Unveiling 5 Reasons Why Getting Married in Portugal is so Magical: Amor Awaits

Amor Awaits: Planning a Wedding can be such an excitement! Why is Getting Married in Portugal so Magical? How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

How is it Getting Married in Portugal

Get ready to discover the ins and outs of getting married in Portugal! From why it’s an amazing choice to the costs, legalities, and best options, we’ve got you covered.

TL;DR: Portugal offers a delightful combination of 300 days of sunny weather (1), budget-friendly options (2), exquisite cuisine (3), a welcoming environment for all religions and a safe setting (4), convenient international flight connections (5). It’s the perfect destination for your dream wedding.

Join us as we delve into everything you need to know about tying the knot in this beautiful country!

Couple standing in front of a tree in a famous region in portugal, telling me why is getting married in Portugal so great

Table of Contents

How much does it cost getting married in Portugal?

Congratulations on your upcoming destination wedding in Portugal! Planning a wedding can be an exciting and joyful experience, but it’s also important to consider the practical aspects, including costs and legal requirements.

Let’s talk about the budget first. You’ll be delighted to know that having a wedding in Portugal can be a more wallet-friendly option compared to other European destinations or the United States. A wedding for around 100 people in Portugal typically falls in the range of 18,000 to 25,000 euros.

Legal

Now, let’s dive into the legal stuff. Expats can tie the knot in Portugal, but there’s a small catch. To make it official, one of you must have resided in Portugal for at least 30 days before the big day. The authorities will ask for some paperwork, including valid passports, birth certificates, and a non-impediment certificate. Don’t worry, though; the cost for all this paperwork won’t break the bank at 130 euros. Just make sure to have those documents translated into Portuguese. Oh, and if you’re opting for a civil ceremony, you can choose between the Civil Registry Office or having a representative come to your chosen location. Just remember, a translator might be necessary to smooth things over.

Speaking of simplicity, many couples choose to legally marry in their home country and have a symbolic ceremony in Portugal. It’s hassle-free and allows you to have a beautiful experience without getting tangled up in paperwork. You can even hire a Celebrant for around 500 euros to officiate your ceremony, making it more personal and heartfelt. Plus, you can always ask your buddies or a group of friends to give speeches and add that extra touch of love and laughter to the celebration.

If you’re dreaming of a religious ceremony, fear not. Whether you’re inclined towards Roman Catholicism or any other religion, Portugal offers legal recognition for religious rituals. Just be prepared to provide baptismal documents and remember that the ceremony must take place within three months after receiving permission.

There are a few priests available who can conduct the ceremony in English, such as Saint James in Porto or Basilica da Estrela in Lisbon. However, keep in mind that Catholic rites must be held within a church.

Average Wedding Costs

The cost of your wedding will depend on various factors, from the rings and wedding providers to the venue, dress, decorations, and everything in between. Portugal has a range of budget-friendly options to suit your needs and desires. Whether you’re aiming for opulent embellishments or a simple and intimate affair, there are solutions out there for every wallet size.

Remember that the costs shown above are only an estimate and your wedding costs can fluctuate depending on your individual preferences. A smaller guest list will naturally reduce the budget, while inviting hundreds of loved ones might lead to a larger expense. Ultimately, it’s all about creating the wedding of your dreams within your chosen budget.

So, as you embark on this beautiful journey, keep in mind that Portugal offers a blend of affordability, stunning scenery, and memorable experiences. It’s time to start planning the wedding of a lifetime!

Why Portugal?

Friendly, Great Food and Warm Weather

A Weather Wonderland: Embrace Portugal's Year-Round Wedding Bliss

Portugal is renowned for its consistently amazing weather throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for weddings. Whether you envision a summer celebration under the warm sun or a cozy winter gathering, Portugal has you covered. It’s worth noting that even thou it’s a small country, the climate in different regions can vary, adding to the diversity and charm of this beautiful nation.

