Welcome to the ultimate guide for couples who are thinking about getting married in Portugal!
Are you dreaming about a destination wedding that captures the essence of romance, with a wonderful mix of culture, nature and history? Look no further: Portugal is the country that will make you fall in love at the first sight.
Famous for its food, weather, history, beaches, Portugal is a country full of charm, which can also be the perfect place for you to exchange vows. But there’s also a plus: our small country is still a hidden gem when it comes to destination weddings. So, why not consider it for your special day?
If this is your first time in the blog, hi! My name is Margarida and I’m a Portuguese wedding photographer and videographer. And, besides I love to travel to do elopement and wedding photoshoots, I’m also really passionate about doing it in my home country.
I know that I may be a little suspect, but Portugal is one of the most beautiful countries you can visit. Here you can find a mix of beautiful landscapes, white sand beaches, breathtaking nature, and cities that combine history, tradition and modern vibes. And, if you don’t believe me, just keep reading, and I promise you that by the end of this post, you’ll change your mind!
Whether you’re planning a big wedding or a small and intimate ceremony, here’s all you need to know about getting married in Portugal.
The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Portugal
1. Choose your location
As I said above, in this European country you can find different types of landscapes, so one of the decisions you have to keep in mind is about the city or location where you’ll want to celebrate your love. Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Depending on what kind of vibe you’re looking for, here’s my suggestions for the best places to getting married in Portugal.
> A beach wedding
Portugal is quite famous for its white sand beaches. If you’re thinking about a wedding on the beach or surrounded by this type of ambiance, the south of the country is the place you’re looking for. You can either choose Algarve – one of the most famous Summer destinations in Europe -, the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park or even Comporta. Although Portugal has a very long coastline and there are beautiful beaches from north to south, it’s in the south of the country that it is more common to have a better weather all year long.
> A wedding surrounded by Nature
If you’re more into natural vibes, my first option for you will always be the Douro. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its vineyards (where Port wine grapes are produced) and the beautiful landscapes. I can’t think of a most romantic place to say “I do” for people who love to be in touch in Nature!
> A city wedding
On the other hand, if you prefer the city environment, you can also find it in Portugal! For a city wedding, I would recommend Lisbon – the capital of the country -, Porto, or even Coimbra. These three cities are quite different from each other, but you can believe me, they’re incredibly beautiful and you won’t regret it if you choose to get married in one of them.
Please keep in mind that I’m only sharing the most common and famous locations. If you want to getting married in Portugal but you’re looking for a different place and need some suggestions from a local, I’ll be glad to help you and give you some more ideas!
> A wedding in a historic place
If you’re planning to get married in Portugal, another great choice is one of the many historic places we have in our country. One of my favourite suggestions would be, for example, Sintra, a small town near Lisbon. Here you’ll find some incredible and truly beautiful palaces, with a very distinctive style, which are perfect for your special day.
2. Choose the date
Choosing the date to say “I do” is always an important step, but it’s even more important when you’re thinking about getting married in Portugal. Although Portugal is known as one of the sunniest countries in Europe, sometimes we also have bad weather… specially in the north! So, depending on the city or region you choose, it’s important to take this point in consideration.
For example, if you decide to get married in Alentejo or Algarve, you can have a wide range of months where you can have excellent weather, like between May and October. But if you choose the north, like Porto and the Douro, it’s wise to choose a date during late Spring and early Fall, between June and September, to try to avoid rainy days.
And, if you already have everything set and the weather forecast says it’ll rain on the date you choose, don’t worry. Portugal has some incredible places for indoor weddings like, for example, Sintra National Palace, where you can get married without worrying about the weather!
3. Choose the venue
Well, if you already know where and when you want to exchange vows, it’s time to look for different venue options. I know this can be a difficult decision, especially for someone who isn’t from Portugal, but don’t worry.
The best advice I can give you is to hire professional help. Having a Portuguese wedding planner by your side can be a huge help, not only in this part of choosing a venue, but also to help you pick the perfect place and date, and so many other important decisions.
When it comes to getting married in Portugal, you can pick two different kind of venues:
- A traditional wedding
If you want a more traditional venue, you’ll find endless options in Portugal, but it’s important to book two years in advance, since these places are usually booked for the most popular seasons.
- A non-traditional venue
On the other hand, if you don’t see yourself celebrating this special day in a traditional wedding venue, you have nothing to worry about. You can find a list of my ten favourite places to getting married in Portugal here. This kind of space is a great choice for couples who are looking for a tailor-made wedding, since there are a lot more opportunities to customise every detail.
4. Choose the vendors
Now that you have the date and the place, it’s time to think about the vendors that will turn your dream day into a reality. Well, from the food to the flowers, there’s a lot you have to think about.
Once again, I truly recommend you to hire a Portuguese wedding planner to help you in the entire process. I know it can be hard to find the perfect person for the job while you’re in a different country, but if you need any tips or suggestions, I’ll love to help you find the perfect wedding planner for you.
5. Choose the wedding photographer
And, of course, one of the most important parts of planning a wedding is to make sure you’ll have pictures and videos so you can live and relive this special day forever. While some people don’t pay a lot of attention to this point, it’s important that you choose a professional with a style you identify with.
Remember: this is a person that will be present in one of the most important moments of your life and that will be responsible to capture all the memories. So, it’s not a decision you should take lightly!
And, if you’re planning to get married in Portugal and since you’re here, take a moment to get to know some of my work as a wedding photographer on my Instagram account! If you think that I could be the right choice for your ceremony, just get in touch with me. I would love to meet you and understand if we’re the perfect match!
6. Other useful information
If you’re getting married in Portugal, here’s some useful information you should also have:
- How to get here
Portugal has three airports – Porto, Lisbon and Faro (Algarve). Depending on the place you want to get married, you can choose the airport near to the location.
Portugal is part of the Union European so our currency is the Euro. If you have a different currency, you can find places to exchange currency in the airport.
Portuguese – but you don’t have to worry about this, since most Portuguese people can also speak English.
- About the weddings
Portugal can still be considered a hidden gem when it comes to destination weddings, and while most locals still prefer a traditional ceremony, our professionals can help you create a tailor-made day.
And this is the end of this guide to getting married in Portugal! If you still have any doubts about the process and the things you have to keep in mind, feel free to get in touch with me. As a Portuguese wedding photographer I can help you and give you some valuable tips!