My Minimalist Wedding

Organising one of the most important days of your life shouldn’t result in stress and months of sleepless nights like I heard so many brides admit.

I got engaged in November, officially married in December in England and celebrated it with the family and friends in March in Portugal. Didn’t spend loads of money on it, had an amazing experience and slept pretty well every night. Here’s how I organised my minimalist wedding:

Wedding couple

André and I have been dating for more than 3 years and we always said that if we decide to get married we would  do something special and we both define special as – something relaxing, something that involves our closest family and friends, and a lot of food!

Because we are living in England we got married at the Registrar’s office, where a few members of the family got to attend and celebrated with a special lunch. It was so casual that we picked a day during the week, we took the day off from work, everything was walking distance to our home and we both finished the day watching Netflix with beers in our hands.

The official celebration was recently in March where most of our family and friends live, even though a few people took a flight from their countries just for our wedding and to spend a nice weekend in sunny Portugal.

The website that help me organise everything

Organisation is all about using the right tools and organising your wedding shouldn’t be any different. It’s actually the best way to avoid unnecessary stress. I found a very useful website – WeddingWire.com. I used the Portuguese version Casamentos.pt.

This website has a list wedding suppliers including cake designers, photographers, ceremony venues, etc. It lets you create a checklist of all the things we need to do until the special day so you can keep track of everything. It allows you to create a free website where you can include your guest list, they can confirm their presence at your wedding, leave a message to the bride and groom and even share photos.

Once you have the guest list it also lets you put together a seating plan so you can send as a PDF to the restaurant before the big day. I also enjoyed the community of brides and grooms. Everyone was really nice and always there to help me with any questions I had or any tips I needed.

The Dress

My mom got married exactly 29 years ago and guess what, I wore her dress in March! This was something I told her I wanted to do even before I’ve met Andre, I wanted to wear her dress, not only to honour her but because it’s such a unique wedding dress and maybe it’s my minimalist mind speaking, but I thought it was a shame that it was only used once.

The Bouquet

I’m a big fan of plants, especially because I can keep them alive. When it comes to flowers I always feel bad for using them for a few days and then having to throw them away. So of course, I didn’t even think about the bouquet but the day before the celebration, my mom offered me a very beautiful one from Florineve.

I used it on the day of the celebration, on the day of the photoshoot and now I’m living the flowers to dry so I can then use them to decorate my wedding album, where all the guests wrote their messages.

Photography, of course

I’ve been partnering with Nimagens for my blog for quite a few years now and I actually did a beautiful photoshoot with André, as boyfriend and girlfriend a few years ago. So to me, it didn’t make sense to ask anyone else to take my wedding pictures. But we did it with a twist, of course.

On the day of the celebration all the guests had access to an app called “Wedshoots” where they could upload all the pictures they were taking on the day. This really helped capturing some natural photos of everyone, including me and André, because we weren’t worried about posing, we were just enjoying ourselves with all the family, friends and food.

A few days later, André and I met with Nicole from Nimagens for the official wedding photoshoot, where we got to recreate our first date in Lisbon, but this time dressed as a bride and groom. It was great to visit all the same places 3 years later and to enjoy an amazing sunny day in Lisbon.

Of course everyone was looking at us, dressed as newly weds, in the middle of a busy city, it’s not something you see every day. I even saw a few people filming us with their phones! We also got a lot of people, especially kids, wishing us all the best in our future. It was a really great experience.

You can visit the photoshoot post here.

The Restaurant

One of the most typical dishes in Portugal is Bacalhau (Bacalhau à braz, bacalhau com Natas, Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá and the list goes on). So guess what our restaurant was called…. D’Bacalhau.

The food and variety was really good and I actually got to eat and drink, which is something the bride and the groom rarely have time to do, but that was an accomplishment for us. The location was perfect, in Lisbon, near the river and a view of the Bridge Vasco da Gama. Some guests even went on the cable car and ended up filming us, so good thing I didn’t order a drone. I must mention again that the weather was amazing.

When it comes to the cake, the hair and makeup, I made sure everything was located close to my mom’s house where I was stayed during my time in Portugal and everything was ready in time.

I hope my example helps you organising a stress free wedding and if you have any questions or any tips to future brides leave them below in a comment.

You can visit my Instagram account for more wedding pictures and videos on the highlights.

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Instagram: @melissanunes.salvador

10 Things I stopped buying since becoming a Minimalist

One year after becoming a minimalist and I can already see the changes around me, especially in my wallet! So here are 10 things I stopped buying:

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Magazines

After studying journalism and doing a few internships at Fashion at lifestyle magazines, I learned all about the production of these. I was fascinated by the design, copy, photography, etc. So, as you can imagine, I bought a lot of magazines and my collection was very extensive. I even had a wall in my room covered with Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Elle best designed and unique covers. After joining the minimalism journey, I quickly notice how much of a waste of paper this was and how much space it would take in my home. And let’s not even talk about all the dust it collects! I’ve started reading the online versions and I might borrow magazines from friends sometimes, but once read, I immediately pass it over to the next person.