There is a lot of sun and heat in the southern part of Portugal. The Algarve in particular is well-known for its scorching summers and striking coastline. Sandy beaches, crystal-clear seas, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s the perfect location for an energetic outdoor celebration or a beach wedding. Northern Portugal, on the other hand, offers a distinct kind of beauty. The landscape is characterised by majestic mountains, lush green valleys, and gorgeous agriculture. In comparison to the south, the climate in the north is frequently cooler and less hot, creating a great atmosphere for individuals who like a milder temperature. This region is great for couples seeking a romantic and calm setting surrounded by nature’s splendor.

While the summer season officially lasts from June to September, you can still expect some sunny days extending into October. However, it is advisable to avoid the interior of the country during the peak months of July and August. During this time, temperatures can soar as high as 44°C/114°F, making it uncomfortably hot in those regions.

Whether you choose the sun-soaked south or the serene north, Portugal provides a range of breathtaking landscapes to enhance your special day. From dramatic coastal cliffs and panoramic ocean views to rolling hills and vineyard-covered valleys, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos.

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Weddings in Portugal

Portugal is extremely LGBTQ-friendly, welcoming and celebrating love in all of its many manifestations. It also has you covered whether you’re planning a traditional ceremony, a unique fusion of rites, or something completely off the beaten road. 

Since 2019, more than half of the weddings were civil ceremonies, breaking away from the once-popular choice of Catholic weddings. It’s a testament to Portugal’s open-mindedness and flexibility. You have the freedom to choose between a traditional Catholic ceremony or a civil affair that perfectly reflects your unique love story. For couples of different faiths, a civil ceremony is the key to unlocking the magic.

Indulge Your Senses: Culinary Delights

Portugal is a foodie’s paradise! Prepare your taste buds for a culinary adventure like no other. Sample the famous Pastel de Nata custard tarts and savor the national dish, Bacalhau, prepared in countless ways. Try the spicy delight of Piri-Piri chicken and enjoy the nourishing Caldo Verde soup. Experience the unique stew of Cataplana and relish the succulent roasted piglet, Leitão. Don’t miss the quintessential grilled sardines and the historical sausage, Alheira. Treat yourself to the hearty Francesinha sandwich and explore an array of Portuguese delicacies and unique cheeses. Embark on a culinary adventure through Portugal’s gastronomic wonders.

From fresh seafood to mouthwatering pastries and world-class wines, Portugal will take your wedding feast to a whole new level. And the best part? The prices are surprisingly affordable, it’s time to write your love story in this whimsical land.

Love Knows No Borders

Getting here is a breeze too! With abundant and affordable direct flights, you and your loved ones can easily jet off to Portugal without breaking the bank.

Now, here’s a fun fact: despite the surge in destination weddings in Portugal, it still ranks among the countries with the lowest marriage rates in the European Union. It’s like discovering a hidden treasure, right? Joining the ranks of Italy, Slovenia, France, Spain, and Luxembourg, Portugal is your ticket to an exclusive and intimate wedding experience.

Where to Go? The Perfect Backdrop for Your Dream Destination Wedding

Let’s go through everything you need to know and prepare for your sensational destination wedding in Portugal. From enchanting venues that range from luxurious Sintra palaces to charming Douro Valley, we’ll unveil our top six favorite wedding venues. Prepare to fall madly in love with Portugal while figuring out how to make it happen.

Planning

All you need is a laptop and an internet connection, and you’re ready to embark on your exciting wedding planning journey. You can handle it all with a few clicks and swipes.
If you prefer some extra help, hiring a wedding planner is always an option as they can assist with anything if you go that route.They can streamline things and serve as thought-guides (of course, it comes with a cost). Or you can do it by yourselves; think about how satisfying it would be to carefully choose every aspect, from the venue that inspires you to the vendors that share your vision. You’ll feel more pride and have a stronger connection to your wedding day if you take the lead. It’s like embarking on a thrilling adventure, where each decision becomes a part of your wedding journey.

Close to Lisbon

“Sintra, a charming town nestled at the foot of the Sintra Mountains, is located just a short distance from Lisbon (18 miles/ 30 km). While Sintra has gained popularity among tourists in recent years, it remains a magical destination for an intimate vow exchange, despite the challenges posed by the crowds.

