Wedding Week: Day 6. Our Wedding at Quinta de Sant’Ana, Gradil, Portugal!!

31 August 2017. Quinta de Sant’Ana, Gradil, Portugal. WEDDING DAY!! Sixth full day in Europe. 


Quinta de Sant’Ana. Gradil, Portugal.

Ahhh, it was finally wedding day! The morning started off a bit hectic. I woke up on time and had everything ready to go, but calling taxis was a bit of an issue (we ordered 2 but only one came), Dan still could not tie his bowtie, and I missed breakfast. Dan was also VERY flustered about the taxi situation. If you know Dan, you know what I’m talking about (haha, sorry Dan!)! We finally ended up with two taxis, all of our dresses in the back, and me, Michelle, Pryor, Betty, and Joanne were off to Quinta de Sant’Ana around 10h. After a bit of crazy European driving (including backing down a very busy highway…), we arrived at Quinta de Sant’Ana right at 11:00 – exactly as planned! 


The drive to Quinta de Sant’Ana. This is just before we arrived in Gradil, Portugal.


QSA. The calm before the storm.

Upon arrival, we checked in with my wedding planner, Alex, and the owner of Quinta de Sant’Ana, Anne (who is completely amazing!), and handed off all of our personal touches that we brought from the US (programs, Mr. & Mrs. sign, fans, cake topper, etc.). We then took a quick self-guided tour of the property, as Dan & I were the only guests who had seen it prevously. As hoped, it was gorgeous and the weather was perfect!! Dan also texted me a picture of his tied bowtie – phew!!


The dining room before – note the ecuyplatus on the side. It will later turn into a forest!


A working vineyard up until the wedding!


A tied bowtie!

Around 11h45, our photographers, make-up artist, and hair dresser arrived, so it was time to get down to business. We also (finally) took the dress out of the bag and hung it up. Thankfully, it made the trip in perfect condition!


Dress made it 3,353 miles! So did the hanger – thanks, Michelle!


Hair, with my fabulous hair stylist, Nuno de Souto.


Betty in makeup with the Vogue-famous Joana Moreira. Joana was SO good!

Around 12h, Quinta de Sant’Ana brought out a fruit plate and a bottle of champagne for the ladies room, and around 14h Quinta de Sant’Ana brought out our pre-ordered lunch – salad, mini ham sandwiches, mini salmon sandwiches, and veal croquettes! Hair and make-up went quicker than I expected and pretty soon we heard the boys arrive – meaning Dan, Craig, Alan, and Tony. 


Just outside of the ladies’ dressing room.


Champs & fruit. Wedding lunch of champions.


Super delicious.

Around 3h my friend Melanie and her husband from New Jersey, who got married the day after us at the same venue (!), stopped by to say hello! By this point, I was starving and starting to get quite nervous! We all got dressed just in time for a few photographs of the girls before the wedding! The setting was simply gorgeous.



Ah, things started going very quickly at this point, and just before 16h30, we were in place for the wedding!! 


Welcome to our wedding!

The ceremony was held outside and took place right next to the vineyard, went beautifully and everything was just perfect. Dan’s Aunt Di and our friend Pryor did readings, and Samantha Gardner officiated the wedding.  She had the BEST British accent! Seriously, best wedding.


Pre-wedding setup!


Our wedding program.


Quinta de Sant’Ana vineyards!


Show time.


The ceremony!

Our cocktail hour (err, hours) started promptly after the reception and ended up lasting about 2 hours. A live jazz band, the Cottas Club, played during our cocktail hour, while Quinta de Sant’Ana served cod and corriander pastries, prawn pastries, veal meatballs, chicken satay, mozzarella, pesto and plum tomoato bread, watermelon, jalapeno and feta bites, a variety of cold soups, and Mafra bread with olive oil, Serrano ham and Serra cheese, and a traditional Tibornia (a type of fresh bread) with the most delicious olive oil! Drinks consisted of sparkling wine, a rose cocktail with berries and mint, Bucks Fizz cocktails, beer, homemade lemonade, and fruit juices. So good.


Hello cocktail hour!




Cocktail ready.


Cottas Club.


Starting the cocktail hour with the Cottas Club.


Traditional tibornia.


Dan’s parents at the Cocktail Hour!


