Pousada Santa Maria do Bouro Wedding
February 3, 2014
Weddings in Historical VenuesOutdoor WeddingsSummer Weddings
Despite a few hiccups - scratch that - a lot of hiccups in their planning process, these two sweeties managed to pull off the ultimate "I do." Swapping vows at 12th century monastery Pousada Santa Maria do Bouro, it was a destination wedding dream-come-true all captured by Piteira Photography. Get lost in all the gorgeousness right over here!
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From the Bride... Our wedding day was absolutely beyond any dream I could have had. Getting there, however, was an absolute disaster. Everything that could go wrong did. From my husband almost not being allowed on the plane (check your passport expiry dates!), to the Portuguese consulate’s system breaking almost preventing us from getting our marriage licence, to hospital visits and missing table numbers. We somehow made it through and were surrounded by amazing people making it unforgettable. We were lucky enough to find wonderful people to help us through the process. We could not have done it without Graça the hotel manager and our photographers Kerry and Luis who kept us sane.

We had an intimate wedding of 44 people in the beautiful Pousada Santa Maria do Bouro in Amares, a 12th century monastery. We felt at peace once we found it. Everything fell into place after that. We wanted to let the natural beauty of the place speak for itself so we had minimal decor of white and green flowers, with some touches of orange throughout to echo the oranges trees we were surrounded by. Our vision for the wedding was a simple we wanted an elegant retreat where we can shower our loved ones with the things we love best in life: good food, good music, good wine, and good company. It was hard to keep our numbers small, but essential for our vision.

The ceremony was under a canopy built by my parents, we brought the bamboo from Canada and the traditional Jewish tallit was my father’s which was tied on top. The aisles were lined with Hydrangeas, the flower of the Azores, where José was born. The mountains did the rest. My husband’s best friend David translated the Portuguese civil ceremony and we had a humanist rabbi for the Jewish ceremony. The ceremony ended with an impromptu eferria (chant) from Coimbra. It was magical.

Our passion in life is food, so we searched far and wide for the best chef in Portugal to create our dream menu. We ditched the wedding cake and had a 6 course dinner instead. We also wanted to spend time with all of our guests so we decided to eat one course with each table. It was perfect, always too fast, but we really got to enjoy the evening with everyone and it was a great reset button to make sure that we remembered every moment of the wedding. After dinner we danced the night (and morning) away. Our band even learnt the traditional Jewish celebration song Chava Nagila. The evening was a perfect combination of José and I, and our two cultures. We loved every moment of it.

Our day was everything we hoped for, and it would not have happened if we did not stick to our vision of what we wanted. Staying true to who you are as an individual, and couple, is the most important advice I could give. That, and being grateful for the day itself no matter what happens.