Our Market Editor, Victoria de la Camara, whose father is Spanish and mother is American, wed her long-time boyfriend Santiago Garcia this July 7th in Santa Maria do Bouro, Portugal. Her minimal aesthetic and eye for detail paired well with her partner’s expertise in travel – he runs GM Iberica, a travel company for Spain and Portugal – to create a stunning event in the Douro wine region. Today she shares with us details of the event, as well as tips and resources for creating your own minimalist romantic wedding.
I’ve never been someone who has thought much about their wedding: I didn’t fantasize about it as a little girl and I didn’t have a Pinterest board with images of my “dream event”. The idea of celebrating something so personal so publicly meant that for many years I met the concept with some rejection. But when I found the right partner, I softened.
When we got engaged (five years into our relationship, so it definitely wasn’t a rushed decision!) I was looking forward to making that leap into marriage but also excited about organizing the biggest event of our lives where our closest family and friends would all be there to celebrate with us. For two people that have moved countries throughout our lives (Santiago has lived in Brazil, Spain, London, and Australia, I grew up in a Diplomatic family) that was one of the biggest excitements of having our wedding – we could finally see them all at once!
We chose the north of Portugal because it was neutral ground for both of us and was the place of many great memories that we had shared together. Ten months before the event, we traveled around Portugal visiting various hotels and fell in love with the Pousada Mosteiro de Amares in a small (just three or four streets) mountainous village near the town of Braga. The hotel was once a monastery from the 12th-century that had been redesigned in the ’90s by the famous Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. It had history, beautiful views, and most importantly (for a design editor like me) a charming minimalist interior. On the day of our wedding, we were blessed with a clear day and golden afternoon/evening light enhancing the views of rolling green mountains in the background. We hosted our guests (only 70 in total) in the hotel for the weekend, where we organized various events throughout the two days of their stay. That was by far the best decision we made, allowing for quality time with our loved ones and most importantly, the privacy that we desired. We were even allowed to have our Border Collie Nova run free throughout the grounds.
Having organized the event mostly by ourselves (although with the indispensable help of Graça Pinto and the Pousada de Amares team), we came away learning a lot and often joke about wanting to do it all over again, now that we got the hang of it. See the slideshow to find out more about our wedding!