Clothes for special occasions

It’s not the first time I mention this on the blog. Buying a specific dress for a specific event is a waste of your money unless it’s a dress that you can adapt and use it more often. We tend to spend a lot of money on outfits for special days and go to Primark for the clothes we use on a daily basis. Shouldn’t we invest our money and taste in something we wear every day and needs to be of a higher quality than a dress that is worn maybe once or twice, and then spends the rest of its life in our wardrobe?

DVDs

One word, Netflix. And yes, I do complain about the fact that they don’t have all the shows and series I want to watch and if this happens, there are so many other online platforms where you can watch it. Just like magazines, you watch a film once, maybe twice if it’s really good and then, why keep the DVD at home? To collect more dust? Or so you can spend more money on IKEA furniture to have the space to keep these?

CDs

The same as above, just a different word – Spotify.

Loads of pairs of shoes

I only need one pair of shoes for each type – a pair of high heels, a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots… and you get the point. I used to have a huge collection of sandals, for example, one of each colour so I could match with different dresses. I ended up just buying a neutral colour and now it matches everything. I’ve also made sure, the quality of these was very good so they last longer and I’m comfortable at all times.

House decoration items

Plants, candles and photos decorate my home and create a very cosy feeling. All of these items have a purpose – the plants filter the air inside the flat and make us closer to nature, the candles replace the artificial light from lamps and give the flat a lovely smell at any time of the day, and the photos remind us of all the good times and good people we have around us, even when we had the most stressful day. That’s why I don’t feel the need to buy decoration pieces that don’t serve a purpose. Because for me “just looks good” is not a purpose.

Cleaning supplies

I’ll be soon writing a post on the blog about my natural home-made cleaning products. You’ll be saving on plastic, money and you’ll have a chemical free home. It will also save a lot of space in your house because you’ll already have the ingredients at home. You just need to mix them.

Storage containers

I have only 3 at home. One for our bathroom products (my boyfriend’s and mine), one for our camera, mobiles and computer cables and one for Olivia’s toys. Every time I feel the need to buy more I reconsider and realise that what I have is too many things and it’s time to get rid of the extras.

Loads of makeup

All I use is mascara, eyeliner and sometimes eyeshadows. The more natural the better. And by taking care of your skin on a daily basis you won’t need more than that.

Anything on sales

I noticed that only the bad quality products or clothes go on sale and that we end up buying stuff that we actually don’t need. Smart shopping will save you more money than sales and promotions.

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Instagram: @melissanunes.salvador

5 challenging things about Minimalism

Simple living is not always so simple. Especially when you’re right at the beginning and it seems like the world is against you for following something that makes you feel so happy.

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Never ending clutter

When you start de-cluttering your life and especially your house you can feel quite overwhelmed realising all the things you own and you don’t need. You will also feel like you keep getting rid of things but other things keep coming back and it’s a never-ending circle. Keep in mind that after a period of time you’ll be able to look back and see a difference. This might not happened straight away because it takes time for us to change a habit, but once it’s done you’ll be able to see the results.

Being judgemental while listening to compulsive buyers

This is something I struggle with and I tend to not express my opinion too much, so I don’t end up offending anyone. But the truth is, people who keep saying “I need to buy this” when they clearly don’t, people who spend their lives scrolling on online stores and people that complain because they spend too much time organising and cleaning the house but they don’t look for a solution to the problem… those people need help. Keep in mind that just because we live in a society where buying “stuff” is the main goal and doing it constantly is considered normal for a lot of people, that doesn’t make it okay.

People that think Minimalism is just a phase

I wish your compulsive buying behaviour was just a phase. Just like being Vegan, being a minimalist or follow a minimalist lifestyle is seen as something very hipster that millennials do and after a while, it will just vanish. Keep in mind that the world and the planet as they are, aren’t in very good conditions and if there are lifestyles that help to make it better, even though you don’t follow them, respecting it would be appreciated.

Receiving gifts

This is a big struggle for me. I love receiving gifts, especially the well-thought ones, but I hate receiving clutter and sometimes people buy you stuff just because it’s your birthday and they have to. Then you end up having things you don’t need, but at the same time, you don’t want to give them away because the person that offered it means something to you. Keep in mind that sometimes letting your friends and family know what you like and need is a great way to save them the trouble of searching for a gift and saves you the trouble of not liking it. There are ways to say it that won’t offend anyone.

You’re not as Minimalist as you should be

Minimalism is a lifestyle just like any other lifestyle. There aren’t rules, only inspiration, tips, pieces of advice and then you get to pick what’s most suitable for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you own too many books, for example, therefore you’re not a minimalist. If books are your passion you can have as many as you want. Just like my house is an urban jungle and I have plants everywhere! No way I’m getting rid of them to fit a specific rule of minimalism. There’s no such thing. Keep in mind that Minimalism is a lifestyle you can adapt to your daily basis in ways that make you avoid stress, make you more organised and with more extra time to do the things you love. As long as you’ve obtained this you’re on the right path and you should be proud!

If you struggle with anything else that is not on the list, please leave it in a comment below. You can also read my Minimalism Series to get a bit more inspired.

Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissanunes.salvador