A Multicultural Beach Celebration in Brazil

Noeme and Luis hosted a feast that perfectly mixed her Brazilian and his Spanish cultures.

Updated 08/31/18

Photo by Volvoreta

Noeme Santos likes to imagine the faces of her wedding guests as they motored along on the two-hour car ride between the airport in Natal, in northeast Brazil, and Pipa Beach, where she and Luis Vizoso Noval got married. “It’s a lost hippie town,” she explains. “Getting there is not an easy task.” In fact, many of the 110 guests had come from Spain, with a flight from Madrid (the couple’s home city) to Lisbon, a five-hour layover, seven more hours in the air to Natal, then—finally!—that drive. “More than one of them certainly regretted signing up for my wedding,” Noeme jokes.

“My in-laws kept wondering where their poor son had gone to marry.”

Where he’d gone, of course, was Noeme’s native Brazil. Luis, a telecom manager, and the guests were not the only Iberian elements brought in for the five-day festival: “We wanted to make a wedding mixing Spanish and Brazilian cultures,” says Noeme, a lawyer turned cosmetics entrepreneur. Liquor, for instance, was brought in from Spain (the couple had given each guest two bottles of wine, rum, and gin to transport), as was the cheese, ham, and Estrella Galicia beer (a gift from a brewery owner friend).

So keep reading to see all the creative ways that this couple mixed their Spanish and Brazilian cultures through the music, food, and more. Trust us: These photos by Volvoreta capture it all!

beach wedding venue
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The ceremony and reception were held within steps of each other at Ponta do Pirambu in Pipa Beach. “The true decoration was the environment,” Noeme says.

bridal beauty look flower crown
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bride getting dressed
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The one exception to the local decor? Her floral crown made by her friend María Salazar in Spain and transported “in its own VIP box.”

bride low back wedding dress flower crown
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bride in wedding dress
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The bride's Oh Que Luna! dress was “beautiful, perfect...as my husband says, the hanger also helps,” she says, laughing.

bride with bridesmaids
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"In Spain, it's not typical to have bridesmaids," Noeme explains. "And in Brazil, too, so I didn't have bridesmaids." That said, she did pose for a group pic with some of her best friends.

bride and groom laughing
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pocket square and groom's Boutonniere
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The groom wore a light suit that was perfect for the casual beach setting. He accented it with a simple boutonniere and printed silk pocket square.

wedding sign wedding decor
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wedding sign
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Since the event's all took place at one place, the couple put up signs to direct everyone in the proper direction for each part of the day.

bride and groom's father
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The groom’s father walked the bride down the aisle. "He is the father that life has given me—I could not be happier," Noeme says.

ring bearers
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The couple's nephews acted as ring bearers and carried bottles of sand that the couple incorporated into their beach ceremony.

bride crying
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bride and groom hugging
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groom crying
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The ceremony was filled with a mixture of emotions—including many happy tears from the groom.

ceremony exchanging vows
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exchanging vows
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Luis’s older sister, Bea, officiated the ceremony. "Since we were married civilly in Spain, we wanted someone who knew us to officiate this one," the bride explains.

bride laughing
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bride and groom kissing on the cheek
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bride and groom emotional hugging
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exchanging rings
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After trying—and failing—to write her vows for months, Noeme awoke from a nap on the plane headed to Brazil “and the whole speech came to my head,” she says.

ceremony exit
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bride and groom on beach
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Following the ceremony, the couple slipped away to a secluded beach to take portraits at golden hour.

buckets of beer
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drink station
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Following the Friday-afternoon beach ceremony, everyone just had to walk a few steps to the cocktail area lawn, where buckets of beer (brought in from Spain!) were set up alongside local juices.

bride hugging friends
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bride with friends
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The day's events flowed seamlessly as the couple was able to mix and mingle with their guests before and after the ceremony.

reception by the beach
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At cocktail hour, guests enjoyed those Spanish treats, as well as caipirinhas, and then moved on to the traditional Brazilian rodízio meatfest. “Our friends are very carnivorous!” the bride says.

reception tablescapes
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Tables were kept simple using low arrangements of colorful flowers and the restaurant's plates and glassware. "Pipa is a paradise of nature so no style of decoration could overcome the views we had," says the bride.

bride smiling glowing at reception dinner
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bride hairstyle curly natural hair
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Throughout dinner, they had a mix of live Brazilian and European music.

samba band
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bride dancing
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After dinner, the couple took to the dance floor for Alicia Keys’s “If I Ain’t Got You.” “We had not rehearsed anything, so we were doing the same movement the whole time,” Noeme says. Thankfully, she says they were “saved” by a samba band, which the couple had hired to surprise their guests.

bride lace wedding sleeves dancing
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From there, four of Luis’s friends took turns deejaying as everyone danced until 3:30 a.m. This Friday-night rager was by design, Noeme says. Their guests’ return trips on Sunday would be very long, “so it was better to spend a hangover on the beach than in a plane!”

Venue: Ponta do Pirambu || Wedding Planner: Kamila at Sonhos Cerimonial || Bride's Dress: Oh Que Luna! || Floral Design: Maria Salazar || Catering: Olimpo Recepoes || Ceremony Music: Projeto Acustico Musical || Entertainment: Batukedo || Photography & Videography: Volvoreta

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