This summer we had the pleasure of capturing Kamila & Piotr's special day at Senhora Da Guia in Cascais Portugal. In this blog post, they tell us their hot tips for planning a destination wedding and why they chose Portugal.
Your Love Story....Tell us where it all began.....
We met while we were working at the European Commission's Representation in Warsaw. Actually, we met next to the office printer. He was in a hurry to copy, and, since it was my first day at work, I didn't know how to operate the printer. After a minute Piotr took my papers, said "let me do it" and copied things for himself and me. I thought he was a complete jerk. We didn't work very closely together for the next couple of months, so our contact was limited to seeing each other while making coffee and writing emails from time to time. And then Europe Day happened.
We both had to work on Saturday during Europe Day celebrations. It was sunny and fun. Piotr has found a sneaky/delicate way to ask if I had a boyfriend - whom I didn't have at that time. Later one first flirt got recorded and live-streamed on European Commission's social media channels: https://www.facebook.com/komisjaeuropejska/videos/10155560066218366/.
Then we went on a conference together, aaand then we started - or to be precise I started and needed Piotr as a penholder - organizing EC's presence at the biggest summer music festival in Poland. It was a crazy project, with a delegation of high-level diplomats attending. Stress, drinks and sun all went together. After we waived the delegation goodbye, we went for drinks - by then just the two of us without the rest of our colleagues. Piotr found the most clumsy way to tell me he had liked me "I have not met a girl like you for a long time. Or actually I have never met or..." and then he kissed me. It was exciting and highly inappropriate given the power imbalance, age difference and the fact that formally we were still at work. So we got more drinks and went partying together for the rest of the night.
From then onwards we started dating and were glued to each other. We spent every free minute together maybe because we knew I was leaving to do my Master's in Belgium in not even two months. We had a beautiful summer together, full of parties, trips and definitely not full of sleep. Then September happened and I left to do the LLM of my dreams, crazily in love.
While I lived in Bruges, we were flying to see each other whenever it was possible. It was hard though. I was going out to college parties, which was making Piotr jelly. And Piotr was going out with his friends, which was driving me insanely jelly. It was tough, but we made it. In March I had secured a job offer in Warsaw, which gave us peace of mind and something to wait for. I was coming back and we were going to be together.
From then onwards it was only better.
Fun fact: the pandemic pushed us closer together. When the pandemic broke out, we lived apart. In order to protect our families, we decided not to contact each other for two weeks. We were still seeing each other - Piotr was coming over to my place every day and we were going for walks, being 2 meters apart. Seriously - we were so scared of covid we didn't touch each other even once. Then we decided the next lockdown we're spending together. In May, we were already living together.
Piotr proposed in November.
When and where did you get engaged?
Piotr was planning to propose during a planned trip to Tuscany in October, but then another lockdown happened and Piotr decided to propose during a New Year's trip to the Alps. Then we got both ill with covid. We were sick for a couple of weeks and went to the countryside to recover. In the meantime, we found out that the Alps were being closed. Piotr decided not to wait any longer. He found the only sunny day in November and planned a trip to the seaside and a picnic at the beach. He proposed and I said yes.<3
Tell us why you chose Portugal for your wedding?
The sun, the wine, the food, the vibe.
Describe your wedding in 3 words!
Family & friends, nature / garden, laid-back elegance
What has been your biggest challenge with planning a destination wedding in Portugal?
The paperwork. My goodness. We completely forgot about all the paperwork. We needed to get a license to marry abroad, without which our marriage could be considered void and we'd have to get divorced in Portugal in order to marry again in Poland. Later it turned out that the waiting times to get the license in Warsaw are extremely long - for instance, we were able to get an appointment in July, whilst our wedding is in June. No city hall in close vicinity wanted to help us because we live in Warsaw and there is a big-small city divide (the administrations don't like each other). We ended up getting all our paperwork done in a provincial town in Poland, that everyone jokes about. We appreciated the help we got there so much we'd like to go there again to register our marriage under Polish law.
However, another challenge is that we're super overworked and we (in particular I) had to arrange everything without any help. My parents are still working and very busy with their work, whereas Piotr's parents are already retired and very busy enjoying their retirement. No help anywhere whatsoever.
What are you most excited about for the big day?
Saying "I DO" and our first dance, for which we have practised for months.
Share your Top Tips for planning a destination wedding in Portugal
Start as soon as possible, there's more to do and decide on than you think.
Share your ultimate desert island playlist!! (feel free to add a Spotify playlist)
It's not a playlist but a few tracks:
Location: Senhora Da Guia, Cascais
String quartet: https://www.facebook.com/stringquartetsolutions/