A Romantic and Whimsical Wedding in Ireland

Real Weddings

“I wanted something really romantic and whimsical and colours that really stuck out.”


Names: Althea & Kevin Griffin

Length of engagement: 2 years

Wedding Date: 13.04.19

Wedding location: Lough Rea Hotel & Spa

Photographer: Ebony & Pearl



We met through our shared love of musical theatre in 2014. I was on stage for the first time playing the female lead in my local musical society’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar and Kevin who is also involved in musicals in Galway came to see the show on the final night. We both started talking and a very early morning friend request followed! We had our first date the week after in Galway and I knew this was something different and special. We laugh together all the time, Kevin has the same sense of humour as me and we just get each other. In 2016 we had our son Cooper and our daughter Maisie followed in 2018. I also had a son Oisin when I met Kevin who is 13 now and I couldn’t possibly leave out our 4 year old pug Holly!



Our proposal – Kevin proposed to me at home 3 years after we met on our anniversary weekend. I was in my Pjs and just out of bed. Kevin popped out to the shops to pick up breakfast. When he came back he had my favourite song by James Arthur Say You Won’t Let Go playing and handed me a present. The present was a story book and on the last page was a picture of him on one knee in a tux asking me to marry him! When I looked up he was on one knee!



Our wedding theme/colours –  I found it very difficult to pick colours at the beginning. I wanted something really romantic and whimsical and colours that really stuck out.  We ended up choosing a rose gold, blush & burgundy colour scheme and the colours were beautiful together. Once we had our colour scheme everything just fell into place. I filled the church with lanterns and blush and ivory peonies. We didn’t have a theme, but I wanted the wow factor, I wanted magic! We booked Rosewater Weddings who delivered this theme in our reception. It blew people away and it was everything I could have dreamt of.



Things we DIY’d/made ourselves

We designed our invitations online and made our mass booklets and wedding favours. We made our own pew ends and decorated the church ourselves. We ordered lots of artificial peonies off Ali Express and tulle and pearls and filled the church! Our very kind florists offered to take everything off us and decorate the church on the morning of the wedding so it was very stress free.



My Pronovias dress was bought in Belladonna Bridal in Galway. It was my first day trying on dresses and I went in with every intention of buying a whimsical blush dress. My mind was soon changed after trying this style on!! It didn’t suit me at all. I tried on around 4 more dresses in different styles and then I found the one. The boat neck, train and of course THE POCKETS made me fall instantly in love with the dress and I didn’t want to try on another after that. It was nothing like I had ever imagined wearing on my wedding day, but I fell so in love with it.  The cathedral length veil was so beautiful and really complimented the long train on the dress.



My hair was done by a local hairdresser Amy Martyn. I wanted it very soft and she gave me exactly what I wanted –  I also wore a bespoke designer headpiece by Emmy McCormick with the cathedral veil.



My make up was done by Karen Healy who works in Chica Bella Beauty. Karen did a fantastic job and has been doing my make up for years. Most brides prefer a real natural look and that is something I wanted but I went really dramatic with my eyes. Chica Bella Beauty are an exceptional salon and I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else to do my make up on the day.



His Suit – Kevin isn’t shy when it comes to his every day attire and particularly when it comes to his suits. He is very funky and so were his groomsmen and my man of honour, so it was really important that we found something different for him and the boys!  We searched for a very long time and nothing was jumping out at us until we found a burgundy velvet tux jacket in Suit Republic in Galway and knew this was exactly what we wanted. What made it even more special was the fact that they were also able to supply the suits in sizes for Oisin and Cooper. They all wore black tuxedo pants, white shirts and bow ties. Kevin, Oisin & Cooper wore burgundy velvet bow ties and the rest of the party wore black bowties. They all had blush and ivory boutonnieres.



What our bridal party wore – I had a maid of honour and man of honour and Kevin had a best man and groomsman. I had bought a blush Reiss dress for my maid of honour but it just didn’t stand out with the burgundy tuxes so a week before the wedding after finding out that the dressmaker couldn’t alter it I took it as a sign and decided to change the dress and we found the most beautiful rose gold dress in Harper in Galway….. It was a show stopper and really complimented the tuxes. Our daughter wore an ivory tulle dress from Debenhams!



