There are lots of reasons as to why Lisbon has become my favourite city and it’s not simply because of its exterior beauty. A thriving community lives in the city centre which feeds into the heartbeat and provides its magic. Just off the main through fares you’ll find narrow residential streets, tiny shops and modest cafes which all serve the local residents.
Lisbon is an inclusive city. The locals are genuine, friendly and polite and in almost all restaurants, bars and shops people will do their best to communicate with you.
Lisbon is an exceptional venue for your wedding and mine wasn’t just a wedding day, it was a ‘wedding experience’ born out of my own and my wife’s love for Lisbon and wanting our family and friends to share all that love with us.
The districts within the city are quite different and I’ll explain them to you so that you and your guests get the most out of your wedding experience too.
Preparing for your big day
I’m a frequent traveler to Lisbon but I made sure to add in an extra trip a few weeks before our wedding just to make final preparations and tick all the boxes. When planning your wedding in Lisbon make sure to take a couple of trips there before your big day rather than relying on a third party to do all the organizing. There are four daily flights from Dublin, two Aer Lingus and two from Ryan Air and if you book early enough you can get great deals so take advantage of some early planning.
Choosing your venue
Lisbon is built on seven hills and although at first the city looks quite complicated, it’s very easy to navigate once you get your bearings. After you settle into your hotel or apartment I always recommend that people take a Tuk-Tuk tour.
Your Tuk-Tuk guide will give you a basic history lesson on Lisbon, explaining the influence and impact of the Moors, earthquakes, tsunamis, Kings and Popes. It is a good idea to do this tour on the first day as it is a whirl wind guide to the city and will give you a perspective of the scale of Lisbon and sights you may wish to revisit. The tours cost about €40 - €50 for an hour up to four people.
Miradouro – Look out points
Perched on the hills you’ll find several look out points, these are called ‘Miradouro’ and many of the views over the city from these vantage points are stunning. If you think a little outside the box you can use these Miradouro to form the backdrop for your wedding album. It was ‘Miradouro Santa Catarina’ which inspired our own wedding venue.
There is an abundance of fantastic hotels & restaurants which can host your event, way too many for me to go through but my advice is to go with a location with a view over the city roof tops or even better, the River Tagus and the April 25th Bridge.
My choice was in my favourite district in Lisbon which is Santa Catarina and I found a true gem of a venue in an historical building owned by the Portuguese Pharmacy Association.
We had a small wedding party of 35 people and managed to find an historical room to host our ceremony in a truly wonderful building. The building also happened to host one of Lisbon’s best restaurants which is called Pharmacia and is owned by a Portuguese celebrity chef…. The gated garden with spectacular views over the River Tagus was an incredible bonus.
The day went as perfectly as the planning. Five courses of amazing seasonal food chosen with the chef ‘Felicidade’ and wines to complement each dish. Topped off with a Champagne reception on the lawn…. It was our perfect day!
In my experience, you will create your perfect day by embracing what’s in front of you in Lisbon…. Find a location which you genuinely form a bond with and trust your instinct. Search for hotels, restaurants and bars where you love the location, food, atmosphere and staff… these are the components which will make the entire Lisbon experience memorable an fuss free for you, your family and friends.
Lisbon has some very distinctive districts which may influence the style of your wedding day.
Alfama forms an ancient part of the city with winding streets, interesting cafes, bars and restaurants, all cut through by the infamous Tram 28.
Here you’ll find Cathedrals, Castles and Miradouro with views abound and photo opportunities which leap out at you.
Principe Real is the on-trend district in Lisbon, chic shops, cool folk and interesting restaurants. Just down the main street is Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantâra with views across the valley which is Rossio to the far side where you’ll see Castelo de São Jorge. This is a great location for those memorable snaps.
Chiado is a very central point in the city and you will surely pass through here on many occasions. There are numerous hotels in this district which may suit your wedding day and some can cater for larger numbers and yet hold onto their genuine style. Check out the Barrio Alto Hotel, it also has a roof top bar which is ranked in the top 10 in the world! Also, check out Hotel Chiado with its Roof Top Garden and Oyster Bar.
Praça do Comércio
This is the main square in Lisbon a is incredibly impressive. Some of the main shopping streets flow from here but as the name suggests it’s a very commercial district in Lisbon and has turned its focus on the tourist trade. If you wander far enough you’ll find Avenida da Liberdade which is Lisbon’s version of O’Connell Street or Patrick Street but on an entirely different scale. This avenue hosts many flagship hotels but to be quite honest, it’s more suited to briefcases than bridal dresses. Choose a better district than here to host your wedding as it is charmless but it’s a good central area for your guests to stay and has plenty of good quality and value hotels. If you want to splash some cash on cloths, you’ll find all your cat walk brands on Avenida da Liberdade
You may consider Praça do Comércio for photos.
