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Cocktails & Croquet at Ballinacurra House – Real wedding by Andrew O’Dwyer Photography

“I really enjoyed meeting all the creative/artistic people as part of our wedding planning and enjoying the benefit of all their wisdom and advice to make our day bespoke and special to us, and hopefully to our guests.”

The couple: Maeve & Joe
Length of engagement: 18 months | Wedding Date: 31st August 2013
Wedding location: Timoleague Church | Wedding venue: Ballinacurra House, Kinsale, Co. Cork
Photographer: Andrew O’Dwyer Photography

wedding at Ballinacurra House Kinsale



We met… at work in London.



Bridesmaids in short grey dresses

Our proposal… Joe brought me to Paris for a surprise birthday treat – on the last day, we went to the Louvre and in front of one of my favourite sculptures – The Winged Victory – he popped the question!


andrew o'dwyer photography real wedding Ireland



father of the bride boutonnaire

navy green groom boutonnaire button hole


Our wedding theme/colours… the theme was country/beachy/romantic/poetic… My dress was rose champagne, the bridesmaids wore dove grey and the flower girls wore beige pink. The groom was in navy blue with a grey tie and the majority of the groomsmen wore blue suits and grey ties. The flowers were English roses in soft peaches/cream/yellow/pink colours.



My dress… was by an amazing designer, Stephanie Allin, who altered her Indi Rose from her Night and Day Collection to my specification. It is champagne rose, with a silk skirt and a sweetheart tulle neck. I also had a bespoke lace bolero that Stephanie made from a length of lace in her workshop and handsewed it for me – I am so grateful to them.

View Stephanie Allin’s 2014 Collection Here


My hair and make-up… my hair was done by Lorraine O’Neill who was so lovely and really made the whole experience relaxing. She put my hair up and incorporated three of the roses that matched my bouquet – I wanted my hair to be relaxed and slightly ‘undone’ but would last the whole day – Lorraine really helped meet my specific requirements. My make-up was done by Adrienne – I wanted natural make-up and she really helped achieve that.




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We chose our photographer because… We loved Andrew O’Dwyer‘s blog and website and thought his photos were really classy, and not staged/cheesy in any way. We also loved his manner as we are not really comfortable with or used to getting our photos taken but Andrew was so nice and relaxing on the day that he made it very easy – we are delighted with the results.

Ballinacurra House real wedding Ireland

We chose our venue because… We fell in love with Ballinacurra House as we drove up the driveway – the setting in Kinsale is divine and the house and gardens themselves are lovely. In addition, the staff are just so nice and accommodating, and the food was lovely. We are delighted that we chose this venue – they were fantastic.



Our menu… was quite simple – we had canapés on the lawn, followed by the meal which was comprised of bread and oil/balsamic with a main course of lamb/local fish and a salted chocolate/caramel dessert. We also had pizza later on in the evening!




Our honeymoon… was in Borneo in a secluded villa at the Bunga Raya resort – on an island off Kota Kinabalu – it was incredible – we spent our time sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling amongst the coral fish – we also had an energetic three day stopover in Hong Kong on the way back.




summer games outdoor wedding ideas

My piece of advice for other brides…  think big and don’t make compromises  at the start– then choose the right/open minded suppliers who will all help achieve your vision within your budget. I really enjoyed meeting all the creative/artistic people as part of our wedding planning and enjoying the benefit of all their wisdom and advice to make our day bespoke and special to us, and hopefully to our guests.

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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.

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