Amongst The Orange Trees.


After a sun-dappled British affair yesterday we’re now taking a trip to a (very) sunny Portugal. This wedding is so fit. Honestly – there are sequins, glowing skin, fruity favours….not to mention the amazing menu and and perfectly dressed tables.

We’ve seen photo walls before, many times in fact but this kind of personalised decor never fails to entertain your guests, especially when done so ruddy epically. Yep, just hang your favourite captured life moments from the outside of buildings the way Lou and Phil did.

Did I mention how fit this wedding was?


Sun, Sea And Sand

Our venue was in Portugal in a small village near Estoi. We knew from day one that it was the place we wanted to get married- the beautiful walk up to the reception area through the deliciously fragrant Orange Grove won us over at minute one. We chose Portugal because we both love sun, sand and holiday fun and we wanted our wedding to reflect these parts of our character.


A Zone Of Tranquality

I went for a very natural look- beach swept hair and very natural makeup to keep with the relaxed and informal theme of our wedding. My mum made my hair piece which was put together from some of my Grandma’s old jewellery and so was very special! My something old! I had a perfume portrait for the wedding which made me feel very special at Ormonde Jayne, Sloane Square, London as did my mum- the perfect pre wedding mum and daughter treat!

I would say my favourite new beauty product for the day was the Laura Mercier super volume mascara. I had gel nails which were perfect in the lead up to and the post wedding holiday and I didn’t have to worry at all about them. A beauty treat must….mini Diptique travel candle to burn the night before and create a zone of tranquillity!


I chose a Jenny Packham gown- the dress couldn’t have been more perfect for me and I loved wearing it. I bought the dress from the Jenny Packham boutique on Elizabeth Street London and the experience was a delight. I love the simple overall shape with the WOW band and detail around the waist. We also chose it because we thought the unusual back detail was reminiscent of my sporty and swim days!


Something Borrowed

I borrowed the beautiful veil from a friend and it matched perfectly to the dress. The veil was originally from Philippa Lepley and it really was beautiful- I wasn’t initially going to wear a veil but felt this just finished off the look perfectly. My shoes were from Kurt Geiger and I went for a simple jewelled sandal which flashed beneath my dress as I walked- they were so comfy too!

I wore mini pearl earrings and my Gran’s old ring – accessories were kept to the minimum.


A Big Wedding Party

We had 6 bridesmaids, 12 ushers and 3 little pageboys- a big wedding party! The bridesmaids wore twinkly dresses from ASOS with sashes for the church that we made. I bought all the girls a hair accessory clip from my favourite shop, Anthropologie as well as Juju bracelets for each from Oliver Bonas. The ushers were all asked to wear tones of blue and we decided to keep the uniform outfits away to tie in with the more laid back approach. The best men, Phil and father of the bride all wore Nick Bronson knitted ties which we loved!



The theme from the start was Orange Trees. Our save the dates were postcards from the area , stamped with save the date and an orange tree emblem. The invites and all wedding stationary also included the orange tree emblem throughout on craft coloured paper. The church had orange trees outside the door on arrival as well as the order of service flowing on with the theme. The marquee itself was decorated with tall orange tree replicas and lemon baskets.

I wanted a lot of herbs and natural greenery rather than any cut flowers. Myself and my mum designed the look and then our wonderful wedding designer helped us implement it on the day. All our wedding stationery and order of service was designed by Lynda Jennings Design. I loved the marquee and all the details we did!


Lavender and Eucalyptus

We kept flowers to the minimum- my bouquet was very loose and wild including some really interesting greens and whites and by my request rosemary and lavender- perfect! The ushers and wedding party’s button holes were lavender and eucalyptus based with a white rose.

My favourite part of the ceremony was my cousin Heather’s reading of the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams- she read it beautifully and I adore the reading.


Call Me Al

Entertainment wise, we had an acoustic duo playing music as people entered the church- Beatles being the main theme. In the gardens at the reception we had a classic Spanish guitarist who really added to the holiday feel and vibe. The walk into the marquee was to local hero as Phil is an avid NUFC fan! During dinner, my mum and I had spent hours putting together a playlist with all of our favourite songs which went down well.


Following dinner we had a full electric band and then once the ‘older generation’ had left, we moved to the barn where we had a DJ for 2 hours. The band and DJ were all part of The Business Band and the manager James is fantastic to work with. Our first dance was Paul Simon’s ‘You can call me Al’ which we loved dancing to in a bad way!


Sunshine Treats

We both love our food and so the menu choice was of great importance and hours were put into every detail. After the church ceremony, we held a surprise champagne reception outside the church which was very welcome in the heat! On arrival to our reception venue, we had gin and tonics (served just the way they should be with lots of fresh lime and ice!), sangria with beautifully striped paper straws which I ordered from Cox and Cox and sparkling Portuguese wine.


Canapes were followed by a 5 course delicious meal starting with fig and mozzarella salad, seabass fillet and pumpkin puree, rack of minted lamb and gratin dauphinoise, crème brulee (a mixture of vanilla, orange and strawberry were served at random each with lovely garnish) and finished by cheese from the real cheese cake!


We also gave each table a bottle of port with very clear instructions Alice and Wonderland style ‘DRINK ME’. We also had treats at midnight – the midnight munchies table was certainly attacked by our jovial party goers!


Perfect Paper

Stationery was incredibly important to us- being from a family of designers, our standards were very high but we were thrilled with everything. On each person’s place we had personalised notes printed with the same Orange tree motive. Our table plan was named after our favourite places and the table plan black board stated ‘Please take your places at our favourite places’. We also then tried to sit people relevant to these places on the tables meaning there was a great starting point for conversations.


