples who are looking to get married in Portugal?

  • “A destination wedding was perfect for us. We were living abroad and had not been able to spend much time with our friends and family the few years before our wedding. Having a small, intimate destination wedding meant that we were able to have a week-long vacation with 24 of our closest friends and family, and spend quality time with each of them.”


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First dance:

Dance floor classics:

  • LCD Soundsystem, Brownbird Rudy Relic, Daft Punk

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Venue and suppliers:

Photographer – Piteira Photography / Venue, Transport, Florists, Catering – Quinta de Sant’Ana / Wedding planner – Something Borrowed / Bridal make-up – Susan Wright (also mother of the groom) Radiant Day Spa, Huntsville, AL USA / Bride’s dress – vintage / Musicians – Rui Franjas / DJ – Jukebox /


Comments (2)

  1. The different shades of purple mixing is just perfect! I may be biased since this is my fave color but oh well! Beautiful work by the team and congrats to the couple!