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WEDDING BLOG

Enchanting Glam Arab Wedding at Six Senses Douro Valley

When it came time to plan a wedding, Nour and Tariq knew they didn’t want the grand traditional Arab wedding (which tend to be large, orchestrated events with over 400 guests.) Instead, they wanted something effortless, dreamy, and personal to them. Their enchanting glam affair at Six Senses Douro Valley was exactly that. 

Friends and family traveled from 6 of the 7 continents to Portugal to celebrate the couple and witness the wedding of a lifetime. Photographer Richard Skins perfectly captured the bride’s royal-inspired Oscar de la Renta gown, the whimsical reception, and the fireworks that serendipitously went off later in the evening. With guests partying until 4 AM, Nour and Tariq’s wedding will be talked about for years to come!

The Couple:

Nour and Tariq

The Wedding:

Six Sense Douro Valley, Portugal


Why the Six Sense Douro Valley

Given that we both had been living in the US for the past 2 years, we wanted to pick a destination that lay between the Middle East and the US to make it easy on our friends and family who lived in both places to make the trip. We also knew that we wanted to go somewhere that a lot of people hadn’t been before, so they could make a vacation out of it as well. Portugal quickly became the obvious choice. Despite the Six Senses being one of the most luxurious hotel brands in the world, the Six Senses Douro Valley isn’t ostentatious. It’s not trying to show off. It builds on the beauty of its surroundings. The hotel is a 19th-century renovated manor house. Beautifully decorated and cool in a not-in-your-face kind of way. It is the most incredible hotel we’ve ever stayed in.

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Wedding Day Advice 

Looking back, we really wish we could do it all again. You only ever really get one day like this, and you don’t want the process to be hectic or stressful. We’d say pick three big elements that you really want to ensure are perfect, that matter to you the most—for example, the music, the food, and the table arrangements. If everything else goes wrong, that’s okay, you still got your big three! No one will really know anyway.

The Wedding Guests

The most memorable moment for us was probably knowing how many people flew all the way to be with us on our day. We had people from 6 continents – North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia (technically New Zealand), and Africa. We had a map put up where people could pin where they came from, and it was filled with pins across the globe. So many people traveled such a long way for us because we meant that much to them—that’s what made it memorable.

Wedding Day Surprises

Our wedding day coincided with a local Portuguese holiday. Fireworks lit up the sky at midnight as we were cutting our cake, and it made the entire day that much more memorable.

 

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Richard Skins Photography
Event Planning – Muza Weddings
Venue – Six Senses Douro Valley
Floral Design & Rentals – Parque Da Penha
Cake – T Bakes
DJ – Anthony Bassoulou
Videography – Vanessa & Ivo
Makeup Artist – Tom Perdigão
Hair Styling – Rafat Komas
Wedding Dress – Oscar de la Renta
Bridal Accessories – Peter Langner & Centimes Bourgeois Headpieces
Groom’s Apparel – Hugo Boss

 

Congratulations to Nour and Tariq on their special day at Six Senses Douro Valley—and a big thank you to Richard Skins Photography for sharing the beautiful photos! If you’re looking for more destination weddings in Portugal, check out Joanna and Guillaume’s Free-Spirited Portugal Wedding at Herdade de Maroteira!

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This Intimate Cenote El Buho Elopement in Mexico Features a Mayan Ceremony

August 10, 2020 | riley

The minute Priscilla and Kingto got engaged, they knew they wanted to elope. The couple wanted to be surrounded by nature and greenery but had no idea how to pull it off. That’s when planner and photographer Conie Suarez Bravo stepped in to execute their vision and planned the entire traditional Mayan ceremony at Cenote El Buho in Tulum. Did it work out better than anyone could have imagined? Yes!

We’re obsessed with the intimate picnic their planner’s local friend set up that included a beautiful cake by Lali Pasteles. It’s clear from the photos that they enjoyed that local touch after they tied the knot. And although they were run off by ants, they headed out for celebratory tacos after. Nothing says happily ever after like tacos! This is definitely a unique elopement that will have everyone involved talking about it forever—we can’t get enough either.

The Couple:

Priscilla and Kingto

The Wedding:

Cenote El Buho, Tulum, Riviera Maya. Mexico

Finding the Dress

My wedding dress took me months to find. I had no idea what I wanted and also felt like I wanted to please my mom. So I found out about a dress that has a detachable skirt and I knew that was what I wanted. Little pieces of my dress had parts of someone I love in it. The skirt and sparkle are for my mom because she always wanted me to be in a ballgown and see her little girl like a princess. The designer I went with is my close cousin’s favorite designer. And the little detail of the lines in my dress is for my late cousin because he worked with marble and that reminded me of him

Why the Cenote El Buho

We like the look of nature and like to be around greenery. So originally I wanted to get married in a forest next to a waterfall but sadly they didn’t have anything like that where we were staying. Then Conie suggested we do it in a Cenote and she found one that had a lot of nature and water. We looked it up and thought it was perfect! And it was!

Planning a Destination Wedding

After we got engaged we knew we wanted to elope somewhere with just the two of us. At first, we were going through a lot of different locations but settled with Mexico. After we knew where we wanted to get married, we needed to find a photographer. I knew what kind of style I liked in photos so I made sure when I went through all the photographers that they had what I was looking for. That’s when I came across Conie Bravo. I contacted her and we discussed what we wanted.

