Hello dear readers,
It is already 2021, COVID-19 is still among us, along with its significant impact on our daily lives and causing disappointment to brides, grooms, and the whole wedding industry worldwide.
But here at DWE, we are striving to be positive and believe in a better future! Are you doing the same?
The most painful thing is to see how brides and grooms deal with COVID-19 obstacles and restrictions. It is sad to witness couples postponing their weddings for a second time in a year. It's unsettling, especially when we're not talking about delaying it for months but years.
That's why I have decided to tell you the real story of a Dream Weddings Europe's couple – Shirley and Kweku.
They managed to hold a successful Destination Wedding in Portugal during the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, after overcoming various setbacks. From dreaming of a Destination Wedding in Morocco to postponing their wedding for the first time in 2020 – their story is a unique, inspiring experience.
It all started in 2019 when the couple got engaged.
Part 1, "Marrakesh"
Shirley and Kweku are a French couple with African roots. They are elegant and courteous, and they live in the beautiful city of Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg is not the sunniest city, so Shirley and Kweku wanted to get married somewhere with a warm climate and dreamt of getting married on a sunshiny day sometime in 2020.
Marrakesh in Morocco seemed like a fabulous option. It was the location of their first vacation together. It is a French-speaking and Muslim country perfect for accommodating the dietary needs of many of the couple's friends and family members who don't eat meat or have particular food restrictions.
After some research, Shirley and Kweku found an excellent Wedding Planner in Marrakesh and booked a trip to visit venues and meet with the planning team. Everything went very well! S&K felt welcome in Morocco, enjoyed the food, the people they met and returned to Strasbourg inspired, bursting with ideas and ready to start the wedding planning process.
Days turned into weeks, and the Wedding Planner in Marrakesh never got back to S&K. Day by day, they were losing hope that she would eventually reply to their emails and messages. After waiting for two months, S&K realized that they didn't want to plan their destination wedding in Morocco.
Part 2, "Porto"
After this first setback, S&K held on to the idea of having a Destination Wedding.
S&K spoke to a friend who recently held a Destination Wedding in the North of Portugal who told them that their wedding was just incredible. "Everything came out as we wanted, and the planning process was comfortable, food and drinks were exceptional".
S&K had previously visited Portugal and loved the food, the kind people, and the country's calm atmosphere. Feeling enthusiastic, S&K started searching for a Wedding Planner in Porto. After comparing several Wedding Planner options, they chose one who fulfilled all their requirements and sent an individual proposal which they liked. They booked the service by mailing the deposit and scheduled, once again, a trip to meet the Wedding Planner and visit some venues.
Arriving in Porto, S&K immediately began the wedding venue's inspections and experienced an inconvenience: the first venue on their schedule was closed! This situation caused the couple some stress, but the wedding planner managed to fix it after some calls, and they visited the venue.
In the end, they liked the venue and felt compelled to book it right away.
S&K went along, depositing the required amount to secure the venue for their wedding date and, in good faith, returned home to France.
What happened next?
This time around, the couple and the Wedding Planner's conversations continued (thank God!). And one of the first topics they had to address was the Menu. S&K needed a special Menu; many of their guests had specific food restrictions, so they tried to arrange a Menu that would be perfect for all the guests. But it never happened. The venue owner came up with a straightforward Menu option hardly resembling a wedding Menu and wasn't willing to make changes neither in quality neither on ingredients. The Wedding Planner was not able to help the couple or make them feel confident with her work.
This especially upset S&K. They knew very well they needed a planner whom they could trust, who would help them and would always be on their side. Someone who would understand the level of services they wanted to have, their wishes and dreams. That's why S&K decided to cancel contracts with this Wedding Planner and the venue. Unfortunately, this meant they would lose the two deposits.
Part 3, "Dream Weddings Europe"
But S&K didn't give up!
They continued their quest for another Wedding Planner in Portugal. This time, they decided to look for Planners and venues in Lisbon.
And this is where I thank God that Google search introduced us, Dream Weddings Europe, to S&K.
After chatting on the phone and later on Skype, we felt comfortable with each other, and S&K made a decision very fast. As soon as we signed a contract, we started the venue search.
Our couple wanted a very particular date – 20.06.2020. Not many venues were available, but we found an attractive option – a classical five-star hotel in Estoril. Everything was perfect. We had so many great plans: a beautiful wedding styling project and a fantastic team of wedding vendors. We enjoyed every stage of planning S&K's wedding, and the couple relied on us – it seemed like fate brought us together.