Elopements in Portugal - The ultimate guide for couples

Updated: Oct 20

Portugal is a beautiful country that offers many diverse locations and landscapes for the elopement wedding of your dreams. Elopements were already popular in Portugal before COVID-19, but now they make even more sense, as reducing the number of guests and keeping loved ones safe has become a priority for everyone. Many couples have contacted me recently with questions regarding eloping in Portugal, therefore I decided to create a guide to make life easier for everyone.

Weather in Portugal

One of the most amazing things about Portugal is that the weather is great most of the year. The months of July and August can get a little hot, but there’s always an ocean breeze coming from the Atlantic, but if you’re not used to hot climates it’s best to avoid the central part of the country during these months. Overall, from March to October the weather is very pleasant and there’s plenty of sunshine, perfect for wedding celebrations.

The table below shows the average temperatures for Lisbon. See link.

Type of Ceremony - Legal or Symbolic

Let’s just say Portugal is no Las Vegas when it comes to a legal marriage. In order to get married in Portugal it’s necessary to translate all the necessary documents to Portuguese, have it apostilled, then verified and approved by an official notary. You either have to come to Portugal, or give a power of attorney to someone to present the documentation and officially set the date with the magistrate that will carry out the ceremony. This process can take many weeks, or months. A translator would be required as the celebration would be in Portuguese.

Most couples decide to do the civil/legal ceremony in their home country and then do a symbolic ceremony in Portugal. A symbolic ceremony is perfect for couples who want to celebrate their love in a more intimate, intense and creative way. In terms of creativity, you can go all out! You can get married at the top of a mountain, a forest, the beach, you name it! It takes less time to plan and execute, thereby reducing the wedding planning stress.

Wedding Officiant in Portugal

If you decide to go with the legal route, the magistrate will take care of officiating the ceremony for you. For a symbolic ceremony you could have a friend or a family member do this for you, assuming you’ll have guests presents, or you also have the option of hiring a wedding celebrant or officiant.

The European Wedding Celebrant are amazing and can help create a ceremony as unique as your love. They are very professional and have a helpful team of celebrants all over the country. You can also have them help you with the legal side of things if you decide to do a civil ceremony.

Locations - Where to Elope in Portugal?

Forest Elopement Wedding in Portugal

The forest of Sintra National Park is one of my favourite places to photograph, it’s so magical and mystical, it looks like something that came out of a fairytale. The deep greenery and thousands of trees is the perfect setting for a very romantic and intimate elopement. For those who dreamed of a forest elopement in Portugal, Sintra is the perfect place.

Elopement in Lisbon City

For those who enjoy cities, Lisbon is the perfect spot. Lisbon is a cosmopolitan city with a small village relaxed vibe. It’s vibrant and colourful, with many of its building walls famously clad in colourful tiles recalling the times when it under the Moorish rule in the middle ages.

Beach Elopement in Portugal

Portugal is known for its stunning beaches, it has 1,749km of coastline where you can find some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, ranging from vast expanses of golden sands to secluded coves with picturesque scenery.

Praia da Adraga Sintra

A little cove with golden sand, backed by high cliffs and a deep valley winding down to the beach. This beauty is easily accessible by car only 50min away from Central Lisbon.

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Praia da Ursa in Sintra

Eleged one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by the Michelin Guide and for good reason. Praia da Ursa is unspoilt and wild, the name of this beach comes from the “Rocha da Ursa” (Bear Rock) one of the two huge sea stacks that resembles a bear with its cub. This beach is a great fit for the couples who enjoy a bit of an adventure as a bit of hiking is required to reach the actual beach, but it’s totally worth it.

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Wedding Vendors

Hair & Makeup

Finding a good hair stylist and makeup artist can be very overwhelming, especially in a different country. I got married abroad and I’m so grateful that I had a sister in law to help me with my search. In the Lisbon region I recommend Agne from Let’s hair, and Andreia, from ….. As for make-up my favourites are Andreia …. And Joana Bernardo.


You don’t need a huge amount of flowers if you are eloping but, you probably still want a beautiful elopement bouquet, boutonniere, and you can also decorate the place where you’ll have your celebration. Two of my favourites in Lisbon are IntoBloom and FlorAlice.

If you are thinking about planning your Elopement Wedding in Portugal, I am available to answer any questions you may have, suggest places and connect you to my favorite wedding vendors.I have an all inclusive elopement package which includes, photography, florist, make-up artist & hair stylist, If you would like more information about that, send me a message, I would love to talk to you about it.

For all of you who had to change your wedding plans due to COVID-19, don't worry, we can still make your day an incredible and unforgettable one. With creativity and love we will overcome this phase that we are facing.