I love a wedding that marches to the beat of it’s own drum. A wedding that bucks tradition and breaks all the rules in the prettiest of ways. *Enter* this Portugal beauty straight from the lens of Matt And Lena Photography. With the most picturesque woodland ceremony followed by picnic on the beach, these love birds said “I do” on their very own terms. Want even more? We’ve got it waiting right here!


From the sister of the groom… When my brother Daniel and his wife to be Doreen told me about their decision to marry in Portugal I was overly joyed. This would be my first wedding in Portugal and my mind was already spinning with endless ideas. Knowing Doreen, I knew that her special day would have to be the ultimate romantic fairy tale. D&D both share a passion for flea markets, vintage music, shabby chic home-style, nature and everything with that sort of patine that makes us dream again. Perfect for a vintage girl like myself.

But there was one issue: LOCATION. Our Quinta, Bella Vista, was still in shambles, so we would have to shop around. We decided that pictures alone, won’t do, one must feel the space for such an important moment in life and so D&D flew in and we went on a massive scouting week. We visited countless of Quintas one more beautiful then the next, yet there was always something that did not fit the dream. When their time over here came to an end and we still had no location, I started to worry. Doreen seemed to loose all hope, her pre-marriage glow fading away, when finally we spotted a perfect place. Quinta Matalva. Ahhh, stones dropped from my shoulders and smiles were back on. Matalva has an enchanting garden with an old wall which was seemed for the wedding backdrop. D&D went back home and excitedly booked the Quinta. Only much later we found out, that this part of the garden belonged to the main house which was a separate property and would not be available for use. Oh no!

Trying to find another area in the garden that would suit D&D’s expectations proofed fruitless. That’s when I decided that Quinta Bella Vista could be the place for the ceremony. Still under construction, it however has an area framed by proud plane trees, offering dazzling views over the villages and the Atlantic, perfectly isolated and utterly romantic. Taking some snapshots in the afternoon light (the preferred time of the wedding) I was immediately taken. Fairy tale here we come. D&D seemed equally thrilled after they saw the pictures in the golden afternoon glow and from there our imagination just run wild.

Doreen bombarded me with ideas and pictures she found online and slowly the wedding took shape. Rustic vintage was the style to be. I started to envision all the day of the wedding, from the arrival of our guests, the entrance of the bride to  a sunset picnic and a home-cooked dinner. I wanted everything to be special, unforgettable and I wanted surprises everywhere. That’s how I thought of an open jeep, filled with hay for seats to shuttle the guests. The ceremony place was decorated like a living room in the wild, with a special photo-booth made from old frames. An artist friend painted a queen-sized sheet with a big heart, to be cut by the young lovers, an old german tradition. From the boy’s boutonniere which was handmade by a village lady, the tile-style wedding cake and tile cookies, to the wooden signs with sweet messages, everything was made with love for love. The picnic in Adraga beach gave the perfect photo opportunity and we felt like on the set of an old movie.

When the delighted party returned back home to Matalva, dinner was already prepared in a sea of candles. We celebrated late into the night, thankful to be part of such a special moment. I wish D&D to be always as happy as on this day and I know that magic is everywhere where there is love. I also want to add, that magic is not that easy to be captured, but our photographers Matt and Lena did just that. They saved the magic for everyday. Thank you and everyone that helped us to make this dream become true.

Photography: Matt + Lena Photography | Flowers: Martins Alves | Cake: Casafina | Reception: Quinta Matalva | Shoes: Nina Fiarucci | Hotel: Tivoli Palacio De Seteais