“It rained so much but we didn’t care, it actually became a running joke! All our outdoor photos are with umbrellas.”
The couple: Sarah Bonham & Vinnie Fagan
Date of wedding: 2nd May 2015
Wedding venue: AnnaCarriga Estate Killaloe
Photographer: Olga, Mrs Redhead Photography
We met… We first met in 2004 as science students at NUI Galway. We really hit it off straight away and quickly became friends. We used to go for coffee together and made each other laugh. One night at a class party with a bit of dutch courage Vinnie made his move… and that was it!
The engagement… We were living in Brisbane, Australia, and just decided one night that it was time to start thinking about getting married. We were together almost 8 years at this point. We got the ring in Brisbane. But I was intent on wanting an official proposal! We had a trip planned to Melbourne in June 2013 to visit family. Somehow Vinnie booked a helicopter trip to the Yarra Valley Wine region in Melbourne without me finding out until we arrived at the airfield. He proposed on the grounds of Chateau Yering Estate, and of course I said ‘Yes!’ It was a really fun and memorable occasion.
My dress… was by designer Lusan Mandongus from Smart Brides in Portlaoise. I had heard really good things about Smart Brides and they are located in my hometown of Portlaoise. Although I love clothes shopping, I didn’t start looking for my dress until October so I really left it late for ordering. I wasn’t aware that the designers needed 6+ months to make the dress, until it was almost too late! I had a good idea in my head of what I wanted, a detailed back, with a little bit of bling and a sweetheart neckline. I tried on lots of dresses but I knew when I tried on my dress it was the one. It was so light and comfortable compared to other dresses I had tried on. The dress was made with very light French lace and it really looked beautiful on. It took one visit and I had the dress. I was delighted and also really relieved.
Our ceremony… We wrote our wedding ceremony with Lorraine from MarryMe Ireland – which added a personal touch with a bit of humour. Vinnie’s brothers and Dad did the music for the ceremony, it was a fantastic start to the celebrations. At the end of the ceremony when we kissed the groomsmen were meant to play out the last song but got a bit caught up in the moment and forgot themselves, they had to rush over to their instruments last minute. It very funny.
The rain… The day was brilliant and so much fun. It rained so much but we didn’t care. It actually became a running joke. All our outdoor photos are with umbrellas. For the whole day the atmosphere in the pavilion was great and full of energy.
The venue and photographer… We procrastinated for a while. We wanted to get married in Ireland but were living in Australia. By January 2014 (almost 6 months after the proposal) we got our skates on. We knew we wanted something relaxed and fun. I spent ages on the internet to find a venue that would reflect this, AnnaCarriga Estate in Killaloe ticked all those boxes. I asked my sister and mother to visit on our behalf and thankfully it was exactly what we were looking for. From Australia we booked our wonderful photographer Olga (Mrs Redhead Photography) and our band The Lewd Tunes. Everything else was left until we returned home in June 2014.
Our wedding theme… We didn’t have a specific theme. The colours were based off the bridesmaids dresses, so the colour scheme was various shades of pinks and purples. We wanted to keep our wedding personal to us and to have lots of fun. We had elements of travel, science and rabbits (which we keep). Both Vinnie and I and our families DIYed quite a bit. Vinnie made beautiful solid wood centrepieces which took a lot of time and patience. We made up our table plan on a vintage style world map and named the tables after countries we had travelled. We randomly picked up some lights in the shape of white rabbits, we keep rabbits so it was something personal to add to the wedding and everyone had a good laugh at them. Our theme probably ended up a bit quirky but we loved it.
Our dessert table… We had a dessert table created by the talented Aine from the MiniCake Company – it was amazing, and really added to the atmosphere as everyone could get up and mingle again straight after the speeches. My mother made a fantastic scientist themed cake topper for our wedding cake!
Our advice to other couples… Focus on the key aspects that are important to you as a couple. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try, it’s your day and after the day is over you are the ones who will relive the memories. Also it’s never too early to start booking suppliers, the more organised you can be, the more you both can enjoy the build up to day and enjoy the day itself.
Venue: AnnaCarriga Estate Killaloe | Caterers: Yum Catering | Celebrant: Lorraine, Marry Me Ireland | Dress: Lusan Mondongus at Smart Brides in Portlaoise | Hair accessories: The Moderne Bridal & Linzi Jay | Hair: Janet McAllister | Make–up: Brenda Wall, Touch of a Brush | Bridesmaid’s Dresses & Accessories: House of Fraser | Groom’s Suit: Gentleman’s Quarters Menswear Cork | Groomsmen Suits: Youngs at Debenhams | Photographer: MrsRedhead Photography | Second Photographer: Aleksandra Skibniewska | Dessert Table: The Minicake Company | Bouquet & Buttonholes: Lawless Flowers Limerick | Wedding Band: The Lewd Tunes | Photobooth: Photobooth Ireland
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.