Santa Cartarina is a lovely residential area just meters off the beaten track of an inner-city bustle. The Miradouro at Santa Catarina boasts wonderful sunsets over the River Tagus. On the way here you will most probably see the Bica Funicular (Tram). The street it rides is the most photographed street in Lisbon and the Funicular stops at the top of the hill on a street called Calçada do Combro. It really would be a great place to take some wedding photos as it stops here for a few minutes before descending again and the drivers won’t mind you taking advantage.
Bairro Alto is Dublin’s version of Temple Bar with the added bonus that it has a little more class. Great fun, safe and very on trend with bohemian shops and funky bars. Great for a party but not necessarily your wedding day.
Your guests are important and if you plan to have your special day abroad, then they have made a great effort to join you. It was for this reason we pulled together some notes so they could make the most of their stay in Lisbon as I was lucky enough to be a regular visitor to the city.
Here is a plan that won’t fail…
The Night Before
Pavilhão Chinês or Chinese Pavilion is an incredible bar located in Principe Real. It’s a local secret and quite difficult to find although located on one of the most fashionable streets in Lisbon. I love this place so much that I proposed to my wife here…. If you visit any bar in Lisbon, then visit this one. Check out my website to get more details on how to find it.
The wedding morning will most likely bring its fair share of panic so being occupied is a good thing. Go with the flow but a little organization will ease the anxiety.
Ok guys, check out the place which David Beckham said was ‘most probably the best barbers in the world’. The barbers were asked to travel with the Portuguese football team when they won the European Cup and Ronaldo was there in June 2017. I’m a regular visitor to Figaro’s Barbershop and this is exactly where the lads headed on the morning of my wedding day. Below is a photo of my best man, me and some of the guys. An exceptional haircut and shave not to be missed. There is also a Peter Marks across the street for the ladies and we recommend that the ladies phone in advance to book in here.
For the guys, Figaro’s do not accept appointments apart from Mondays. They open at 11.00 am so I suggest to get there early and wait outside until they open so to avoid the queues. It’s strictly me only and I’m sure you’ll be offered a beer!
There is also a market in Lisbon, which is located near the river at Cais do Sodre. It’s called Mercado do Sodré Ribeira but it’s also known as TimeOut which is a famous foodhall. It’s here where you can choose your flowers and I suggest that you go there the day before to arrange what you require. Ladies, send the fellas down there to pick up the bouquets and table arrangements and tell them to be sure to drop off some champagne with them!
The Day After
After the best day of your life, you and your new wife or husband may like a little space and your guests may like a little sleep. So why not let everyone chill for the day and wait until sunset to catch up properly. Lisbon is famous for sunsets and here is my best choice for you.
Meet at Park Bar. It’s located between Bairio Alto and Santa Catarina and the sunsets are as spectacular as the mojitos! Check out the time that sunset will occur and arrange to meet 30 to 40 minutes beforehand.
Other things to know
Lisbon can be very hot in the summer and temperatures of 40 degrees are not uncommon, so make sure that all the venues you chose have air conditioning. May is a wonderful month to visit Lisbon, the city trees bloom with an incredible purple flower which transforms the streets and avenues.
High heels are an absolute no go, unless you plan to taxi to the door everywhere you go and even then, you may struggle as almost all the paths and roads are cobbled.
The local cakes are called Pasteis de Nata or ‘Nata’ for short and be sure to try them.
I really can’t recommend Lisbon highly enough as a wedding venue. It’s a close flight to Dublin, the people are wonderful and the city is captivating.
I prepared some notes for our guests so that they could get the most out of their stay. Places to see, Things To Do, Best Bars and Great Food. What were meant to be a few quick tips turned into a website. So, to save you the trouble of making your own website you can visit mine. The website also includes more details of the locations and venues mentioned above including map locations.
It’s called The Little Book of Lisbon and here’s the link www.littlebookoflisbon.com
I hope that this article gives you some food for thought when choosing your wedding destination, but whereever you decide on I truly wish you a wonderful day!
Contributed by Juliet Murphy
1. The Body Coach
One has to hand it to Joe Wick - he has created a super online product. Follow his HIIT sessions anytime to get a great full body workout.
