Oh gosh, how I love my international couples. Like Charlie and Rita. They met in Tanzania, he had taken a year off to teach Science at an international school, and she was there doing development work with a women’s rights organization.
And where did they get engaged? On holiday in Vietnam! “We splurged on an amazing dinner at a posh Vietnamese restaurant in Hanoi and when we got back to our hotel, Charlie had secretly decorated it with rose petals shaped as a heart on the bed with the ring in the middle. (He also sprinkled around some of my favourite treat, peanut M&Ms!) Poor thing, the only bottle of champagne he could get his hands on in Vietnam was a horrible red Russian champagne. Of course, I was over the moon just at the gesture!”
Their amazing love story led them to exchange their wedding vows on a beach in Algarve, Portugal. Thank you Azaustre Fotografo for letting us be part of their day through these images…
From the bride: “We wanted a beach wedding and I was born in Portugal. I still have a lot of family there, so it made sense to have the wedding there. And when I saw the venue there was no other option!”
What advice would you give brides to be regarding organizing a destination wedding? “Make sure you find a super organized and trustworthy wedding planner. Someone who knows the area very well and has used the venue previously. Be very specific with all the details you want – use pictures from the internet, magazines, etc. Even though I wanted a beach wedding, I was very certain I wanted it to be quite bohemian and relaxed.”
“Also, visit the venue before deciding – pictures do not do places justice! It may be a bit costly flying to the venue before the wedding but you really need to get a feel for the place. Another point: The laid back attitude of some Mediterranean places means having to be a bit forceful with getting things in writing and contracts signed.”
And my favorite piece of advice from the bride: “If all does not go to plan, don’t worry! We had a lot of mishaps with decorations and organisation on the day. Despite how passionate I was about the overall look and feeling of the wedding, in the end, the most important thing was I married the man I love and my family and friends were with us to celebrate. I was barefoot on the beach at sunset, and the food was amazing!! A dream come true!”
Photography: Azaustre Fotógrafo // Ceremony location: Tres Iramaos Beach, Alvor, Portugal // Dinner & reception: O Luis Restaurant (further down the same beach) // Bride’s dress: J Crew // Bride’s foot jewellery: Island Importer // Bride’s shoes and necklace: Accessorize // Groom’s attire: The Highlands Store, Great Russell Street, London // Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ted Baker // Groomsmen attire: Ted Baker // Favors: Mini bottles of Port wine, chocolate toys for the little ones (the gift labels were all handmade by an army of friends and family) // Invitations: Bride and groom designed their own e-vites // More DIY details: The seating plan was a world map with handmade postcards Charlie and I designed – we wanted to really incorporate our love for travelling and learning about the world. We made personalized Trivial Pursuit cards that went on each table to be used as an ice-breaker for guests.