The Monseratte Palace, among the many palaces in Sintra, offers a picturesque setting with its expansive gardens. Although there are associated costs, the advantage is a more private ceremony with fewer random onlookers in the background. Experience the unparalleled beauty and quaintness of Sintra, making it a worthwhile choice for your special day.

Palacio de Seteais, Sintra

The opulent 5-star Palacio de Seteais, located in the Serra de Sintra, 25 minutes from Lisbon, is a charming palace hotel that will transport you to the 18th century. The palace is surrounded by lovely green grounds and has views of Mouros Castle and Pena Palace. The palace is well-equipped for weddings, with three ballrooms painted with beautiful frescos that can accommodate up to 280 people.

You may also have your wedding outside in the beautiful green gardens, which feature traditional XVII century palace mazes, lemon trees, and flowers, as well as views of the Sintra mountaintop.

You may also have a smaller wedding at the restaurant, which has a beautiful view of the mountain.

The palace exclusivity for one day, total privacy // All 30 rooms, including the Diplomatic Suite, for occupancy with breakfast included // Exclusive butler service for couples getting married // All palace rooms, gardens, and facilities // Capacity to hold up to 200 guests // Service staff during all event event // The wedding can be held until 5:00 // 20% of all spa treatments for the couple

This fee, however, does not include the wedding banquet. The menus begin at €155 per person.

Close to Porto

The Douro Valley is one of the world’s oldest and most known wine areas. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is widely regarded as the origin of Port wine, a fortified wine made in the region for centuries.

The Douro Valley is located in northern Portugal and runs along the Douro River. The setting is magnificent and dramatic, with high terraced vineyards clinging to the slopes. The terraces were created by hand over millennia to avoid erosion and maximize sunlight exposure for the grapevines.

The climate in the region is Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers, making it excellent for grape growth.

In addition to Port wine, the Douro Valley produces high-quality table wines including as reds, whites, and rosés. The region’s lodgings range from luxury hotels and wine resorts to lovely guesthouses and rustic cottages. Aside from wine, the Douro Valley is famed for its traditional gastronomy, which frequently involves robust meals produced with local goods like sausages, cheeses, and olive oil.

Quinta do Portal

Quinta do Portal is a hotel made of schist and glass in a system that extends nearly all the way to the Douro river in northern Portugal. The venue was designed to blend in with its surroundings while also addressing environmental issues.

A wedding at Quinta do Portal delivers the ideal blend of beautiful views and iconic building in a modern and hospitable setting. The hotel has magnificent gardens, two outdoor swimming pools with a panoramic view of the Douro, a library, a cinema room, and the Raiva Restaurant, all of which have their own distinct ambience.

You may have your wedding ceremony next to their panoramic pool or in one of their indoor or outdoor venues. Douro41 also offers visitors enrichment experiences like as surprise lunches in secluded hideaways, boat cruises, and walks.

The full hotel may be rented solely for the wedding celebration for €550 (up to 70 guests). For weddings with more than 60 people, the full hotel must be leased for at least two nights.

Oitavos Hotel, Cascais

The Oitavos is a five-star hotel nestled in the stunning coastal line of Cascais, Portugal. With individual large balconies that draws attention to the amazing views of a blue ocean. 

Get ready to say “I do” in style and swing those clubs like a champ!

Alentejo

The Alentejo region is seriously something else. Let me tell you, it’s my absolute favorite part of the whole country. The scenery here is out of this world – wide open spaces, hills that roll on for miles, cute little towns all painted in white! Sure, it takes longer to get there, as it stays a few miles/ km from Lisbon Airport. But it’s so peaceful there, don’t let the distance deter you.

Let me spill the beans about summers in the Alentejo – they’re scorching hot! So, if you’ve got your heart set on exploring this region, I’d suggest steering clear of July and August. Instead, spring and autumn are where it’s at.

Getting The Right Vendors

FAQ: Hiring a Wedding Photographer

When should you hire a wedding photographer?

Wedding photographers are usually among the first vendors to be booked. We recommend reaching out to us as soon as you secure the venue, ideally at the earliest possible time.

How do I choose a wedding photographer whose style aligns with mine?