2. Map My Fitness
This is a great workout trainer for general fitness and tracking your activity levels.
3. Nike+ Training Club
e great thing about this app is that you customise your workout to meet your needs. So, no excuses here, pick the activities you enjoy doing.
4. 7 Minute Workout Challenge
There are 12 exercises that are performed in seven minutes. So, if you have a busy schedule and need a quick and effective workout then this app is the one for you.
5. Pocket Yoga
A yoga instructor at the tap of an app! You can choose from a variety of practices and also pick the level of difficulty.
6. Strong Lifts 5v5
For those looking for an intense weight lifting app, this may suit you. You will be coached through some exercises, with five sets of five reps. It will even tell you when you can take a break!
This app integrates music with your workout and allows you to create a HIIT session or a circuit training workout.
Have you any others to recommend? Leave us know in the comments x
Contributed by Moira Fox
The above image is a classic make-up look that is classy and chic. Here's the product list that I would recommend if you want to give recreating this look a go for your wedding day. Go on...give it a try!
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - great as a pre-base for your foundation and also gives a great glow to the skin.
Make-up Revolution Ultra Base Corrector Palette
MAC Pro Long Wear Foundation (get a MAC make-up consultation to check your correct colour match. Make sure you have the tan you'll be wearing on the day so it's the perfect colour match).
Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder is fantastic!
Inglot No 507
Benefit Watts Up Cream-to-Powder Highlighter
Blush.ie Baked Blush in rose gold
Billion Dollar Brows, brow powder in shade Taupe
Mary Kay Mineral eye colours - White Lily, Granite and Espresso. These products are brilliant for not creasing throughout the day.
Inglot Gel Liner, No. 90, this is dark brown that really suits this look. it doesn't budge. Use it on both the upper and lower waterline of the eye and put a nice smooth even line on the top eyelid, keeping close to the lashline, with just a slight pull out at the end of the eye. Practice makes perfect.
Use P.S. Individual lashes with duo glue on the outer edges of the eyes to give a feline look to the eyes.
Charlotte Tilbury Hepburn Honey and Pillow Talk Lipliner
Make-up Setting Spray
Make-up Artist Tip
"If you really want to do your own make-up on the day, make sure to check in with the experts. Most make-up counters offer a makeover or make-up lesson that's redeemable against products."
You know how it goes... It takes a LOT of Pinterest browsing to decide on the ring set of your dreams. Then when it comes to it, you have no idea where to source your rings from.
Look no further than Aksoy Jewellers who can custom make pretty much any ring design that you desire. Aksoy pride themselves on their 3D printing service which will help you to create the ring of your dreams. Whatever you wish for, regardless of the level of intricacy, can be created with ease.
If you have a ring in mind, bring in a picture so that your unique ring design can be drawn up as a blue print and sent to their specialists who will carefully create your dream ring. Only the most precious metals are used so that your ring will last you a life time. You can also choose the colour, cut, carat and clarity of your certified diamonds.
While rose gold, platinum, white gold and gold are popular choices for women; platinum, palladium, gold and white gold remain firm favourites for men. Rings comprised of mixed metals are also increasingly popular for men, while the ladies tend to be matching their wedding bands to their engagement ring. And although rose gold engagement rings are on the rise, platinum and gold are still the most in demand metals for ladies' wedding bands.
Whatever about ring colour, Ozgur Aksoy believes that the main focus for wedding bands should be that they sit perfectly with your engagement ring.
"Nowadays, there is an increase in intricate engagement ring designs, with the availability of bespoke rings. We want to make sure that our wedding bands are precision cut so that they sit perfectly with your engagement ring. Why settle for second best when the two can fit together as a perfect match?" - Ozgur Aksoy
There is also an option to remodel your old jewellery to update and modernise those sentimental pieces that you would love to bring a new look to. The possibilities really are endless in this exciting time for bespoke design. Time to dig out the jewellery box!
There's no denying that there's an extensive selection of beautiful bridesmaid dresses around at the moment. We're really loving one collection in particular. One of the UK's most successful and independent fashion brands - Jenny Packham has joined forces with Dessy to bring you a stylish range of designer bridesmaid dresses at affordable price points. Luckily for you we have a local stockist of the Dessy and Packham ranges in Cork too - Diamond Bridal on Maylor Street.
