Planning your Wedding Ceremony in Portugal

The Wedding of
The Elopement Of


With over 12 years experience in the wedding industry we have covered close to 500 weddings. We spoke with a lot of our past couples about what they loved about their ceremonies and have compiled these tips for any new couples starting from scratch.

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Choosing a Location

We find the first thing that can be useful to help you visualise your wedding ceremony and wedding day is choosing a location that you connect with. In Portugal, there are so many options for your intimate wedding ceremony. Some couples like to embrace the wilderness and elope on a cliff-top, others opt for a vineyard elopement or palace setting in Sintra. The most important thing is to connect with a wedding planner in Portugal who knows the terrain and the locations and can help identify the perfect setting for you both.

Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Portugal

It’s important to define what you would like to achieve from your wedding ceremony in Portugal. If you would like have your marriage legal registered here in Portugal but you don’t live here already, you will need somebody to register your intent to marry in the registry office in a minimum of 6 weeks before your ceremony. This can be done by giving power of attorney to someone in Portugal who can act on your behalf. Then on the day of the wedding the registrar will attend your ceremony and your marriage will be legally registered. If you do not speak Portuguese a translator would be required on the day. If you are using a wedding planner most of them can organise this for you.

Church Wedding Portugal

If you would like to get married in a church in Portugal you must already be legally/civilly married in your country of origin. The church will require that you provide proof of your civil wedding along with proof of identity. If getting married in a church is very important to you, we would advise that you check the dates you wish to get married with the local parishes in Portugal before booking anything else as they book up quickly. If you need help with any of this please contact us directly.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony

These are very popular options, many couples register their marriage in their countries of origin and then choose to have a symbolic ceremony in Portugal. The celebrant of your choice will work with you to plan your ceremony in a way that is special and unique. You can choose to incorporate personalised vows, hand fasting, sand ceremonies and readings. Each ceremony is designed to be representative of each couple.

Infusing Portuguese Culture

Incorporating local customs and traditions into your wedding is also a very nice touch. Some couples choose to have personalised tiles or Portuguese wine as part of their ceremony. If you are happy to be a little adventurous it can be great to explore some local areas during your photoshoot after your ceremony. Working with a skilled and knowledgable photographer who understands the areas is very helpful.

Weather Contingency

Many couples want to exchange their vows outdoors when in Portugal. Whilst we get 300 days of sunshine, rain and wind can be a factor. The most important thing is to discuss with your planner and photographer what the alternative options can be. If you are using a palace or another venue for your ceremony there will usually be rain cover options. If you are hoping for a cliff-top elopement alternative options can be put in place or ensuring your suppliers are flexible with their timings so your ceremony time can be moved if weather becomes a factor.

Communications with Suppliers

Planning your elopement in Portugal from abroad can be daunting so having a strong connection with your suppliers is key. We would always advise speaking with your wedding suppliers in Portugal on zoom or google meet prior to booking to ensure you are happy with each other. Alternatively if you choose to work with a wedding planner here in Portugal they will communicate with everyone on your behalf.

If you require any further information on anything discussed above please get in touch with us and we will help in any way we can.

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