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A Christmas Wedding Planned from Abroad


“Our wedding was at Christmas time so we leveraged from that!”


Your Names: Eileen Russell & Cian Hill

Length of engagement: 6 months

Wedding Date: 2019-12-28

Wedding location: Springfort Hall and Country House

Photographer: Sean Sharpe Photography



How did you meet and get engaged?

Met at University 8 years previous and got engaged on a hike in Maine; on top of the highest peak in New England. Moved to Boston in the preceding months for work.



Describe your wedding:

We planned our wedding from abroad so didn’t get too hung up on having a specific theme or colour plan. We just selected items we liked and tied them all together. Our wedding was at Christmas time so we leveraged from that e.g. the corsages had a little pine cone. I guess Christmas would be the theme as Springfort Hall had holly and Christmas trees throughout the hotel. Springfort hall were fantastic at being very accommodating for own small touches, like a photo booth, photos of us growing up, a spinning wheel, and some other touches to truly personalised our day.



Tell us about your bridal look:

My bridal look was natural and minimalistic. I had had my make-up artist do my make-up for multiple events previously so didn’t see a need to change to anyone else. The most important thing for me on the day was to be comfortable so I didn’t have a veil and had the train cut off my dress. After some debating, I went for an up-style for my hair. Again this was a practical decision as I knew I would be more comfortable dancing if it was off my face. I was happy that I prioritized comfort.



What did your bridesmaids wear?

My 4 bridesmaids wore light blue Debenhams dresses. Of my 4 bridesmaids, 3 have kids (one baby was only 2 months old at the time of the wedding) and my fourth bridesmaid was living in New Zealand until 2 weeks prior to the wedding so we never actually had a shopping trip. I knew the Debenhams returns policy was reasonable if required. They wore their own shoes and selected their own hairstyles.



What was your ceremony like?

We had an Ethical ceremony. This was very personal and allowed us to incorporate our sense of humour and things that were meaningful to us. It lasted about 30 minutes and was done on-site at the venue. This was a fantastic bonus as everyone could relax once at the site, get checked in, get rid of their cars, and enjoy the whole day. The hotel did a great job of getting the place set up and then a quick changeover during the drinks reception to be transformed for the dinner. Both setups were extremely professional and we were delighted with them.



Tell us about your wedding venue:

Springfort Hall is an old country house. Because we were having a winter wedding we knew our 180 guests would be spending the majority of the day indoors. This meant we could make the most of the space and character that the hotel has to offer. There are many rooms, which allowed for the natural flow of the wedding through the front bar, back bar, main room, and the area where we had a photo booth. The venue planner at the hotel, Marcella, doubled as our wedding planner and was a real lifesaver, helping with all the necessary co-ordination. As we are living in Boston and had a relatively short engagement (6 months), her kindness and experience were key to vetting and introducing vendors to us, from photographers, celebrants, flowers, decoration, band, etc. in advance of the wedding. She also ensured everything ran smoothly on the day – and that everyone managed to depart in one piece the following day!



What is your favourite memory from your wedding day?

A few different things stand out 1. After the ceremony, we took photos with just the bride and groom and it was really nice to eventually have time alone. 2. One of our good friends recited a reflection at the end of the ceremony. We had asked her to do this but did not give her direction on what to say. It was original, beautiful and a lovely surprise. 3. The dinner! We had a food tasting a couple of months previous and had high hopes. On the day it was just as good and that is the thing we received most compliments for afterwards.



Have you got any advice for other couples?

Don’t seek other people’s opinions for everything, make the decision yourself and tell others afterwards. Some people told us we were mad for only having a 6-month engagement. Luckily we didn’t listen so we got it all tidied up before COVID!

Perfection is the enemy of progress! Try not to get too hung up on the smaller details. I think we had a good balance of preparation and flexibility. Ultimately, most of the minutiae are lost on most guests and will be forgotten even by the bride and groom in a few months. Don’t stress the small things, try to enjoy the build-up and planning. Most people will remember the food, band, and vibe – not the table centrepiece or whatever.

Split the workload. We made a list of all jobs and split them between the 2 of us. Get a good photographer and videographer. We look back on our photos and videos all of the time.

Take your vitamins! Admittedly not everyone may intend to drink and dance as much as we did but I took Reviveactive and Dioralyte in the days leading up to the wedding and would highly recommend. On that note, sneak a protein bar, banana, and Lucozade/water away with bridesmaids or groomsmen. While everyone else is snacking after the ceremony, you’re off taking pictures and you probably won’t eat between breakfast and the dinner.



Wedding venue: Springfort Hall and Country House | Photographer: Sean Sharpe Photography | Planner/coordinator: Marcella | Musician and DJ: The Love Junkies | Hair: Young Hair | Makeup: Denise Murphy  | Dress: Aibheil of Adare | Suit: IndoChino (USA) | Bridesmaids dresses: Debenhams | Groomsmen outfits: Morley Suits Cork | Cake: Groom’s mammy | Celebrant: Jacqueline Mullen | Stationery: The Print House | Flowers: Orla’s Oasis

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