Red carpets the world over are graced with Packham's designs worn by the most iconic, talented and influential women of our generation from Kate Middleton to Taylor Swift. It's fantastic for brides to now have a collection of versatile bridesmaid dresses available in a wide variety of colours, lengths and styles to suit all shapes, heights and skin tones. Jenny Packham's bridesmaid dresses also range from Size 00 to Size 30W, meaning that finding the perfect fit will never be a problem.
"Designing bridalwear is one of my greatest pleasures and to extend the signature Jenny Packham style and design aesthetic to create a beautiful, elegant bridesmaids collection inspired by the English country garden, is extremely exciting." - Jenny Packham
Shades of Pink
Every blushing bride needs some blushing bridesmaids. Look pretty in pink in one of these delicate dresses.
Image Credits: https://dessy.com/bridesmaid-dresses/jenny-packham/
Into the Blue
Blue bridesmaid dresses are always a popular choice. From midnight navies to baby blues, there's something to suit all complexions.
Fun and zesty, why not opt for citrus shades and floral prints for a vibrant summer wedding?
Laid back and whimsical, we love these bright and breezy dresses that would be the perfect choice for a destination wedding.
All thirty four dress styles are available in eighty five unique colour options. This makes it even easier to choose the best dress style and colour tone for your bridesmaids. You also have the freedom to mix and match styles and shades to select the most flattering array of dresses to both suit your bridesmaids and fit with your wedding theme.
You can book your appointment with expert stockists Diamond Bridal by calling 0214949900. You can also be in with a chance of winning a bridesmaid dress from Diamond Bridal by entering our Ultimate Wedding Giveaway.
Your wedding invitations are the first glimpse your guests get into your wedding so make that first impression count. The most important thing to remember is that your wedding is all about you and your partner so it’s a good idea for your invitations to reflect your personalities.
Gone are the days of extravagant invites with layers of fancy paper, ribbons and lace… Now couples are choosing simple printed invitations that follow a theme that is close to their hearts. Think of special moments that you have spent together and what you love doing most. Maybe you love going for countryside walks… If so, then your invitations could incorporate a nature element.
Perhaps you are music lovers, love to travel or are GAA fanatics… Well then, why not incorporate some of these aspects into your invites?
The Wedding Scribblers in Cork have every angle covered so be sure to pop along to them at Cork Wedding Centre to discuss what style and theme is most apt for you. Here is a selection of some of their fabulous designs to help you along the way….
Oh, and they have provided us with a very useful Wedding Stationery Timeline too!
Contributed by The Kingsley's Weddings and Event Manager, Sonia Cribbin
It's been a busy few years in The Kingsley Hotel. We've celebrated in excess of one hundred weddings, rebuilding our reputation as one of Cork City's premier wedding destinations. One of the many ways I assist my couples is by keeping a close eye on trends. All trends can be tailored accordingly to suit a couple's style and budget. For couples getting married in 2019/2020, the wedding planning fun is just beginning. From flowers, to attire and decor, here are my expected trends for 2019/2020.
Bold Mood Boards
Move over blush and pink and hello metallics, navy, green and deep red tones. The colour palettes of the future are rich and bold. Brides are looking at statement floral arrangements and modern garments for an edgy look. I'm starting to see woodland-inspired styles with statement hair pieces and elaborate table centre pieces over flowing with green vines.
I'm starting to see brides taking comfort in the less is more approach. This can be applied to every part of your wedding from the hen, wedding invitations and wedding favours. It creates a clean and sophisticated feel to your wedding.
Not Your Average White
Long gone are the days where white and ivory were your only options. A slow but steady trend will be a desire to be different and unique with brides embracing a coloured gown. Brides looking to make a splash are going for tones of blue, silver and gold.
Bridesmaid dresses certainly are not a thing of the past, but jumpsuits are becoming more and more popular. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise as Hollywood has seen an increase in suited ladies on the red carpet, so find something that suits your wedding style.
Making an Entrance
We're finding more and more couples are choosing live music for their ceremonies, drinks reception and their grand entrance at the evening reception. Recently a couple had a saxophone player as they were entering the suite and it was amazing!
Smile for Each Other First
Only recently, a couple chose to see each other before the ceremony on the river side of The Kingsley. This beautiful private moment between the couple brought tears to mine and the photographer's eyes, as they walked next to the River Lee and just held each other. This relaxed setting set the romantic tone for the day.
