Dan and I hosted our “rehearsal dinner” the night before our wedding at Quinta do Arneiro in Gradil, Portugal last summer! I have “rehearsal dinner” in quotes, because we did not actually have a wedding rehearsal (we winged it!); this was just a dinner the night before our wedding with all of our guests who were in town! The evening was fabulously fun, and Quinta do Arneiro was the most amazing venue that anyone can visit for a meal! Highly recommended!!
Nope, that’s not a Gray Malin picture, that is a photograph of Ericeira, Portugal!! As you may know, Dan and I got married near the famous surfing destination of Ericeira, Portugal last summer! I was originally going to write a post about Ericeira in the Summer as a follow up to Ericeira in November, but Ericeira is really just a small Portuguese beach town that acts as a beach getaway for Lisboetas and serious surfers. Ericeira is also beautiful, so here are some of my favorite pictures from Ericeira!
If you read this blog, you know that I got married near Lisbon, Portugal nearly a year ago. Due to requests from a number of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, here are my top 10 tips for planning a destination wedding! Side note – these are probably most applicable for those traveling to Europe (and particularly Portugal) from outside of Europe (I’m from New York).
# 1 – Get Married In A Destination That You Are Somewhat Familiar With, i.e. You Have Visited Before Your Wedding.
To be clear, if you have never visited a destination, do not have your wedding there. Your wedding, which will take months to plan, cost a small fortune, and stress you out to no end, should not be held at some place that you *think* is magical, but to which you have never even visited in person. Save that for your honeymoon. For your wedding, you need a basic understanding as to what you are getting yourself into, the destination, and the culture. We had visited Portugal 3 times before our wedding.
02.09.17. Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Ericeira, Portugal. 2 days married. Eighth full day in Europe.
Day 8. Wow, our final full day of our European wedding vacation! Since Day 7 was our day of rest (a la our Day at Sea circa 2010 – hello, Pryor!), I planned a full day excursion for everyone’s (everyone who was still in town, anyway) final day in Portugal! I used Tours by Jorge to plan a private day tour to Sintra, Portugal, with lunch and a stop at Cabo do Roca, all starting and ending at Hotel Vila Gale Ericeira! I was seriously the best bride… = )
01.09.17. Ericeira, Portugal. 1 day married! Seventh full day in Europe.
Ah, the morning after the wedding… We clearly missed breakfast, but work up earlier and less hungover than I expected! When we finally got ourselves together and down to the pool, most of our wedding guests were arriving, too. Everyone seemed pretty tired and hungover, but to have had a grand time and our wedding. Dan and I enjoyed a pool-side lunch of fries and a Somerbsy cider. The classic post-wedding carb overload. It was delightful.
31 August 2017. Quinta de Sant’Ana, Gradil, Portugal. WEDDING DAY!! Sixth full day in Europe.
Tuesday, 29.08.17. Ericeira, Portugal. 2 days until the wedding. Third full day in Europe.
Ahhhh, our fourth day in Portugal and 2 days before the wedding. Shit was start to get very real, as we were leaving for Ericeira today, hosting our first official wedding event this evening, and saying goodbye to Lisbon (temporarily, I’ll be back)!
Monday, 28.08.17. Lisbon, Portugal. 3 days until the wedding. Second full day in Europe.
Ah, Monday. Three days before our wedding and our third day in Lisbon! It was really nice not to have to go to work on a Monday or check email (#weddingweek – this would never happen otherwise). Dan and I woke up relatively early and went to breakfast around 9, where we ran into a lot of our guests! I, of course, had another croissant with Nutella…
Sunday, 27.08.17. Lisbon, Portugal. 4 days until the wedding. First full day in Europe.
Day 2 was everyone’s first full day in Lisbon, and it was a packed one! I organized a self-guided tour of Bélem for our guests who had arrived in Lisbon and an evening sail on the Tagus river during sunset. We also had dinner plans with Craig, Michelle, and Andree and Hotel Avenida Palace thew us a surprise sparking wine party! Needless to say, we started early, with a bus picking everyone up (well, 13 of us) at 9:00 AM (after Nutella croissants, of course!). While I think a few people were skeptical of my Portuguese bus renting abilities, our driver arrived early in a nice bus/van with room for everyone. He even spoke a tiny bit of English! Pro tip – if you are traveling with a large group, a bus rental is a FABULOUS idea.
Saturday, 26.08.17. Lisbon, Portugal. 5 days until the wedding. Arrival in Europe.
After a good 2 hours in the Art & Lounge lounge at Newark International Airport, the 9 of us flying from Newark to Lisbon together (me, Dan, Michelle, Andree, Craig, Betty, Tony, Aunt Di, and Nonni!) enjoyed a smooth flight across the Atlantic and arrived in Lisbon bright and early at 5:00 a.m…. A prearranged van picked us up from the airport and drove us directly to the Hotel Avenida Palace, our home for the next 3 nights. Although our rooms were not ready when we arrived (expected), Hotel Avenida Palace was super welcoming and gave us all free breakfast, which was an excellent way to start wedding week… Hotel Avenida Palace also has the most awesome croissants that are terribly tasty when dipped in Nutella! #whatweddingdiet?