Teresa and Gabriel’s Spectacular ‘Olive Grove meets Sunset Rooftop’ Moroccan Wedding by Maria Rão

Well hello Thursday! have I got a jam packed blog for you today. This afternoon I will be sharing a competition with you that you won’t want to miss, so pop back then for more details. This morning I have this gorgeous and totally jaw dropping wedding from Maria Rão. It’s the super stylish wedding of Teresa and Gabriel, who were married in Marrakesh in Morroco in April of this year. The whole wedding looks spectacular. The Ceremony was held in the olive groves, so has a natural, soft look, with some gorgeous flowers. They then moved to the sunset roof bar for their cocktail hour, where they were entertained by traditional Moroccan musicians and acrobats. The reception, for me, is the most striking with the amazing table arrangements, abundance of flowers and many, many candles. The whole day looks stunning, I’m sure you will agree.

Our wedding was a day bursting with energy and love, and it was surreal to see all of our most favourite people in celebration together – and in Morocco! From our ceremony in a lush olive grove, to our sunset rooftop cocktail hour, the Moroccan feast, and the dancing into the wee hours of the morning, we could not have asked for a better day to celebrate the union of families.

Teresa and Gabriel were married on 6th April 2019 at Villa Taj Marrakech in Marrakesh, Morocco. ‘Gabriel grew up in Morocco and still has family in Casablanca. Marrakech was a great halfway point between our family in the USA and our home in Dubai. The desert landscape reminded us of our love of the Dubai dunes, while the Atlas Mountains provided the perfect backdrop to highlight our love for the great outdoors. We had 75 guests and we planned the wedding in just under 5 months.’

How they met 
We met online and had our first date at the neighbourhood Belgian cafe. Things clicked from the very first date, and we have now been together just under two years.

The proposal
We needed an escape from the hectic Dubai city life so went away for the weekend to a small luxury resort in the desert. After dinner by the fire, we decided to go for a walk in the desert. Being slightly paranoid about scorpions and snakes Teresa insisted upon holding the flashlight. Gabriel surprised her when he gasped from behind and said he saw something. When Teresa turned around, he was down on one knee with an illuminated ring box in hand.

How did you allocate your budget?
After decided our budget, we were able to reach out to Villa Taj Marrakech in hopes that they would have a date that would work for us. Villa Taj Marrakech is an all-inclusive type of venue and David Garnier is very well organized in who he works with in terms of vendors for catering and décor. Again, we allocated our budget to secure the event space and predominately focused on the guest experience in terms of food and beverage, as well as décor.

Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Our splurge was definitely on the food and beverages for the guests. We wanted our guests to have a great experience and get a chance to try to local cuisine. We hosted a luncheon and welcome dinner the night before the wedding festivities to enjoy the company of our family and friends, but to also thank them for traveling across the world to celebrate with us! Teresa saved by using shoes and accessories that she already had, and Villa Taj was great in that everything including food, flowers, décor, service, and furniture was included. This made things easier and most cost effective than dealing with multiple vendors.

How did you choose your photographer?
We were so blessed that Maria was available for our dates! Planning a wedding in 5 months means you risk not getting your first pick, but we were so lucky! Teresa started by reading different blogs and using Instagram. She was immediately taken with Maria’s style and use of soft colours and light. Maria has an incredibly romantic and fun flare.

The dress  
Bridal Dress – Maggie Sottero Platinum Collection, Accessories: Aldo

The suit and bridesmaids
Groom’s Suit: Hollywood Custom Tailors. Bridesmaids: Azazie

Theme or colour scheme
Dusty Rose, Sage and Off White

White roses, olive leaves, eucalyptus, cattails

We wanted to keep things natural and local. Décor consisted of olive leaves from the local groves, white roses and petals, eucalyptus leaves, and as many candles as we could make work!

Cocktail Menu: Macaron foie gras, Macaron smoked salmon, Corne de Gazelle with goat cheese and honey, Briouattes with ricotta and mint, Briouattes with vegetables, Miniature tacos with pico de gallo
Dinner Menu: Starters: Moroccan salads and individual pastilla. Main: Double individual tagine with beef, sweet carrots and comfit dates, and cinnamon semolina. Dessert: Fresh fruit verrine, chocolate mousse with orange blossom, bio mint tea

Wedding cake
Four tiered lemon cake with raspberry coulis and vanilla buttercream

Guests were greeted by traditional Moroccan drummers who also performed as acrobats at the end of the rooftop cocktail hour. During dinner, the drummers returned along with a fire twirling performance by the pool. We had a great DJ recommended by Villa Taj Marrakech that played music during the ceremony until the dance party finished at 3am!

Who supplied the stationery?
We designed our own Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations, Programs, and Menu Cards using Canva and Zola electronically.

Personal touches
Our family and friends surprised us with an amazing music video! It featured many guests that could not travel to the event, as well as our closest family and friends. We also designed small custom tajines as favours for all guests. The mothers of the bride and groom displayed family photos of the bride and groom as children.

Special moments 
The kiss of course will be a special and treasured moment, as was the father daughter dance and mother and groom dance. We also loved immediately following the wedding that we were able to have a special moment with just our closest family. We were thrilled to successfully complete our first dance as a couple.

Advice for other couples
Remember that planning a wedding is a way to celebrate your growing family. Make the event feel like your guests are the most valued treasure that you have! Also, try to be mindful and present in every moment because your wedding day will fly by, take time for yourselves to observe, breath, and take it all in.

Biggest surprise
We were stressing all week long because the forecast showed it was going to be cold, windy, and rainy on our wedding day. We had to outline our backup plan, and it down poured the night before the wedding, however the sun came out and we could not have asked for a more beautiful day!


Supplier Shout Outs


For more information on Maria Rão Photography go to

 www.mariarao.eu www.mariarao.eu/blog / [email protected] / +212 669-640325 / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM  PINTEREST

My name is Maria and I am a Portuguese fine art photographer available to work across the world. I am spontaneous, naturally kind, joyful and always on the go in between Lisbon and Marrakesh or travelling all around the world to photograph. I have been a freelance photographer for six years, and I have been dedicated mostly to fine art wedding photography, and in large part to destination weddings. 
Through photography, I can express myself and have a profession where I can put my heart and soul at work. My inspiration comes from the love I feel for life and everything beautiful and genuine. My photographic style is a balance between fine-art and documentary photography. My unique way of capturing light and scene aims to highlight the simplicity and beauty of the subject.


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