As a tradition of the Belief Retreat, on the last day, we had the Two + Us, a social project that provides an entire wedding for couples in need. In addition to that, Beliefers had an exceptional farewell dinner, where they had the chance to say goodbye and exchange gifts.
On the last day of the Belief Retreat, all members participated in the social project created by Belief, "Two + Us Weddings". The wedding took place at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa.
Through this program, wedding creators get together to organize a complete wedding for couples around the world who have a beautiful love story and could never fulfill their dream of celebrating their wedding. In addition, several vendors in the industry, such as photographers and venues, also join this project, offering their services and products for free.
"The goal is to fulfill the dream of a couple who cannot afford a party while promoting collaborative work between event professionals. After the pandemic, more than ever, we need to strengthen the wedding industry. And the foundation for a successful industry is to have a reliable network with fairer competition and more collective support. And while we created a more united community, we made a dream come true, which is incredible.", says Giovana Duailibe, CEO of Belief Wedding creators.
For Rui Mota Pinto, wedding planner and the host of Belief Retreat 2021, Two + Us is one of the most memorable moments of the Belief Retreat. "Participating in Two+Us, an international charity event, made it possible to exchange experiences around a couple," he comments.
Ana C. Almeida, wedding planner and the host of Belief Retreat 2021, on the other hand, believes that sharing and solidarity lived their highest moment on the last day with the Two + Us project. "Everyone together with one a single goal: to make someone happy! Impact someone's life. That's what moves us! That's what drives Belief Retreat. And Portugal came together to make Margarida and José's dream come true", he highlights.
In the current edition of Two + Us held in Portugal, the chosen couple was Margarida Paula de Andrade António and José Manuel Lopes de Sousa. She is 44 years old and Angolan, while he is 46 and Portuguese.
The story of this couple began eight years ago when José emigrated to Luanda to work in a construction company as an electrician. At the time, Margarida worked as a cook at the same company as him. They got to know each other and fell in love. "We kept the relationship a secret at first, but the affection we had for each other was so great that our colleagues were easily suspicious," they say.
After two years, with the Angolan crisis, José was unemployed and had to immigrate to Switzerland. "For a year, we never stopped talking. José used to spend a 'madness' on his cell phone to be able to talk to her", they reveal.
The love turned out to be stronger: José returned to Portugal, and Margarida came with him. "A difficult decision as I had to leave my daughter and two granddaughters in Luanda, I had never lived without them - my granddaughters are like daughters," recalls Margarida.
Margarida was a mother at age 17, and her life priority has always been to take care of her daughter, who also became pregnant at a very young age. José has a 24-year-old daughter from his first marriage, who supports her father's relationship.
Upon arriving in Portugal, Margarida started working as a kitchen assistant. "Now, after almost six years and a lot of struggle, I've managed to get my driver's license, buy a small vintage car. I also send monetary help every month to my family", she reveals.
Their biggest dream is about to become a reality: bringing their granddaughters to Portugal so that they can receive a proper education. To get the visas for their granddaughters, José and Margarida had to sign a document that states their union. Still, the truth is that spending money on a wedding was never even an option, as they've always had more vital priorities since they've been together.
"My Guidinha" and "my "Zé" - that's how they treat each other. It is a couple who have enormous affection and mutual admiration. "It's a love that José never thought it was possible to have. He esteems Guida's determination - a working woman who never gives up and takes care of her family. José is her 'King' for Margarida. Never imagining it was possible to have someone so sweet to take care of her, who would take over her family like his. For him, the girls will be educated like his daughter", comments Rui Mota Pinto, wedding planner, and creator responsible for the general organization of the event in Portugal.
For wedding planner Ana Cesar de Almeida, who also organized the event in Portugal, their love is contagious. "They are always concerned about their family. It's time to celebrate this love and be able to provide this couple with a magical day they would never have had access to. Margarida and José take care of everyone. It's time to let themselves be taken care of and have a day to themselves", he highlights.
"We are very grateful to the entire production of the wedding. We didn't count on it. We didn't expect it to be such a big deal. We had no idea what it would be like. We are very grateful for everything", says Margarida.
Groom’s suit: Josefino Alfaiate
Cake: Cake Details by Alcina Maia
Photos: Fabio Fistarol and Pedro Bento Photography
Video: Film Art Team
Stationery: Miminhos Rita Catita
Wedding rings: Alliance Day
Earrings and cufflinks: Sofia Tregeira
Make-up: Susana Mathias
Hair styling: P. Regedor Hair Style
Officiant: Arena do Tempo
DJ: Paulo Dilight
Decor: Kefro by Sandra Nogueira
Piano: Gustavo Teixeira
Sweets: Morgadinha dos Conventuais
Sculpture: Pelle by Gaipi
Favors: Utopia Design
Wines: Carlos Alonso Douro Wine
Vegetables and legumes: Frutal Verca
After so many emotions, sharing, and WOW experiences, it was time to say goodbye. But, again, our hosts Rui Mota Pinto and Ana C. Almeida surprised all of us with a thematic airplane dinner. This was definitely the best way to stimulate us to take the next flight to Mexico and enjoy the Belief Retreat 2022!
Then, all the Beliefers had their traditional gift exchange for ending the event in the best way ever.
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