Our proposal… In October 2013 we went to Australia on holidays to see our mates who had emigrated but before we left Cormac had one little thing to do! He tried on numerous occasions to try and get a chance to talk to my dad alone to ask for his permission but that was easier said than done, so before we left he finally had a small window of opportunity and he had the ‘chat’ with my dad. We landed in Sydney and did a bit of sightseeing before heading to Melbourne for a few days with our friends Eoin (Cormac’s best man) and Sal. This is when Cormac filled in Eoin on his big plan to propose on Bondi beach the day after we got back. Back in Sydney and myself and Cormac hit the beach and enjoyed the sun while we could. Unfortunately we got a tad bit sunburnt (me more so) and had to spend the following day (the day Cormac was actually going to propose) inside trying to ease the sunburn, so as I watched telly, Cormac said he was wrecked and headed to bed or so I thought! Cormac (he told me this after) frantically started to move around stuff that he had planned for the proposal and had to come up with a whole new plan. A few days later all four of us headed to the Hunter Valley for a weekend of wine tasting. At this stage Eoin and Sal knew what the plan was and as we arrived up to our lovely log cabin with no Wifi reception in the middle of wine country, our first thought was to hit the local town and check out the wine and shops. A good few bottles were bought and we headed back to the cabin where we unpacked, then Eoin and Sal went to get some food.
When the guys were gone, Cormac asked if I wanted to come sit outside and take in the view. At this stage I had changed into shorts and a t-shirt as it was roasting outside and I just wanted to relax inside and chill where is was cooler. So after a little persuasion from himself and a glass of bubbles thrown into the mix, I went outside and Cormac was on his phone trying his hardest to find my favourite song (Bell X1’s The Great Defector) so he could set the mood while I was trying to see if I could see any kangaroos on the hillside. So after a few sips of Champagne for dutch courage Cormac got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! It took a few seconds for me to register what was happening but after a few seconds I blurted out ‘YES’!
My dress… I bought my dress pretty quickly after I got engaged. I was sure what style of dress I wanted, A-line satin skirt and maybe a sweet heart neckline on top so I organised a day of dress fittings in a few of the bridal boutiques around Dublin with my partner in crime and maid of honour Emer. We searched for ages trying on a load of lovely dresses, but I didn’t feel like any of them suited me until our last dress stop in Ciara Bridal in The Powerscourt Centre. This is where I met Ann who is just amazing and when I told her what I was thinking, she looked at me and said I have a dress for you. It was lace and figure hugging and the polar opposite to what I thought I wanted but when I put it on I felt like a million dollars. I had found my dress! I even got the whole bride feeling too but the dress was a little out of my budget so Ann had a chat with the designer and persuaded her to sell me the sample dress that I had tried on which was a perfect fit and for a third of the original price, I was thrilled. The final step was for my mam to see me in it and she loved it as much as I did. I wasn’t too sure about whether to wear a veil but a quick chat with my mam had me persuaded and it was the right decision. After that I didn’t see my dress again for a year.
We went to a few different stores in Dublin but settled on Protocol for Men
on Dawson Street. Cormac bought a gorgeous Lambretta three-piece dark navy suit and rented three-piece dark charcoal suits for the three groomsmen, fathers and page boys. Included in the rental package were shirts, ties and cufflinks. In terms of service, we cannot recommend Billy in Protocol for Men
more – nothing was too much of a problem, including getting the rental suits early as long travel distances meant some of the lads weren’t available to try on the suits in person in store.
What our bridal party wore… My beautiful bridesmaids wore Debut dresses from Debenhams. I wanted a colour that would suit them all, since I was having sisters Sarah and Joanne and my best friend Emer as bridesmaids! I love the colour blue so I managed to get three royal blue chiffon dresses that I knew would be lovely on the girls and they were.
Our ceremony… We decided on a church ceremony as we have a lovely little church in our parish. We asked my good friend’s fiancé Paul to play myself and the bridesmaids in on his ukulele which was just amazing. We decorated the church with sunflowers and burlap bows and used my mam’s kitchen chairs for myself and Cormac to sit on. We tried to include all our family members and close friends in the readings and had our eldest nephews from both sides as our page boys.
