The Irish wedding of Andrea & Paulo was held at Belfast City Hall. After the intimate ceremony the couple hosted a low key reception at Made in Belfast, a quirky restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter. The couple had just £6,000 to spend but managed to make the most of their budget by making unconventional choices.
“Paulo and I met in a place called Praia da Pipa, near Natal, in Northeast Brazil” Andrea explained. “I was backpacking on my summer holiday from teaching and he was on a surfing weekend away with his friends. He is originally from Fortaleza in Ceará, Brazil, where we now live, and I am originally from Northern Ireland so it proved quite serendipitous that we were both out on that particular evening! Neither of us big drinkers, we had been dragged out to socialise with friends and I caught his eye. He plucked up the courage to come ask me my name. We started to talk, and something changed for both of us, we just clicked! Between us we spoke enough Portuguese and English to find one another curiously interesting and since then we have never looked back. We have spent four years travelling back and forward between the UK and Brazil to spend time together, juggling work, study and family commitments along the way. Paulo proposed to me on my summer holiday in August 2010, he got down on one knee at sunset on the balcony of our apartment, it was so romantic! I was leaving to go back to the UK that night so it was very emotional too, I couldn’t stop crying because I didn’t want to leave!”
“We are both pretty soulful individuals and like to do things differently, in our own way” she continued. “So when it came to our wedding neither of us wanted to get sucked into the commercial wedding machine and waste loads of money conforming to the wedding packages on offer in most conventional venues. The most important things to us were simply getting married, eating good food and sharing a relaxed, fun day with family and friends. The City Hall in Belfast is such a beautiful building and the staff there made the whole legal side of getting married so straightforward – an important factor for us in the midst of sorting out visa and immigration paperwork! I loved the idea of photos on the marble staircase and in the halls, with the added advantage of minimal cost in terms of the venue.”