We made everything ourselves which proved interesting with the luggage allowances but was worth every minute! Making everything was my favourite part and I would do it all again! From setting up ‘test’ tables in my garden at home to framing 250 individual photos of everyone coming to the wedding to hang up- I loved every second!


My one word of advice would be not to stress and enjoy every second. I was incredibly nervous and am not particularly good at being centre of attention and so did get myself into a little bit of a tiz simply worrying about nothing. I would highly recommend the night before setting up a zone of tranquillity as my mum did for me- a hot bath, aromatherapy oil, gorgeous smelling candle, homley PJs, your favourite music, book and teddy bear if like me, at the age of 30, you still have one.


Our favourite moment was walking into the marquee- it was fantastic and seeing everyone so happy and cheering for us really made us feel special. We really took in that moment and both loved every second.


Venue – Os Agostos in Portugal
Brides Gown – Jenny Packham
Brides Veil – Phillipa Lepley
Brides Shoes – Kurt Geiger
Maids Dresses – ASOS
Photography – Jon at S6

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Beautiful no?

And if you are now dreaming of a similarly delicious affair then Lou the bride is in the midst of starting her own wedding and events planning company, she will be working alongside the Os Agostos venue to create the perfect sunshine-filled day.

You can contact Lou at

Big Fruity Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

23 thoughts on “Amongst The Orange Trees.

  1. Beautiful wedding, but does Rock my Wedding have some kind of deal with Jenny Packham. Every time I log on there is another Jenny Packham bride. It’s getting a bit repetitive… there are so many dress designers out there.

  2. @LB – Rock My Wedding does not have a “deal” with Jenny Packham, the designer is one of our readers most popular choices as is evident from the submissions we receive and therefore accept and publish.

    After reading your comment I had a look through the last 10 weddings we have featured and apart from today and coincidently yesterday’s wedding all the other dresses our brides wore were varied.

    Although part of our submission process is to ensure we feature a variety of weddings in terms of styling, colour scheme, location etc we certainly wouldn’t disregard a wedding because the dress designer was one that happened to feature fairly frequently, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend that a reader didn’t choose their dream gown because it was a popular designer/a style that we may have featured before.

    We appreciate any feedback our community has with regards to the content on RMW however we would recommend that out of courtesy these types of comments are not left on someone else’s special day but sent to us in an email where we can respond to you directly.

    Best Wishes


  3. Yay – A destination wedding, and a beautiful one at that!! Beautiful wedding and such a handsome bride and groom! Love all of the decor, particularly the green centre pieces, blackboard menu and colourful photograph bunting (may have to steal this idea)

  4. I am having a destination wedding in less than two months (eek!) and so it is really exciting to see such a beautiful one on these pages. Champagne, gin and sangria?! Win. The bride has the perfect balance of relaxed and glam. The whole thing is just lovely and I am so stealing the handwritten notes idea, I am sure the guests loved it. Congratulations!

  5. I have to say that I flipping well adore the decor at this wedding. It’s luxe, it’s chic, it’s elegant and sophisticated without breaking the bank in the process. I’m particularly in love with the customised table linen and settings and the centrepieces are to die for! Definitely pinning those bad boys!

  6. Photograph bunting, handwritten thank you notes, gorgeous maids, lovely leafy centre-pieces, a JP gown AND all soaked in sunshine! There is too much to love about this wedding – I am pinning it ALL!! x x x

  7. I just squealed out loud at work…very unprofessional (as is browsing RMW at 11.30am, whoops). My own wedding is in Spain in less than 7 weeks hence immense amounts of squealing over such a stunning destination wedding. Desperate to find a spanish guitarist now…x

  8. @Hannah – how exciting!! I know we say it a lot but I REALLY wanted to be a guest at this wedding……um, maybe I could be invited to yours as I missed this one?

    ha ha ha.

    Have an amazing day!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  9. Totally feelimg all the handmade love going on at this wedding. . . The photos show how totally and utterly worth all that hard work was! xx

  10. Claps, hurrahs, claps hurrahs and more claps and hurrahs! Sending a lot of admiration to you both for creating what looks like a stunner. Man, it really is a stunner. You have got seriously hot friends and you seem to be a seriously amazing couple, good luck with your new business – what a great first wedding to put in your portfolio


  11. Hi, can you please let me know the name of your bridesmaid’s dresses. I’ve searched the whole site and can’t fine them. They are gorgeous!! xx

  12. My husband and I attended Lou and Phil’s wedding and believe me, it was as amazing as it looks! Lou’s attention to every little detail was incredible…such an awesome and beautiful day! Anyone thinking about having a destination wedding should definitely contact Lou!

  13. Hi Helen
    So glad you like the bridesmaid dresses-they did look gorgeous and so twinkly in the sunshine!
    I’ve just had a look for you and seems they no longer sell. These are fairly similar:,25,12&Rf981=3677&Rf-800=10,158&Rf-400=53&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=36&sort=-1&clr=Cream
    I will also try and find the product code for you.

  14. Just a quick note to thank all who have posted for such lovely comments- all very kind! Thanks for the great blog Rock My Wedding- definitely the best wedding inspiration out there- keep up the amazing work!

  15. Lou, I don’t suppose you are selling your dress???
    I live in Korea and am getting married in Portugal this summer…Perry much same as your wedding even down to the band!! But I cannot find a dress that I like or can afford. I’m close to just giving up and wearing pjs:(

  16. Wow what an absolutely stunning wedding. the attention to detail is phenomenal. I can only dream that my wedding in 2017 is half as beautiful. We are yet to decide on a location but its definitely going to be abroad and portugal is an option. im totally clueless when it comes to organising weddings abroad. im just wondering how you actually found the venue for the ceremony and the for the reception afterwards I.e. the marquee etc. and did u just book a hotel separate or did your hotel help to organise everything?

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