We chose our venue because…
I had heard about this little place in Ashbourne that was meant to be amazing with wonderful staff and food. So we checked Ballymagarvey Village
out online first and then as soon as an open day popped up we went to check it out. As soon as we walked in we just fell in love with it, it ticked all our boxes! It’s a hidden gem in the Meath countryside.
We chose our photographer because…Julie Cummins
is AMAZING! We were told by friends that one of the first things you do when planning a wedding is book a great photographer as soon as possible. We got Julie’s name from a friend who had heard about her so we looked at her work and loved all her wedding shots from previous couples. Julie instantly got us and what we wanted our wedding to be. She put us as ease straight away when we met her and we left so excited after our first meeting together. On the wedding day she just became part of our family and everyone loved her. My family still talk about how great she was, she put everyone at ease on the day and we even forgot she was there at times because she just became part of the family. Julie also recommended her brother Andrew to us as a videographer and he was just so good and easy to work with and like Julie just blended in with our families so well.
Our wedding theme/colours… When it came to the theme we both decided that a woodland rustic theme would be lovely, with lace, burlap, sunflowers, jam jars etc. I saw slices of tree trunk used as centrepieces on Pinterest (thank God for Pinterest) so my cousin said he could cut down one of the old trees on my Grandfather’s farm so I could use it for our centrepieces. Then we asked Cormac’s mam who is an amazing knitter to knit our cake toppers. Again we got the idea from Pinterest! They turned out so lovely and such a nice personal touch.
I loved the idea of jam jars so I had Cormac, my mam and my friends collecting empty jars for months and I even went to a few car boot sales to buy lace curtains and little bits and pieces cheaply. When they all were ready to go I started to decorate every single one of them with lace, twine and burlap. Thank God I started doing them early as they were very time consuming. We also love the odd bottle of wine, collecting the corks from all the bottles we had together since we moved in with each other. So we thought that it would be great to use them in some way in the wedding, so we decided to use them as name holders for all guests. For the invites we kept the jam jar and sunflower theme going and for our table names, we used numbers that were important to us like the date we met, our apartment number, and how long we have been together.
Our honeymoon… For our honeymoon, we wanted to make it a trip of a lifetime – not a standard holiday! So we looked at the different options for that time of year (September). Africa was always somewhere we both wanted to visit but were never sure what part. We settled on South Africa because of the several different locations types – city break in Cape Town, winelands and Safari. We also wanted pure relaxation so we also decided on Mauritius to end the honeymoon. We had the holiday of a lifetime, spending five nights in Cape Town, two nights in Stellenbosch, three nights in Amakhala Game Reserve outside of Port Elizabeth and six nights in the Heritage Awali resort in Mauritius. What a trip!
Our menu… Our food tasting was a highlight of our wedding planning so after we recovered from a massive feed we chose the following courses: We had a Mini Beef & Guinness Pie to start with and it was amazing. We had a Goats Cheese & Red Onion Tartlet for all our vegetarian guests. Our main was a Fillet of Lamb with creamy mash and a lovely jus with veg or a Pan Seared Hake on a Smoked Pea Risotto which was delish!! To finish we had an Assiette of Desserts which were Chocolate Brownie, Raspberry Sorbet, Lemon Tart and Mini Banoffee.
My favourite part of the wedding day… Linda: Honestly the whole day was unreal but the one moment I loved the most was the time after the ceremony, just the two of us in the car being driven to Ballymagarvey sipping on some bubbles. Cormac: Like Linda I loved the whole day but I felt the most relaxed and enjoyed the day after my speech was finished!
My piece of advice for other brides… It is never too early to start planning and getting organised but also try to enjoy every little ‘wedding moment’ in the lead up the big day. Finally, relax, sit back and just enjoy the day!
Photographer: Julie Cummins Photography | Dress: Ronald Joyce Victoria Jane Collection in Ciara Bridal Powerscourt Centre | Veil: Ciara Bridal | Shoes: Dune | Jewellery: Knightsbridge Powerscourt Centre | Hair: Denise Bray | Make up: Make-up by Gill | Cake: Cocoamoiselle, Dublin | Bridesmaid dresses: Debut by Debenhams | Venue: Ballymagarvey Village | Flowers: Freda’s Florist | Groom’s suit: Protocol for Men | Videographer: Andrew Cummins EyeCaptureWeddings