It’s no secret that we love the Alentejo… the wide open spaces, the rolling hills and lone trees on the horizon… and the light, I could go on and on about the light, but suffice to say that the light in this part of the country is an amazing thing. But the thing is, very few people outside of Portugal know anything about this unique region of Southern Europe. If I were to say “Tuscany” or “Provence” you would all know immediately what I was talking about… and then you would all “ooh” and “aah” and say how amaaazing those places are, how the food is just to die for, how the landscape is the most beautiful you’ve ever seen. And of course, you would be right on all counts, because those are truly gorgeous parts of the world. But everything that those places have… the food, the wine, the culture, the architecture, the cute little old ladies in traditional clothing… the light, again! The light! All those things that Tuscany and Provence are famous for, the Alentejo has too… except for the high prices… and the hordes of tourists.
The majority of destination weddings that happen here in Portugal are in the Algarve region… and if a beach wedding is what you’re after, then the Algarve is the best place for it. But there’s more to Portugal than just her beaches, and if you’re imagining a wedding under the shade of an olive tree or in the ruins of a castle, or by the side of a lake with rolling hills and cork trees as far as the eye can see, then an Alentejo wedding could be what you’re looking for.
The following series of images are from a wedding we photographed at the Pousada de Arraiolos, a lovingly restored 16th century convent nestled in a quiet valley just outside of the town of Arraiolos. The Pousada operated as a fully functioning hotel with beautiful, spacious rooms and a world-class restaurant. The decor and design for this wedding was done by Design Events, a wedding styling company based in the Alentejo city of Estremoz. See the full wedding HERE.
These images are from a styled shoot we did for the autumn 2011 edition of S Magazine. We worked together with Design Events, Anabela Teixeira as well as the fabulous ladies from Éter Wedding, a graphic design and wedding planning company based in the city of Évora. Follow the link for the complete story… Water’s Edge shoot.
Other wedding venues worth checking out are; the Imani Country House (just outside of Évora), the L’and Vineyards (15 minutes from Évora) and the Herdade da Matinha Country House (on the south-west coast, close to Porto Covo). We haven’t (yet!) had the opportunity to work at any of these venues but from what we’ve seen they look beautiful and fit in with our philosophy of non-traditional, out-of-the-box weddings.
So why are we going to such lengths to promote this part of the world? Honestly? We’d really like to shoot more weddings here… it’s a beautiful and under-valued area that has a spot close to our hearts… we simply love being here and are quite sure that if we spread the love and show it to other people, there’s a good chance that they (and you) will love it too.