An Intimate, Edwardian Inspired Elopement in Portugal: Meadhbh & Raymond

I am utterly transfixed by today’s beautiful real wedding! Meadhbh & Raymond had an intimate elopment in Portugal and infused their day with a touch of incredible Edwardian style detail.

In particular the Edwardian style dress and romantic flower headpiece are divine. I love how unique this bride’s style is – and if you’re looking for a couple who ‘did it their own way’ and a bride with some sage advice… read on!

Words by Meadhbh. Images by Matt & Lena Photography.

The Victorian engagement ring led me to choose Victorian-Edwardian era of style for its pure romance. The setting also guided the choice of style (era). Having been engaged in the magical Sintra we knew we wanted to return there to be married.

Our wedding venue was The Palacio de Setais in Sintra, Portugal. We chose Sintra as we were engaged in the nearby Quinta da Regaleira having seen the ‘Rapunzel’ like tower in portrait book of places of interest in Portugal.

As a world heritage centre, Sintra is steeped in history and beautiful architecture and is set in the mountains outside of Lisbon giving beautiful views.

I planned our wedding myself and we arranged for the legal part to take place in Portugal by liaison with the Irish Department for Foreign Affairs.

Many people opt for a registry office wedding in their country of origin and a ‘show’ wedding abroad but we wanted just one wedding anniversary!

Raymond wore a suit from Salingers with an Edwardian collar and shirt from Darcy’s.

Our local florist imported the bouquet requirements from the Netherlands. My uncle Marvin Lopes kindly arranged all of this from just a few photographs.

My wedding dress was an Edwardian crochet dress upcycled by Jody of SoGobsmacked on Etsy. Jody is an ex-Renaissance costume designer based in Portland, Oregon and is very creative!

Shortly after our engagement I saw the dress online and loved it. I wanted to wear something for my wedding that I would not have the occasion to wear again – so vintage crochet lace with a long veil was the obvious choice. I love Edwardian and 1930s style silhouettes so had a clear idea about what I wanted to wear in advance. I liked that the dress was truly unique and particularly loved the peacock-feather shaped edging (a detail I picked up on in the invitations).

We agreed to take some couple shots before the ceremony. Matt arranged for Ray to wait in a drawing room at the palace and Lena showed me in. Ray’s delighted reaction to my dress stuck out in my head as one of the most memorable of the wedding day.

I became very nervous the night before the wedding about the dress fitting me well, as I needed to be sewn into it… and Ray’s facial expressions are very telling!However, my dad’s emotional reaction after the wedding was on a par with this.

I don’t believe in patriarchal ownership of women so I walked up the ‘aisle’ myself! A harpist played ‘Love me that’s all I ask of you’ from The Phantom of the Opera.

It was not my first choice but my preferred song would have required a duo and our first harpist had cancelled so I didn’t want to put under any more pressure.

We didn’t have a video (who wants to hear their own voice?!) Matt and Lena our wedding photographers made an amazing montage of pictures set to music that captured the day wonderfully. It literally moved me to tears.

We didn’t feel that additional decor was necessary given the setting in the Palacio de Setais with it’s gilted furniture, wool woven carpets and handpainted frescos.

We had a fresh floral arrangement along the length of  the dining table  and candles in a candelabra.

Our wedding advice? Don’t be drawn into wedding hysteria and plan your day as YOU would like it, not as tradition dictates or as your family expect.

We eloped and only announced our wedding to everyone post-event. Nobody wanted to be bored with wedding talk for months in advance! Placing too much importance on a single day also puts undue pressure on couples in terms of wedding ‘extras’ (stag and hen parties abroad, favours, competition with other recently married couples).

We ensured that we were as relaxed as we could be (some nervous excitement of course) and did what was right for us as individuals.

wedding credits / photographer: matt & lena photography / wedding venue: palacio de setais / brides dress: ody of sogobsmacked on etsy / brides accessories: le chaim via etsy, headpiece ‘little willow & co‘ via etsy / brides veil: pronoptuia / grooms suit: salingers, darcy’s / grooms accessories: upcyled victorian owl tie clip  – ‘days long gone’ on etsy / brides shoes: rachel simpson mimosa in pistachio. purchased via lilac bridal limerick / bridesmaid dresses: coast / bridesmaid shoes: kaala 22 / hair & makeup: joanna moreira makeup & nuno suoto (hairstation lisbon) / florist: caiscais / stationery: magikstationery on etsy

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Showing 3 comments
  • Bart

    Great wedding photos, love the style and light, brilliant!

  • Aoife

    Fabulous wedding- very stylish bride & lovely commentary!

  • meadhbh

    Headpiece by Shelley Tooley of ‘LittleWIllow&Co’ on Etsy. Meadhbh :-)

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