After many exchanges of emails, she told us she could plan the whole elopement. From flowers, videographer, makeup and hair, to the ceremony. She knew we both didn’t really care about the color scheme or how certain things looked. The only thing we wanted was to get married in a Cenote. And we didn’t want a traditional ceremony either. So she suggested going with a traditional Mayan ceremony. And we trusted her so that’s what we did. And oh boy! She didn’t disappoint us!

The After Party

After that, we had a little picnic to enjoy in the beautiful Cenote. Sadly we didn’t get to enjoy all of it cause we were run down by little ants. But we made up for it after and went to go to a local taco restaurant. It was so perfect. It was so us. The perfect way to start our lives together!

The Wedding Team:

Photography & Event Planning – Conie Suarez Bravo
Venue – Cenote El Buho
Floral Design – Pure Love Floral Design
Cake – Lali Pasteles
Videography – Juan Manuel Pastorino
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Prep Hair Tulum
Rentals – La Tiendita Tulum

 

Congratulations again to Priscilla and Kingto on their Cenote El Buho elopement in Tulum! Thank you to Conie Suarez Bravo for making the whole thing possible and for capturing such a special and unique day. For more tropical Tulum elopement inspiration, check out this Cozy Tropical Elopement Inspiration at 16TULUM!

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Lush Tulum Jungle Wedding at Espacio Chechen

August 9, 2020 | riley

Mini mezcals, Mexican wedding cookies, and lush tropical backdrops? Count us in. Chiara and Eric’s lush Tulum jungle wedding at Espacio Chechen is the perfect combination of killer style, neutral tones, and a whole lot of fun. We’re utterly obsessed with the décor put together by Arlenis Ruiz and we’re so glad that Conie Suarez Bravo was there to capture it all. We love what Chiara had to say about her special day:

“I found all my vendors through Instagram, it is such a great tool when planning a destination wedding. Originally, our venue was supposed to be beachside but that fell through a month before the wedding. Fortunately, our amazing wedding planner already had backups. I was unsure about it having to be in the jungle and then also having to change the decor and floral that I already ordered. But all the vendors were flexible and I was able to change it right away.

I wanted to feature the lush greenery of the venue so I decided to keep the florals and decor minimal. Our caterer served a delicious taco bar and tres leches cake with a figurine of our puppy on top. I surprised my husband with a churro cart at the end of the night and unbeknownst to me, he also had a surprise lined up. He asked one of our guests to sing our first dance, River by Leon Bridges and it was so beautiful. By the end of the song, all of our guests who have never heard it before were singing along. Truly the best day.”

Despite the hiccups the couple endured, the day turned out beautifully. Get your inspiration boards pulled up because you’re going to want to save this one!

The Couple:

Chiara and Eric

The Wedding: 

Espacio Chechen, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Grace Loves Lace Dress and Pearl Necklace

I have always loved Caroline Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress. It was simple, elegant, and timeless. Grace Loves Lace’s “Loyola” dress was the third dress I tried on and it instantly reminded me of her dress. I tried on around 20 dresses after that just to shop around but I could not stop thinking about the Loyola dress. I also loved the fact that she kept her hair and accessories minimal. I only wore my wedding ring and a pearl necklace from Mejuri. The pearls were a tribute to my late grandmother, Cornelia, who helped raise my siblings and me in the Philippines. She would take my sister, Kristine, and me to the flea market on the weekends, and even though money was tight, she made it a point to buy us little pearls. The necklace was my homage to her.

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Why the Espacio Chechen

At first, we had a beach-side venue but that fell through two months before our wedding(!!). That ended up being the best thing that could have happened to us. While we enjoy the beaches, we find ourselves more drawn to the people, food, music, and cenotes in the downtown area and the jungles just outside Tulum. Our affection for this side of Tulum combined with the improvisation and scramble to find a new venue to yield a beautiful organic and bohemian vibe that we feel is far more authentically “us.” The final result was a complete collaboration amongst us, our amazing wedding planner Arlenis, and all of our vendors.

Soaking Up Time With One Another

One of our dear friends who couldn’t make it (due to a new baby on the way!) gave Eric amazing advice to take a moment with just the two of us and look around at all of the people who came so far to celebrate with us. After all, this will be the only time in our lives where this exact group of people will be at the same place together creating this exact energy. We did this after the recessional, and our photographer Conie actually caught us basking in the moment! Think of how surreal it is to have a destination wedding all the way in Mexico and 100 people ventured all that way to witness our union.

Adding Personalized Touches

I added a lot of personal touches to our wedding, Etsy really became my savior throughout the whole process. We used it for everything from ordering a customized stamp with our initials and our wedding date (then stamping it on 200 linen bags used for flower tossing and favors) to ordering our wedding cake topper in the likeness of our adopted dog, Parker. Also, having known Eric for almost 20 years, we did a yearbook of all of our pictures together through the years as our wedding guestbook. I had so much fun thinking of different ways to personalize every detail.

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The Wedding Team:

Photography – Conie Suarez Bravo
Event Planning – Arlenis Ruiz
Venue – Espacio Chechen
Floral Design – Cherry Blossom
Catering – Catering by Corina
DJ – Uno Audio Visual
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Doranna de Bortoli
Wedding Dress – Grace Loves Lace
Bridal Accessories – Mejuri
Groom’s Apparel – No How Style
Groomsmen’s Apparel – Everlane
Rentals – MSM Rentals and Event Design
Favors – Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery

 

Congratulations to Chiara and Eric for their special day at Espacio Chechen—and a huge thank you to Conie Suarez Bravo for capturing it! To see more Tulum inspo, check out Diana and Zach’s Chic Oceanfront Wedding at Akiin Beach Tulum.

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