Eloping in Elegance: Ben and Hayley's Personal and Intimate Wedding in Cascais, Portugal
- Author: Natali Grace Levine
- Wedding date: 10/02/2022
- City: Lisbon
In the historic city of Seville in 2016, two hearts met, Ben and Hayley's. Their paths, however, diverged, leading them to separate lives for three years. Destiny, nonetheless, had its design. Reuniting in the summer of 2019, they seized the opportunity to explore their connection further.
Their journey began with a two-week road trip, navigating from the vibrant streets of Palermo, Sicily, to the heart of Naples. The adventure did not end there. The duo found themselves in Portugal, the picturesque town of Cascais marking the last stop on their journey. It was there, amidst the scenic views and the serene sounds of the sea, that they pledged not to let years come between them again.
True to their words, Ben soon found his way to the US to live with Hayley for a couple of months. By the fall of 2019, Hayley was ready to bridge the gap forever. Packing her life into suitcases, she moved to Portugal, setting the foundation for their enduring love story.
True to their adventurous spirit, Ben and Hayley decided to hold a classic, timeless wedding, embodying the beauty of simplicity and intimacy. It was a ceremony that exuded elegance and echoed the essence of their love story - authentic, meaningful, and unforgettable.
Their wedding was an intimate affair, attended by no guests. Instead, their heartfelt vows were shared in the company of a civil servant, their lawyer, and the all-day presence of their photographers who captured each beautiful moment. It was a traditional Portuguese civil ceremony, an ode to the country that played such a significant part in their love story.
The planning of this magical day took approximately six months. Each detail meticulously thought out to reflect their shared tastes, their journey, and their love for each other. Despite its intimate size, their wedding was a grand celebration of their love, a testament to their journey together, and the beginning of their forever.
Adding a touch of sentimental value and tradition to their wedding day, Hayley chose to adorn herself with beautiful family pearls, passed down through generations. These precious pieces not only added elegance to her wedding look but also symbolized the love and history that bound her family together.
In contrast to the heirloom pearls, the wedding band was a unique piece from a small Portuguese jeweler.
On her special day, Hayley looked stunning in a beautiful wedding dress designed by Watters. The corset detailing and pearls on the slit captured her heart, making the dress the perfect fit for her. She found this exquisite piece at Andreas Bridal in Portland, Maine, USA. Their helpful team made the entire process not only smooth but thoroughly enjoyable.
The bride's getting-ready photoshoot took place in the intimate setting of their hotel room. Her final look was perfected with a few carefully chosen accessories. A veil from Andreas Bridal added a traditional touch. But to make it unique, Hayley sewed pearl beads all over it, giving it an extra dash of style. Her shoes, beige/grey mules by Rockport, added to her elegance and comfort.
For her wedding bouquet, Hayley turned to Florista O Desejo. Their modern bouquet style resonated with her taste.
Ben was equally immersed in his wedding day preparations. His choice of attire was a sleek and sophisticated suit by Massimo Dutti, which was perfectly in line with the classic and timeless theme of their wedding.
Ben's getting-ready photoshoot was a mix of indoor and outdoor settings. Inside the hotel, he prepared for the day, adjusting his suit and adding final touches. The photoshoot continued around the hotel premises, capturing candid moments of Ben playing pool, a relaxed contrast to the formalities of the day.
The first look took place in one of the hotel's patio decks, an intimate spot bathed in beautiful light. As Hayley appeared in her gorgeous wedding dress, Ben's face lit up with a giant smile, the joy of the moment reflecting in his eyes.
In a spontaneous act of happiness, he reached out to twirl his bride around, taking in the vision of her. This tender moment overwhelmed Hayley, leading her to tears. It was an emotional, intimate exchange, a memory the couple would cherish as the beginning of their wedding journey.
The heart of Ben and Hayley's wedding day was their intimate civil ceremony, a moment that was unmistakably about them and their commitment to each other. The ceremony's key moment, one that they'll forever carry in their hearts, occurred when they read their vows to each other.
In tune with their intimate and personal wedding theme, Ben and Hayley's photosession locations were thoughtfully chosen to reflect their story and preferences. Their getaway car became an unconventional but charming backdrop for their photos.
Next, they moved to a picturesque beach picnic setup. This location provided a serene and romantic setting for their photos, the vast expanse of the beach symbolizing the endless possibilities of their journey together.
When night fell, their photo session continued with the car under the starlit sky, creating an enchanting, dream-like ambiance. The session concluded back at the hotel, with beautifully lit candles adding a warm and intimate glow to their photos.
All these locations and setups, suggested by their photographers, captured the essence of Ben and Hayley's relationship.
For Ben and Hayley, choosing a venue was as personal and significant as the other details of their wedding. Their choice fell on The Oitavos, a modern, contemporary hotel nestled in the very area where they reconnected in 2019 after three years apart. The hotel held a special place in their hearts, making it the perfect venue for their intimate wedding ceremony and celebration.
The decor and color palette of their wedding reflected their preference for simplicity and elegance. They chose a neutral color palette, creating an atmosphere of serene sophistication. White florals adorned the venue, adding a touch of timeless beauty to the minimalist setting.
Ben and Hayley's wedding reception was a fitting continuation of their intimate and personal wedding theme.
Instead of a traditional first dance, the couple chose to dance at the end of the night, adding a playful twist to the proceedings. Their dance floor was the bathtub of their hotel room, a setting that was as unconventional as it was romantic. Their song of choice, "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Daryl Hall & John Oates, perfectly captured the joy and love they felt.
In keeping with their personal preferences, the couple had a vegan picnic set up for them on the cliffs of Arriba Beach. This unique dining experience was not just a feast for their taste buds but also for their eyes, with the stunning beach vista enhancing the atmosphere.
The wedding cake was a minimalist creation by Nana O Ponto Mais Doce. It was a mini cake, created especially for the two of them to enjoy. This detail, like all others at their wedding, emphasized the intimate and personal theme of their celebrations. It was their day, their way, filled with elements that truly represented them.