“The table plan was an old vintage door with photo frames to guide people to their tables.”
The couple: Laura Dowling and Craig Carville
Length of engagement: 14 months | Wedding date: 18th October 2015
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village
Photographer: Hu O’Reilly Photography
We met… In 2009 we both got work experience in Boston Scientific in Galway during our college years. I was coming from Dublin and Craig was coming from Armagh. I organised a student night out for all those doing work experience in the company and Craig walks into the pre-drinking apartment with a Ballygowan bottle full of Pernod and questionable hair… but despite that we got on so well from the start. A week later we went on our first date and the rest is history… We had to go back to Dublin/Armagh for our last year of college but spent weekends together and when we graduated, Craig moved to Dublin and we have been there since. (Until recently when we both got jobs back at Boston Scientific in Galway where it all started out… full circle!)
Our proposal… It was my birthday and Craig said he was bringing me on a surprise day out, he drove on the M50 heading for Galway. We went for romantic walk in Salthill then to the Huntsman Inn restaurant where we had our first date. Then we were heading home back to Dublin to my dissatisfaction (I really wanted to stay in Galway, it’s a long drive!). When we arrived back at my house he brought me out to the barn and there it was… candles, rose petals, fairy lights and the works. He had organised all his family and my family to come over for my birthday (as family is very important to us) so there was extra celebrations that night.
My wedding hair and make-up… Since the age of 12 my aunty Evelyn Lambe has been doing my hair so there was no question that she would do all of our hair on the wedding day. She has a hairdressers in Portmarnock called Devs. It was lovely to have her to join in on the fun of the morning of the wedding. My make-up was done by Sinead Murphy MUA. I was a maid of honour to my friend Sarah in 2014 and Sinead did our make-up then and I loved it so much I booked her as soon as I started planning the wedding.
My dress… My dress was from the designer Avenue Diagonal from Bridal by Seven in Newry. Dress shopping was by far one of my favourite things to do and I tried on some gorgeous and not-so-gorgeous dresses. It was so enjoyable having days out with my mam, my aunty and maid of honour to pick dresses. The day I got my dress, I had my mam, my now sister and mother-in-law with me which was very special. I didn’t want something too fitted and not too big either so the A-Line was perfect for me.
Our ceremony… We had a humanist ceremony in Ballymagarvey Village. When searching for a venue, the ceremony room was a big factor and we were blown away with what Ballymagarvey had to offer. The humanist ceremony was important to us as neither of us are very religious and we liked the idea of incorporating personal touches into the ceremony. We had readings from The Notebook and Sex in the City (Carrie’s poem) and a song from West Side Story sang by a close family friend. It was very personal to us and we loved every minute.
What our bridal party wore… We rented the suits from AB Formal Wear Swords Co. Dublin. Craig wanted to go with black as it always looks great – and the grey dogtooth tie from Paul Costello set it off. I knew from the start of the planning that I didn’t want all the bridesmaids to be the same as they are all so different. I had one bridesmaid in New York, one in Armagh and two in Dublin so I decided to get the dresses made by For Her and for Him. My friend had also used them for her bridesmaids and they turned out amazing so I knew it would work out. We chose the dresses and then each girl chose the colour. They turned out perfect and really complemented the whole wedding look.
We chose our venue because… We had been to a few venues but as soon as we were greeted by the owner at the door of Ballymagarvey Village we smiled at each other and knew this was it. It was so homely and having the entire place to ourselves was so important to us as we had family and friends come from Dublin, the North, America and Thailand so having everyone together meant everyone could catch up. The people were outstanding and couldn’t have done more for us.
We chose our photographer because… Our goal was to have very natural, unposed photos throughout the day and Hu O’Reilly and his team were amazing in keeping to that. Of course we had a few posed but we wanted to make sure we could chat to our guests as much as possible while getting amazing photos of all aspects of the day.
Our wedding theme/colours… We wanted the main theme of the wedding to be relaxed and homely for all our family and friends. Ballymagarvey Village created that for us as we loved the venue so when it came to colours we choose reds, pinks, sands, greys and gold. Autumn colours with a lot of personal touches such as the table names being the places we have lived together and separately growing up. The table plan was an old vintage door with frames to guide people to their tables and we placed people as much as we could to where we know them from. In the manor house we also had lots of picture frames with photos of us with all the different people at the wedding. A treat for those staying in Ballymagarvey was a hangover pack of water, coke and Tayto crisps.
My favourite part of the wedding day… It is very hard to choose one part as everything went perfectly. One of our favourite parts was when the guests were getting seated for dinner, Craig and I had 30 minutes to ourselves in the main house where we had a drink and got the chance to chat about how our mornings were and it was nice to have some calm in what is a busy day.
My piece of advice for other brides… On the run up to the wedding, I kept saying how I wanted it to hurry up and wanted the day to come but it happened so fast, I wish I had not wished it away so soon.
Venue: Ballymagarvey Village | Photographer: Hu O’Reilly Photography | Wedding dress: Avenue Diagonal | Suits: AB Formal Wear Swords | Hair: Evelyn Lambe | Make-up: Sinead Murphy MUA | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid dresses: For Her & for Him | Humanist: Eithne Dempsey | Wedding band: Pink Champagne | Stationery: Vista Print/DIY | Table Plan: DIY | Video Booth: Booths of Fun
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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.