Destination Wedding Planner, Real Weddings

When Sophie and Anthony approached us to produce and deliver their dream luxury destination wedding in Portugal in 2022, we were beyond thrilled to be involved. Portugal has long been on the wish list of wedding locations, having spent many summers here over the years.

Sophie and Anthony approached us knowing that they wanted to get married abroad, but had no idea where, when or how to make this happen! They wanted to get married in a country with year round sunshine, and one that was easy for their guests to travel to. The type of venue was also very important; being half Indian and half Chinese it was imperative to Sophie that the venue allowed us to create a personal experience for the couple and incorporate some of their most celebrated cultural traditions. They also desired a venue that was modern with impressive architecture. The wedding was to take place over several days, with multiple events happening so working with an experienced luxury wedding planner was an important consideration to the couple.


The first step in planning a beautiful luxury destination wedding in Portugal was to get to know Sophie and Anthony on a personal level and really understand their desires and dreams for their wedding celebrations. Asking lots of questions to narrow down the search, and sending Sophie and Anthony off to visit a hand selected list of possible venues, we eventually landed on L’AND Vineyards in the Alentejo region of Portugal, only 45 minutes from Lisbon airport. A luxury wedding venue in Portugal, L’AND Vineyards is an exclusive retreat compromising of a mix of suites and pool villas, blending striking architecture with modern interiors. Set within a south facing valley, overlooking the historic Montemor castle and nestled with the venue’s own vineards and olive orchards. A collection of Sky View suites offered bed-sized skylights to give guests the very real experience of sleeping under the stars.


The next step in planning this luxury destination wedding in Portugal was curating a team of suppliers who could bring Sophie and Anthony’s vision to life. When it came to the floral design, there was really only one choice, the incredible Branco Prata. Lead by Sophia Ferreira and her team, they created a distinctive and unique floral concept for the wedding. Incorporating the bold colours that Sophie and Anthony were drawn to, against a backdrop of the venue’s own landscape of olive trees and vineyards.

Creating beautiful imagery for this wedding was paramount to Sophie and Anthony, which is why we flew in leading luxury wedding photographer Emma Gosling of DA Photography and the brilliant Leo Payne of Together We Go Studio. Together with Emma Walsh of EJW Hair and Make up, we curated a team of suppliers who would be instumental in creating a wedding experience like no other.

Food and drink were another important element to the wedding celebrations. We worked with L’AND Vineyards Michelen worthy chef Miguel Laffan to create a sumptious gastronomical experience spread over four days. Emphasising a menu of traditional Portuguese cuisine with many ingredients produced locally including wines from the venue’s own award winning vineyards.


On Friday afternoon, the first of our guests arrived at L’AND Vineards. They were geeted by the exceptional front of house team before being shown to their very own private villas and suites. After sometime to settle in and unpack, guests joined our couple for the first evening of celebrations. We hosted a relaxed and informal welcome dinner outside amongst the olive trees. Serving a selection of local Portugese dishes and some of Sophie and Anthony’s favourite foods guests enjoyed a beautiful start to the weekend under the stars.

The following day, guests enjoyed a lazy morning in the spa and exploring the grounds before the wedding that afternoon. The ceremony took place in an idyllic spot overlooking the lakes, with Montemore Castle in the skyline. Breathtaking, magical and absolutely perfect in every way. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails expertly mixed by the incredible bar team at the venue accompanied by Algarve musicians Accoustic City who created the perfect atmosphere with their accoustic offering.

The Wedding Breakfast took place in the venue’s award winning Mapa Restaurant. Head Chef Miguel created an opulent five course dinner menu including dishes such as grilled wreckfish, Lamb satay and roasted tenderloin pork – one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. The rest of the evening was spent out on the deck, where guests danced the night away until the early hours.

Sunday saw the guests enjoying a traditional Portugese BBQ while enjoying a swim in the venue’s heated outdoor pool while taking in the stunning scenery. Later that evening, we arranged buses to take everyone to the historic town of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a chance to explore the local attractions before catching their flights home on Monday morning.

Planning Sophie and Anthony’s wedding was an absolute joy. They shared our creative vision and trusted us fully with their ideas and aspirations to create the ultimate luxury experience for their wedding in Portugal. They believed in us to make the right decisions for their wedding celebrations and do everything in our power to ensure they had the ultimate luxury destination wedding at L’AND Vineyards. Curating an itinerary across three days that would amaze their guests beyond expectations is something that we take pride in and were delighted to be able to deliver on behalf of the couple.


Şenel Besim is the UK’s leading luxury wedding planner with over 20 years of experience planning weddings at some of the most esteemed luxury wedding venues in the UK. 

Şenel and her team specialise in thoughtfully planned weddings where the vision you hold close to your heart guides every last intricate detail to ensure your special day is everything you imagined it to be, and more.

Please do reach out to arrange a time to speak,  where Şenel can guide you on the steps you need to take to plan a wedding that your guests will talk about for years to come. 


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