ELEGANCE IN THE ALGARVE
It’s beyond cold outside, so I’m bringing you a dose of sunshine with today’s gorgeously stylish wedding from Branco Prata. Georgia & James’ celebrated their marriage in a tiny village on the Portuguese Algarve, near the bride-to-be’s childhood home. Family played an important role throughout their wedding day, with Georgia’s mum crafting and sourcing props, family friends playing the all important helpful (& cute!) flower girl roles, and even the venue has a family connection! Planning their day in just 5 months, they kept things simple with pastel shades, summer florals, an after-church ice cream station and a relaxed summer party dress code.
James and I met when we were just 17, so by the time we got married we had been together for almost 8 years! We met at our local healthclub, where James has seen me chatting to my friends in the spa area- he then tried to find out who I was by asking around and eventually got my number and we went out together…James then proposed 8 years later exactly the same spot as he first saw me.
We didn’t have a long time to plan our wedding as we got engaged in December and got married in May, so really we just went with what we liked. We both really like a mix of old and new and wanted to create a romantic, intimate feel for our day. I grew up in Portugal and since moving back to England have always visited with my family. I took James to the Algarve for the first time a couple of years ago and we were sitting having dinner outside our venue and James commented that it would be a great place to have a wedding, we then asked if that was possible but they said no! As luck would have it we ended up having a family connection with the owner and so he agreed! Casavostra has a real family vibe whenever you visit and we’ve both had many dinners there with so it was really special to us and we wouldn’t have even looked anywhere else.
My wedding dress was the first that I tried on and i just loved the way it was fitted but not restrictive – I couldn’t think of anything worse than not feeling comfortable! I added straps to the original design and had the back taken down slightly… one of the things that drew me to the dress was that the bottom had tiny polka dots and when my mum got married she had polka dot sleeves, so it was meant to be! We had a few dance lessons in the lead up to the wedding and had a whole routine planned but as soon as I put my dress on I realised we couldn’t do it and so had to just perform the beginning! The wedding dance wasn’t really about putting on a big performance for our guests though, we just enjoyed having the lessons and messing around at home.
James doesn’t wear a suit for his job so was looking forward to wearing one on his wedding day – he was definite that he wanted a blue suit and that it would be a 3 piece. The dress code for the wedding was ‘frocks and smocks’ and by that we meant men in a casual suit and women in day dresses, but really the most important thing was that we wanted people to feel comfortable. Neither of us particularly like to be ultra dressed up and glamorous so we wanted our guests to join us by sporting more of a relaxed, holiday look.
I really don’t like cake and so that was really hard for me to find something that I liked the look of but also that I might eat. I scoured Pinterest and came across the design- its called a sandcastle cake and I loved it! We also had a candy buffet filled with our favourite sweets, I’m know for loving the blue and pink cola bottles as James used to pick me up from sixth form with a bag full of them! We also had an old fashioned ice cream cart for guests after the church – this went down really well for both kids and adults!
I just wanted the flowers to be really pretty and simple so we just went for pinks and white with peonies, roses and gypsophila hand tied or dotted around in different jars. We love initials too so we had some made from flowers for the top table and also a family friend had made some for the cake table :-) All of the table runners were handmade by my Mum, Auntie and I and most decorations were sourced by my Mum so every part of the day was really personal. There were lots of little signs dotted around which were sourced by by Mum on websites like Not on the High Streeet and Etsy as well as a floor decal on the dancefloor reading ‘Mr & Mrs Dayton’. Rather than a guestbook we had jenga bricks for each guest to sign, my mum surprised us with this and we loved it. It means that we can keep the game and play it with our children in the future.