Make sure you have an exact itinerary of your day and so do all your suppliers. The last thing you want to be doing on your big day is run around sorting out everyone else. Get a plan in place and share it with everyone. Your photographer, florist, planner, or who ever else you have involved, will help you keep the day on track, but you need to let them know of the plan in advance! Bridesmaids and the Best Man are also useful for this job!
Remember is gets hot in Madeira. A good idea is to purchase fans for your guests to keep them cool. These can be personalised making them a fun keepsake. Hand out before the Ceremony as guests will be in the heat before you arrive. Remember one for you too!
Sun umbrellas are a great idea for little Bridesmaids and big ones too. It gives them something to hold, something pretty to play with and most importantly keeps the sun off them.
A nice idea is to provide small bottles of water for guests when they arrive at the Ceremony. It can be thirsty work waiting for a traditionally late Bride!
Don't forget sun cream for you and your guests. Even though you have your wedding outfits on, it will still get you.
Put your dress on early enough to acclimatise to the heat outside and if the air con is on, turn it off, as the sudden step into the sun can be overpowering.
If your guests are making a holiday of it, give them some ideas of what to do and where to eat but don't try and organise them every day. You are a Bride, not a holiday rep. This will only stress you out.
Book a massage or beauty treatment for you and the girls the day before the wedding. Send the boys, golfing, or deep-sea fishing. There are lots of activities everyone can enjoy both before and after the big day. Remember a Madeira wedding lasts longer than just one day.
Plan a lunch or a dolphin watching trip or something informal for the next day. It keeps the magic alive.
Make sure you leave enough time after the Ceremony but before the meal to welcome and chat to your guests and most importantly have lots of lovely pictures taken. No less than 1 1/2 hours for this to work well. Loads of people get this wrong and everything gets very rushed.
It is popular nowadays to have speeches before the meal so everyone who is speaking can relax.
A basket of fun sun glasses can be a unique idea to offer to guests. Especially for Porto Santo, another great idea is to provide a selection of cheap various sized flip flops so your guests and you can kick off their shoes and dance or just stroll along the beach!
It is always useful when visiting Madeira to know a few common Portuguese phrases. The Portuguese embrace people giving it a go and it will make your visit more special.
- Hello - Ola
- Goodbye - Adeus / Tchau
- How are you - Como esta
- Thank you - Obrigado/a (m/f)
- Yes / No - Sim/Nao
- Do you speak English - Fala ingles?
If you are taking a pre wedding visit and need to contact suppliers, this may help! All regular phone numbers have an area code followed by a seven digit number.
- Country area code: 351
- Directory assistance: 118
- Emergency (free) 112
If you can think of any additional Tips we can offer couples, let us know and we will add them to the list.