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The Perfect ‘Destination’

The ‘Destination’ Wedding certainly has it’s advantages. Beautiful weather, cheap booze, long dusky evenings! What’s not to love!
Irish fashion blogger Nessa Hurley and her Rugby hunk hubby Dennis married in Portugal earlier this year and as her native Cork waited with baited breath to see THE DRESS – Nessa was busy liasing with her portugese suppliers in preparation for the big day. Here she shares her experience and tips to those thinking of taking the leap…

We had our wedding in June in the beautiful Algarve in Portugal. It really was such an incredible week with family and friends but I must say that nobody prepared me for the madness of a destination wedding – 90 Irish people on their holidays equals very late nights, copious amounts of cocktails and some very funny stories.


I must admit that I flew out to Portugal imagining that I would spend my days prior to the wedding lying at the pool completely relaxed and working on my tan but it turned out to be a lot busier than I expected with supplier meetings, catching up with guests and being pulled in every direction. At a wedding abroad, everybody will want to hang out with you and your partner and you do need to try and stay calm when people are constantly asking you “what’s the plan?” as you run around like a headless chicken. You seriously do need some time to relax together with your guests and enjoy some afternoon cocktails at the pool! Things are done differently in Portugal and suppliers like to chat to you for hours over coffee or a drink and time just runs out on you before you know it! If you can, I would definitely recommend flying out a few days before your guests even arrive so that you can get the final planning part out of the way or only fly out two days before the wedding so that you don’t have too many crazy late nights and early mornings before the wedding. Saying that, you aren’t going to have fond memories of the early nights tucked up in your bed at home but you will always have great memories of those late nights with loved ones.

Nobody warns you either that you could possibly lose your voice completely or that you could be suffering from sleep deprivation on the day of the wedding. After all, everyone is on holidays and it is very hard to leave the fun and have an early night so just make sure to be prepared. My whispered vows were just a sure sign of a great week!

Make sure to mind yourself too whilst abroad. There’s nothing very attractive about a bright red, insect bitten, strap-marked, spotty bride with a sick stomach. Wear a high factor suncream and be very careful to avoid awkward strap marks – be mindful of your dress style when buying your swimwear and outfits for the wedding week. I wore lots of strapless bikinis and dresses as my own dress was strapless. I’d advise you to pack a big wide-brimmed sun hat to cover your face in the sun so you don’t have a big red nose. Be careful with sun creams that will clog your pores with greasy oils and cause a breakout of spots. It’s so important to stay hydrated all week. You have to drink lots of water all week to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy.

Throughout the planning process you will be reminded constantly to enjoy your day as it is over so quickly. It does go really quickly but it’s such an amazingly beautiful day spent with your most favourite people. The best thing about our wedding is that we had a whole week of celebrations!

Nessa xoxo

Check out Nessa’s fab blog Life’s Lust Haves

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