It all started 16 years ago when Neil and I fell in love with Portugal, the place where we got engaged. We have been coming back every year for a family holiday, our children Niamh and Patrick love it too, so much so that they call the Oura View Beach club "Our Portugal house". We have had a very long engagement, but decided 2 years ago it was about time I was made a Crowley, straight away we both knew Portugal was the place to hold our wedding. We wanted to show all our friends and family what a beautiful place it is, they had all heard so much about it. So we set about trying to find out if it was possible to be married in the dome on top of the sunset restaurant, Oura View beach club, the name says it all, the most magical place, amazing views of the sea. I emailed the hotel and they said YES!! They put me in touch with Sonho a Dois wedding planners, from the first email from Carla I knew things were going to go smoothly and when we met Carla for the first time, she was like a friend straight away. She held my hand through making all the decisions, from DJ to makeup artist and many more. She emailed me link after link for us to look at and make our choices. Eventually we went with DJ Tiggy, he was just amazing, music to keep all ages boogieing all night long. His spectacular lighting just lit up our venue and transformed it into a colourful disco at night. He also provided our ceremony music for on top of the dome. Not that I heard much of it before hand, but my guest inform me he played all the beautiful songs I requested. Our photographers James and Kellie from James Hardie Photography, who I now consider firm friends, were totally amazing. They came early to my room and made us feel so at ease in front of the camera, the photographs of me and my bridesmaids getting ready are fab, they captured some beautiful moments. From start to Finish the photos they took are amazing, we couldn't have asked for more. We also had a highlights video made by James Hardie Photography, this is a must for anyone who's shy in front of the camera because you don't even know they are filming. The end result is a short film to music of your choice, highlighting key moments off the day. Everyone who has watched ours have had tears in their eyes. They managed to capture the emotions of the day on film, not an easy job. Can't thank them enough. Carla put me in touch with Bianca our makeup artist, can I just say she was the most beautiful, sweat young lady and she made me look fab, which is not an easy task. She came a few days earlier to my apartment where I had a trial, she got to know my skin and what would look best on the day. This made me at ease on the day as I knew what I was going to look like. When we arrived in Portugal a few days before wedding, Carla took us to do all the official stuff at town hall, where we met Carlos the registrar. Such a lovely man who made our ceremony as amazing as it could be. He speaks excellent English. When over on a short visit with my chief bridesmaid I met Sana Chaaibi, the senior events manager at the Oura View Beach club, she had so many ideas about how to dress the Dome for the ceremony, we decided to have our evening reception outdoors too at the BBQ area next to the pool. I spent months exchanging emails with Sana about flowers etc, she took control of everything and I must say she did an amazing job, lots of surprises for me on the day. The Hotel where amazing, so professional. The food was to die for (wish id ate more of it) from the salads to the cake, something for everyone. All my guest had an amazing day, memories to last a life time. The quote that sticks in my mind came from my brother "oh Kate, it's like a Millionaires Wedding!" Says it all. Since we have arrived home Carla has been in touch to tell us our international wedding certificate was ready to send to us, it arrived yesterday, so we are officially The Crowley family. Anyone who is thinking of having their wedding in Portugal, I can tell you this, Go for it, it's an easy process made easier by professional people who will be your friends for life.
Thank you again for making our special day so perfect and for making our dreams come true. Still can't believe our wedding was the first, very professional and fantastic, the day was truly the best day of our lives. Thank you to everyone who made to happen. X