You may have noticed that we don't speak about finding your ´perfect venue´.
This is actually for a good reason.
Not because we doubt the quality of wedding venues in Portugal. As the matter of fact, we believe Portugal has one of the highest standards of hospitality and service. Besides the wide variety of backdrops that can match all different kind of wedding themes, Portugal definitely is a perfect wedding destination.
The reason why we don't refer to a ´perfect venue´ has more to do with matching expectations with the budget, where we even dare to say that the most perfect venue may have a sound restriction until midnight, while you envisioned your wedding party to last until sunrise. This is all to say that - unless you are prepared to spend whatever it takes - that every budget comes with a good dose of prioritising.
Venue search is not only about finding the most beautiful wedding venue.
It is also finding the venue that you can afford, that provides all conditions and facilities that you require ánd a venue that is within your search area.
When organising a destination wedding in Portugal (or any other country) you most likely will also look into other facilities, such as:
Accommodation included in the venue or at least in the surrounding area of the venue;
The possibility to host a pre- and postwedding event in the same venue;
Privacy or exclusivity, which means that the venue (included accommodation) will be exclusively at your disposal.
So, back to the question ´how to find your ideal wedding venue in Portugal´, we have compiled the following 4-step guideline for you.
Set your priorities
For the exact reason as mentioned above. Unless you are willing to spend whatever it takes (or in other words, money doesn't matter), you will have to get your priorities straight before you even start looking into wedding venues. If you forego this very first step and dive directly into the venue search, you will most likely get lost in the forest of amenities, facilities and conditions that all seem equally important.
So first decide on what matters the most for you, before you will start your search.
Distance from airport
In and outdoor spaces
Flexibility in terms of vendors
Put these search-criteria in order of importance and you are ready for the next step.
2. Start your search
Now that you have clarity on what you are looking for, you can start your search. Although many couples will be guided by their wedding planner, the quality of the search relies on you, by being clear on what you are looking for and provide clear feedback on the venues that your wedding planner will present. Ultimately you will make a selection of two to three venues that you may want to visit and compare in order to find the best match.
In case you have decided to plan your destination wedding in Portugal all by yourself, you may find out that your online search always results in showing the same venues, mainly in Lisbon area and the Algarve. If you want to extend your search, you may want to try the following keywords in Google: Quinta, solar, herdade, monte. And don't forget to check out our handpicked selection of venues on our venue page.
3. Compare the uncomparable
When narrowing down your selection, you will find out that it is hard to compare apples and pears. Because each venue has its own uniqueness. The one question that will help you through this stage is:
Ask yourself ´How important is .....` followed by your criteria.
Budget: the most obvious one. The question is; ´how important it is to stay within your budget?´ Some venues come with a high venue fee, a mandatory full house booking of 3 nights or even one week. Other venues work with an exclusive caterer that requires a good part of your budget to be reserved for food and beverages.
Accommodation: how important it is to have enough rooms for all my guests? Or can you be happy with having just your inner circle staying near to you?
Multiple days: ask yourself how important it is to celebrate a multiple-day event with a pre-wedding cocktail and post-wedding BBQ for instance. Some venues don't provide this option, others do but charge another fee for those extra days:
Distance from airport: how important it is to have the venue within 45-minutes drive from the airport, not only for you but also for your guests?
4. Venue visits
If you are able to come to Portugal at this stage of the wedding planning, we definitely advise to do so. In that case, make appointments and reconfirm those appointments one day prior to your visit. Also check if you can make a pre-reservation of your possible wedding date, to avoid the risk that the venue will no longer be available by the time of your visit.
As we said before, we advise to visit two or three venues. When your homework and pre-selection is done right, you will be able to choose the best matching venue from this final selection.
For those not being able to travel to Portugal for visiting a few venues, we recommend to schedule a virtual venue tour instead.
Now that you have done your research, you will have a good idea on what Portugal has to offer in your search area, fitting your style and matching your budget. This will ultimately enable you to come to a well- informed decision on your ideal wedding venue.
Do you still feel you can use some help or guidance? Besides our full wedding planning service, we provide the option to book a venue-consultation with us. Click here to get in touch with us today.