To Lisbon, With Love
When two travel buffs planned a wedding in Portugal, they made a point of coloring outside the lines: A Buddhist tradition replaced conventional vows; cake came before dinner and their elegant decor made a 17th-century setting feel utterly spectacular.
"We went with floral designs that were slightly untamed but elegant," says Lauren of the punchy orange-, pink-, and cream-colored arrangements that popped against the site’s cerulean walls, patterned tiles, and towering palms. On September 14, 2019, 60 guests streamed into the grounds, gathering around a fountain in the courtyard for a Buddhist-inspired ceremony. Afterward, the newlyweds kicked off cocktail hour with a sweet twist: They did their cake cutting and a Champagne toast while a three-piece band played American and classic Portuguese songs. Then guests found their seats for a family-style supper, and later filled the dance floor. With the help of midnight ginja shots (cherry liqueur in chocolate cups), a DJ kept the crowd grooving under a full moon till half past two in the morning. A week later, the newlyweds flew to Greece for their honeymoon-another dreamy escapade for two adventurers.
FIRE DRILLS don't exactly scream “romance." But when Lauren Salerno, an art director at a fashion branding company, waited one out in her office parking lot in 2010, she felt a spark when she first saw Chris Petrick, who was coming in for an interview. She only laid eyes on him from a distance, but then they serendipitously met a few weeks later, at a mutual friend's party. The two soon fell in love while traveling the world together, and eight years later, on a vacation in the summer of 2018, Chris planned a special stop in a lavender field in the South of France, where he wowed her with a ring.
Not surprisingly, an intimate destination wedding topped the pair's wish list. Their families and many of their friends live on the East Coast, so Europe made sense (it’s just a few hours farther by plane than California). And Portugal was their peerless choice. "We had been to Lisbon in 2013 and had the best time," recalls Chris. "It's very laid-back, and it's easy to get from the airport to the city center”. Their planner suggested a number of venues, but when they watched her video of Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira, a 17th-century royal hunting pavilion, they were sold on virtual sight. Their next grand vision was to fill the place with unexpected colors, so it would feel more spirited than formal.
A BLUE SWOON
When Lauren saw the oversize blooms on this Monique Lhuillier silk-organza ball gown, her dress search was over. "I just loved that it felt like me. It didn't take itself too seriously but was still elegant and timeless," she says. "The flowers were hand- painted onto the fabric-you can even see where some of the color bled. It truly felt like a work of art.' The bride also loved how lightweight it was-perfect for dancing.
Event Planning, Design, Florals & Stationery
Sofia Nascimento Studios
Photography Love is my Favorite Color
Gown Monique Lhuillier bride
Lace Ring Grace Lee Designs
Rentals The Rental Factory
Location Palácio Fronteira
Hair Carla d'Oliveira
Make-Up Joana Moreira
Text Claire Sullivan from Martha Stewart Weddings
A LITTLE WISDOM
"Chris wanted a large wedding, but I always knew I preferred tight guest list," says Lauren. "I'm big on quality over quantity. So we decided to include the people who will always be there for us. I advise everyone to go smaller-we got to dance and talk with every attendee.
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