30th May 2013
We were so excited for this wedding and desperately needed to get a hair cut before we could have another picture taken!
We rushed around the morning of the big day getting lost, finding parking and finally getting our hair cut and styled. We felt a million percent better about going to get our wedding on as we rushed to meet everyone! We finally met with our friend and photographer Tiago, (with whom we had been in touch for around 18 months) and the team he had pulled together at 1pm on the waterfront in front of the massive and beautiful monument to Portugals Age of Discovery. Everyone was so excited to get going and (of course), we were a little late so we all hit the ground running. Within seconds of making introductions I was in Peggy having my make up applied by the beautiful Ludmila Gonçalves, Alex was pulling out the wedding box and shaking creases out of my dress (the ever faithful Tabitha) and his suit jacket and dusting off our shoes. Wedding planner Andreia had thought of everything, she handed me Fado inspired earrings (handed down by her grandmother), a beautiful Portuguese scarf, my bouquet was traditional red roses and more importantly; carnations, a very important Portuguese symbol. Bright red carnations represent the 1974 coup d’etat started by the military to end the fascist regime ongoing since 1926 and on top of all of that, the pop of colour was just perfect against Tabitha’s vintage lace. We were soon ready and parked Peggy up, waved farewell to her and set off to the centre of Lisbon with the gang. We arrived at a huge square and were excited to see one of the original trams waiting for us. The ancient buggies have transported people to and from their homes for 140 years. Now, more a tourist attraction but still running along the original lines, the trams are a great way to see the city which is split into neighbourhoods, all with their own personalities. As we got on the tram all of the other passengers cheered and clapped and even started singing. One lady had an incredible voice and sang us a beautiful song all the way through to the end…then it was our turn to clap and cheer. We trundled through the tiny cobbled streets just inches from buildings, sometimes having to stop to make sure we would not clip carelessly parked cars as we passed. Tiago and David came along on the tram with us and we jumped off the tram at a change over line to grab a few pictures outside a stunning church. Back on the Yellow tram, the company have provided a guided tour on earphones as you travel through you can learn more about the history of the area, the buildings and the people you see. Once the loop was completed we had no idea what was next. We ran across form the tram ride and met again with the team. Tiago and Andreia were very excitable as was Andelino (video) and David (second shooter) who appeared to be admiring a motorcycle with a side car attached. We approached them and found they were chatting to Daniel the owner of said motorcycle. He greeted us and they all continued chatting in Portuguese as we stood by. Then Daniel handed us helmets, said “hop on” and we realised we were going for a ride! Alex sat behind Daniel and I in the sidecar, my newly styled hair squished into a stylish black patent helmet. We whizzed along the cobble streets and at traffic lights and stops Daniel told us a little about where we had been on our tram ride as we had been too excited to listen to all of the commentary. It was such a unique and unusual way to see the city and we enjoyed every second and would recommend Bike My Side in a heartbeat! Of course we drew some attention as I was wearing a wedding dress and holding a bouquet so as we stopped to enjoy another pass time of Alfama we chatted with a few Italian tourists who were excited to have their pictures with us. We told them briefly about our adventure and continued on our tour of Portuguese Lisbon. We popped into a small room that opened onto the street and were handed two shots of the locally brewed spirit Ginjer. We had our first taste, then our second and third then the team joined us for our 4th taste and we waddled back to our wedding carriage, Daniel who was waiting with his bike. Our next stop, after our ‘Portuguese’ courage was to the wedding location via the famous elevator to check out the view and check for cold feet. The ‘Santa Justa lift’ was built in the 1800’s to make the hills of Lisbon more accessible to people moving around the city on foot or pulled by animals. The view was incredible and we could see our wedding destination in the distance. Before we knew it we were at our 47th wedding location at the Lisbons highest point with all of the city spread before us. The wind had picked up something incredible and we struggled to the edge to admire the view. Daniel, a man of many talents was tasked with holding the ceremony for us and he also read out a beautiful poem by Luis Vaz de Camões. Amor é fogo que arde sem se ver, é ferida que dói, e não se sente; é um contentamento descontente, é dor que desatina sem doer. É um não querer mais que bem querer; é um andar solitário entre a gente; é nunca contentar-se de contente; é um cuidar que ganha em se perder. É querer estar preso por vontade; é servir a quem vence, o vencedor; é ter com quem nos mata, lealdade. Mas como causar pode seu favor nos corações humanos amizade, se tão contrário a si é o mesmo Amor? As we sealed the vows with a kiss the rose petal confetti whizzed past us at a rate of knots on the wild wind and we were ready to hit the town to celebrate. Andreia from I do – Wedding Planning had arranged the whole thing start to finish and she had more surprises up her sleeve. We had been invited to the best Fado house in Lisbon for our celebration dinner. Clube de Fado hosts the cream of the crop of the Fado scene with the best Fadistas playing alongside celebrated guitarists. We arrived and settled in at our table, ordered some food and an amazing bottle of wine and waited for the show to begin. Before long the lit arches in an almost underground feeling restaurant turned from a yellow glow to red and the beautiful music began.
Fado is music from the soul. It is impossible to describe the tangible passion, from the guitarist with his 12 string guitar to the singing. The singing pierces your soul, your heart and your vision sways. Even not understanding the language the songs are visible shows of absolute love, it was an incredible experience and we again cannot help but tell everyone we meet that if given the chance to see Fado live to do so! We enjoyed the music, the food was incredible and just as we thought we could take no more the whole team arrived with a beautiful wedding cake, decorated with none other than Fado guitars! The whole restaurant cheered as we cut the cake and we managed a big slice between us, it was divine! We had such an amazing day and such an eye opener, we had seen and learned so much about Portugal as a country, about Lisbon as a city and of course we had had out first tastes of both Ginjer and Fado, two new passions we both still hold! Of course, the dream team that we can never thank enough for all they have done will, we hope, remain our friends for time and time to come and we hope to share a Ginjer with them all again sometime in the future! Thanks so much guys! Wedding planner – I Do Wedding Planning | Photography and Video – Centrimagem | Tram Ride – Yellow Bus Tours | City Tour – Bike My Side | Florist – Lili Cherry | Reception – Clube De Fado | Dress – Charlotte Balbier | Make-up – Ludmila Gonçalves | Cake – Madalena Nogueira