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The Alice in Wonderland Wedding

Couple: Graham and Rachel
Wedding date: 8/6/19
Photographer: TLC Photography

So how it all began… Myself and Graham were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. It was 11.00am on a Thursday morning and we met for coffee in the local hotel. We hit it off straight away, we laughed and both forgot the world for a while. After that we spoke everyday soon we went everywhere together.

Fast forward 2 years and Graham took me out for our anniversary. We went to my fav restaurant, I was suffering from a sore throat and could barely speak, Graham insisted we sat in a quiet corner. Which I thought was strange. We ordered our food and enjoyed each other for a minute, Graham then turns to me and says “Oh I left you a nice message today, did u get it??” Confused I checked my phone. Romance and Graham don’t go hand in hand. I looked at my phone to a message that read “Graham is now engaged to Rachel”. I looked up shocked and there he was on one knee in the middle of the restaurant. I said yes immediately but he could barely hear me.

We didn’t start planning for a few years after that. We set the date which was to be 8/6/19 – means nothing to some but to Graham it means so much –  If you move around the numbers it reads 1986… The year he was born, the year/make of his favorite car, his fathers birthday. And most of all he chose it = he will always remember our anniversary = big plus for remembering to buy me gifts. Another major plus for brides and grooms to be – pick a date that’s important to you. After all, it’s your day.

The wedding…

After thinking and thinking we decided to have it in our garden in our home. It was perfect. We had a venue, now we just needed everything else. The church was booked, the date was set, we had a venue and that was it.  No dress, no suits just a date and the church.

Our theme had always been Alice – it’s us – a little strange, a little quirky and just a little mad. So now we needed to bring Alice to life. Alice in our garden! How do we do that? We sat down and just scribbled some ideas, some normal, some crazy, some completely random. We contacted a couple of different companies about tents, marquees, none suited us. Then we found Pete, at Tipi Faoi Na Realtai. I looked at some pictures online and decided to contact Pete. It was better than we could have ever imagined.

A tipi it was perfect – I felt like Pocahontas. It was just perfect. Pete came to our home and we told him our plans, We spent about 3 weeks back and forward to Pete about how many guests were expected, how many tables we needed, we went with a 3 hat tipi with fairy lights. Pete was amazing, he was completely reassuring and completely embraced our madness. It was a match made in Venue heaven.

So now we had a venue and a tipi we needed decorations, dresses, suits, and invites. The list was endless.

The dress – “it’s not white”

Myself and my bridesmaids decided to go bridesmaid shopping. Off for a trip to Dublin.. it was so exciting – our first trip for wedding items – we tried every shop in Dublin and the girls just couldn’t find a dress to suit – another hurdle – then my maid of honor said let’s try TK Maxx I was doubtful we would ever find 4 dresses that they could agree on. As we walked closer to the store I looked in the window, I just remember screaming with excitement and running into the store.. in which the 4 girls came running after me. What is going on I heard? It was the dress.. the dress I had seen in my dreams, the one, but it was blue.

When I got home I was still worried about the colour. So I approached our local priest and asked for his permission. He said it was no problem and that he was looking forward to our day.

My shoes were an irregular choice, and my stockings were supplied by Leave it with me.

Make up – I contacted a local business woman named Pamela Hoey she is a Make up artist and beautician. She was really helpful in helping me choose a wedding make up style and how to achieve it. We arranged to have all the bridesmaids make up done too. Which was a nice treat. Pamela arrived on the morning of the wedding and beautifully transformed myself and my bridesmaids into princesses. She was so professional and reassuring. The morning of the wedding was so stress free and it was all down to Pamela and her relaxed attitude.

The food – Cox’s steak house Dromod Co Leitrim.

The plan was to serve dessert first (just to completely confuse everything) we wanted something different something unique.

Cox’s supplied the most amazing cake display. We had every type of dessert you could think of, it was better than we had ever expected. Each and every detail perfected by Cox’s talented chefs. And that was only our dessert the main meal was still to come.

Our wedding cake was made by Cake me away – a local lady who is just so amazingly talented. She also supplied our guests with cookies to take home. They were too beautiful to eat, each and every one with such amazing detail.

So getting some music was next.. we needed something to fill the entire day.. so that’s when we decided to have 4 bands.. more madness but it was brilliant. We called around some local bands and gave everyone a slot.. we set it up in a way that music played the whole day.. when we arrived we were greeted by music from The Martyrs an acoustic trio these guys were brilliant, We booked them because their promo video blew us away and to be honest they were so much better in real life. The music just flowed from their veins. It was incredible.

