It really seems like it was yesterday when these two showed up here, talking about their wedding and their chosen destination: Portugal! Mariana and Thiago are two quiet, low profile and happy people. It is incredible how their love seems to be something really their own, something that only the two of them know and understand. And sometimes, within this world of theirs alone, we have the opportunity to glimpse this love for a moment, but without ever really discovering their secret. It is something really beautiful and special to witness.
But the question that we have all asked ourselves: why Portugal? A wedding of two Brazilians, with Brazilian guests (and some from abroad), 2 Brazilian photographers, a Brazilian video team … so what is this Portugal thing?
Well, among so many people, chosen one by one, there was the illustrious presence of a certain portuguese gentleman. The illustrious Mr. Antonio, Mariana’s father. More than a tribute to their origins, Mariana and Thiago also wanted to rescue something very special for her father: the exact place that he lived and where he decided to move to Brazil. But that’s definitely not as far as this story goes. Sit back, relax and join us through this journey! :)
Everything was meticulously scheduled for the trip. Invitations, flight tickets, vendors. The idea was to provide the guests the total experience of a holiday trip with “bonus friends’ wedding”. Everything was really carefully chosen. From the Juliana Bicudo shoe she brought from São Paulo, to the dress she bought in the French atelier Laure de Sagazan. A whole year of several meetings with these two, chating about ideas for their wedding, venue choices, family stories. Of course they would not be able to plan all of this alone here with us, so they counted on Rui (Rui Mota Pinto), THE GUY behind the wedding planning and concept. And when we say he’s the guy, we mean no sh*t! Rui was already rewarded as one of the best wedding planners of 2016 for this very own wedding you’re seeing here. :)
Apart from the ceremony that took place in the small church of Ponte de Lima, the whole wedding (from preps to cocktail and party) took place in a traditional château in the region, the Paço de Calheiros. The decoration, which was also in charge of Rui, mixed flowers, small traditional Portuguese Roosters sculptures (produced one by one by Thiago’s sister) and historical elements of the place.
The question was: how to take 50 people to a church 30 minutes away from where we all were? The answer was as simple as can get: renting a bus! :) Perhaps one of the best decisions ever made, the bus gave to the wedding a feeling of ‘going to camp / friends vacation’, mess, conversation, laughter. Thiago went first with everybody and on the way back, Mariana also came along. That was definitely one of the best experiences we’ve had!
At the beginning os this post we told you that the story did not end there. And it didn’t. There is a reason for choosing this place, this church, this country. Something that went far beyond “oh, my father is portuguese”. Many years ago, before Mariana’s father come to Brazil, he was one of the residents of this small province of Ponte de Lima. More than just a resident, when he was still very young he was put under guard of this little church’s priest. It was in that very ground where he was raised and grew up, educated by this priest who became his godfather. Everything indicated that he would follow the path through sacristy. But with his godfather’s death and the crisis that struck Portugal, mr. Antonio was forced to sail other seas in search of prosperity and, as a great discoverer, he came to Brazil, where he met Mariana’s mother. The rest we can say is history, isn’t it? :) Mariana and Thiago’s wedding was, after all, a tribute to the heart of her family history, the city where her father was born, the church where he was raised and the starting point for his personal discovery of Brazil.
At one point we looked around and asked ourselves: where is mr. Antonio? His son, Mariana’s brother, said he heard him saying he was going to visit an old friend. Old friend…ok, we had to check that. And right behind the church, when we entered once again the town and the stone houses, we found a bar that looked like it had been there for a long time. And it was. Mr. Antonio was already inside the owner’s house, an old friend of his youth, whom he had never seen again after his departure. We were greeted with a great laughter and some doses of whiskey. Mr. Antonio’s wet eyes denounced that this was no ordinary meeting. But after all, what was ordinary about that day? It was their family day and there was much to celebrate.
A quick stop in the house where mr. Antonio grew up. The place where he was once welcomed, patronized and educated by the parish priest. In those walls of stone began the saga that culminated in that day, the day of his daughter’s wedding, Mariana and Thiago’s day.
The day seemed to celebrate the joy of these two. The clouds that showed up in the morning have totally disappeared and given place to a bright sky, sun and warmth. The perfect weather for the reception cocktail, the perfect weather that we all so long desired for their day.
The sun was beginning to sink into the horizon when we went for a walk along the property with Mari and Thiago. Paço de Calheiros, the count’s château … with all its corners and mysteries. Now theirs, ours and yours.
Quick tip: don’t forget to take some time to do bridesmaids’ portraits. Of course, how could we say no to this light?
The sun was gone and the day slowly changed its color in front of our eyes. We all literally stopped to see. Perhaps one of the most special moments of the day for us, the moment of contemplation we would say. Everything they wanted, everything they planned was there, dancing in front of all of us, as if to say: see, it’s worth it!
It was the beginning of the end of a journey. The night came in and, with it, rain of sparkles, shooting stars, fireworks and vodka. Yes, glasses and minds flew all over the place. And we will never forget that day under the starry sky of Portugal.
A year and a half of intense planning, a week of literally living in a small house in Portugal, a billion stories to tell. We’ve left a piece of our hearts in that farm thanks to Mari and Thiago, thanks to their families, their friends. Right there we’ve felt that our family grew. Not to forget the incredible days that we spent with Clara and Laura, our Brazilian friends behind Graviola Films, and Murilo who also formed the video team. We lived in a sort of Big Brother Ponte de Lima. :) And last but not least, it’s impossible not to mention the warmth, receptivity and professionalism of Rui, Ana and his team. In the end we really wanted to kidnap them to Brazil so they could do all the weddings around here! :)
Portugal’s sky presented us with starry nights and no rain. The heat kept us warm during those days and the weather left us with a taste for more. In March we will be back, but our very will was to teleport NOW to that place. This is how we feel every time we remember this wedding, every time we think of Mari and Thiago.
Venue: Paço de Calheiros – Ponte de Lima/PT | Wedding Planner + Concept Design: Rui Mota Pinto | Dress: Laure de Sagazan | Shoes: Juliana Bicudo | Wedding film: Graviola Filmes