Written by Cassandra Ortega. Photography by Donovin Seymour Photography.
Afton Cabral and Brian Botelho first met through mutual friends back in April 2010, and after keeping in touch for several weeks, they soon reconnected at the Portuguese Festival the following month. From that day, they say, the rest is history.
In September 2015, Brian proposed. Afton had been feeling down about a milestone birthday, and so Brian took her out for a sushi dinner at Yashi, where the couple had enjoyed their first date five years earlier. When they arrived home, Brian asked Afton to wait outside, and when she came into the house, she found their two dogs sitting together and Brian on bended knee with a stunning solitaire diamond ring. Afton says Brian ‘did an amazing job picking out a ring and making [the proposal] special’, and even had their two birthstones placed in the ring for an added personal touch.
The couple quickly began to plan their wedding, and nearly six months later, on the 16th of April 2016, they were married at Elbow Beach Hotel on the Ocean Terrace, a spot that afforded them spectacular views of the water.
The vintage retro themed wedding celebration was attended by seventy five close friends and family members and featured many special details that the couple will always hold dear to them. Among these were Afton’s own handmade centrepieces, plenty of sweet and funny signage and even a hugely popular bacon table. The bride was walked down the aisle by her uncle, who also played a live guitar rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ for the couple’s first dance.
Also included in the festivities were Portuguese music and food and elements of video gaming, which is a love of both the bride and groom. The couple’s champagne glasses were etched with ‘Player 1’ and ‘Player 2’, along with pixelated hearts, while their wedding bands feature the engravings ‘Forever my player 1’ for the groom and ‘Forever my player 2’ for the bride.
Afton insists that the huge success of the day would never have been possible without the help of Emma Sims, who was the couple’s wedding planner and is also Afton’s closest childhood friend. “She was an absolute superwoman,” Afton says of Emma. “She made sure everything was perfect for me, and my vision became real that day.”
When recalling the moments that stood out for her the most, the bride says her husband’s speech was “absolutely phenomenal” and the garter toss was unforgettable. She exclaims, “Brian even did a strip tease to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back’, with a knee slide across the dance floor and all!”
And when asked for advice for brides to be, Afton encourages any future bride to hire a wedding planner, or at least someone who can make sure everything goes according to plan on the day. “You need someone to relieve the stress and worry; without Emma I don’t know what I would have done. She wouldn’t allow me to lift a finger and it allowed me to calm my anxiety. I was so blessed.”
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