helena wedding photographer


SMALL is the new big

A Vandelli Botanical Garden wedding

Disclaimer and 2024 update 

As you read through and scroll down this blog post, you may see some people wearing masks. That may look strange, but Sara and Guilherme were one of the couples who decided to get married even before the pandemic was officially over (only in May 2023)  

How small weddings became a new trend? 

In the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, small weddings have emerged as a cherished trend. Gone are the days of grandiose affairs with hundreds and hundreds of guests. Instead, couples are opting for more intimate ceremonies, surrounded only by their closest loved ones. And what better backdrop for such a gathering than a botanical garden, where the beauty of nature serves as the perfect accompaniment to the exchange of vows?

In Lisbon, couples are rediscovering the charm of small weddings, and botanical gardens such as the Vandelli Botanical garden are becoming increasingly popular venues for these intimate celebrations (also check Estufa Fria wedding).

Here, couples find a sense of peace and serenity that cannot be replicated in traditional wedding venues.

In the aftermath of a global pandemic, the trend of small weddings has emerged not only out of necessity, but out of a desire for genuine connection and meaningful experiences. 

And so, amidst this breathtaking view and atmosphere, it’s fairly easy to say that a Vandelli botanical garden wedding  is the  perfect expression for the simplicity and intimacy of a small wedding—a trend that is sure to last.

How was it? 

A wedding amidst a global pandemic. “Small is the new big ” is the story of Sara and Guilherme, a Vandelli Botanical Garden wedding (former Estufa Real) in times of Covid. 

Many couples who were getting married in 2020 had to go through the tough decision process of postponing their wedding. The amount of government guidelines changed as the months progressed, and whilst some eloped or postponed, others readjusted and adapted to the new reality: a small wedding. It was all about keeping the balance between getting married and keeping everyone safe.

When Sara and Guilherme decided to move on with their set date, they called me and we immediately talked about everything that was going to happen. It was crucial for them to live that day in the most normal way possible, upholding all the safety measures necessary. That meant a close articulation between all the vendors, guests and themselves.

One of the main decisions – as weddings in October were limited to 50 guests – meant reducing the guest list. Their wedding had only 20 guests and they were mainly close family members. Both the ceremony and dinner party happened in airy spaces and, despite all necessary adjustments regarding social distancing and desinfection, it was a beautiful day.  

Vandelli Botanical Garden (former Estufa Real) is a wedding venue wrapped up in meticulously cared gardens, with an amazing overview of the Tejo river and Lisbon. The chosen decoration was elegant and the earthy tones were alusive of autumn. If I had to describe it in one word, I would say “warm”. 

Take a look and let me know if you feel the same.

vandelli botanical garden