When they finished Sugar & Spice stepped up to the stage (these two guys were amazing, they arrived early in the morning and set up their gear, they supplied microphones, background music, and announced the days plans to our guests all before they took the stage at 10.00pm for their show stopper performance) when we entered as Mr & Mrs, Graham wore a flamingo suit our guests loved it.

They didn’t expect it at all, during our dessert (our first course) we had planned for Ginger Secreto to preform (our guests loved this) the singer arrived (dressed as a waiter) he tumbled onto the floor with a crash and a bang our guests were shocked “omg is he ok” people rushed to his aid.. all for him to jump up and burst into song.. it was brilliant.. the cheers and excitement in our tipi was incredible. We sang and laughed exactly what Graham & I had imagined Fun, happy memories with good people.

So the next slot went to a band called Ravens Edge these guys were amazing. They kept our guests dancing all evening. And to finish the evening we danced the night off to Sugar & Spice with a mix of everything you could ask for. We sang, danced, laughed and cried it was everything we could have wanted including games like Mr & Mrs our guests loved it.. so did we.

Shanley Party’s – Eoin is a good friend of ours and the owner at Shanley Party’s. What Eoin did for us that day was amazing, our guests are still talking about the attention to detail. Eoin took our madness and turned it into reality. And We can’t thank him enough for that.

When we arrived after the church we were blown away. Graham had left the night before to go to his mums and I stepped away to get ready. When we left it was a bare tipi with boxes and boxes when we arrived back it was a wonderland.

Our Wonderland…

Our guests drank from China teacups. From the clocks in the trees to the feather dickie bows and matching feather pins to the pocket watches we gifted our groomsmen, to each piece of decor and quirky clock. Every fine detail was covered.

Leave it with me supplied everything. As the name suggests tell them what you want and their reply Leave it with me.

The flower busts and moss decor and bridesmaids flowers were designed by Tina at Knickaty Knack.  There is no limit to Tina’s talents. From traditional to quirky and all in between Tina will meet you with a smile and a giggle.. her work speaks for itself.

My bouquet and church alter decor was designed and supplied by Dianne at Dianne’s floral design. She also created beautiful little wands for our flower girls. They were so unique and different.

Guests soaps – colekyra bath bombs and more (this girl is so talented, a busy working mum who creates the most amazing smelling soaps and more).

Signs – this way / that way displayed around the food section.

Busylizy handmade crafts – Lisa created beautiful handmade pieces which we placed around the catering section of the tipi just to really confuse our guests. With signs pointing this way and that way and the wrong way… it all added to the detail of the day.

Athenry candles – Edith is such a beautiful person to deal with. My aunt won a competition on Facebook. €100 euro voucher for candles. We were delighted when she gave it to us. I contacted Edith and gave her some information about our wedding. As the days passed Edith sent some amazing designs and styles.  We ordered some beautiful unity candles and candles for our guests. Also one for my mum who has passed. They were so personal and so us. We are so thankful to Edith and the staff at Athenry Candles.

Children’s entertainment- Fionnula was incredible, we didn’t see one child all day as they were having too much fun with Fionnula. She painted faces, made magic stones, designed the most beautiful little fairy castle. Each child painted their own castles which they got to take home. Fionnula also designed our mad hatters hat, this way that way sign at front of tipi and also funny/ painted stones which we placed around the garden our guests really had fun with these. With funny sayings and silly phrases our guests searched the garden hoping to find more hidden gems.

It was so exciting and everyone we worked with was local to us which meant a great deal to me. There are some amazing talented people who can sometimes go unnoticed. My advice source local guys (they appreciate the business, they will not disappoint and you know your money will be put to good use).

Suppliers

Photographer: TLC Photography | Catering and cake table: Cox’s Steak House | Tipi: Tipi Faoi Na Realtai | Party planner: Shanley Party’s | Personal shopper: Leave it with me | Bespoke floral pieces: Knickaty Knack | Church & Bridal: Dianne’s floral designs | China supplier: Vintage & Antique China Sligo | Candles: Athenry Candles | Wedding cake & cookies: Cake me Away | Make up: Pamela Hoey Mua | Hand made Soaps: Colekyra bath bombs and more | Hair: Jackie Masterson | Signs: Busylizy handmade gifts | Music: Sugar & Spice, Singer Secreto, The Martyrs and Ravens Edge | Children’s Entertainment: Artist & Creative Design | The suits: Suits You Longford | Shirts: Dunnes stores | Dickie bows, pocket watch, rabbit heads, jewellery and flower girls: Leave it with me | Bridesmaids dresses: Chi Chi London

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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