“There’s no need to spend a fortune when you have your own good taste and style!”
– Bride Ciara’s advice to other brides on how to approach your budget while planning your wedding
Length of engagement: 9 months and 12 days! | Wedding date: 12th October 2012
Wedding venue: The Waterside House Hotel, Donabate, Co. Dublin
We met… In Toner’s on Baggot Street. A mutual friend was heading off to Australia and we were both at his going away party!
Ciara’s first impressions of Steven… My first impression of Steven was that he was a really nice and very good looking guy. We hit it off straight away… He also had the Scottish accent – bonus!
Steven’s first impressions of Ciara… My first impression of Ciara was that she was beautiful, and very friendly and chatty. The conversation just flowed straight away as we just clicked.
Our proposal… Steven proposed on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve). We had treated ourselves to a stay in a beautiful boutique hotel in Galway and gala dinner. He proposed before dessert and we were so excited to phone our parents, we skipped out of the restaurant before finishing our meal.
Our ceremony… We had a civil ceremony in the Waterside House Hotel. We had Tom Colton, of the Spiritualist Union of Ireland marry us and it was beautiful. We were able to tailor the ceremony with the readings we wanted and Tom suggested some lovely touches like celtic hand fasting and a love letter ceremony. We’ve had so many comments about how different and beautiful the ceremony was.
“We were able to tailor the ceremony with the readings we wanted and Tom suggested some lovely touches like celtic hand fasting and a love letter ceremony.”
– Bride Ciara on having a Spiritualist Ceremony
Our wedding theme/colours… Well because Steven is Scottish we were always going to have kilts, thistles and bagpipes. My bridesmaids wore royal blue and we kept a bit of that colour throughout on place cards and favours.
We chose our venue because... I’m from Donabate and we thought it was nice to get married somewhere that was personal to us and where I had grown up. Also because the Waterside is located on Donabate beach, it has breath taking views, ideal for photographs and for our guests to enjoy.
My dress… I love my dress. It is not what I set out to buy at all. I went to Memories Bridal store on Parliament Street in Dublin. I heard they had a good choice of new, once worn and vintage dresses that were reasonably priced. The girl in the shop clearly knew what would suit my shape and when I tried it on, despite it being so different to the style I set out to get, I knew it was the dress I wanted!
“The Waterside is located on Donabate beach – it has breath taking views, ideal for photographs.”
My favourite part of the wedding day… I loved our entrance to the reception dinner. We were piped in and the atmosphere lifted the roof. Everyone stood up, clapped and cheered. The bagpipes definitely added something special to the occasion.
“I loved our entrance. We were piped in and the atmosphere lifted the roof. Everyone stood up, clapped and cheered.”
“Sneak away to your room with a drink and talk about how amazing the day is. It will make all the difference to how you both enjoy it.”
We chose our photographer because… DKPHOTO had done the photography at a friend’s wedding and we loved the natural, documentary style to the photographs. We just love the photos Daniel takes from the background, of people just enjoying themselves, rather than overly posed photographs.
Our honeymoon… We went to the Maldives for a week and stayed a few nights in Dubai on the way home… it was an amazing trip. Once in a lifetime. The Maldives is pure paradise – we loved every minute.
My piece of advice for other brides… Don’t get caught up in wedding madness and think you have to spend a fortune on everything. My dress was half price. The bridesmaids’ dresses were €35 each. A local girl did my hair. I got a make up lesson in MAC and did my own make up on the day. I went to Smithfield flower market for flowers and made my own bouquets and buttonholes. I bought the invitations on ebay. I got place cards in the ‘pound shop’ and wrote and decorated them myself. Finally our wedding favours were retro candy bags; I bought the bags, candy, and stickers online and made them up myself. There is no need to spend a fortune when you have your own good taste and style! Also make sure to enjoy every part of the day as it goes by so quickly. Make time for you and your groom to spend time together, just the two of you – sneak away to your room with a drink and talk about how amazing the day is. It will make all the difference to how you both enjoy it.
By Karen Birney
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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.