STAGE 2: Preparations – on a distance

How did our preparations look like? 

Nowadays, after almost 2 years of being busy with my blog, partnering with our wedding planner, visiting wedding venues and assisting in wedding photoshoots, I have a good knowledge of organizing a destination wedding in Madeira.

3 years ago, however, getting married in Madeira was still a big mystery for us. This is how we handled our preparations as completely inexperienced newbies 🙂 

Formalities

We are an international couple. Our situation was quite complicated, so to help us with the formalities we hired a local wedding planner/consultant. Her help, knowledge, and experience were invaluable – everything was arranged quickly. All we had to do was provide her with copies of a couple of basic documents, then the original birth certificates upon arrival in Portugal, as well as make one visit to the registry office a couple of days before the wedding.

Wedding shopping

The dress: Fortunately, a huge wedding ballgown was never my dream, so there was no problem with carrying my simple dress as hand luggage.

A great option when planning a wedding on a distance is online shopping. All accessories and wedding decorations, e.g. decorations for the table, personalized table name board for the bride and groom, a guest book, gifts for children, and gift bags for the guests were bought online, with delivery directly to Portugal. Etsy, which I will focus on more on this blog in the future, is great for that. Etsy’s cheaper buddy – Aliexpress also did not let us down. The quality of all the products we received was great.

Torebki na prezenty dla gosci weselnych - artykuły ślubne z Aliexpress
Prezenty dla naszych gości. Fot.: Miguel Ponte Photography

Wedding suppliers / bookings

Live music / hairdresser / florist / wedding cake / photographer …

Wedding suppliers in Madeira typically speak English well and are very open to foreign wedding guests. Some of them we found ourselves online, and our wedding planner helped us book the rest.

Photographers are especially easy to find and their social media accounts serve as their portfolios. We found our photographer ourselves and he was the first person we booked, even before our wedding planner. Miguel Ponte has a well-developed website and social accounts. He also speaks fluent English. It was an immediate match and we really wanted him to be our photographer, so we booked him right away.

Usually, however, if we didn’t have the will or the time, everything could be arranged by our consultant. Her services are highly recommended, because thanks to her local connections, she can recommend the best companies, and negotiate the best prices and conditions for us.


We chose one of the most famous violinists on the island to play at our ceremony. We had a choice of different DJs, artists and music bands, but we decided that a violin would be most suitable for such a small event as ours. The choice of artists, hairdressers, and florists on the island was large.

Our hotel also helped a bit with the preparations. They took care of designing and printing the signage, table plans, name tags, and bilingual menu’s, which matched the style of our wedding invitations.  

The hotel also organised a small playground and a table for the youngest guests.

Would you like to start planning your wedding in Madeira or Porto Santo? Do you have any wedding-related questions? Feel free to contact us!

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