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  • Olivia De Santos

How to Plan a Wedding in Portugal from Australia & New Zealand

Hello to all of you lovely Australia and New Zealand based couples and a huge congratulations on your engagement! If you’re reading this, you may be thinking about getting married in Europe and Portugal seems like an option for you. Portugal has so much to offer as a destination wedding location. It can give you a taste of Southern European culture, balmy weather, friendly people, varied landscapes and guaranteed adventure.

Since planning a wedding so far away can feel like a scary prospect, I created the Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Portugal blog series to answer your burning questions.

That guide will give you the basics for what you need to consider when thinking about planning a wedding in Portugal. However I wanted to specialise my advice further and speak directly to you in Australia and New Zealand who are thinking about embarking on a Portuguese wedding adventure. Here are my top 4 tips specifically for you!

Photo by Luisa Starling

Jet lag is real

This is the biggest takeaway I want you to get from this piece if you listen to nothing else - please plan your routes carefully and be wary of the time difference. I’m sure this is a fairly basic point for you. I was told by an Australian bride that Aussies and Kiwis are fabulous travellers because of where you are. But when it comes to your wedding celebration, you want everyone to be as comfortable as possible. So here are some sub-tips to this one to make your wedding planning around this a bit easier:

- Keep your wedding contained nearby the major cities and airports so that guests do not have to travel too far out from there

- If you do decide to get married further afield than Lisbon, Porto and The Algarve, be sure to provide transport and a plethora of accommodation options to allow guests to settle with as much ease as possible

- Encourage guests to make a real holiday of their trip by providing travel guides and/or welcome to Portugal packs so that they can get a feel for where they are and plan a holiday that appeals to them.

Consider a weekday wedding

Because you and your guests are more likely to travel for a week or longer, you have some more freedom when it comes to dates. Take advantage of this flexibility by choosing the days that no one else will. Weekday weddings are absolute gold! Not only do you have far more choice when it comes to available wedding venues and suppliers, but you also often get preferential rates to sweeten the deal.

Choose a portugal wedding planner you can trust totally

As you would be journeying from quite a long way to get to Portugal, I imagine that you are not planning to visit multiple times to do venue visits, tastings and supplier meetings. This is completely fine and many of my clients visit on a limited capacity on the run up to their wedding whether they are nearby in the UK or further across the seas in the US, Canada or Australia. What this does take, though, is alot of trust and confidence in the planner you decide to work with. Take your time to consider the planners here and choose the person who you trust to deliver what you really want. You also need a planner who values consistent communication and will make you feel like you are a part of the process no matter whether you are on the other side of the planet or not. Value that relationship and choose wisely! :)

Keep the exchange rate in mind

I have done a full blog on how much it costs to get married in Portugal. The Euro’s exchange rate can be very variable and due to recent events *cough cough* it’s worth keeping an eye on what your money is worth in Euros. You need to keep an eye on the button wherever you get married in Europe. Make sure you have a contingency pot to account for any fluctuations in the rate from your dollars to our euros.

I hope this article was helpful for you! Do check out my Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Portugal for a more comprehensive guide. If you are interested in a colourful wedding or elopement in Portugal, feel free to get in touch for a free consultation.