Where to even begin with Gil and Martha’s elegant wedding day at Solar de Pancas in Portugal?
Everything was planned to detail between the couple (who are Portuguese, but live in Switzerland) and the lovely wedding planning ladies from Muza. All went smoothly, according to plan, and both Marta and Gil as well as their guests had a wonderful time.
Solar de Pancas is a historical building that’s over 500 years old located in the area of Alenquer. I had always wanted to shoot a wedding there, and being absolutely in love with my couple, I couldn’t imagine a lovelier day.
Marta and Gil both share a passion for basketball, and it pretty much was what brought them together. We featured it on their engagement photos in Lisbon which I’ll share sometime soon, and it also had a few special appearances during their day without overpowering the elegance they’ve put together.
Overall, good taste, emotional moments and a creative sense of humour embraced their wedding day and made it a reflection of who they both are as a couple.
Memories that stayed with me from this day…
As I look through photos of my couples, I always have clear memories of moments that will stay with me forever. Either they were emotional, or funny, or just details about working on the day… there is something I am always grateful for, and unforgettable details that completed how I saw that day evolve that I’ll cherish forever. This was no exception.
As I arrived, Marta greeted me outside in her bridal prep dressing gown and I screamed ‘It’s TODAAAY!’. We laughed and made a few silly dance steps just before hugging each other, and I could feel her energy emanating love and happiness.
As she got in, Gil waved at me from the side door, and he looked so happy. I gave him a quick hug, and wished him a ‘Happy Wedding Day’.
It is tricky when a couple does not want to see each other until walking down the aisle but is getting ready in the same building. It took me a lot of running from one side to the other to get both preps fully covered, and a lot of door coordination, so they wouldn’t either get a glimpse of one another, or any of the details spread across the big house.
Thank God their friends and family were the best EVER, and I had so much help and support. I can definitely say I felt like a member of their fam in about 5 seconds in.
Another thing that I’ll always be grateful for is how Marta and Gil made me completely free and autonomous to capture the day. They left it to me to tell their story, and to a wedding photographer, or anyone in the creative industry, that’s just music to our ears. The cherry on top. You get it!
Their wedding prep
Hugs, and hugs plus a few more hugs. I already knew they both were the sweetest couple, but then I learned it all comes from the love they both grew up in. Both families were there for support and friends watched with a teary eye.
Two of my favourite memories from their prep were the surprise Marta made to her grandma by wearing the same tiara she had at her own wedding many years ago, and Gil’s grandfather, paying close attention to his grandson getting ready.
A few months after their wedding, Marta wrote me an email with a ‘thank you’ note for the photos I had done of Gil’s granddad. Unfortunately he had recently passed away and they were so grateful for the loving moments I had been able to capture.
You can just feel the emotion through these… and yes, it was the tear fest.
Their wedding ceremony
Gil and Marta chose to have a religious ceremony at a nearby church.
As we left Solar de Pancas, a mini bus was waiting for us guests to take us to where all the action was to happen, and the ride there was so much fun. Everyone was overly excited, and one of the uncles kept checking if the driver was doing a good job. There was no way he’d let him get the address wrong!
The ceremony was lovely, and both seeing each other for the first time still brings me chills.
Their wedding reception
I do love the job that Bruna and Rita do as wedding planners. They had such great taste and know how to fill a day with details. From the dinning room to the menus, to little M&Ms with the couples initials, to the guest book, to the sitting plan… Everything is designed to perfection and fits each venue like a glove.
Cocktail hour at Solar de Pancas is also always a blast. The outdoors look lovely, and the day was warm with a slight breeze.
Entering their wedding breakfast
Remember when I mentioned the day had a few details of basketball because that’s what brought this couple together? Well, let’s say their entrance was one for the books! As I got ready to take snaps of them entering the tent, the Space Jam soundtrack went on and Marta and Gil ran to their guests as if they were in an actual basketball game. Hi5s and cheers were sang, and it just set the tone for the fun evening and night.
In between courses, the couple also had a kiss cam like the ones we see in the intermission of basketball games, and sometimes getting couples, others just unexpected friends, it was a laugh fest for all.
A great day for a wedding photographer
If I told you how many photos I delivered for this wedding, you wouldn’t believe it.
It’s just that everywhere I turned, things were happening, hugs were happening, laughs, games…
I not only want to capture the day as it goes, as I also have the goal of being an extra set of eyes for my couples. There is always so much you get to absorb as a wedding couple on your big day: you want to be with everyone, live everything to the fullest, and if I can add details they didn’t see to the magic that is their wedding it just makes me so happy and accomplished.
I think I can leave you now to see the rest of their day without having to make you read more or my words, so do enjoy, and imagine yourself partying like they did. Because they sure know how to!
On a final note, I need to add that their first dance was very creative too. Both danced together for a bit, but Gil then left Marta to surprise their guests, as she had a whole choreography planned with her dad, that blew the house down. Well done, Marta!
Wedding planning: Muza Wedding Concept
Music: Your Jukebox
Flowers: Amor e Lima
Film: Love Me Films
Intant booth: flashmoment.pt