A Gorgeous Wedding in a Beautiful Castle in Ireland

Real Weddings

Names: Melanie & Julien

Length of engagement: Sept 2016 – Sept 2018 – 2 years

Wedding Date: 01 September 2018

Wedding location: Barberstown Castle, Co. Kildare

Videographer: Ronan Quinn




We met… Nine years ago, salsa dancing in Dublin.  Melanie was already part of the salsa culture and Julien joined as a beginner.


Our proposal… Julien whisked Melanie away to Lough Erne for the weekend and got down on one knee at the pier and asked her to be his wife.


Our wedding theme/colours… Dark Blue was chosen as the bridesmaids dresses were dark blue. The groomsmen also wore dark blue/navy suits and brown shoes which worked really well. Bridesmaids also had white and dark blue flowers in their bouquets.



My dress…  I went to try on dresses in Fiona Todhunter, just to get an idea of what might suit me etc, and instantly fell in love with the dress I purchased in the end.  Was meant to be, I guess.


My hair and make up… Lyndsey Gernon, a childhood friend of Melanie’s works with Black Amber hair salon in Templeogue, she is amazing. She knew exactly what would work on myself and bridesmaids.



What our bridal party wore… Stunning dark blue halter neck dresses with a low back cut with diamonds and silver sparkly shoes. Dresses were from Julien Boutique. I guess it’s funny that it’s the same name as Melanie’s husband and also it was the last shop on the Saturday when we went dress shopping. We were fed up, tired and hungry and then we found the dress!


Our ceremony… Derek O’Boyle from Spiritual Ceremonies did our ceremony. He met with us a few weeks before the wedding and discussed the ceremony. We had friends and family take part for example, Julien’s cousin sang a beautiful version of The Rose, we had friends and family included in the “tying the knot” which was tying ribbons around both our hands. Family and friends are important to us and we tried to include as many as we could.



We chose our videographer because… Ronan Quinn was recommended to us by our photographer David. We were unsure whether to hire one or not and had no idea who we could have hired for the day. We were glad we did in the end as Ronan really captured us and our children really well. I cried a lot watching his video (happy tears of course!)



We chose our venue because… Before visiting anywhere, we both decided we would only visit five venues, we just didn’t have the time, with having a small child and Melanie being pregnant at the time, so we picked five of the best venues in Ireland, close enough to Dublin as possible, and Barberstown Castle was the first on the list. The wedding planner we met with was lovely right from the start.

We both knew this was the venue for us.

The entrance of the castle where the wedding would be was away from the main hotel entrance which was what we wanted. The old rustic castle style was beautiful and different to any other venue we looked at afterwards. We did visit the four other venues, but Barberstown Castle had already won our hearts over.



Our menu… The menu we chose was the seabass and beef and wow did the chef not let us down. To this day people still tell me how amazing the food was.


Our honeymoon… With having 2 small children we decided to book just a few nights in Cascais in Lisbon, Portugal. Melanie’s parents ever so kindly took care of the children for us for the few days.  The weather was fabulous, and we really just chilled out for the few days.




My favourite part of the wedding day… There were quite a few as you can imagine:

  • Getting ready in the room with my friends and having some girly time. Thoroughly enjoyed having my make up and hair done by professionals.
  • My dad walked me up the aisle, but our 2-year-old decided to run down it to me, and walked with us, this was a very sweet moment.
  • Greeting guests after the ceremony, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we were delighted to be able to stand outside and talk to guests.
  • Listening to the speeches. We both laughed and cried listening to them.
  • Changing out of my wedding dress and into my salsa dress when we danced some salsa for fun ?
  • Not part of the wedding day, but I can honestly say we are both delighted to have chosen Ronan as our videographer. I think we watched the video a thousand times and even our children wanted to watch more of themselves on the tv! Thanks Ronan.



My piece of advice for other couples…  As everyone told me… enjoy every minute as it goes so fast. Also, I wouldn’t worry about the small bits and pieces, it all comes together. Discuss in advance with your photographer about how he/she works as you do not want to spend hours taking photos and missing out on your big day.

David did a fantastic job with us. The day was not wasted taking photos.


What is it that makes your wedding unique? Not really unique but I have to thank Celine who did my bouquet. They were phalaenopsis flowers, expensive, but wow they were stunning.

The rustic style of the castle made it unique to any other wedding we have been to also.




Wedding venue: Barberstown Castle, Co. Kildare | Photographer: David McNeill | Videographer: Ronan Quinn | Musician: BeatClub | Hair: Lyndsey Gernon from Black Amber | Makeup: Aimee Connolly by Make up by Aimee | Dress: Fiona Todhunter Bridal | Suits: Aston Formal Wear | Bridesmaids dresses: Julien Boutique | Cake: Amazing Cakes, Bray, Co. Wicklow | Celebrant: Derek O’Boyle – Spiritual Ceremonies | Rings: Rocks Jewellers | Flowers: Celine’s Flowers | Invitations: Tailormade Stationary | Harpist: Teresa O’Donnell