It’s essential to find a wedding photographer whose work aligns with you. Each photographer has a unique vision and style, including their shooting and editing techniques. Don’t expect a wedding photographer to replicate someone else’s work that you admire. Choose a photographer whose style resonates with you.

What are the different wedding photography styles?

There are two main categories of wedding photography styles:

  1. Photojournalism: Emphasizes on capturing real-life, emotive moments that tell a narrative. Gives a factual description through candid, rather than posed portraits.
  2. Fine Art Traditional: A more formal and classic style approach. The goal of fine-art photography is to create an idea, and express a message, or an emotion.

 

We’re all about keeping it real. We fall into the photojournalism category, which means we don’t do a lot of posing or staging. Instead, we’re there to capture the authentic moments as your wedding day naturally unfolds. But here’s the twist: our work has a cinematic vibe to it. Our photos look like movie scenes, with a touch of artistic flair. So, you can expect a mix of candid storytelling and a cool, cinematic style that brings your wedding memories to life. We’re all about capturing the genuine emotions and unique beauty of your big day in a way that feels natural and looks absolutely cool.

Do I need a second shooter for my wedding?

Deciding whether to have a second shooter depends on the size and complexity of your wedding. A second shooter can bring different perspectives and ensure a smoother timeline. We include a second shooter in our starting rates because we believe that more coverage means a richer visual story.

How soon will I receive my wedding photos?

We are committed to delivering your images within four months. You will receive an online gallery where you can download all the high-resolution photos. We provide a “print release,” allowing you to print the photos at your convenience, anywhere you like.

Are albums included in your wedding photography packages?

While our packages include full-resolution digital images, we also offer specialized hand-made albums as an optional add-on. We understand that having us handle the album design process can make it more seamless for you, and that’s why our most popular package includes the album.

Do I need to provide meals for my wedding photographer?

Yes, it is customary to provide hot meals for your wedding photographers. Most wedding caterers are familiar with this requirement and usually include vendor meals in their services. Be sure to discuss this with your caterer to make appropriate arrangements.

How much do engagement photos cost and when should they be taken?

We understand that engagement photos can be a valuable addition to your wedding experience, allowing you and your partner to get comfortable in front of the camera and create beautiful memories. For those interested, we offer the option to include an engagement shoot for 330€. It typically takes place about three months before the wedding or on the day before. However, we want to emphasize that it’s completely optional. We believe that each couple is unique, and some may prefer to focus solely on their wedding day. Rest assured, you won’t be missing out as the wedding day itself holds its own magic and provides plenty of opportunities to capture authentic and memorable moments.

Your Wedding Day: Relive the Magic Through Film

Your wedding day is a momentous occasion, filled with love, joy, and treasured memories. While photographs capture beautiful stills, an experienced wedding videographer can transport you back to those unseen moments that unfolded while you were getting ready or lost in the whirlwind of the day. They can encapsulate the raw emotions and the subtle gestures that often go unnoticed. It’s these unseen moments that add depth and richness to your wedding story.

Hear the Voices of Love

A wedding is not just about the visuals; it’s about the heartfelt words shared by loved ones during toasts and speeches. With professional audio equipment, they record the loving words spoken by your closest famil

Share the Magic

In our digitally connected world, it’s natural to want to share the joy and magic of your wedding day with those who couldn’t be present. Whether it’s friends who live far away or beloved family members who couldn’t attend, a wedding film allows you to share the beauty and significance of your day with everyone you hold dear. By sharing it you can ensure that those who couldn’t be there feel included and connected to the joyous celebration.

Relive the Emotion, Forever

Just as childhood home videos bring back cherished memories, a wedding film becomes a time capsule, allowing you and your loved ones to relive the love, laughter, and tears that filled the air. Your relationship with your partner is precious, and your wedding day is a reflection of that love. Shouldn’t the most important day of your life be remembered, re-lived, and recorded? Consider the transformative power of a wedding film.

