An Enchanting Ballymagarvey Village Wedding by Kathy Silke Photography

Real Weddings

“We created a time capsule to be opened on our ten year anniversary. Every one of our guests put in a little message for us.”

The couple: Ciarán Malone and Fionnuala Malone
Length of engagement: 21 months | Wedding date: 24th April 2016
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village Balrath, Co. Meath
Photography: Kathy Silke Photography





We met… Ciarán and I have been friends since we were fifteen years old. We met outside a petrol station on the Grange Road in Rathfarnham when mutual friends introduced us. I had braces and Ciarán was on a skateboard! We hung out as part of the same group all the time growing up. When we were in 6th year studying for our Leaving Cert we didn’t see each other as much. We started texting again about the exams and out of the blue Ciarán invited me to his predebs. When we met up again I thought he was so grown up and so gorgeous! We have been inseparable ever since!




Our proposal… In July 2014 we went on holidays to Bali and the Gili islands. About a week into the holiday, when we were staying on one of the Gili islands, Ciarán suggested that we go snorkelling. It was getting late so all of the snorkelling tours had already left so we asked a local boatman to take us out on our own. He gave us a lend of these really dodgy life jackets and not being a great swimmer, I was pretty sceptical about the whole thing! Once we were in the water it was amazing, we saw fish, colourful coral and even a sea turtle. Back on the boat I was excitedly prattling on about how amazing it was, ‘did you see the turtle, did you see that fish, did you see that coral?’, I turned around and Ciarán was down on one knee with a token ring in his hand. I couldn’t believe it and of course I said yes straight away. We didn’t tell anyone for four days and it was great to have time to just enjoy each other’s company. We bought the ring in Kuala Lumpar when we were on our way back to Ireland. Even though we hadn’t slept for about 36 hours we still went out to celebrate with our families when we got home.




Our wedding theme/colours… Above all we wanted to have laid back and relaxed day so our guests could feel comfortable and just enjoy the party! We went for purple and green for our colours, did a lot of DIY crafting and called in all sorts of favours from family and friends! I have my own little business (Fuzzy Irish Crafts) making handmade greeting cards so I made all our save the dates, invitations, favours, ceremony booklets, placecards and welcome bags. My dad made our postbox and ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ signs for our chairs. My friend Mairead Murray made our lovely cake and my friend and colleague Niall Fitzharris and The Hazel House made our wooden cake stand. We went for wildflowers for our bouquets, button holes and table flowers. Overall we were going for a relaxed boho kind of vibe and I think we achieved that!




His suit… Ciarán bought his suit in Best Menswear in Liffey Valley. It was a beautiful three piece navy suit and he paired it with a dark green dickie bow. He picked out Superman cufflinks for himself and his best man Killian and superhero socks from Debenhams.


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My hair and make up… My sister got married the year before me and had her makeup done by Megan Hughes and when I saw how lovely it was I booked her the next day for my wedding! I wanted a pretty natural fresh look and I thought she did a brilliant job. I always wear my hair down so I thought I would wear it up for a change and so I wouldn’t have to think about it on the day. My hair was done by Amy in Black Amber Templeogue. I don’t know how she did it but it stayed perfect all day and all night and even the next day it still looked great! I originally wanted fresh flowers for my hair but I was worried that might not turn out right so I bought dried flower combs for myself and my sister from EnglishFlowerFarmer on Etsy and I thought they went really nicely with our bouquets.

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We chose our venue because… We were originally planning a marquee wedding but when we looked into the amount of work that would be involved we decided against it. A woman in work told me that if she was getting married again she would have it at Ballymagarvey Village which I had never even heard of. We went to one of their open days and we were just blown away. Every detail was so beautiful from the chandeliers in the trees as you drive in, to the beautiful conservatory in the mansion house, to the amazing accommodation. But it was when we walked into the reception room with all the twinkling lights that we were completely sold. The staff there were absolutely brilliant and looked after every single detail, we didn’t feel like we had to worry about anything.

