I remember getting an enquiry from Bruna & Rita, the wedding planners from Muza weddings, saying that they had a couple who loved my work and would be interested in flying over to Portugal. After a chat with the lovely Nour & Tariq’s who had decided on a Six Senses Douro Valley wedding so they could fly all their family and friends from 6 of 7 continents, it was time to search for flights and hotels!
Portugal is probably my favourite country for destination weddings. This time, I was lucky enough to head for a couple of days of free time before the wedding, with Keith Bridle joining me on the journey to help document the celebrations. We had time to explore the stunning Porto, a colourful coastal city on the mouth of the Douro river estuary full of views that have probably been painted a million times. It’s a feast for the senses with a rich history and exquisite handmade tiles adorning every wall; you can’t help but smile as you walk the streets.
After a couple of relaxed days, it’s time to drive up to follow the Douro river east for the trip’s final destination, the stunning Six Senses Duoro Valley wedding venue. A large hotel resort located in Samodães, a short drive from the small town Peso da Régua. The venue is a beautifully renovated 19th-century manor house located high up with stunning views of the vine-covered rolling hills of the Douro Valley and the river below. A dream location for a destination wedding.
Nour is originally from Syria and Tariq from Lebanon, but both currently live in the USA. With guests flying in from around for the wedding, they decided on Portugal as the perfect location for the celebrations. I meet up with them the day before the wedding while hosting a BBQ pool party to get all their family and friends in the holiday spirits! The whole place already has a fantastic party vibe, with people enjoying a dip in the massive pool, sipping on cocktails and catching up with friends, all while being kissed by the evening sun.
The morning of the wedding arrives, and we head to Six Senses Douro Valley to start documenting the day. Florists are busy trying to keep the vast collection of floral displays cool from the intense midday heat; planners are busy helping set up and making sure everything goes to plan, while I head to Nour, who’s getting ready in one of the guest buildings and Keith goes to see Tariq who’s getting his suit on in the main hotel building.
After talking with the couple, I know things will be slightly different from your regular weddings. Firstly the couple wants a first look so they can see each other dressed up before anyone else. I love this little moment between the couple, Tariq’s face beaming with happiness, seeing Nour in her Oscar de la Renta gown for the first time!
The couple had already done a religious ceremony back in Lebanon, so today, the focal point would be the groom & bride’s entrance down the large staircase leading from the house to the dancefloor below. I meet up with Tariq & all his best men as he gives a speech before all taking a drink and putting on red Fez hats to spectacularly make an entrance with all his family & friends waiting below! I absolutely love this moment with Tariq leading the way and a sea of red hats following.
Next up is Nour with her father arriving at the top of the stairs waiting for Tariq to join her so they can walk down as husband and wife. Queue fireworks as the couple party all there way down in style! The next 30 mins is a chaotic and equalling thrilling mixture of dancing and hugs as everyone surrounds the couple on the dancefloor! So much love at this moment.
While everyone enjoyed the party, a herculean effort to get the dinner reception for 300+ ready was underway. Set upon a large terrace to the back of the venue with epic views of the Duoro river below, I think you can agree that it looked stunning. An extensive collection of tables perfectly laid with bright flowers of every type with festoon lighting to light the space as the sun slowly fades. What a place for Nour & Tariq’s family and friends to chat, eat and drink the night away.
From chatting with the bride & groom, I knew the party would be one to remember, and they were not wrong! What started with a few people getting dancing turned into a mass exodus to the dancefloor! An excellent DJ by the name of Anthony Bassoulou helping get everyone going with a mixture of Arabic and party anthems, a free bar and fireworks from the local festival, all but cementing this as the party of the year, which didn’t stop until 4 am, haha. Epic doesn’t quite cut it!
Oh man, this one was special! I hope you love Nour & Tariq’s Six Senses Douro Valley wedding; let me know what you think at the bottom of the post and if you like this one, then definitely check out Claire & Damien’s wedding near Lisbon. Any other couples planning a destination wedding in Portugal? Get in touch as I would love to document it.
“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.”
Nour & Tariq on why they picked Six Senses Douro Valley for their wedding.
A Six Senses Douro Valley Wedding
Nour & Tariq’s’s Other Wedding Suppliers
Venue – Six Senses Douro Valley
Second Photographer – Keith Bridle
Planner – Muza Weddings
Dress – Oscar de la Renta
Cake – T Bakes
DJ – Anthony Bassoulou
Florist – Parque Da Penha
Videographer – Vanessa & Ivo
Hair Stylist – Rafat Komos
Make Up Artist – Tom Perdigão
Bridal Accessories – Peter Langer & Centimes Bourgeois Headpieces
Groom Suit – Hugo Boss
Having a Six Senses Douro Valley wedding and need a photographer? Get in touch using my contact form.