Our ceremony was very special. My twin brother walked me up the aisle as I lost both parents at a young age. Oisin was an usher, Cooper and Maisie were pageboy and flowergirl. My uncle married us. One of the most important things on the day for Kevin and myself was the music. Being a wedding singer myself I had dreamt of the church music for forever. We were so blessed to be able to call on our amazing musical friends and what a show they put on. Our singers and very dear friends Stuart Barrows and Sarah sang with piano, percussion, cello and percussion accompaniment and for the finale 50+ of our musical friends got together to sing 2 songs very close to our hearts from 2 of our favourite musicals Dear Evan Hansen & of course The Greatest Showman. It was a very special ceremony.



We chose our photographer because both Stuart and Emma are very dear friends who are amazingly talented. They both have their own company Ebony & Pearl and you just couldn’t have 2 better people with you on the day. They radiate an amazing calmness and professionalism and we will treasure our beautiful photos forever.



We chose our venue because: We were supposed to get married last August but we got pregnant with our daughter so postponed the wedding as I would have been 39 weeks pregnant on our wedding day. I really believe everything happens for a reason as my nan was taken into intensive care the day before what would have been our wedding day. My nan and me were very close and she was my world – She raised me and my 2 brothers after we lost our parents at a very young age. My nan passed away a few days later and my daughter was born the day of her funeral. All wedding plans were put to the back of our minds. One night in November Kevin and myself decided to just go for it and book the wedding and surprise everyone at Maisies christening in December. I contacted Sally in the Lough Rea Hotel and by pure luck they had a date available in April. The hotel is known for its excellence and they absolutely lived up to that and beyond. Right from the start, through the whole process to the day Sally and the team were excellent. The staff were amazing on the day and people are still talking about how good the food was. The whole weekend was above and beyond our expectations.



Our menu: The food at our wedding is still being spoken about. We had a choice of Vol au Vents & the brie tartlet for starters. Vegetable soup and for our mains Beef and Seabass and the dessert was a mixed selection.



Our honeymoon – Having 3 children and 2 of them being under 3 I couldn’t bring myself to leave them for too long, so we booked a minimoon in The Europe Hotel and Spa in Killarney. This place is out of this world. It was really something else to sit in the infinity pool overlooking the lake and the McGillycuddy Reeks mountain range. We have also taken a trip to the West End since and a trip with the kids. We are heading back to Killarney again at the end of July.



My favourite part of the wedding day – We both adored the ceremony because of the atmosphere and incredible music. We were so lucky to have booked the most incredible wedding band “That Wedding Band” they also provided pre-reception music and DJ we danced all night. I think the music on the day and having our children with us was our favourite part of the day.



My piece of advice for other couples – The day really flies by. It is over in the blink of an eye. Although I had been warned I still wasn’t prepared for how fast the day was over! Take every single second of the day in.

I really stressed for days after because I felt that I didn’t get to speak to everyone but honestly it doesn’t matter – You are not expected to get to everyone, it’s just not possible and your guests will understand that.

For wedding couples who have children – Be selfish! Book that honeymoon….. you deserve it, and this is the one time you can do it guilt free! That is our one regret!



What is it that makes your wedding unique?

  • Our wedding was planned in 4 months
  • The music in the ceremony – Our 50+ musical friends put on a show
  • We had a Man of Honour, Maid of Honour, a Bestman and a Groomsman – Don’t worry about having even numbers……… It really doesn’t matter! The groomsman and man of honour danced together for the first dance and it was brilliant!




Wedding venue: Lough Rea Hotel & Spa | Photographer: Ebony & Pearl  | Videographer: Marriage Multimedia | Reception Décor: Rosewater Weddings & Galway Love Lights | Musician and DJ: That Wedding Band  | Hair: Amy Martyn, In Trim, Loughrea | Makeup: Karen Healy from Chica Bella Beauty, Lough Rea | Dress: Pronovias, Belladonna Bridal, Galway | Suits: Suit Republic | Bridesmaids dresses: Harper, Galway | Cake: Kevin’s mother made our beautiful cake and used a cake stand that belonged to Kevin’s grandmother | Celebrant: Fr Michael Byrnes