“Once we sent our families down to view Ballymagarvey Village and were able to see it from FaceTime we knew it was the one!”
The couple: Rachael Chadwick & Robert Coughlan
Length of engagement: 19 months | Wedding date: 31st July 2015
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath
Photographer: David Maury Photography
We met… We met on a J1 summer holiday in San Diego in 2007. Eight years later in summer in Ireland we got married!
Our proposal… We moved to Australia and had been living there for four years. After six years together, on a typical Friday, two days before my 28th birthday I returned from work to our apartment, everything looked normal. When I opened the bedroom door there was candles, flowers, and Robert was down on one knee. I got such a fright! The rest of the evening was a blur, we went for dinner and called everyone back home in Ireland. We met up with our friends later that evening to continue the celebrations.
My hair and make-up… On recommendation from my maid of honour Michelle, I chose Alyson Smyth and Sian Sharkey. They work together with hair and make-up and were a great combo. I met them for a make-up and hair trial a few days before the wedding and I was delighted with their work. They were so lovely to have around on the morning of the wedding and made everyone feel relaxed.
My dress… Nine months after becoming engaged we returned to Ireland, viewed Ballymagarvey Village for the first time (which was booked months before) and set out to find my dress. I wanted to make sure I saved dress shopping until I was home and able to go with my mam Angela. I knew exactly what I wanted and found it in the last shop we visited, Embrace Bridal in Gorey, Co Wexford.
We chose our venue because… As we had guests travelling from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada, we wanted to pick a venue that was close enough to Dublin. We also wanted a venue that we would have to ourselves for the day and that was in beautiful surroundings so that our photographs could be taken there. We planned the wedding from Australia and so relied on Google for a lot of things! We were immediately drawn to Ballymagarvey Village and once we sent our families down to view and were able to see it from FaceTime we knew it was the one!
What our bridal party wore… During the trip home in July 2014 we also had the task of buying the bridesmaids dresses. We had an afternoon on Grafton Street to find the dresses so it was a quick dash into every shop until the last shop, Coast, where we found the dress we wanted.
We chose our photographer because… We wanted a photographer that was professional, relaxed and fun, David Maury was all three. We did our research and saw that he had received great reviews. We met him a few days before the wedding and he walked us through the day. It was a pleasure to have him around on the day and he captured the day just as we wanted.
Wedding cake… The wedding cake was one of the stars of the day. It was made by my aunty Andre Hobbs who is an expert when it comes to making WOW cakes. It was a showstopper!
My favourite part of the wedding day… Rachael: The church was my favourite part of the day. Seeing all of our family and friends in one space and knowing they were all there to support us was a lovely feeling. Of course saying our vows was pretty amazing also! Robert: Thirty minutes before we were called for dinner we had some time alone. We sat in one of the rooms in Ballymagarvey just the two of us and were able to get a caricature done from Mark who we had hired for the day and who entertained our guests all afternoon. It was just the two of us, it was quiet and it was a nice moment for us to catch up and be on our own.
Our honeymoon… We stayed in Ireland for nearly a week after the wedding spending time with our families and friends and saying goodbye to our friends that were travelling back overseas. We then travelled back to London for a night, unpacked and went to the Greek islands for 10 nights. Greece was unbelievable and the break was exactly what we needed.
My piece of advice for other brides… It is said all the time but make sure you savour every minute of the day. Don’t worry about the little details on the day as none of those matters. Enjoy every second as it goes by way too quickly.
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village | Wedding photographer: David Maury Photography | Wedding dress: Embrace Bridal, Wexford | Bridesmaids dresses: Coast | Groomsmen’s suits: CT2 | Hair & make-up: Alyson Smyalth & Sian Sharkey | Cake: Andre Hobbs | Videographer: Edithouse, Emma Walkin | Caricatures: Mark Heng | Wedding band: Delorean | Decor: Sourced from Etsy.com
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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.