Old World New With Elegance and Chicness – An Italy-Inspired Wedding

Articles, Real Weddings
“Upon visiting Tankardstown I was immediately struck by the gardens, I felt like we were in Italy. The theme became, old world new with elegance and chicness! I like simple themes and went for a white/ivory colour palette.”

Couple: Edel and Simon Owens
Engagement length: 3 years
Wedding date: 2021-09-03
Wedding location: Tankardstown House
Photographer: Jenny McCarthy

Simon and Edel both worked near each other and happened to meet over lunch time in the local lunch spot!

“Our eyes met but we never spoke, we just kept bumping into each other or maybe made an effort to ‘bump in to each other’ in this spot. We originally met in 2006 and dated for a short period then became friends. We remained in contact with each other and somehow always knew we would get married one day! Serendipity I think!”

Simon took me on a surprise trip to Dubai to our favourite hotel, Le Royal Meridan for a few days of winter sun.  On the morning of our engagement (which I’d no idea of at this point) Simon suggested I go to the spa and relax and get a blow dry, both of which I refused in favour of relaxing in the sun. We planned to meet friends that evening and they cancelled to my annoyance! Little did I know they were all in on the plan! We went for dinner on the hotel grounds and I gave out to Simon for being on his phone (now I know he was co-ordinating with the hotel re proposal) after dinner we took a walk, I felt Simon’s palms getting sweaty and shakey and had a funny feeling, as I turned the corner there was a cabana dressed in flowers and candles with some reading Marry Me? It was so magical and beautiful I couldn’t find any words. I looked at Simon then around to see the team from the hotel were following us and capturing the moment, I had no idea how this all happened but it was the most beautiful moment of our lives.. after I eventually could speak and say YES we went back to our room where my friends who ‘couldnt make dinner’ jumped out to surprise us! Again totally shook at this stage.. our room was filled with flowers and flower petals leading to the bedroom on the bed was every picture we had taken as a couple and with my daughter Mia it was really the most thoughtful and magical experience.”

“We were originally to be married in Rome in 2020 and we had a theme for our venue there – clean crisp lines, with the greenery from Italian Cypress trees. Upon visiting Tankardstown I was immediately struck by the gardens, I felt like we were in Italy. The theme became, old world new with elegance and chicness! I like simple themes and went for a white/ivory colour palette. Bridesmaids were dressed in ivory and the flowers where a mix of ivory roses, really simple for Bridesmaids and my bouquet I added some orchids. Simon and his groomsmen wore black tie.”

Edel wore a beautiful dress she bought in Paris, by Rime Arodaky. She had originally chosen this dress with sleeves with the Italian wedding in mind but it also worked for their Tankardstown venue. Her mum bought her second dress by Halfpenny London which was really simple and easy to wear. She wore the beale overskirt with this dress, and changed for the first dance.  Simon is good friends with the guys in Collar and Cuff so he wore a beautiful black velvet dinner jacket with black tie. They bought the same for all of the groomsmen and they looked incredible.

The bridesmaids wore one shoulder Ivory satin dresses that Edel bought online from Pretty Lavish. The guys wore Black tie suits and black velvet dinner jackets from Collar and Cuff.

“Omg our Ceremony was so magical. Our family friend Shelley O’ Shea was our celebrant of choice. She knew our story and the journey we had been on and captured it all so well in the ceremony. We decided to marry onsite in the beautiful orangery in Tankardstown, it’s so breathtaking! I think our parents and I’m sure some guests wondered which way the ceremony would go. So many people commented about how beautifully our story was told and I LOVED how we involved all of the special people in our lives in different parts of the ceremony. We laughed and cried a lot – well Simon cried a lot!”

“From the moment we drove into the grounds of Tankardstown we both got a feeling. We had looked at many venues in Ireland and they weren’t what we wanted. As I got out of the car and walked through the grounds I could see my self here, we both said it. As we walked into the doors of Tankardstown we got a warm feeling, and a feeling for me is a must. The team were just so lovely and made you feel at ease immediately. The smell of the fire burning was so heartwarming I really felt comfortable and I knew our guests would get the same feeling. The house itself is full of elegance and charm I visioned our friends and families sitting on the relaxing couches having a glass of Prosecco and bites to eat.. We walked through the rooms in the house and they were all so beautiful, again I pictured what room would suit each family member.

The Bridal suite I had already been told about and it did not disappoint, it was full of light and was so luxurious. The colour palette was right up my street too, not to mention the free standing bath! What room really sealed the deal for us was the Orangery – it is just wow! It is so full of light and elegance with the statues draped round the room and two small rooms off it (where I thought our parents might like to get away from some of the noise and sit in the comfort of the sofas). The bar for us was also a thing, we wanted to keep our guests together so a bar outside of the room was a no no. Tankardstown thought of everything with the design and layout of the Orangery even down to the luxurious ladies toilets. I didn’t have to decorate with additional flower arrangements as these were so tastefully decorated. After the ceremony there are so many beautiful shots to be taken at the famous gates of Tankardstown. I just adore the Cypress trees that are situated in the main garden they are wow and picture so beautifully.”

Since they were just coming out of lockdown, they couldn’t have a live band. However they had a friend who is an amazing DJ and he was so good! They had a sax player join the DJ a little bit later, and their guests never left the dance floor, they were amazing!

My favourite memory was Simon’s vows. We chose to write our own vows. Simon struggled to get his out, emotions took over and I’ll never forget that moment.”

“My Advice would be to not sweat the little things. I was fixated on table design etc renting candlesticks, tablecloths etc. If you have a good planner they can do all of this, plus our flower vendors designed and layed out the room so wonderfully. I am very hands on as a person but sometimes you need to trust and delegate the jobs! Also Jenny’s schedule – stick to the photographers schedule and just take the day in as it goes by so quickly!”


Ceremony and Reception venue: Tankardstown House | Planner/coordinator: Sarah – Tankardstown | Photographer: Jenny McCarthy | Band and DJ: Rob C | Hair: Dani Lyons – Iris | Makeup: Natasha Ray | Male grooming: Grooming rooms | Couple’s outfits: Rime Arodaky and Halfpenny London. Collar and Cuff | Veil: Covet | Shoes: Salo Madrid | Wedding party outfits: Collar and cuff and Lavish Alice | Cake: Anne Molloy | Celebrant/solemniser: Shelley O Shea | Stationery: Save the Date | Jewellery/rings: Cara Jewellers | Accessories: Ab Ellie | Flowers: Total Flowers Designs