This city might not be on your destination wedding shortlist – but it should be

We’ve even found the team who can help you plan and manage things on the day: meet Porto for Weddings

cable cars over the douro river

This article contains paid-for content created in collaboration with Porto For Weddings

There are many reasons why Scottish couples choose to get married further afield. Weather inevitably tops the list, but a more unusual backdrop, or being able to cut down guest numbers with minimal drama also rank high.

You might associate a destination wedding with a beach in the Maldives, but there are scores of less long-haul – and less humid – options out there. One untapped gem is Porto. Not only does it offer breathtaking scenery and fantastic food and wine (the clue’s in the name), but your wedding abroad there can be executed with minimal hassle.

For one, there is no time difference. Yup, there’s no need to worry about arranging Skype calls from your bed, or dealing with grumpy jet-lagged flower girls on the day.

It’s also super simple to get there: Ryanair flies direct to Porto from Edinburgh in just two hours and 45 minutes, and we found flights on Skyscanner for just £63 return.

Porto Tailes

But ask anyone’s who’s got married abroad what makes things really stress-free and the answer will always be the invaluable local knowledge of a wedding planner or co-ordinator. Most commonly, couples will deal with a co-ordinator aligned with their venue, meaning they’ve had to find the venue themselves, and from that point get a hand with additional suppliers and advice on how to get the most from the venue.

A wedding planner, however, can be with you from the start of your journey, asking questions about what kind of wedding you’d like and then coming up with a shortlist of venues that fit the bill.

That’s certainly the case with Ana Holland of Porto for Weddings: “Whether you want to have a celebration overlooking the city, or a getaway in the surrounding countryside, we can arrange the perfect location to suit your needs.”

outside a wedding reception marquee in Porto

Ana decided to set up her business after her own wedding in the city. “This day was such a happy one for me, but I realised that it needs to be extremely well organised,” shares Ana. “So then I decided to do a professional course to become a wedding planner.”

Ana explains another aspect that makes a wedding in Portugal attractive to couples from Scotland is that you can marry there legally without being resident, or having to be in the country for a set time period before the big day. There’s also the choice of a legal civil ceremony or religious ceremony:

“If you choose to have an Anglican church service, or wedding blessing as it is usually called, before the service you will need to have a civil wedding, which can be in your home country or in Portugal. This can be on the same day as the wedding blessing service and immediately before it on the church premises.

bride posing against river backdrop in Porto

“If you don’t want a religious ceremony, you can have a civil wedding at your chosen venue and the registrar will go there to conduct the ceremony. This can be at the same place chosen for your reception. Aside from religious and civil, you can also have a symbolic ceremony with a celebrant that will commemorate your union, and then a reception with all your friends and family.”

Porto for Weddings offers a range of packages that can take care of organising and overseeing absolutely every aspect of your big day, including babysitting services and legal documents, and a basic on-the-day management service, so you can sit back, relax and toast to your new spouse with a glass of bubbles (or tawny port perhaps?).

Find out more about Porto for Weddings’ services here.