Bia Bezamat, 30, married Jamie Brunskill, 36, at The Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira in Lisbon, Portugal, on 28th May, 2018. She says:
We love Lisbon as a city and feel a strong connection to it. I am Brazilian, so can speak Portuguese, which made it a lot easier to plan a wedding in Portugal. We came across Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira when we were researching spaces that had a classically Portuguese aesthetic. We liked that fact that the palace wasn't pristinely splendid; it's extremely beautiful even in its imperfections. The gardens are so stunning and have a huge impact when you see them as you enter.
One of my favourite colours is orange and I wanted to include it in the day's palette. We mixed different shades into our flower arrangements, then drew in blues and golds elsewhere to complement the venue's colours and keep the day from looking too autumnal. My mother is an architect and interior designer, so she helped ensure that what we added to the already very ornate space didn't clash with it.
I let our florist from Decoflorária pretty much do his own thing because I love his style and, having told him my colour preferences and that I'd like loose arrangements, I trusted him to create something amazing. And he did! When looking through his previous work, I fell in love with arrangements in which he'd mixed fruits and flowers together, so we had pomegranates and grapes in our tables' centrepieces. I had also suggested that he use mostly gypsophila for our bouquets and the flower girls' crowns, but what he made on the day was seriously breathtaking. What I loved most, though, were the floral runners that lined the aisle. I asked for natural, wild-looking designs to go with the outdoor setting, and those runners were perfect. He went above and beyond.
We incorporated a number of Brazilian-inspired elements into the day as a nod to my heritage. We asked one of Jamie's best friends Didi, who is Portuguese, to be our celebrant, which meant he could deliver the ceremony in both Portuguese for my Brazilian family and friends, as well as English. He's super charismatic and we thought having him as our celebrant would add to the laid-back vibe we wanted. Jamie also wanted a Bossa Nova band at the celebration who play a mixture of Samba and Brazilian jazz.
Another thing we organised was a big dessert table. Brazilians are massively into sweet tables at weddings, so, instead of a sit-down dessert, we had a table that was covered with lots of little ones. There were regional Brazilian treats such as passion fruit mousse, quindum (a coconut custard dessert like flan) and loads of Brazilian chocolates called brigadeiros, which were packaged in golden dessert cases shaped like flowers – a decorative detail commonly found at Brazilian weddings. The brigadeiros were infused with alternative flavours with Baileys and Ovaltine. The Ovaltine was a total hit. We ordered 600 units for 100 guests because Brazilians eat a ton of them and take them home in little boxes, but I think the Brits were a bit overwhelmed!
Once I had the vision of a custom-made cape in my mind, I couldn't think of anything else. I knew I didn't want a veil, but did like the idea of being able to take something off for the party and change my overall look, as well as having a coverup of sorts for the ceremony. Lovely bridal designer Andrea Hawkes helped me come up with my dream outfit.
The bespoke cape was the perfect substitute for a veil. We chose the softest tulle fabric to make it. It held its shape but flowed off my shoulders like water. The button fastening at the front was so discreet that it almost looked like the cape was floating around me. Underneath, I wore an understated figure-hugging gown made of sand-washed silk satin, also from Andrea Hawkes. I wanted something simple because I am a statement-earrings girl and wanted to pair them with something that would make them pop. The ones I wore are by Jennifer Behr. They took me longer to find than the dress, but the super-yellow gold colour was worth the hunt!
Photographs by Hugo Coelho