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A Sweet Cabra Castle Wedding by Couple Photography

“ It was great to see all of our loved ones dancing the night away and enjoying themselves.”

The couple: Louise Malone & Ciaran McMahon
Length of engagement: 2.5 Years | Wedding date: 17th September 2016
Wedding venue: Cabra Castle, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan
Photographer: Couple Photography

We met… on New Year’s Eve 2006 in our local pub in Ardee. We got chatting through a mutual friend and went on our first date a week later.

Our proposal… happened in February 2014- a day before my birthday. We went to one of our favourite hotels down the country- it was also our first time away since the birth of our son Cillian. Ciaran popped the question one night before we went out for dinner. I was shocked but in some ways expecting it at some stage as we were going out for quite a long time.

What our bridal party wore… I was absolutely delighted to have won my bridesmaids dresses through a Facebook competition from The Wedding Gallery, Carrickmacross. My main concern was that the girls felt comfortable in their dresses- they both loved them, particularly the lace detail on the neckline and sleeves. The dresses were from the True Bridesmaid Collection.

My hair and makeup… Linda Durnin (Eala Beauty) did the bridal makeup and Rita O’Brien did the bridal upstyles. I always get Linda to do my makeup/tan for special occasions and it wasn’t going to be any different for my wedding. She always gets it right and helped to create that flawless look that I wanted. Rita was also excellent and was always on hand before the big day for any questions I had. Both ladies were such a calming influence on the morning of the wedding and stayed until the very last minute.

My dress… I also purchased my wedding dress from The Wedding Gallery. To be honest I never looked in any other shops and to this day I don’t regret that. Pauline was very honest and this is what I liked about her. The shop offers an amazing range of dresses and the fact it is only 15 minutes away from me was an added bonus for dress fittings etc. I wasn’t initially sure about by wedding dress as it was everything I  had said I didn’t want but having tried it on, I knew it was the one for me. The veil was also a last minute decision but I am delighted I got it. My jewellery and headpiece were from Knightsbridge in The Powerscourt Centre in Dublin.

Our wedding theme/colours… I didn’t really have a specific theme but knew I wanted a mixture of pastel colours like dusky pinks/lilacs. I wanted to contribute as much as I could to the day so undertook a number of DIY projects.

Our ceremony… We chose to have a traditional wedding ceremony in my local church- St Catherine’s Church, Ballapousta. This church was really special to me as my parents and grandparents and all of my aunts have got married here. Our local priest Fr.O’Leary, celebrated the mass. He made the mass very personal and also made us feel very relaxed.

The ceremony was really important to us so we spent a lot of time choosing the readings/prayers and songs. Our wedding singer was Laura Kelly accompanied by Sean Walsh on piano. Both were excellent. We also walked out to the Sunday Game theme tune as Ciaran is a huge GAA player/fan- we wanted to encompass both of our personalities into the day.

I also wanted to put my own stamp on the wedding so I undertook a few DIY projects including the jam jars for the pew ends. (We also used these for our table numbers- Ciaran lasercut these numbers and we spray painted them).

Emer McKenna Bespoke Wedding Florist did our flowers and honestly I could not recommend her enough. I love flowers so I spent quite a bit of time researching what I wanted. I was blown away by the bouquets on the morning of the wedding and also by the church- she had done a fantastic job decorating it. It wasn’t until we got our photos afterwards, that I realised how beautiful the church looked.

We chose our photographer because… Choosing a photographer was something very important to us as we knew from the beginning that we didn’t want a videographer. We wanted a photographer who would be able to capture every detail of our day through a natural and informal style.

When we got engaged, I found Couple Photography on weddingsonline and from there arranged an appointment to meet Roslyn. We knew from that very first meeting that Roslyn was our woman. I loved the fact that Couple Photography have two photographers available on the day. Both Roslyn and Anna made everyone feel so relaxed and many people commented that you wouldn’t even realise they were there.

We chose our venue because… As cliché as it sounds, I always knew I wanted to get married in Cabra Castle. As a little girl, I always remembered visiting the castle and thinking just that. Cabra Castle had everything we wanted and to be honest, we never looked at any other venues. Cabra is such a stunning venue and regardless of the weather, we were guaranteed to get stunning photos. It is also renowned for its excellent food and service and was excellent value for money considering all that we got in our package. Therese, our wedding co-ordinator was truly amazing; no request was ever too big or small. On the day itself, she and all the staff were there to ensure everything ran like clockwork.

Our menu… To help us decide on our menu, we went to a tasting service that Cabra provide for couples. We knew that we would never choose a menu that would keep all 240 people plus happy but the meal tasting certainly helped us with this.

Starter: Bacon/Brie and Sundried Tartlet with Savoury Egg Custard Filling

Soup: Cream of Vegetable Soup with Herbs

Main Courses: Chargrilled Supreme of Irish Chicken with Chorizo Stuffing presented on Mushroom, Garlic and Mixed Pepper Sherry Sauce

Baked Fillet of Seabass on a bed of Pan Handle Bean Stew with Lemon Beurre Blanc

 Pan-Seared Fillet of Irish Beef topped with Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions, Served with Irish Whiskey Sauce

Dessert: Strawberry and Apple Crumble with Hot Custard and Vanilla Ice-cream

Our honeymoon…We decided not to go on honeymoon until a couple of months after our wedding due to work commitments etc. We are just back from 10 days in Dubai and Kuramathi in the Maldives. Both were amazing in completely different ways. We were glad we waited to do this as it gave us something to look forward to.

My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s hard to choose one thing but my favourite thing was having all our family and friends together to celebrate this special day in our lives. I loved the evening reception- our band SugarTown Road were fantastic- it was great to see all of our loved ones dancing the night away and enjoying themselves.

My piece of advice for other brides… Enjoy every moment of it because believe me, it really is over in the blink of an eye. For me, I loved the whole planning process particularly researching/planning the little details as these were important to me. I did a lot of things early so we wouldn’t feel under pressure closer to the time. Everything ran like clockwork and on the day and the week beforehand, I was able to soak it all in.


Venue: Cabra CastlePhotographer: Couple Photography | Band: SugarTown Road | Wedding Dress/Bridesmaids: The Wedding Gallery, Carrickmacross | Church Music: Laura Kelly and Sean Walsh | Suits: McKenna Man, Dundalk | Flowers: Emer McKenna Bespoke Wedding Florist | Cake: Little Lady Cakes | Wedding Car: Wedding Cars and Limo Hire | Table Plan: Table Plan Designs Polaroid Guest Book: Divine Wedding Decor | Invitations: Appleberry Press | Makeup: Linda Durnin | Hair: Rita O’Brien

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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