Celebrate in Style
Why not enjoy your lead up to your wedding day by celebrating with family and friends - whenever and wherever possible? We, at The Kingsley Hotel, have offered an exclusive bridal shower including a dinner for six, Prosecco and an overnight stay as part of Cork Wedding Magazine's Ultimate Wedding Giveaway. Enter here to be in with a chance of winning €4,000 worth of wedding related prizes.
Anita Venczel, owner of Cakeland, is one of Cork's most talented bakers. From ruched icing and dripping beauty, to decadent damask stenciling and detailed finishes, her cakes are a feast for the senses in more ways than one.
Vintage charm, metallic finishes and hexagonal bases are all big trends for 2019. Take a look through this gorgeous gallery to see some of Anita's on trend baked creations.
Rose Gold Decadence
When it comes to wedding decor, it can be a very confusing process for many couples. Pinterest boards can be crammed with lots of images but how many of them are actually practical or affordable?
According to Sandra Looney of To Have and To Hold, a large percentage of couples are choosing to hold the entire wedding at one venue (ceremony, drinks reception and main reception).
"Couples often choose a venue that can deliver these elements for them and the decision is often made easier if the venue can also offer a scenic room, view or gardens for photographs.
The day goes by so quickly that many couples want to minimise time they spend away from their family and friends, so the days of driving off to a different location for photographs is often knocked on the head if they can do it at the venue.
So, typically the decor plan begins with the ceremony area and is carried right through the venue. For 2019 and 2020, we are seeing some really specific trends that work well in most Irish venues. Let's take a look at our top 7."
Florals and Foliage
Cascading green leaves and trees are everywhere and it's a trend that will be hanging around for a while. It's evident in bridal party bouquets, flower walls, table centre pieces and even along the aisle. Bringing the outside in is here to stay.
All shapes and styles - the larger and more opulent the better. Balloons are so hot right now!
Unplugged ceremonies will continue to increase in popularity as signs pop up at the ceremony, encouraging guests to put away their phones and enjoy the moment. This, of course, isn't the case with the main reception, where guests will be eagerly sharing the experience in real time on their phones.
Whether you want coffee, beer, prosecco or donuts - there is a van that will pull up to your venue to keep your guests fed and watered.
Rose Gold and Gold
This is very evident in linens and cutlery. Very subtle touches of gold have the best effect in a room and look great when used with pastel tones. Gold rimmed plates add a regal touch to the table setting. A mix match of different shaped, geometric candle holders in rose gold compliment any greenery or floral you have on the wedding tables and make for stunning photographs.
From bird cages to distressed timber, vintage is still going strong and remains a firm favourite with engaged couples.
Couples often incorporate elements of their travel in to their wedding decor. 2019 is seeing a sophisticated take on this much loved trend emerging in stationery and seating plan displays.
To Have and To Hold have very kindly contributed a voucher for €250 worth of venue styling as part of our €4,000 Ultimate Wedding Giveaway which you can enter here. Call in to the Cork Wedding Centre to see the stunning table designs and beautiful decor options that can bring an extra special touch to your wedding day.
Number 58 Patrick Street - also known as Tom Murphy Menswear, is Cork’s most original tailoring house. Cork's finest gentlemen have been commissioning its tailors to produce garments of the highest quality since the 1840s.
When Tom Murphy Senior took over the business in the 1930s, he continued the tradition and the business became renowned for made-to-measure suiting and bespoke tailoring. The third generation of Murphy tailors have taken this ancient craft to new levels and blended it with a contemporary approach to ensure that the made to measure customer receives the best service possible.
New for 2019 are some beautiful tweed and heritage collections of tailor made suits. Many of these will be found in the Platinum collection which also features lightweight wool, silk and cashmere blends.
"We stock fabrics from famous Italian Mills such as Zegna and Cerutti and we mix this with superb cloths from Donegal and the weaving mills of the United Kingdom. There is a stunning range of tweeds, plaids, checks and tartans all available for that special, once off tailor made experience, allowing for unique and authentic groomswear attire to be created."
Tom Murphy Menswear now offer 4 other collections of premium made-to-measure wedding suits which are all fitted to your exact specifications. To get an idea of prices, go to the men's suits section of the online shop and you will see some of the core styles that are available. Once you have chosen your style and fabric, and the measurement process is completed, all you have to do is wait 4-8 weeks and your suit will be ready.
You can contact the staff at Tom Murphy Menswear for an in-store bespoke fitting by phone or you can book your appointment online here. Tom Murphy Menswear have also kindly offered up to three free groomsmen suit hires as part of our Ultimate Wedding Giveaway which you can enter here. T&Cs apply.