A Fabulous Family Celebration at Ballymagarvey Village by Paul Duane Photography

Real Weddings

“It was such an emotional ceremony, I cried all the way down the aisle and through the ceremony!”

The couple: Jennie & Kevin
Length of engagement: 13 Months | Wedding date: 29th January 2017
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village, Meath
Photographer: Paul Duane Photography

We met… 12 years ago, where all love stories begin – the local nightclub!

Our proposal… Kevin proposed on Christmas morning 2015, I ruined his big moment by asking him where my ring was! (Long running joke after 12 years!) I never actually expected that he had one, to my complete shock he replied “Do you want one?” before I knew it I had a ring on my finger… It was lovely for it to happen in front of our three daughters. It was very intimate and the best Christmas present for all of us.

My hair and makeup… My hair is very short and in the beginning I tried to let it grow so that I could have an up style – a proper bridal hairstyle! In the end though I just didn’t feel like me so I had it cut short again. Anne Marie Doherty did all of our makeup for the day, as soon as I had my trial with her in December I knew she was perfect. She knew exactly what would work for my unruly skin and everybody was delighted with their makeup.

My dress… I had been carrying around a picture of a dress that I loved on my phone long before we were even engaged! I had totally fallen for this short Mooshki dress. I tried to track it down and eventually found one stockist in Drogheda. When I got there and tried it on though, it was awful on me! I was devastated, my daughter then pointed out a dress on a mannequin and as soon as I tried it on I cried. I fell in love with it instantly. I am not very girly and I really wanted to be comfortable and able to move and dance with ease, this style and fabric was perfect for me. I loved that it was simple and classic (and it had pockets! Huge plus!). I also purchased my veil which had little flecks of glitter running through it from Frilly Frocks and my feather bolero too. Dara and the team in Frillys were just amazing!

Our ceremony… We didn’t want a church ceremony for various reasons and were delighted to find out that we could have our ceremony at Ballymagarvey. We chose a humanist ceremony and Emma Sides was our celebrant. As soon as we met her she made us feel so relaxed and comfortable about the whole ceremony, we knew we had made the right decision for us. We wanted the ceremony to involve our three girls as much as possible and we were able to do that with Emma. Our two older girls Ceri and Eve were bridesmaids and our youngest Rebecca was our flower girl. We had a sand ceremony and each of the girls got to pour some of the sand into the frame we had purchased from Etsy. It was such an emotional ceremony, I cried all the way down the aisle and through the ceremony! I think everyone did! It made it extra special for us. We were able to choose our own readings too. Our friend Tara read ‘Instructions for Life’ by the Dalai Lama and our friend Tomas read a lovely poem called ‘ Promise’.  It rained all day and I had to carry my dress to the ceremony with everybody trying to keep me dry with umbrellas. I remember the photographer saying “don’t worry it will make a great picture”… and it did – one of my favourites in fact.

What our bridal party wore… The groomsmens’ suits were navy blue with dusky pink ties and pocket squares, the bridesmaid dresses were dusky pink by Chi Chi London which we purchased locally. We couldn’t find the right shade of burgundy in a wrap or bolero for the girls – it was a nightmare! Myself and Kevin spent hours trawling through shops looking for material to have them made… we finally found the right colour in a lovely velvet and had a local dressmaker run them up for us. Our flower girl and  page boy wore navy, which was more practical for their age and the weather!

His suit… Kevin’s suit was a gorgeous deep navy colour which we bought from Louis Copeland, it really complemented the groomsmen’s suits being a shade or two darker. I was really worried about them not looking right together but it really worked in the end and allowed the groom to stand out.

We chose our venue because… we fell in love with it from the moment we drove up the drive! We couldn’t view anywhere else once we had been there. Everything about it was perfection to us. Ballymagarvey Village is just a 10 minute drive from us as well which helped a lot with appointments and dropping items off the day before the wedding. We also had the option of having two days at the venue which was completely private, it was lovely to walk around and only see your own guests. It was so cosy and relaxing.

Our wedding theme/colours… Ballymagarvey is such a stunning venue that it didn’t really need a theme to set it off. There is a stunning tree with chandeliers that hang from it outside the Manor House in Ballymagarvey and we used that as inspiration for our invitations which had a tree with our initials etched into it. That then led to our tables which we named after trees and our guest book which was a finger print tree. We had it designed for us and asked the company to add in some chandeliers to match the tree outside the venue.

As we were married at the end of January I wanted to inject some deeper wintry colours in our palette which we managed to do with pops of burgundy in the shoes and wraps that we had made in a warm velvet material. The florist also added some burgundy into the bouquets.

We chose our photographer because… we met with three other photographers and all of them seemed to be telling us what we should want or should do… Paul (Paul Duane Photography) was different, he asked us what we wanted, he listened and he gave us some great ideas. We could tell straight away he loved his work and that was important to us. We also loved his style of photography which was fun and relaxed and not staged or over posed. We had an engagement shoot with him which ended up being great fun even though we both felt pretty silly at the time! Paul is a gentleman and we are over the moon with the results.

Our menu…We really wanted people to remember the food and Ballymagarvey certainly fulfilled that! We had an amazing antipasti for our drinks reception and then a 5 course meal. Some of the options included, pork belly, goat’s cheese tart, beef, hake and chorizo and an amazing pear and parsnip soup that everybody was raving about! It was a fantastic selection and great choice for our guests. The wine wasn’t bad either! Neither of us really like cake so we decided to have a wedding cheese cake that we got from Sheridan’s. It was gorgeous with the chutneys and crackers!

Our honeymoon…We decided to go to Prague for a few days which was beautiful. Lots of snow and sightseeing. We didn’t want to leave the girls for too long so it was perfect for us. We got to spend some quality time together which we really needed after a year of wedding planning!

My favourite part of the wedding day… there’s just so many favourite parts it’s impossible to choose… The preparation room in Ballymagarvey and getting ready with all my girls that morning to the emotional ceremony and speeches to our brilliant band Panic Animal… Honestly though, getting to marry the most amazing man and father with all our closest friends and family and our three beautiful daughters there to support us still gets me a little teary eyed and at the end of the day that’s what it was all about for us.

My piece of advice for other brides… Everybody told us to make sure we take it all in and get to spend some time together on the day, it goes by so quickly that we really didn’t have much of a chance to just sit and talk to each other, had I known that’s really how it would be, I would have made sure we had that time. I was so nervous about walking down the aisle in the run up to the wedding that some nights I couldn’t sleep! It was awful! When it actually came down to it, I wasn’t nervous at all! The anxiety just leaves you so don’t let the fear ruin your morning or the lead up to the big day! Last but not least – DON’T SWEAT THE LITTLE THINGS! Most of the little details I stressed over weren’t even noticed in the end and honestly probably don’t matter!


Venue: Ballymagarvey Village, Meath | Photographer: Paul Duane Photography | Bride’s Dress, Veil, Bolero: Frilly Frocks, Drogheda | Wedding and Engagement Rings: Paul Sheeran | Shoes: Michael Kors, Brown Thomas | Bridesmaid Dresses: Kasura, Ashbourne | Cheese Cake: Sheridan’s Cheesemongers | Groom’s Suit: Louis Copeland | Groomsmen Suits: Protocol for Men, Dawson Street | Flowers: Freda’s Florists, Ashbourne | Invitations: Vista Print | Hair: The Salon by Simon Fergus, Ashbourne | Makeup: Anne Marie Doherty Make Up | Band: Panic Animal | Ceremony Music: Susan Rowland, Meath