The Azores Wedding Adventure – Chapter I. – E-session
– Intimate Wedding | Azores Wedding | Sarah & Jason –
So we’ve been extremely excited for sharing with you this Azores Wedding Adventure we had back in February. It was one of the greatest we have ever had in our wedding photography career.
Sarah contacted us in December for an alternative wedding they have been planning in the Azores, where – although it has been on our bucket list since we started as wedding photographers – we have never been before. Her e-mail was one of “those”. We knew immediately that we are a match and that we HAVE TO photograph their wedding.
Just hear it out: ” (…) I am coming to the Azores with my Fiancee (Jason) for a small personalized destination wedding (…) We will hike up one of the volcanoes and find a beautiful vista… we will be preforming a personalized ceremony ourselves, with some help from our guests, and then come down the volcano together as husband and wife…”
I mean… how cool is that?!
I could go on for ages but let me just say that in the end we spent a whole week in the Azores with Sarah, Jason and their wedding party. Hiking in the mountains, having barbecues and spending hours soaking in the hot springs of Poça da Dona Beija, in Furnas.
As we believe getting married in such an intimate way is one of the most beautiful thing in the Earth, I asked Sarah and Jason to write about their whole Azores wedding adventure (and mainly about how to plan an alternative wedding) themselves.
So enjoy the first chapter of their Azores destination wedding story, and get inspired.
J: “To understand the Introvert wedding is to understand a little about Sarah and I…….like a lot of couples, we met through work- we both waited tables at a fine dining Italian restaurant in picturesque Lunenburg, Nova Scotia- far from both our hometowns (Sarah is from Calgary; and I, well, I’ve lived in just about every province, but I’ve split most of my upbringing between Ontario and Alberta). If anyone knows anything about serving in a restaurant, it can be a high stress, constantly moving, environment, where one must be continually thinking five steps ahead of the game, while holding a queue of half a dozen different things-to-do-this-instant in one’s head! That, and it pays to be outgoing, as about 75% of the job is talking to guests to figure out their wants and needs…..while another 75% is trying to appease the ego-inflated chef in the kitchen!!!! Regardless, Sarah and I bonded through these endless summer work shifts; often taking relief after work at the local watering hole, telling horror stories of past serving jobs; and sharing dreams and aspirations for our ‘post’ serving lives. And thus, after a raucous Wednesday night Ceilidh at the Ice House, I invited Sarah back to my new Farm that I had just moved into; and we shared a wonderful July Full moon evening/night getting better acquainted! But what I haven’t mentioned yet, though did reveal to Sarah that night, is that I am actually quite Introverted- that is, I have to work real hard to engage in social conversation in most settings; having forced myself to join the drama club in high school so that I could learn to overcome my social ‘stage fright’, so to speak.
S: And if anyone knows anything about me, I am just the opposite of Introverted!!! I grew up in a household of 3 women, who all talk at once while simultaneously listening to each other as well (Oh, and my poor dad who had to put up with us all by watching hockey in the reflection of the microwave while we sat in the dining room every night at supper.)
So perhaps what they say about opposites attracting must be somewhat true, as we quickly learned to respect and admire each other’s introverted/extroverted qualities. Sarah helps me ‘flex my social muscles’ and engage in more ‘off-the-clock’ social settings. While Jason has shown me the joy in turning more inward to engage with myself in a deeper way. Sure, there’s been some bumpy patches along the way, but we both realized that we are better off together, and are excited to grow together and discover more about one another; committed to helping each other accomplish both our individual- and our mutual- goals in life!
With both of us in the same canoe, and most of the time paddling in the same direction, our next step was to plan a wedding suited to both our needs and desires……..and, well, after much discussion, and certain apprehension on my part about standing at the altar in front of a large group of people I did not yet know (Sarah has a much larger extended family and friends, than I have, about a 4:1 ratio, I’d say!) We came a solution: let’s have two weddings! But both of us not being made of money, we had to get our thinking caps on as to how to pull all of this off without taking out a Mortgage-sized loan for it all. However, part of the inspiration for the first, intimate, Introvert wedding, was our trip in May of 2015. We spent a wonderful two weeks wandering around the Irish and English countrysides on a shoe-string budget, taking great advantage of sites like booking.com and airbnb.com: scoring amazing deals on cool, off-the-beaten-track places to stay; and meeting tonnes of great people along the way.
With flights and accommodations covered, there was just the small matter of planning the actual ceremony and booking the photographers!!!
S: After much research on the internet considering everything from a local dude one of the villa owners knew to giving our friends disposable cameras, I finally stumbled on the Look Imaginary site I fell in love with their stunning photos and contacted Orsi and Ze. When we met over Skype I knew I wanted them to shoot our wedding! Although most everything was done on a shoestring budget I did splurge a little here to have them fly from Lisbon to meet us in the Azores and stay with us all week.
Once we were on Azorean soil, and gathered our bearings; the four of us took an entire day to scout out potential ceremony sites…..and shoot a lovely engagement session besides! After an amazing day of zipping around Sao Miguel, we settled upon Plan A- getting married atop a volcano overlooking a beautiful little lake.
So the wheels began to turn towards organizing a beautiful little wedding adventure somewhere new and exciting…..and affordable. Cue an email from one of Jason’s favourite travel sites, travelzoo.com, about an amazing seat sale from across Canada to a place none of our friends had ever heard of called the ‘Azores’! After a little research, we saw that these remote Islands in the Atlantic owned by Portugal would be a perfect spot to host a small gathering of close friends and family to help us celebrate our recent engagement and witness our self-fashioned vows to one another in an enchanting setting most of our party was to discover as akin to the ‘Shire’ out of Tolkien’s fantasy, the Lord of the Rings.
Once the location was fixed; I set about scouring the internet to find suitable sleeping arrangements for our group- and settled upon three villas in a sleepy little town called Furnas, about 45 min east of the capital of Sao Miguel, aptly named for the luxurious- and surprisingly cheap- hot springs that were abundant about the village.
As it happened, the day of the wedding turned out to be overcast and showery up on the mountain tops; and so we moved to Plan B, which was on a point lower down in the heart of Sete Cidades, nestled between two Volcanic lakes, said to have formed from the tears of a princess and her young shepherd boy lover after the King refused their marriage!
More details on the ceremony to follow :-)”
Check back later for the full Azores wedding post! I promise it’s going to be worth it!