{Miriam & Sergio @ Palacio National de Mafra - Portugal}

Miriam and Sergio's wedding is the first one I've gotten to photograph in Europe! I have to say it was extra special because not only did I get to go, but my husband and daughters got to experience it as well.  They made us feel like we were a part of their family and it was truly an honor.  Miriam is from Mexico, and Sergio is Portuguese but grew up in Germany.  Their friends and family are all over the globe so many weren't able to attend their wedding in Mexico 6 years ago. Sergio's parents have a beautiful property with a huge garden on a hill that overlooks the ocean just outside of Lisbon. Each day leading up to the wedding friends and family arrived from all different countries and every night there were more chairs added to the dinner table. There were guests from the US, Germany, Portugal, France, Canada, Thailand and others I'm sure. Sergio's brother and cousin drove over 20 hours from Germany in a sweet black Mustang convertible so they could use it for their get away car!  Miriam wore the dress she wore 6 years ago, it was a 2 piece organza gown with a beautiful lace veil.  Sergio also wore the brown suit he originally wore.  Their son, Leo, was the ring bearer and daughter, Regina, was the mini flower girl:-) They both got ready by the marble staircase at the house. Sergio picked up Miriam's shoes which said, "I do" on the bottom and said "Do I"?  Miriam's mom helped her get into her gown and gold heels and her dad was just so sweet when he saw her!  
     Then it was off to the Palacio National de Mafra in the Mustang.  It is a gorgeous Catholic Basilica that was built in 1755. Leo pulled Regina down the aisle in a wagon right before Miriam walked down the aisle. They did the lasso ceremony where Miriam's parents draped a beautiful swavaski crystal rosary over the 2 of them as the priest did a blessing.  They ceremony wasn't just for them, they had their daughter baptized and were honoring Sergio's parents, Isa and George's 40th wedding anniversary as well!  To make the marriage official they actually sign the papers during the ceremony right at the very end. They exited down the iconic steps of the basilica and we literally could have done photos for hours because the architecture is so amazing and different than what we have in the US. My favorite spot though was actually the little garden on the side with the tall purple flowers. 
     The reception decor was simple and so pretty with candelabra's, crystal and a little bit of sparkle.  The food in Portugal is just amazing.  Dinner was served family style with so many different courses it was impossible to try them all!  They are known for seafood, especially cod and the different cheeses and bread they have with every meal is a carbavour's (like me:-) dream.  They did their first dance and then Sergio danced with his mom and Miriam with Sergio's dad.  Then Sergio's parents danced while they added Miriam with her dad and Sergio with Miriam's mom until everyone was on the dance floor. Later into the evening, if you were still hungry they opened the doors to another room that had a full buffet of meats, cheeses, fruits, seafood, and dessert. Just before the end of the party we moved outside for them to cut the cake and fireworks! We got to know so many wonderful people! I have to say a special thank you to Luanne and Ploy for helping David wrangle our two one year olds while I was photographing the wedding.  And of course to Miriam & Sergio for coordinating everything to bring us along and their parents Isa, George, Victor, & Lily for opening their home and being amazing hosts!