After Jo and Frisco’s London engagement shoot I was very excited to travel to Porto in Portugal to be their Destination Wedding Photographer. With well over 100 guests and wanting to honour both Jo’s Portuguese and Frisco’s Chinese roots this promised to be a very interesting wedding.
Honouring the Portuguese wedding traditions
Although the day started with a torrential shower, by the time everyone met at the church the temperature had already hit 30C and the sun was out and bright. Jo arrived with her dad in a black Merc and couldn’t wait to step into the stunning Igreja da Lapa church and beside Frisco to begin their future together. The priest has been Jo’s priest from youngest childhood and because Jo’s mum usually sings with them, many of the choir singers have also known Jo since she was a little girl. Both were accordingly animated and made this Portuguese wedding ceremony a very funny and enjoyable experience to capture. Just have a look at the conductor! 🙂
One of the particularly beautiful parts of the ceremony for me was capturing Frisco leading Jo to an altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Jo offering her wedding bouquet to her for good luck. I thought this Portuguese tradition was very touching, but as a Destination Wedding Photographer it was also wonderful to photograph.
After lots of confetti and rice, the happy couple’s first kiss on the steps of the church, and lots of hugs and congratulations, we all headed to the Palácio do Freixo, an old Portuguese Northern Baroque palace that has stunning views over Porto’s bridges and river.
With the family group shots done, Jo and Frisco and I headed for the old broken down warehouses beside the palace to get some edgy couple shots, playing with both the lights shining through the holes in the roof and the shadows cast by the remaining tiles and structures. I just couldn’t resist the contrast between how beautiful and polished Jo and Frisco looked and the broken old structures surrounding them. These are the shots that I love making as Destination Wedding Photographer in the glaring light of Southern countries. It makes Joana, her dress and veil glisten and shine.
The speeches, the cake and the flowers
What can I say, I’m a sucker for speeches that get half the room laughing and blubbering and Jo’s dad, Frisco and his best man certainly accomplished that! It was a great pleasure listening to Joana’s dad welcoming Frisco and his family to his family. It was very touching to hear how Frisco’s parents fled China over Vietnam to Australia, without even having time to think of taking his birth certificate and sacrificing everything for their children’s well being. And it was hilarious to hear about Frisco’s friendships and activities before he met Jo. These are the stories that make you realise how crazy and amazing life can be in bringing a couple together that come from such different backgrounds and geographical locations. All speeches were held and translated into both Portuguese and English and soon after they were done it came to cutting the cake and throwing the bridal bouquet for all the single ladies to catch.
The Chinese Tea ceremony
After throwing her flowers, Jo changed into a traditional Chinese wedding gown, which suited her to a T. Frisco and Jo then served tea as a sign of reverence and respect in a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony to all of the closest members of both of their families. Each one in return gave them gifts and congratulated them to their new future together. It was my first Chinese ceremony as a Destination Wedding Photographer but seeing and photographing the respect and love that passes between the two newly forged families was very touching.
And so to the Party
After this there was only one thing left and that was to PARTY! With Jo and Frisco leading the way in their first dance, the rest of the night was filled with lots of dancing, air guitar and air drum playing, Frisco face masks and lots of boogying with even Joana’s grandmother being unstoppable for most of the night. Jo and Frisco and I snuck out for a few last intimate shots before calling it a day and immersing ourselves in the music, laughter and the great company. What a brilliant party!
Congratulations again Jo and Frisco to your amazing day and all the best for your future together.
If you are planning your wedding and are thinking about going to a destination outside of the UK, please get in touch, as this destination wedding photographer cannot wait to capture and be part of it!