My parents dancing.


The cutest vineyard dog who joined the party.

Quinta de Sant’Ana also has a Catholic chapel from 1633 on premises that was open during our cocktail hour for our guests to visit.  It was quite stunning! And, as a bonus, Quinta de Sant’Ana set up a wine tasting for all of our guests during the cocktail hour with a tasting of about 8 wines paired with Portuguese cheese, nuts, and dried fruits! Dan and I snuck away during some of the cocktail hour to take pictures and ended up pushing our dinner back just so we could partake in the wine tasting.


17th Century Chapel from the outside.


Interior of the chapel. Gorgeous blue tiles line the walls.


Missing the party to take wedding pictures.


Pryor crashed our private photo session… #waresoexcited.


Private wine tasting!


Our hostess remembered us from when we previously visited!


Some of our guests wine tasting.

Eventually, all of our guests were taken into the dining room for dinner and toasts! But, not before a grand picture on the iconic yellow staircase! This one is just me and Dan, but we have one of our entire wedding! The dining room was set up beautifully, complete with candles and a eucalyptus forest hanging from the ceiling!


Dan & me.


The dining room.


Eucalyptus Forest.


Dining room set up.

Dan and I entered the dining room to Hulapalu by Andreas Gabalier a/k/a the Elvis of the Alps, and was followed by lovely speeches by Craig, Pryor, and Michelle. And also, an outfit change by Dan (note he is now wearing a white dinner jacket…). We toasted with a limited sparkling red that was just finished by Quinta de Sant’Ana – it was not even yet bottled for the public.


Big entrance – pre Dan’s outfit change!


Craig’s speech!


Shot of the group from Michelle’s speech!

Dinner was served right after the speeches and consisted of a five course dinner. Our first course was goat cheese in a filo pastry with pumpkin jam and a watercress salad with French dressing. Second course, bacalhau QSA (a/k/a a fillet of half cured cod, chick pea puré, tomato confit, spinach and a extra virgin olive oil). Third course, a palate cleansing sorbet. Fourth course, Iberian pork cheeks with mashed sweet potato and turnip greens. And finally, fifth course, Trilogia QSA (a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, strawberry and summer berry sauce). All of the food was absolutely fantastic and guests were offered seconds of the fish and meat course. Red and white wine, as well as coffee and tea, were served with dinner.


Fleming & Dan!


Goat cheese pastry.


Bacalhau QSA!


Dan and his Uncle Tommy with his empty sorbet glass…yes, it was served in a sparking wine glass.


Pork cheeks!


Trilogia QSA




Dan & me at dinner.

After dinner, everyone adjourned to the patio area for fireworks and the cutting of our red velvet wedding cake. The cake was immediately followed by the first dance to Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by the Four Seasons.


Wedding cake!


First dance.


One more.


Father-daughter dance.


Dan & his mother.

Post first dances, Quinta de Sant’Ana set out a lovely spread of cheese and desserts and most of the party took to the dance floor until 2 AM – even Dan’s 93 year old Nonni and our youngest guest, who turned 2 at midnight (both were total champs!). The party got a little crazy, but I’ll save everyone and not share most of those pictures! Shortly before everyone left, Quinta de Sant’Ana brought around caldo verde, mini bifana sandwiches, and warm pastel de natas! These were all very much needed. The bus picked everyone up around 2h to take us back to Ericeira (complete with the driver handing out plastic bags to everyone on the bus…) In any case, our wedding was super, super fun!! Cheers!


The fabulous cheese and dessert spread!


One of my favorites.


Still dancing.


Betty getting down with Andree.


Dancing Danny.


Tony at the end of the party.

Stolen photo creds: Joanne Cozzi, The Davins, Rachel Gallagher, The Perrys, Michelle, and probably a few others!

I would note that all of the pictures on this post are non-professional. What talented friends I have! We did, however, hire the MOST TALENTED AND AWESOME professional photographers, The Framers of Lisbon, Portugal, and I will be sharing some of their fabulous work in an upcoming post!

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One thought on “Wedding Week: Day 6. Our Wedding at Quinta de Sant’Ana, Gradil, Portugal!!

  1. Beautiful photos! I’m looking at this same venue for a wedding, would you mind emailing me so I could get your opinion? Thank you!

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