Time-honored love, 1980s grandpa's villa, kids laughing, the closest people on the guest list, gourmet Portuguese cuisine, and a cozy atmosphere - that was Kate and Daniel's wedding. We asked Kate about all the details of the preparation, as well as her love story with Daniel.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
We met in a bar on the 6th of December 2008. We instantly connected and we both knew that this was something special. Both of us felt this strong connection but were also a bit afraid of where it would lead us to. Freedom and independence were always very important to both of us and still are. We started dating and had some romantic adventures. Daniel still remembers the little red mittens I wore on one of our first dates at the Christmas market. We laugh a lot about these first days because everything was so wild and a bit of a rollercoaster. Traveling has always been one of our things together. After only a few weeks we met, we flew to Rome and had the most magical time exploring the city and eating the best Italian food. We spent a romantic week in New York and visited so many places around the globe together. We have never been apart since: partners in crime with a happy ending.
What do you do for a living?
One of our common things is our job. We both work as Management Consultants for the same company. This allows us a better understanding of what moves the other person on the job, and we always act as equals.
And for fun?
Since that first date and the wild days we have experienced, there have been so many incredibly wonderful things we have done together. We both have grown in the relationship each of us as a person and as a couple, always with the support of each other. On top of that, we built a home for our family and have two beautiful kids: Noé, who is nine years, and Juno, who is three. One of our most memorable times together was our four weeks road trip through Australia with Noé in a van. Kate lived in Australia for almost two years, but it was something different to see all these beautiful places as a family. The starry sky there is like nowhere else in the world, and we could have stayed in Byron Bay forever. We love sports: Daniel and Noé have a strong passion for soccer. That gives them some boys' time at least three times a week. Juno and Kate have a passion for yoga and fitness. It is super cute to see this little girl moving on the mat. Our life is always busy, and we often have friends at our place. Kate loves to throw birthday or Halloween parties, or sleepovers for the kids accompanied by their parents. So, there is always something happening
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
Daniel surprised me with his proposal on our anniversary. He was so nervous when he went down on his knees and made a heartfelt speech about how much he loves me and that he would not be complete without me. We were a bit crazy, we planned and got married in a secret intimate civil ceremony just 9 days after he proposed. Our civil wedding was during the COVID-19 lockdown, so it was intimate, just us and our kids. We were able to concentrate completely on that special day and be in the moment.
The inspiration for our venue in Portugal came during our summer holiday there. We always spend our summers in our family house in Portugal. It is a beautiful place that means so much to us. We love the country with its easy laid-back atmosphere. It has so much beauty to discover and we always find something new. The quality of the food and the products is epic. And the people are so welcoming and lovely. Our aim was to celebrate our love with our friends and have a happy family holiday week. At this stage, we did not even know the word, “destination wedding”. We wanted to have a wedding that is authentically us, with who and what we love.
Where was your wedding?
For our ceremony, we wanted something private. Our style for our wedding was to make it a fun, beautiful, intimate love fest in a relaxed atmosphere with amazing food. It should be the happiest day for everyone and not too serious and stiff. We wanted to create that family garden wedding vibe. After researching a few locations, we decided to celebrate at our grandfather’s place. He has this beautiful villa which he bought in the early 80s from a famous music composer. It has this beautiful big garden with a huge pool and so much space for the kids to run around and play.
Since we decided to have a wedding abroad and the people had to fly, our main aim was to make the rest of our wedding as sustainable as possible. With local suppliers, and small businesses. With a little help from a friend, we put together a website as an invitation to avoid paper. From there we housed all the information for the guest regarding the venue, accommodation, our favorite restaurants, beaches, and other things to do in our beloved Portugal. We found most of our suppliers on IG or through recommendations.
Against all traditions, we decided not to have flowers on the table. August is very hot in Portugal, so any flowers would not survive the next day. Our venue is such a naturally beautiful place, so we did not want to overload it with decoration. We had this amazing endless dinner table set up with white linen in the heart of the garden with the most divine food served family-style. For the table décor, we got some beautiful pottery from Mariana (Malga Ceramic Design) as centerpieces for the table. They look like big shells and were simply perfect. We added some citronella candles from Diptyque against the mosquitos accompanied by lots of lemons from our veggie Granny (This tiny store at the side of the road that doesn’t even have a name, but we always buy our fruits and veggies from her when we are there).
Everything about our wedding was very personal. We made it exactly how we wanted it, completely our own way. We lovingly hand-prepared little baskets for the guests. They were filled with our favorite Portuguese products. Since our guests already traveled a long way, we did not ask for presents, but we asked the guests to make a wish for us (there was this little ring, where they should knot a “Bonfim the Bahia Bandage” and make a wish. Even though they’re Brazilian, they had been everywhere in Portugal a few years ago and we do have three kids among our friends which are meant to be based on one of these bandages).
The wildest story and most hard to find was our wedding car: A Renault 4L. Daniel always had a favor, which was to have this little car, which seems to be everywhere in the Algarve but nearly impossible to rent. To make a long story short, after many phone calls, we found it from a total stranger who rented it for one hour. As you can tell, our style is to break the rules a bit.
What did you include in a wedding program?
