The heavens opened halfway through Mila and Paul’s outdoor ceremony… but this amazing couple grinned and got hitched and their day is absolutely beautiful. I love the location – Casa Grande is a historic house with guest accommodation set high above the beautiful twin lakes of Lagoa des Sete Cidades in Portugal – an unforgettable location for a beautiful destination wedding. Mila and Paul booked our friend and top UK destination wedding photographer Damion Mower to capture their day, and the review they left for him (see below) says. it. ALL.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Google was a great help! We knew the kind of style we wanted and then it was jut a case of going through peoples portfolios and reviews and working out who we thought we’d work well with and who would really get us and our wedding.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
The review we wrote for Damion says it all:
‘Damion completely blew us away. He was so calm, kind, professional and not to mention unbelievably talented.
In the lead up he will get to know you as a couple and he works unbelievably hard to understand what kind of wedding day you have in mind in order best to prepare himself and any other photographers he’s bringing along.
The weather threw a couple of curveballs our way on the day but the way he captured everything was wonderful. His photos told the perfect story and we will treasure them forever. Right from the get-go he was dependable, communicative and that carried on way past the wedding day. For the impatient brides amongst you (who isn’t?!) any photos you order are delivered practically the next day and the beautifully presented, Tiffany-esq USB follows not long after.
For what is undoubtably one of the most important days of your life, we cannot recommend enough having Damion there by your side. He will absolutely not let you down and give you photos to cherish for years to come.’
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Damion was amazing a gave us a sneak peak of a few of them a couple of days after, when we were on honeymoon which was just incredible! When the others were ready we sat down together and went through all of them in one go as soon as they arrived! It was so much fun and really made us relive the day.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A beautiful island wedding full of love, laughter and rain!
Your wedding style or theme:
Rustic, outdoors with a slight travel theme running throughout the day as a nod to how we met (in Zimbabwe – volunteering for the same Elephant and Rhino conservation project), our long distance relationship (he’s Canadian, I’m British) and how much we have travelled together since Day 1!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Through our Portuguese Wedding Planner
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Work out what are the most important things for you both and spend a good part of your budget on them then relax about the other parts of the day! It’s not really a money saving tip – you only get married once so you should get the day you’ve been dreaming of (and that your budget allows)!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photographers and videographers. Yes flying them all out to Portugal and everything that that includes may raise some eyebrows but it was the best decision. The day was such a blur that we actually relied heavily on Damion and Leanne’s work to help jog our memories of all the beautiful details and moments of the day. Communication is key when interacting with guests and also the Bride and Groom – it has the power to either relax a couple and really show who they are or make everything just that little bit awkward! Damion and Leanne were both fantastic with us and with all our guests and worth every single penny. And more!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Suzanne Neville – a mix of Portrait and Cezanne dresses.
Brought from House of Snow in Bury St Edmunds – a truly outstanding little Boutique who really made the whole experience very special.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I was utterly spoilt by Paulie and my parents as they gave me the most beautiful gift(s) the morning of the wedding. My mother and Paulie had got together and designed a beautiful necklace and earring set of emeralds and pearls (my engagement ring is an emerald and I love them!).
I also wore a gold and pearl bracelet that once belonged to my great-grandmother.
And what did the groom wear?
Suit from Trotter and Deane – Bury St Edmunds. He got to personalise so many parts of the suit it really became something special – from the print for the silk lining of the jacket, colour of the stitching, embroidered date into the inside part of the collar etc.
Complete with rustic map bow tie from Bartek Design – another Etsy designer.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Victoria Whiteshirt skirts – shipped from the States – amazing! https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/shopVmarie
Paired it with a simple white top and shoes of their choice – I wanted them to be comfortable all day!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Wedding planner organised for a team of hair and make up artists to come to the house in the morning.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
As with other suppliers, the florist was organised by our wedding planner.
The bouquet was a simple one of white roses with green foliage. The lovely part of this is that my mother kept a part of it afterwards and sent it over to The Flower Preservation Workshop (https://www.flowerpreservationworkshop.co.uk) who turned one of the roses and the greenery around it into a stunning paperweight that I will treasure forever.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We relied on little details to highlight the travel theme. Such as:
Favours – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LetterandLeather
Table plan – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TopTableDesign
Table names – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NoOrdinaryEmporium (each table was then decorated with flowers from that country and a selection of little trinkets either books from that country, figurines/statues, miniature globes, vintage suitcases and vintage postcards from that country scattered on the table for people to write messages to us and then pop them in a little red postbox we had bought!)
Menu cards – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LilacandWhite
Drinks toppers – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Justtagz
The reception venue had these gorgeous beams in the room which we draped greenery over.
We also place candles and some flowers up the staircase
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Nothing homemade but see above for general stylings. Although Paulie did hand draw the house where we got married which we then used on our Order of Services.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
I love surprises but am also the more organised of the two of us so, whilst Paulie let me just get on with most of the planning (like most grooms, he just wanted to know when, where and what to wear!) I left him in charge of a few things so that at least some of the day would be a surprise for me! He’s really musical so music was obvious one to handover and I’m so glad I did. Not only did he manage to find musicians to create a ‘Love Actually’ feel as we walked back down the aisle (yes, brass instruments and singing all included!) but he also found the most amazing band
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Make sure you get what you want. As a couple we are both guilty of saying yes to things just because we don’t want to make a fuss or put anyone out but your wedding day really is your own so please don’t be afraid to make sure you say how you feel and get what you want (within reason!)
What’s the best thing about being married?
What a question! It’s impossible to chose just one thing! I love being able to say ‘my husband’ and hear ‘my wife’ though!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Azores weddingBartek DesignCasa Grande Sete CidadesDamion Mower PhotographyetsyFlower Preservation WorkshopHouse of SnowJusttagzLetter and LeatherLilac & WhiteNo Ordinary Emporiumnorma dorothyPretty Pic StationerySuzanne NevilleTop Table DesignTrotter and DeaneVictoria Whiteshirt