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Destination Wedding Dreams in Portugal

Names: Barbara & John Fahy

Length of engagement: 18 months

Wedding Date: 14th May 2018

Wedding location: Portugal

Photographer: João Mascarenhas – Visual Stories

Planner: Glamour Algarve Weddings


We met… online!! John will always say it took me a few days to reply, but I will always disagree! We chatted for a week or so, and when I returned from a skiing trip in March 2014, we arranged our first date. We hit it off instantly, resulting in a midweek pub crawl around Dublin until the small hours of the morning.



Our proposal… We had booked a trip to Disneyland in Paris, followed by a few days in Iceland in November 2016. John had hoped to propose under The Northern Lights, but low cloud coverage prevented that! He carried my ring everywhere we went, waiting for the right moment in the right place. On our 2nd last day in Iceland, the sun came out and we took a drive, stumbling upon a volcanic crater lake. The view at the top was amazing, you could see for miles, and no one around. I had no idea John was going to propose, I went into shock, and it took me a few moments to register what was happening before I eventually said yes! We celebrated by stopping for a coffee as we were driving, before heading back to the hotel for a cocktail or 2 followed by some Champagne before phoning our families and friends.



Our wedding theme/colours…..we didn’t really have a theme, but over the course of the planning, I developed, and still have, a slight obsession with eucalyptus! So this did feature quite a bit!


Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… Nothing!! John and I wouldn’t be the creative-make-and-do type. But we were very lucky with talented suppliers and wedding coordinators to help us.



My dress… was Ella Rose Private Label by G: Kenneth Winston. I loved it!! I bought it in The Town Bride in Powerscourt Centre. Elle and Colm were just amazing from start to finish. Elle is fabulous, such a warm, friendly and bubbly girl and helped me find an amazing dress, that I felt stunning in. Colm then worked his magic to make sure it was the perfect fit. It’s always mentioned when dress shopping how lovely shops are when brides are shopping etc, but no one ever mentions the alternations, and Colm is just so talented and his experienced eye would see a tweak that needed to be done, or a hem that was ever so uneven. He ensured I was comfortable getting in and out of the dress, walking, sitting, turning and even how to manage going to the bathroom!



My hair and make up… My hair was done by Joana, JAR studios. She was amazing. On one of our trips over to Portugal, I had my trial with her. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted but when it came to it, it just didn’t suit me. So we scrapped that idea and I told Joana to feel free to go with what she thought would suit me, and I loved it! And on the day I loved it even more. My bridesmaids all had varying ideas of what they wanted for the day, and she worked with them all that morning to make sure they were happy too. Make up was Sharon Philips, Make Up Algarve. My make up was exactly as we had planned during my trial, it lasted all day and all night, even with the heat! I wanted to make sure I looked like myself for the day, and not caked in make up, and Sharon did just that. She gave me suggestions of some make up to pick up for the day for top ups, shiny moments etc.  Both girls added so much fun to the morning.



His suit… The suits were all from Louis Copeland on Capel St. Louis and Cathal gave the lads and dads all the time in the world. They guided John in choosing the right suit for a destination wedding and suggested ties, shoes etc. Cathal is a perfectionist and can measure a neck just looking at it!



What our bridal party wore…the girls wore Sorella Vita dresses from MK Bridal in Navan. Mairead has the patience of a saint!! I was very relaxed about what the girls wore, I didn’t mind if they were in the same or different styles, or the same colour or not, I just wanted them to be happy with what they were going to be in and comfortable, just like I was in my dress. In the end they picked the same colour but different styles.



Our ceremony… was held in a small church in Cacela Velha. The view from outside the church is amazing, looking out on to the ocean. Our priest, Fr. Nuno was so lovely, he instantly made John and I feel so relaxed at the top of the aisle. We had some of our closest family and friends involved doing readings and prayers of the faithful.



We chose our photographer because… neither John or I wanted to have posed pictures, we both hate getting our photo taken but Joao understood that and made us feel at ease. A few days before the wedding we did a very late engagement shoot with him, and within a few minutes we were so relaxed. On the day of the wedding, he moved around with such ease, and we barely noticed he was there. When we got our photos back, I remember looking at so many thinking, I really don’t remember him being there to take that photo. He worked so well with Orlando Horta, our videographer, and his team, they all created this amazing, fun and crazy atmosphere.



We chose our wedding coordinator because… when we first met Carin and Patricia from Glamour Weddings in Dublin, it was more to get an idea of what was possible. In the end, they were the only planners we met. Having worked as a wedding co-ordinator myself, they had their work cut out for them!! But they were amazing, from start to finish. From just one meeting with them, I could tell they loved what they did, they love planning weddings, they love all the hard work that they have to do.



We chose our venue because…we both knew we wanted to get married abroad, and having holiday-ed quiet a lot in Portugal, we already had lots of happy memories there. I’ve worked in hotels all my life, so I knew that I didn’t want a hotel. On a trip to Portugal, our parents went to visit Panoramico and, whilst it was still under refurbishment, they thought it was gorgeous. A few weeks later we returned to Portugal and instantly knew it was the place for us. The views on to the beach, the infinity pool, the whole setting was just perfect.


Our menu…We had a sit down meal for starters and mains, followed by a dessert buffet station. This was fantastic, it had every single dessert you could think of and was set up outside where the dancing was on so throughout the night guests where constantly grazing at it!!



Our honeymoon…We ventured to Hawaii for 10 days, followed by LA for 4 nights. About 2 weeks before the wedding, a pattern involving volcanoes emerged as a volcano began to erupt on The Big Island….. And the day before the wedding, it was still erupting. We still flew out and experienced the most amazing helicopter trip over the lava flowing in to the sea.



My favourite part of the wedding day…this is the hardest question to answer. I loved every second. I loved the lead up to the wedding. I remember walking one day from our hotel to the town and it taking about 45 minutes to get to where we needed to be because we just kept bumping in to family and friends out walking, or having lunch or coffee or a beer in the sun.


I loved breakfast with my parents and bridesmaids the morning of the wedding, I loved seeing my dads face as he saw me in my dress, I loved our walk up the aisle to John, I loved the giggles of nerves in the church, the excitement as we walked out as husband and wife. I loved the relaxed atmosphere of our drinks reception, I loved being announced as Mr. & Mrs. Fahy as we walked in for dinner, I loved walking on the beach with my husband as the sunset for some spectacular photos, I loved the reaction of our guests to seeing our band, Springbreak, on stage, I loved watching our guests behave like rockstars in a band whilst making use of the blowup instruments and sunglasses we had brought over, I loved seeing one of our guest go for a midnight dip in the pool!



My piece of advice for other couples… enjoy every moment, even the planning, don’t let it stress you out. Go with the flow on everything and remember you have booked your suppliers based on their knowledge and experience, trust them and any advice that they give you. Try not to listen to family and friends who say, you must do this, you have to get that. You don’t. Its your day.




Wedding venue: Infante Panoramico | Photographer: João Mascarenhas – Visual Stories | Planner/coordinator: Glamour Algarve Weddings | Videographer: Orlando Horta | Musician: For our ceremony we had Josue Nunes on guitar with Jane Hennessy. We had an Irish band, Springbreak for the reception. | DJ: Was provided by the venue, and was fantastic, he played everything and anything | Hair: Joana, JAR studios | Makeup: Sharon Philips, Make Up Algarve | Dress: The Town Bride, Powerscourt | Groom & Groomsmen’s suits: Louis Copeland & Sons | Bridesmaids dresses: MK Bridal | Caterer: Infante Panoramic | Cake: Infante Panoramic | Celebrant: Father Nuno

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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