Ryan’s mother is from the Azores, a group of beautiful Portuguese islands about 1,000 miles west from the landscape of Sintra. Brittany’s mother is also from Europe – specifically Prague in the Czech Republic – which is about the same distance north east of Sintra. Getting married on European soil paid tribute to both of the families of the bride & groom while indulging in the couple’s knack for adventure and travel. Sintra – where we chose to get married – has a striking similarity to San Francisco, the city where Ryan and Brittany met and spent most of their relationship together. Sintra is a perfect combination of family heritage and nostalgia for the city where Britany & Ryan first fell in love. In addition to wanting a destination wedding in Portugal, the most important element in choosing our venue and vibe was the ability to host our guests on site. Palacio Tivoli de Seteais in Sintra is a breathtaking venue and we fell in love with the palace upon our first visit. But just as important as the magical 18th century frescoes and palatial architecture was the welcoming & hospitable hotel staff & accommodations.
We were able to host the majority of our wedding guests at the Seteais Palace, with other guests staying within a stone’s throw away in the cultural landscape of Sintra in nearby hotels, resorts, palaces, and quintas. This hyperlocal experience in a far away destination added to the overall experience, bringing people closer together as they explored the estate and surrounding area. Brittany & Ryan like to party and dance the night away, so they knew they a venue that was not only regal but one that also supported an absolute ripper. The couple didn’t like the idea of getting “kicked out of their own party,” so they searched far and wide for a royal party palace that let them do what they wanted, respectfully of course.
Plus, who doesn’t want to have an epic dance party until the wee hours of the morning in an all glass vintage greenhouse! The theme throughout was “make it glam but fun,” which was also reflected in the “creative black tie” dress code. Because of the glamour of the location and venue, they wanted to continue to pull in sophisticated and classic details to keep the look consistent. All the guests loved that they felt they were attending a royal affair.
FOOD & DRINK
Being foodies, Brittany and Ryan searched for a catering company that could provide an experience for dinner. The geniuses behind the Mad Kitchen couldn’t have prepared a more fantastic food and drinks presentation for our guests. The meal was 7 courses with a wine pairing and included a pallet cleanser that was made of a gin and tonic ball that exploded in your mouth. Every course held a surprise!