Laura and Jamie married last September in Albufeira on Portugal’s Algarve. The couple chose Portugal after enjoying many holidays there and loving the amazing weather and food. Their celebration took place overlooking the sea high up on the orange cliffs of the Algarve with their closest friends and family. The wedding party ate and laughed until late in the evening under pine trees strung with lanterns in the Sheraton’s open air garden, and as dusk fell they walked to the beach to release balloons and dance the night away under the stars. All the happiness was captured by Ana Parker Photography.
HOW THEY MET
“It was 2004 and our mutual love for Snake Bite Sunday meant we would spend most weekends in ‘The Hogs Head’- A Hertfordshire hotspot. It took a number of months, WKD blues and an England penalty shootout before “The Kiss” that changed it all. In 2011 we travelled to New York and after being on the last flight into JFK airport due to a snowstorm, first on our itinerary was The Rockefeller. We were the only ones braving the minus temperatures on the viewing deck and Jamie popped the question: I quickly said yes and we hurried in from the cold for a celebratory hot chocolate!
DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION
The Algarve has great weather, food and drink and after having a number of holidays there over the years we couldn’t think of a better place to bring our family and friends for our special day. It’s also only a two and a half hour flight from our closest airport which is 15 minutes up the road. It was important to us that the trip was as quick, easy and cheap as possible for our guests. We booked our holiday to the Algarve and I lined up a number of venues to view. We had in mind what we were looking for: a sea view, shaded ceremony area and good food! The Sheraton Algarve was the first venue we saw- we knew as soon we got there that it was the place for us.
We had the ceremony in the beautiful gardens on top of the Pine cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The garden is shaded and there’s a nice sea breeze. The gardens are divided so we also had canapes and our meal there, the sunset was stunning! We didn’t use a planner- I had so much confidence in our wedding coordinator at the Sheraton that I knew everything was in hand. I chose a powder blue colour for the bridesmaid and incorporated it in the wedding stationery. When you have amazing weather and views you don’t need too much decor.
One of our favourite parts of the day was an idea given to us by our wedding coordinator only five days before the wedding. We had our evening party/disco in the Sheraton beach hut at the bottom of the Pine Cliffs and our coordinator suggested that upon arrival at the beach hut our guests were handed balloons which flash in the dark. We then made our way to the deck on the beach and after we cut the cake and popped the champagne our usher made a small speech about making a wish for the bride and groom. We then released our balloons. The DJ played one of our favourite songs- Coldplay’s Sky Full of Stars and we watched the balloons float away over the sea. This was a lovely surprise for our guests and worked as an easier version of Chinese lanterns. Other than the amazing food and fabulous waiting staff this was the most talked about part of the day. My only regret would be not searching for more vendors myself online- though it was really reassuring and handy that the Sheraton had suppliers for everything on hand, once I got into it I was able to find cheaper suppliers just by googling them.