We started our celebration with an easy pre-wedding welcome drink event, the evening before at the beach of Praia de Albandeira. The beach is divine with the most stunning violet rose sunset when the sun drops into the sea. That way we got to see all our guests and catch up with them with drinks and pizza. It was a relaxed atmosphere as we wished, for the kids to play at the beach. Our wedding ceremony itself was very special. It was held in this breathtaking church of Vila do Bispo. We do have a strong connection to this place. The beach there is one of our most beloved beaches, Praia do Castelejo. It is a little surfer hot spot with the most beautiful coastline surrounded by the taste of the Algarve. The amazing slightly sweet flavor of the wild-growing Cistus at the coastline catches you immediately when you get out of the car. The little church is on the top of the hill, it is tiny but is decorated inside with these beautiful white/ blue Portuguese Azulejos. The service was very touching. I walked down the aisle accompanied by our step-grandfather and my little daughter. After the marriage ceremony, I surprised Daniel with my confession of love. It was very touching, and Daniel tried very hard not to cry. Because my best man had moved to Tokyo for work shortly before the wedding, we also had a live link to Tokyo. In this way, we could have them with us. Every little piece came together as it was meant to be. We had a vision in our heads of how we wanted things to be.
How many guests did you have?
We had 39 guests of which 16 were kids. For them, we set up a beautiful Teepee Cinema in the garden.
Tell us about your outfits.
I worked in high fashion, so I have been always into materials. We are both quite classic and minimalistic when it comes to fashion for us less is more. Daniel wore a beautiful suit from The Row which is a brand I absolutely love due to its outstanding quality. Combined with a classic elegant Bottega belt, fitted Dolce & Gabbana shirt with a slim classic Louis Vuitton tie and some classic Tod´s loafers. Picking my dress was a bit of a crazy story. I found it on Instagram: I wanted to have something super elegant, clean, and made from a beautiful material that was actually quite hard to find during the lockdown. When I saw the Nancy dress from A la Robe in their feed, I knew this is me! There were not even samples in the store, so I had a Zoom call with Zoë from Zo&Willow Bridal. She was just lovely and showed some fabrics and helped me with how to make the measurements myself. I was super nervous before the trial, but we were all speechless. The dress was classic, elegant yet sexy and so me. It fit perfectly and was complemented with this beautiful 2-meter tulle veil by Halfpenny London. I did not need to add much for the perfect look.
Daniel`s mum had always planned a wedding for us in Portugal. She passed away some years ago, so I decided to wear something from her on our special day. So my necklace was lovingly made by my best friend with inherited pearls from my mother-in-law, as well as the necklace my daughter wore. This way, she was kind of watching over us. She would have enjoyed and loved the day so much. For Daniel, we chose a classic slim Cartier wedding ring which looks amazing and fits perfectly to his hands. I always loved the style of Sophie Bille Brahe, elegant timeless, but with a little twist. I chose the Grace ring, a delicate ring featuring a curved band like the wave of the ocean. The ring is just perfect for me, and I always get a warm and beautiful feeling when I look at it.
Our church has cobblestones in front of it and the dinner was on grass, so goodbye to any super-high stilettos. My best friend found me, the most comfortable heels from Miu Miu. They have this amazing block heel that looks like it is made of glass. I felt like Cinderella getting married to my dream prince, the love of my life.
What was your first dance song?
We had a very personal playlist for the day, especially for the church. One of my favorite songs of the day was my entrance to the church: an instrumental version of “November Rain” from Guns and Roses. Our first dance song was “Fly me to the moon” by Frank Sinatra followed by “I wanna dance with somebody” by Whitney Houston. Fun fact: we only rehearsed and practiced the dance the day before.
What flowers did you choose for the bride's bouquet and why?
The flowers for the church were done by a local lovely old couple (Vanda & Charlos). Simple and elegant with all white. For the bouquet, I wanted to have only white Orchids, super minimalistic and elegant.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
We had a super simple classic vegan wedding cake from Rita with two flavors: organic vanilla, raspberry, white chocolate, and almond. It was perfect and so yummy that the nonvegans did not even realize it.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
The whole wedding was put together with the perfect selection of little suppliers. Our main aim was to support small businesses and local suppliers. We wanted to have everything sustainable.
Savannah and Rui, from “The Lopes Photography” are just outstanding. We instantly connected with them. They had the perfect understanding of our aesthetic because we did not want the typical wedding pictures. All we wanted was to capture moments and feelings, no posed getting-ready images, no bridal party. We chose to have a few pictures after the church at our beloved beach in Vila do Bispo because we love the beauty of the wild so much and it means so much to us. We enjoyed some time alone to soak up how beautiful the ceremony was. We both were totally relaxed and could enjoy ourselves. Savannah is simply the best, she is super well-connected and knows everything about planning a wedding. She could easily work as a wedding planner. We did all the planning and organizing by ourselves, but we could not have done it without her support.
Max, from Puro Algarve Catering, delivered the most delicious and authentic Portuguese food. It was funny because he is actually German and just moved to the Algarve so our meetings with him were super German, efficient, and short. We wanted to have a relaxed dinner that was family-style in the garden with a long table. He did the perfect setup. On the menu we had: Grilled Dorada with courgettes, confit cherry tomatoes and olives, Chicken Piri Piri, Arroz de Marisco with Pulpo, clams, oven peppers, and lemon thyme gremolata, "Brazilian Feijoada" with grilled roast beef slices and rice.
For wedding coordination on the day itself, we had Daniela, who did such a great job. Everything was in time and in place. She is so well organized and just lovely.
Bianca Pereira did an amazing job with my hair and makeup. I rarely wear makeup, so she created the perfect, very minimal makeup look with a tamed messy bun that was perfect for anchoring my veil.
My best friend, Steffi, although not a supplier, was the second most important person (after Daniel, haha) on this day. She helped us so much, not only with the preparation but also on the day itself.
Catering + Rentals @puro_algarve_catering
Dress @alarobe via @zoandwillowbridal
Veil @halfpennylondon via @zoandwillowbridal