“We decided on a Christmas wedding straight away. We liked the idea of log fires, Christmas lights and mulled wine.”
Wedding location: Station House Hotel
Photographer: Renata Dapsyte Photography
We met… We met in November 2011 on a night out in McGowan’s pub in Dublin. It was a Monday night which was the night out for shift workers at the time. Olan loves to tell the story that I made the first move and approached him. We moved in together after 8 months to a converted Martello tower on the beach.
Our proposal… Olan proposed on 12th December 2014, our baby was 6 months old at the time. We didn’t begin wedding planning until 3 years later.
Our wedding theme/colours… We decided on a Christmas wedding straight away. We liked the idea of log fires, Christmas lights and mulled wine. It’s also a magical time for children and we very much wanted our children to be involved in the day. The red and gold theme was in keeping with the theme. We had Santa come and visit the children and bring them a gift, some of the adult guests sat on Santa’s lap too.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… We made two pallet signs, we spent our evenings running up to the wedding in our kitchen, painting and crafting. One sign was a welcome to the wedding sign, painted gold and surrounded with fairy lights and flowers. The other sign was a timetable of the day, with clocks indicating the times of the band the food etc. It was important for us to bring a personal touch to our wedding. I’m a huge harry potter fan, Olan reluctantly allowed me to have a harry potter themed sweet table, this went down very well with our guest and many said it was a highlight. I made wands for the kids and we had a working ‘sorting hat’. I also made children’s boxes, they contained some crayons a wedding colouring book and a bauble with stickers for the children to decorate their own bauble. The parents thanked me for this as it kept them occupied while they waited for their food.
My dress… I found dress shopping very stressful and didn’t enjoy the process at all. I liked a dress in every shop I went into, I ended up going to about 10 shops in the end. I realised that I’m not very good at making decisions, in the end it was my mother who had to finally say yes to the dress for me and I was glad she did because I’d probably still be looking. I was very comfortable on the day, I think the dress was timeless and the sparkly bolero made it special.
My hair and make up… I had two hair trials with Sandra Maher, initially I wanted my hair up and I she gave me a gorgeous up-do. After trying on my dress, I changed my mind and wanted my hair down. I was so happy with my hair on the day. I was adamant from the beginning that I was having flowers in my hair and was delighted with how my hair looked on the day.
His suit… Olan’s suit was navy Donegal tweed, his waistcoat was contrasting brown tweed. He wore brown Brogues.
What our bridal party wore… The bridesmaid dresses were one of the first things I brought, I had an idea that I wanted velvet dresses, I knew it would fit in with the Christmas theme. I found some three-quarter length sleeve, midi length dresses that I loved straight away. The girls won’t mind me saying that they weren’t fans at all of the dresses when I first sent them a picture as they weren’t very ‘traditional bridesmaid’. I stuck to my decision and was so glad that I did. The dresses looked so beautiful on the girls, they are stretchy so no need for alterations and they were very comfortable for the whole day.
The groom’s men’s suits matched Olan’s and were also navy Donegal tweed. We also picked a tweed pattern tie that matched Olan’s waistcoat.
Our little boy and my nephew wore a matching navy suit and velvet bow tie that was from the same material as the bridesmaid dresses. Our little girl and the flower girls wore ivory lace dresses with sashes in the same colour as the bridesmaid’s dresses. The groom’s men and page boys also had pocket squares matching the colour scheme.
Our ceremony… We chose a catholic wedding ceremony and our priest was very easy going and fun on the day. He let our little boy get involved in lighting the candles and even gave him a piece of paper to sign during the signing of the register. Our wedding singer Nicola McGuire and the musicians were amazing.
We chose our photographer because… We saw examples of Renata’s work at an open day and it was exactly the style we were looking for. We wanted natural photos, that weren’t posed or staged. I had seen other brides sparkler photographs and Renata was open to any ideas I had, the sparkler photos turned out to be my favourites from the whole day.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Niamh at the station house and all the staff there were very helpful throughout, responding promptly to any little question or request. Everything ran smoothly on the day thanks to the staff organisation skills.
We chose our venue because… We had already decided on a venue when we went to view the station house, and we fell in love straight away. It was exactly our style, it felt relaxed and homely. We loved the grounds of the venue, with beautiful trees and wooded areas, decorated with lights and bunting.
Our menu… When anyone asked me where we were getting married and I answered the station house, the response I got was always ‘amazing food there’. We chose turkey and ham (again the Christmas theme) and lamb shank as the other option. The portion size was very generous, and the food was all delicious, couldn’t fault it. We had a ‘cheese’ cake for the evening menu that everyone seemed to enjoy with crackers and chutney.
Our honeymoon… We went away for a short city break to Brussels to see the Christmas markets. We plan on going on a family honeymoon later in the year.
My favourite part of the wedding day… I loved being outside with all our guests waving our sparklers.
My piece of advice for other couples… Don’t stress the small things. Handover to your wedding coordinator and let them take the responsibility. There will be small things that don’t go according to plan but try not to let it ruin your day. The day goes by so fat, take a few moments to sit back and take it all in.
Do your research when it comes to picking a photographer, your photos will be very precious to you, so you need to be happy with them.
Wedding venue: The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan | Photographer: Renata Dapsyte | Planner/coordinator: Niamh Bermingham at the Station House | Videographer: Richard Speedie | Musician: Nicola McGuire | Band and DJ: Black Tye | Hair: Sandra Maher | Makeup: Nikki Kavanagh | Dress: Frilly Frocks, Drogheda | Suits: J by Jasper Conran | Waistcoat, tie and pocket square from Dorian Black | Bridesmaids dresses: Per Una | Cake: Creative cakes | Celebrant: Fr David Brennan
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.