A Dreamy Castle Wedding With Festive Red Decor

Articles, Real Weddings

Orla and Anthony’s wedding is absolutely dreamy! What started as a nightmare, with the pandemic causing their venue to permanently close, turned into a perfect day. Orla’s dream of getting married in a castle came true when they booked Barberstown Castle! We just love the personal touches, special First Dance flash mob moment and of course, the gorgeous photos.


Couple: Orla and Anthony
Engagement length: 3 years
Wedding date: 2023-12-02
Wedding location: Barberstown Castle Hotel
Photographer: Ian Hennessy Photography



Orla and Anthony met in a nightclub back in 2014. Anthony proposed in the middle of the pandemic:

“We had moved home to my family home to save for a house and we were in the middle of the COVID pandemic. Anthony proposed in our bedroom and my mam walked in during the proposal looking for the clothes horse! Very romantic.”



Orla had always wanted a castle wedding, and Barberstown was so medieval looking and unique that she couldn’t resist!

“We went for a burgundy and red theme and incorporated Marvel superheroes where we could to have a personal touch to the day – superhero table numbers, wedding cake, cuff like, garter. The Christmas decorations were up in the castle and were red and gold which fit our colour scheme beautifully and was a happy accident!”


Orla wore an ivory Martin Thornburg wedding dress and a cathedral length veil. The dress had a high-slash neckline, an open back and a train. She wore her hair up with a stunning hair clip at the side.

Anthony wore a dark grey suit with a light grey waistcoat and matching light grey dickie bow with black shoes.


Anthony, his groomsmen and both the fathers all wore matching dark grey suits and black shoes. The groomsmen wore burgundy dickie bows and the fathers wore burgundy ties.

The bridesmaids wore stunning burgundy velvet gowns from Folkster with gold heels from ASOS. They wore their hair down, curled.


“We had a church wedding local to us which around 150 people attended. We had our friends do our readings and prayers of the faithful, and Anthony’s 90 year old granny read a beautiful poem after communion.”



Orla and Anthony planned their wedding in the middle of the pandemic. After booking a venue, which sadly closed, they were left looking for something new!

“We rang around and there were very few venues with our date still available, and made viewings for 3 venues. We viewed Barberstown Castle first and cancelled the other viewings because we knew this venue was the one for us. It was a blessing in disguise as we couldn’t and wouldn’t change a single thing about Barberstown. From start to finish they were a pleasure to deal with, extremely accommodating and the banqueting hall is truly like something from a fairytale castle.”


“I found Ian Hennessy through the HIGM! Group on Facebook. I kept being drawn to his relaxed style of photos, capturing very special moments in such a natural way and I’m so happy with how the photos turned out! We received our online gallery within 24 hours and I am actually amazed at how he was able to capture our whole day so beautifully while being very much a fly on the wall! Our wedding was a month ago and I’m still looking at the photos every single day.”


To entertain their guests, they had “scratch to reveal” scratch cards which gave a free drink to someone at each table. Each guest also got a personalised box of Lily O’Brien chocolates with Orla and Anthony’s names and wedding date on it.



Orla describes her favourite memory from the day:

“Our first dance! We had Heaven by Bryan Adams that cut into the dance version half way through. The only people expecting it were our bridal party and we asked them to join us on the dance floor at the change to encourage guests to dance along. When the song changed it felt like the whole room erupted like it had been planned and practiced with everyone. Everyone sang along to the point that you couldn’t even hear the actual song playing and it was such a special moment of everyone coming together in such incredible atmosphere!”



We love asking newlyweds for their best wedding planning advice. Here’s what Orla and Anthony had to say:

“Enjoy the planning and don’t lose sight of the reason you’re having a wedding – to marry the person you love. I never understood bridezillas stressing out over silly things and fighting with their partners going over the top for the sake of a party! Every step you take towards your wedding day is a journey you take together and that shouldn’t be forgotten.”



Recommended suppliers

Photographer: Ian Hennessy Photography

Reception venue: Barberstown Castle

Planner/coordinator: Annie, Olivia, Sinead from Barberstown Castle

Dress: Fiona Todhunter Bridals

Flowers: Flowers Touch


Other suppliers

Videographer: Andrew Duff | Ceremony venue: Whitehall Church | Band and DJ: Electric Circus | Hair: Aisling Byrne Hair | Makeup: Lorna Ryan & Aoife Hayes | Male grooming: Ridgeway Barber Shop Northside | Bridesmaids: Folkster | Suits: Protocol | Jewellery/rings: David Cullen Jewellers | Cake: Creative Cakes