We always knew travelling had changed our lives. You step outside that plane and all of a sudden your boarders are wider and your soul is full. You look across that beautiful square you had only seen in pictures before and your heart becomes lighter, happier. You see the smile of a stranger who’s trying to point you the right direction even though you don’t speak the same language and you feel part of the world. Travelling makes us miss our homes and love our country, but it also makes us feel part of something much bigger. And every time we go on our adventures we return better and happier people. Every journey is about learning, changing and evolving. And every trip builds and rebuilds who we are.
For us, marrying was never really a possibility. Even though we both have our special kind of faith, we are very pragmatic and deeply unreligious. The simple thought of spending tons of money and time with a parade of futilities just to impress guests seemed a waist of our resources. And that was when, once again, a trip changed our fates.
THE DECISION OF GETTING MARRIED
Back in October 2017, we visited Copenhagen as we had long wanted to discover the admirable country of Denmark. We were far from thinking this trip would have such a big impact in our lives! Passing-by the City Hall, we found a beautiful small family attending what seemed to be the simplest and most picturesque wedding we had seen. It was so intimate, so delicate and warm that it immediately became a prime example of what we wanted our wedding to be.
That was when we realized: this doesn’t have to be about showing off in a series of nonsense traditions. The wedding itself can have a much deeper meaning and be the perfect demonstration of someone’s love and relationship. And why not? Why shouldn’t we gather our loved ones and celebrate? We found each other in a planet with billions of people and we are convinced we are each other’s soul mate. We believe beating those odds is deserving of a celebration! All these thoughts started to flood our minds and we knew, ever since that moment in Denmark, we would end up getting married! Having a beautiful day to celebrate our love next to those we most adore seemed a very good idea after all. Later that year, in December, came the proposal (very intimate and personal, just like us) and thus began the amazing adventure of planning a travel themed wedding with only round 6 months to go.
PLANNING OUR TRAVEL THEMED WEDDING
Our first step was to determine who to invite to be a part of our big day. The beautiful idea of an intimate ceremony with just a dozen of family members and friends rapidly vanished – and of course it did, because Portuguese families are pure Latin! In total, we had 88 guests: the people we love the most in this planet and some distant relatives we hadn’t seen in a while, just like tradition obliges. Now, looking back, we don’t regret any of it. It was a wonderful day and both families seemed to very much enjoy such an anticipated day of celebration.
We chose to get married in a beautiful venue called Quinta Casa Lago dos Cisnes, located in Paços de Ferreira, a small town which is just 1-hour away Porto. It was the perfect location for a pleasant outdoor ceremony that allowed everybody to enjoy the sunny days of July. And since this is a Portuguese wedding, we wanted to make sure every guest got to enjoy plenty of good food.
We decided our weeding should represent our preferences and personalities and, therefore, wanted a very simple decoration, with lots of nature and the obvious main theme: TRAVELS!
Wanting to put our hearts out for this, for our travel themed wedding we made sure every detail had a special meaning.
We choose to spread gypsophilas all across the garden and the tables – this cute simple flower is delicate and elegant, just like we intended our wedding to be. Since these look like little flakes of snow, it also reminded us of our trip to Switzerland, so it was an easy pick! The roses are also a special flower to us, since the roses Bruno offered me in our first trip together (to Rome) are still kept in our home.
As for the table centerpieces, we decided to make these ourselves. Even though we are not particularly talented when it comes to arts and crafts, we framed some of our memorabilia (like plane tickets, city maps, train tickets, etc) and baptized each table with the name of a city we loved to visit. This was a very lowcost way of making sure our guests had a little bit of our hearts in each table. The result was totally unexpected but very heartwarming: we couldn’t bring any of our frames back home because our guests wanted to keep them as a memory of such beautiful day.
Our invitations were designed by our talented cousin Ana Rita Arcos and were absolutely perfect! The colors, the world map, the vintage vibe – everything that represented our travel themed wedding!
On the other hand, our wedding rings were kept by the best man inside a cute box we brought from Istanbul. It used to be a candy box, filled with delicious Turkish delights, but now has a much stronger meaning for all of us – not only does it represent our love for travels, but it is also a reminder of the very first trip we made with our best man and maid of honor, and because of that we had to include it!
Additionally, to keep the travel themed wedding on the go, we asked every guest to sign us some special messages. Instead of using the traditional books created for that purpose, we chose a book about great destinations around the world. Also, as a souvenir from our wedding, we presented our guests with actual souvenirs from Porto (the city where we live and where this love came to be) and gave them cork bookmarks printed with Porto images and with our names and the special date in handwritting – a simple gift but very meaningful.
THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM
A travel themed wedding wouldn’t be complete without a set of bride and groom matching the theme! Bruno wore a classic dark blue suit, with a bowtie. I wore a vintage lace dress in a soft tone of old pink. As a special touch: gypsophilas in my hair and a bouquet of flowers made entirely of fabric, offered and made by the mother of our maid of honor. We presented ourselves with simple, vintage and extremely low-cost outfits! Both of our looks were attained by the modest amount of 700€, give or take.
THE BRIDAL PARTY
To keep focus of our travel themed wedding, we wanted our best men troupe to wear suspenders and bowties. Our girls had gypsophilas in their hair and dressed in all shades of blue – the color of the sky, the color of the sea, the color of our favorite domes.
As I mentioned earlier, religion is not really a part of our lives, so our travel themed wedding was made official through a civil ceremony. We kept it simple, casual, with some laughter and tears. And because we intended to make the most of this day, we shared personal vows both of us prepared.
Throughout the entire process of planning this day, everybody seemed to question us how nervous we felt. Have you been sleeping? Are you anxious? Do you feel ok? We were surprised by all of these questions. It looks that wedding-planning and anxiety are somehow linked. But it doesn’t have to be like this. From start to bottom, we faced this adventure the same way we face our travels: with great joy and gratitude. We never focused on what could go wrong and we made sure we weren’t wasting any time being perfectionists and freaking out about the colours of the napkins. It was all about making our guests feel welcome and spreading the love! As we made room for all of this spontaneity, the results were magnificent: one of the happiest days of our lives and certainly a day we will never forget!
We want to thank all of our friends and family members who helped us make this day a beautiful and endearing memory of love and joy.
All the photos in this article belong to our talented friend Vasco Castro. Thank you for immortalizing our travel themed wedding!