Matthew & Joe’s wedding feature and how they wore Matthew Calvin Jewellery
Wedding date: 31.08.19
Location: Armacao De Pera, Algarve, Portugal
Number of guests: 130
As our guests travelled to Portugal for the wedding, we wanted there to be wedding activities on multiple days, so our wedding actually spanned over three days – Friday-Sunday.
On the Friday, we held an intimate beach party at sunset, which was a really nice way for everyone to catch up and start the experience. The Saturday was the official ceremony, where we used my family’s holiday home as a venue. It couldn’t have been anywhere else in our eyes, although it did take some persuading for my dad to let us use the house. I’m not sure he plans on hosting any more weddings there in the near future… On the Sunday, we invited everyone back over for a relaxed pool party / barbeque, which was such a nice way to wind down after the event.
I think the ceremony captured us both perfectly; extremely relaxed and un-stuffy. We both opted for no ties and had our top button undone. About 2 hours before it all kicked off, Joe and I were in the pool chatting about the ceremony and making sure we knew what we were saying. I think some people were a little worried about how calm we were but that’s exactly how we wanted it to be. Our good friend Rosie married us, so we got to spend a lot of time with her in the run up to the wedding deciding on what we wanted we say and how we wanted the ceremony to go.
The engagement all happened quite quickly. I had decided to ask Joe to marry me about 4 months before, but wanted to ask his family first. Once I had their blessing, I realised that I had better start planning before the secret got out! I booked a room in a really lovely hotel in Tetbury in the Cotswolds.
We had been away there before and had great memories of the place. Joe and I took Colin, our cockapoo for a walk around Westonbirt Arboretum. It was absolutely freezing and rather wet, so we were bundled up in coats and scarves. I’d decided to attach a ring that I’d made to Colin’s collar before we started walking so I was quite nervous that Joe would notice and catch on.
We took a turn off the beaten track and walked into this lovely clearing among the trees. Joe wanted to take a photo of me and Colin in the middle of the clearing, and I realised that this was my moment. After the photo was taken Joe walked over – I was already on one knee to cuddle the dog for the photo, so the timing was perfect – and asked the all-important question. He (thankfully!) said yes and after a minute to ourselves, we realised we now had to somehow get the ring off of a very muddy and excitable Colin!
Attending our friends Rosie & Nick’s wedding back in July 2018 we met Beth Allen, their wedding coordinator. We instantly hit it off and knew that she was the right fit for our own celebration. We can’t sing her praises enough; the wedding ran so smoothly, and she was so helpful and attentive for the entire weekend. Beth also recommended a friend Emily for our flowers. We couldn’t have been happier.
We met with Emily, founder of Design By Nature, a few times and discussed the look we were going for. We went for an understated but elegant look – think eucalyptus, white roses and natural greenery found locally. Emily created a beautiful arch for the ceremony adorned with white roses and orchids, which we chose to get married in front of. They also used huge palm fronds and other foliage from the trees in the garden which really helped to pull the decoration and the setting together.
We decided on greys, blues and deep reds for our colours all in dusty shades for the colour scheme. We felt this would work well in the afternoon sunshine and carry on into the evening nicely. For decorations, I think we both had a eucalyptus theme in mind. It grows locally to the area and has a beautiful dustiness to it which we wanted to transcend throughout the look.
Also, we had a joint stag do about a month before the big day where 35 of our closest friends and family members had a really fun afternoon of life drawing, followed by some questionable karaoke. There were so many life drawings left at our apartment, we decided to ship them to Portugal and make a mural on the glass entranceway. It was a great reminder and fun for some of our guests to see some of their great (or no so great) artistry.
We had a mixture of local contemporary canapes created by Casa Do Marques followed by a selection of live kitchens where the food was cooked in front of the guests. Dishes included Cataplana (a local seafood stew) and a flambeed beef tenderloin which was definitely the showstopper. We decided early on that we wanted to showcase a variety of Portuguese cuisine. Armacao De Pera is known for its’ seafood, so we knew this was also something we wanted to incorporate into the food for the day.
We also chose to go for a Portuguese theme with our ‘wedding cake’, which was also made by Casa do Marques– we opted for a tower of pastel de natas.
Joe’s suit was bespoke Hugo Boss, after seeing one he fell in love with and having it custom fit to him. I left finding my suit to the very last minute as I was sure I could find one off the shelf… When I struggled to find what I was looking for, I turned to Zegna and had a bespoke suit made.
We wanted a casual summer edge to our outfits so chose to wear matching Stan Smiths, which complimented the relaxed style of the wedding perfectly. Joe had also bought me a rose gold Rose pin to wear on my lapel, as they’re my favourite flowers.
We knew we didn’t want to wear matching suits so opted for relaxed fitting suits which we felt comfortable in, both of which were made from lighter fabrics, so we weren’t too warm in the summer heat.
I made both our wedding rings in solid 9ct gold. We both have jobs which are hard on our hands, so 9ct was always the best option (being more hard-wearing). We both went for a classic D shape with a subtle hammered texture to make them more unique and personal to us.
Many pieces of Matthew Calvin jewellery also were spotted at the wedding, most of which were the necklaces from the recent Oro Antiguo collection launch. It’s always nice seeing family and friends wear our creations, especially on such a special day!
BRIDESMAIDS / BEST MEN:
The best men and groomsman wore Richard James Mayfair suits in a light grey linen, and brown brogues.
We had the bridesmaids and maid of honour dresses made in Barcelona and London by local dressmakers. After sourcing the fabric, we let the bridesmaids design their own dresses. We felt that this worked really well as they were happy with what they were wearing, and they all tied in nicely with the same fabric.
We found an amazing photographer husband and wife duo, Matt & Lena who are based out in the Algarve. We loved their photography style and they captured the wedding beautifully.
We chose Etta James, At Last for our first dance. We went to see the band play in Lisbon before the wedding, and it was the first song in their set. It’s a firm favourite of the two of us and as soon as they started playing, we knew that it was the song we wanted.
We found a great band in Lisbon called 24 Robbers Swing Band who were perfect. We asked Kristina, the band’s singer, to perform some relaxed swing music during the canapes and dinner service. Kristina then joined the rest of her band to perform some classics on the dancefloor.
Portugal is famous for lots of things but one of our favourites are the typical tiles which cover the traditional houses in cities. We chose some of our favourite patterns and had the backs corked and stamped with our names and wedding date for our guests to take home, as favours. Our wedding planner, Beth framed all four styles of our favours, which we used as a guestbook for people to sign through the night. We now have it hanging on the wall at home and it’s a really lovely keepsake from the day.