A Christmas Wedding With a Winter Wonderland Theme

Articles, Real Weddings

“Our wedding was a winter wonderland theme.”


Your Names: Lorraine and Padraig Joyce

Length of engagement: June 23rd 2018

Wedding Date: 2019-12-14

Wedding location: Lyrath Estate Hotel

Photographer: ArtZ Photography



How did you meet and get engaged?

We met at the Galway Races In 2016. Both from Kilkenny with no friends in common! A complete by chance meet. Some would say fate! We love going back to Galway to relive the memories. We got engaged in the Amalfi Coast on June 23rd 2018. Padraig surprised me with a trip to the Amalfi Coast for my 30th birthday. We had the most amazing trip driving the length of the coast taking in every charming town. It wasn’t until we got to our last stop (Ravello) on our last day that he got down on one knee and gave me the biggest surprise and best birthday present. We were at the highest point looking out over the Amalfi Coast and right as I asked the lovely obliging tourist to take a photo of us he decided to seize the moment and pop the question! So luckily we have the most perfect photo that captures the happiness of the moment.



Describe your wedding:

Our wedding was a winter wonderland theme. We kept it very traditional with hunter green and red as the main colours with touches of gold to give that Christmas sparkle. I had 4 of my gorgeous nieces as flowergirls and they wore the most adorable tulle sequin dresses. Our flowers and decorations consisted of pine cones, holly and berries which really added to the Christmas theme. I absolutely loved our flowers and decor. It made it very special for us that our neighbours were are florists. They went above and beyond and we can’t thank them enough.



Tell us about your bridal look:

I know it sounds cliche but the minute I saw my dress I knew it was the one. I actually spotted it online and didn’t rest until I found it. After a lot of searching I found it in Kathy De Stafford in Howth. The designer is Riki Dalal and believe it or not the collection is called The Lorraine Collection! I know weird right… Fate again! I loved the cuff on the sleeve and the plunge neck. It had modern touches but it still felt very classic to me. It was so comfortable and I danced the night away in it.

My makeup artist was Kate McCormack. She was fantastic and worked very closely with me to create my wedding look. My good friend Aisling Pollard was my hairdresser and it was lovely to have your friend create your wedding look and be there with you the morning of the wedding. My shoes were the classic white leather pump Louboutins. I have wanted these for as long as I can remember.



What did your bridesmaids wear?

The bridesmaids dresses were a winter red velvet from folkster and the groomsmen matched it with their ties and subtle red check through their jackets. My two bridesmaids were my sisters and it was so special to have them by my side. We are big fans of Kristin Cavallari and I gave them both a gold chain from her Uncommon James jewellery collection on the morning of the wedding.



What was your ceremony like?

The ceremony was so special to us. I am a Music teacher and I had my 6th year Music students sing at communion. They did a version of O Holy Night I will never forget. We also had our friends play and sing at the ceremony and drinks reception. It was everything we could have asked for. I am in a wedding singing group called Three Tones and to have them sing for me was so special. Since I am a singer myself I couldn’t let the moment pass without singing myself. I surprised my husband and guests with Gavin James’ version of ‘Fairytale of New York’ after the signing of the register (censored version of course).



Tell us about your wedding venue:

Lyrath Estate is our favourite venue and it was a dream come true having our wedding there. We have wanted that for as long as I remember. Even though it is in our home town of Kilkenny, when you drive up to the Estate it is so tranquil and special that you feel you could be anywhere in Ireland. Our wedding co-ordinator was Gill and she was so accommodating throughout the whole process. Nothing was too much and she helped us to create the wedding we have always dreamed of. Our wedding photos were taken on the grounds of Lyrath. They have a beautiful lake and luckily we had a crisp, bright winter’s day. The old house part of the hotel is where we had a drinks reception and the rooms are so grande and beautiful. The staircase was the perfect photo vocal point for our family photos.



What is your favourite memory from your wedding day?

There are many favourite moments from the day and it’s very hard to choose. I will always remember the speeches. They were very emotional. I laughed and cried my way through. I also spoke and I’m so glad I did. Both our families have been through a lot of difficult times over the past few years with ill health. It meant so much to us to have all our family there, well and in good spirits. I have to mention having my dad walk me up the aisle. It was a very special moment. My mam stepped out and met us at the top and together with Padraig we all had a moment. That is a standout for me.



Have you got any advice for other couples?

Don’t stress over the small things. Nobody notices. Venue, food, band and seeing the love between the bride and groom is enough for anybody to enjoy the day.




Wedding venue: Lyrath Estate Hotel | Photographer: ArtZ Photography | Planner/coordinator: Gill Long | Musician: All Talk | DJ: All Talk and DJ Sax | Hair: Aisling Pollard | Makeup: Kate McCormack | Dress: Riki Dalal from Kathy De Stafford Howth | Suits: Jim McLoughney’s Nenagh | Bridesmaids dresses: Folkster | Cake: Joanne Sweeney | Celebrant: Fr Roderick Whearty | Stationery: Kilkenny print and Design | Jewellery: Something borrowed | Flowers: Sweeney’s