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What our bridal party wore… I had one bridesmaid (my sister) and Ciarán had just his best man. As we were going to a purple and green theme we decided on dark purple for the bridesmaids dress. My sister found her dress online herself. She found a gorgeous floaty dark purple dress that echoed the tulle straps on my dress. We ordered it without ever trying it on so thankfully it was just as beautiful in real life as it was in the picture! Killian’s suit was also from Best Menswear and was a grey-blue colour with a dickie bow to match the groom.

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Our ceremony… We wanted to have a humanist ceremony because we thought it most closely reflected who we are and what we believe in. We contacted Emma Sides and having met her we knew she would be a fantastic celebrant. She was so warm and funny and lovely. As you don’t have to follow a particular format we were able to add lots of personal touches to the ceremony. Our aunties read ‘Scaffolding’ by Seamus Heaney and ‘You Are a Part of Me’ by Frank Yerby. We also created a time capsule to be opened on our ten year anniversary. Every one of our guests put in a little message for us to be opened in ten years. Music was provided by our super talented friend Ross Kelly AKA The Sheriff. It was really special and meaningful and we loved every minute of it.


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My dress… Memories Bridal Boutique in Temple Bar with my sister in a terrible mood not expecting to find anything. The woman there was so helpful, she listened to what I liked and didn’t like and picked out a selection of dresses for me. I fell in love with one straight away. It was a fitted lace dress with a sweetheart neckline and tulle straps. I absolutely loved it.

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We chose our photographer because… Ciarán used to work with Kathy Silke a few years ago and knew that she was a working as a wedding photographer. When we looked her up we loved her style of photography. It was fresh and informal and not ‘Instagrammy’ looking which I don’t like! She was absolutely fantastic on the day, so easy and friendly to work with and she captured every aspect of the day. We were so happy with how the photos turned out and we know we will treasure them in years to come.

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Our honeymoon… We stayed in the Royal Marine in Dun Laoghaire for a short stay after the wedding which was so relaxing and a great way to unwind after the big day. We are planning to go on a honeymoon this autumn, not sure where yet though!


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Our menu… Ciarán and I are both vegetarian so we opted to have an entirely vegetarian wedding. We were apprehensive about how this might go down with our guests but we worked with the chef at Ballymagarvey to come up with a menu that we thought would appeal to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The food was fantastic and we got so many compliments on it from even the most staunch carnivores!



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My favourite part of the wedding day… There was so many great moments it’s hard to just pick one! I really enjoyed the morning of the wedding getting hair and makeup done with my sister. Of course walking in and seeing Ciarán there and walking up the aisle together, it was amazing to see all of your family and friends together in one room. Then of course when my gorgeous two year old pageboy Louie ran up to us during the ceremony and said “you look beautiful Fionnuala!”, that was pretty magical and made everyone laugh!


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We chose our wedding coordinator because… We had two brilliant wedding coordinators at Ballymagarvey; Mary and Veronica who were both so helpful with everything both in the run up to the wedding and on the day itself. We really had the sense that ever detail was being taken care of which allowed us to completely relax on the day and enjoy every minute of it with our guests.

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My piece of advice for other brides… Do little bit as you go along because there is a lot to do in last few days. Get a videographer, we loved our videographer Rob Clifford and we treasure the video of our day. My attitude to the wedding was that it was just a big party for family and friends and any decisions we made were made on the basis is this going to add to the party or is this just going to stress us out? If it adds to the party it’s in, if it’s just a stress, it’s out. Make a conscious decision when you wake up in the morning just to enjoy every minute.


Photographer: Kathy Silke Photography | Venue: Ballymagarvey Village | Wedding dress: La Sposa, Memories Bridal Boutique, Dublin| Groom’s suit: Best Menswear, Liffey Valley | Bridesmaid’s Dress: Jenny Yoo Annabelle Dress at Nordstrom | Flowers: Jenna’s Flowers Blanchardstown | Make Up: Megan Hughes | Hair: Amy at Black Amber Templeogue | Hair Accessories: EnglishFlowerFarmer on Etsy | Placecards/Ceremony Booklets: (Bride’s business) | Humanist celebrant: Emma Sides  | Cake: Mairead Murray (Bride’s friend) | Cake Stand: Niall at The Hazel House | Videographer: Rob Clifford at RC Video | Band: The Hitmen Trio