Destination Wedding PhotographyTHE AZORES
As a destination wedding photographer I get to travel to some fabulous locations for weddings, it truly is a lovely responsibility. When an enquiry came in from Mila and Paul for their Azores wedding, I have to admit I had to check Google Maps….and then crossed my fingers and hoped for the booking.
This beautiful island belonging to Portugal made for a stunning lake side wedding. Enjoy.
I drove from Ponta Delgada to Mila’s Airbnb where she was getting ready. It was a windy road, full of sea mist but with the most amazing hydrangeas lining the roadside all the way up and down the mountain – a big part of the attraction for hikers who come to the Azores to explore.
Mila’s residence overlooked the two lakes in Sete Citades, called the Blue and the Green Lake, although I have to be honest and say I could not tell the colour difference. I suspect it is more of a visual spectacle from above, but from the ground it just made the most tranquil backdrop for a bride to get ready against.
The morning was the epitome of relaxation, Mila was chilling with her bridesmaids, helping each other prepare as the make-up team did their stuff. The gorgeous light pouring in through the windows made this a fabulous place to shoot and with family tucked into different rooms and the staff preparing the ceremony space the morning was great fun.
The ceremony was held on the front lawn with the lake and mountains in the distance. The local registrar had her words translated as guests looked on enjoying the day…..that is until the vows when the heavens opened. I mean literally opened, right in the beginning of poor Mila’s vows which she had written herself. We all pretended that is was not happening for a couple of minutes before a very panicked wedding planner ushered us indoors for ceremony number two!
Despite the houses imposing size, their was no real space for guests, the wedding party, registrars and photographers/videographers to gather in one room – the only option was the hallway, and whilst I scrambled for light and position, Paul read his vows, with good humour.
The Reception & Party:
As the ceremony drew to a close, somehow a 3-man band made it into the house corridor to play a beautiful acoustic set, with guests singling along. It felt like a scene out of of a Richard Curtis movie.
At this point the rain had stopped and I snuck off with Mila and Paul for some newlywed portraits alongside the lake. This offered guests the chance to grab some canapés and refreshments and for Mila and Paul to ponder on whether within all the disruption they had actually exchanged rings or had any witnesses sign the marriage certificate…(they had not).
Mila’s father gathered people on the lawn to deliver a very funny and touching speech, before ushering guest onto buses for the wedding breakfast and party in Ponta Delgada, and more tears and laughter at the remaining speeches.
In a past life Paul was in a band and as the dancing started he dusted off his microphone joining the local band to serenade his new bride, much to her surprise and guests delight.
This was a beautiful wedding to be a part of and I had an absolute blast capturing the day. I was ably assisted by my good friend Deji Johnson Photography and it was a pleasure to work alongside Leanne and Blooming Lovely Films again.
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