Recommended Videography Teams

As a fellow photographer deeply committed to capturing the essence of weddings, I wholeheartedly recommend the following videography teams who share the same passion for preserving love stories through film. Their exceptional skills, creativity, and professionalism make them worthy partners in capturing the magic of your wedding day:

Duarte WV 
Minimal and Experimentalist
duartewv.com

João Rosa Visuals
Living the dream
joaorosavisuals.com

Sublime Films
Chilled and easygoing
sublimefilms.pt

FullCut
Authentic as the day unfolds
fullcutweddings.com

Pixel
Conceptual
ospixel.com

Catering

A decent catering service may cost, on average, roughly 150 euros per person, with prices ranging from 60 to 180 euros, and includes a cocktail hour welcome, a four-course dinner, and free-flowing beverages during the event, including an open bar. Unlimited wine is a standard component of wedding meals in Portugal, and some locations additionally provide an open bar for a certain amount of time. Between 10,000 and 15,000 euros is a common range for a buffet-style supper (copo-d’água) plus venue rental for a wedding.

Cake and Flower Design

Although some venues may give a fixed rate for food and venue rental that may include the cost of the cake, wedding cakes in Portugal typically cost approximately 400 euros. But let’s talk about more than just the cost – let’s talk about the mouth-watering experience of indulging in a cake that tantalizes more than just your taste buds.

Meet Sandra, the talented pastry chef behind Butter Fly SM. She’s all about combining elegance with a laid-back design that’s simply irresistible. Whether it’s a cake adorned with natural icing, decked out with fresh fruits, or edible flowers, Sandra’s creations tell a beautiful story that will have your guests in awe.

Let’s not forget about the floral arrangements and wedding decorations that add a touch of magic to your special day. Table centerpieces and candles usually range between 250 and 500 euros, depending on their size and complexity. However, for more elaborate designs, the cost may go up to 3,500 euros. But here’s a tip to keep your budget in check – selecting seasonal flowers can be a more affordable alternative. Not only are they readily available, but they are often less expensive than out-of-season blooms.

Speaking of flowers, let’s introduce you to Filipa from Pé de Flor Atelier – she’s an absolute gem! If you’re a bohemian bride, get ready to fall in love with delicate flower wreaths and whimsically placed leafy vines that bring an earthy vibe to your floral arrangements. And if you’re a classic bride, don’t worry, you don’t have to stick to traditional white. Filipa can add a timeless touch to your wedding decor.

Sandra and Filipa love to work their magic together. With their expertise and attention to detail, they’ll bring your vision to life and make your wedding day a true masterpiece.

Now, let’s add some final touches to complete your wedding experience. A bridal bouquet typically costs around 120 euros, while bridesmaid bouquets add an additional 60 euros to each piece. These beautiful arrangements complement the overall wedding aesthetic and add a lovely touch to the ceremony.

Makeup and Hairstyling

Depending on the complexity of the desired hairdo, professional hair and makeup services for the bride in Portugal can cost as little as 250 euros and as much as 600 euros.

Rita Lopes and Laura Costa are outstanding makeup artists who will undoubtedly help you achieve the look you envisioned.

Celebrant

We all enjoy a nice party, but the ceremony itself don’t need not be dull or identical to anybody else’s. In fact, I believe it should be completely special to the two of you, and a celebrant will assist you in doing that!

Your day, your rules!

It may seem cliche, but only because it is absolutely true! Your ceremony will be tailored by a celebrant to perfectly reflect you.

Your ceremony can be held anywhere!

By handling the legal aspect independently, ALL alternatives are available. The world is indeed your oyster, and you may be married anywhere!

Everyone enjoys celebrities!

Celebrants are the ideal choice for couples with outlandish and unorthodox ideas that defy all conventions and traditions. They are most receptive to your unconventional ideas and make them come to life.

Celebrants are all about inclusivity.

No matter who you are, what religion you follow, or whom you love, a celebrant will make sure your ceremony is a celebration of love, pure and simple, a everyone will fell welcomed.

I cannot emphasize enough how for sure these two great human beings will be an invaluable resource to assist. 

Mónica Magalhães if you’re in Douro Valley. 
Débora Duarte if you’re anywhere else in the country. She owns a team able to help with everything you need.

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