Around this time last year I was in Lisbon doing my makeup and hair trial with only 8 weeks to go to my destination wedding – what a difference a year can make aye!

I never really shared much of the BTS for my wedding preparations, simply because it was one of, if not thee most intense 18 months of my life to date. So now I have a bit of ‘quarantine’ time on my hands, I thought I’d share a bit more.

I took a trip down memory lane on my Instagram stories last weekend and gave my followers the chance to ask any questions that they had about the process. Below I’ll be sharing my answers to the top 5 questions asked both via the Q&A and since getting married, as well as some BTS wedding preparation photos.

1. Why Portugal?

So yes, we got married in a town called Paços de Ferreira, just north of Porto city in Portugal. There are a number of reasons why we chose to get married abroad. We knew we didn’t want to break the bank and the thought of pouring rain on our wedding day gave me palpitations haha, so we decided to go for an affordable and sunny destination i.e. not London.

My husband Aníbal, is Portuguese which kinda secured the deal on Portugal. For one, it meant we wouldn’t have to overcome any language barriers, which can be a challenge when planning a destination wedding. We also wanted our families and friends to be able to enjoy a short break as well as joining us for the wedding so we chose Porto, which we both know and love. With all of this in mind, the lower wedding costs and the guarantee of good weather, nothing else made sense!


2. How many guests?

Just over 100 of our nearest and dearest. We invited everyone that we wouldn’t want to miss the occasion. Another positive about getting married abroad – you end up celebrating your day surrounded by those who would travel to another country for you aka your realest!

3. Favourite moment?

Probably should have put this first as I know I get asked this all the time! For me, there was a specific heart-warning moment that I remember so vividly. It was after we’d arrived at the reception venue and we were all outside eating the canapés, having a drink and chatting. I looked around, and everywhere I turned I saw people we loved and that loved us just as much. Soppy I know! But how often is it that you get all your family and friends together in one place having a good time?

4. How many dresses did you try on?

So I’ll start off by saying that I actually went for the first dress I tried on! I wasn’t expecting to love it so much, it just felt right from the moment I put it on! I then went on to try another 10 or so dresses just to confirm that I had the right one – typical me!

5. Best wedding advice?

I could do another post on wedding advice alone as I feel I learned so much in the process. I would say not letting external factors influence your decisions is my key piece of advice!

I touched on this over on my Instagram stories already. It can be so easy to get influenced by people’s opinions, outdated traditions and what you see online. Staying focussed on what the whole thing is about for you both and what’s important to you, will help to prevent you making decisions and spending money on things that ultimately you don’t want.

Aníbal constantly reminded me of this by asking, ‘will this matter to us 1 day, month or year after the wedding?’ – a really helpful reminder of what was a priority!

Let me know if you have any other questions below! I’d also love to know about any wedding preparation experiences you may have had.

Like, comment, follow xo

Rianna Mara

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