Our proposal… We went on a walk on the beach in Kilmuckridge one evening. Near the end of our walk we came across “Big Daddy”, which is the biggest sand dune in the area. I said we should climb it but Grace wasn’t feeling up for it until I suggested that she probably couldn’t. So after we had a race up the dune (I think it was a draw), we then sat down and I waited for the few people that were there to leave. And while looking over the sea, the windmills, and the reflection of the setting sun on the marsh I proposed. After a few seconds of bawling crying Grace said yes! I then started digging for the bag of Champagne that I had buried in the sand earlier in the day.
My hair and make up… my best friend and bridesmaid Avalon Shiels did my make-up. AS Makeup, or “The Girl Pout Town” is her Facebook blog. We did a quick trial but I knew she’d know what would suit my face so trusted her completely. My brother’s partner Laura did our hair. I changed my mind last minute with the hair but I’m glad I did as I loved the end results for all of us.
The dress… was a Kenneth Winston dress from Tamem Michael. It was the first shop I’d been to and had only brought my mam for a look, but the lady was bringing in new sample dresses from her car and it caught my eye. I pre-ordered it in November 2014.
The suit… was a brown wool blend suit from ASOS, and a pair of brogue boots. (€23 in Penneys!)
We chose our photographer because… I had seen Couple Photography at the RDS wedding fair the year we got engaged and kept their leaflet, so when it came to booking a photographer we went back to the fair to find them. Of course they were there and their work was exactly what we were looking for – casual but still stunning! They didn’t go for the staged photo approach and the fact they came with two photographers was an added bonus. They had an edge about them and stuck in my head for two years so I knew they must have had brilliant work. We have since received our pictures and I wasn’t disappointed, I was actually even more pleased than I expected to be.
Our ceremony… we went for a humanist wedding with Philip Byers. I found him online and we met up a good few times before the ceremony to make sure that it was exactly as we planned. We couldn’t have asked for a better solemniser, he was so nice from start to finish and guided us through the ceremony while also letting us have whatever we wanted really.We went for a traditional ring exchange and candle ceremony and also a “tying of the knot”. At the start we had a “ring warming” ceremony where our son Luke passed around the rings to the guests and asked them each to make a wish on them for us. It was a lovely touch and got everyone involved. We got our friends and family to do some readings for us and decided not on traditional vows but on our own vows instead. We chose a mixture of music for our ceremony, performed by the lads we’d gone to see on our first date. I walked up to Raglan Road and we also had the Jurassic Park theme tune, and Beyonce’s Love on Top. So there was no real theme going on, just what we liked!
Our wedding theme/colours… Our theme was earthy/timber/rustic, and a bit of Marvel/DC… for the kids (but not really).
What our bridal party wore… I got the bridesmaid dresses from Coast months before the wedding. I thought the shape would be really flattering on everyone. They weren’t too expensive and I got Karl’s auntie Patsy to add some extra tulle under the skirts to make them a bit more unique. I got the same colour shoes as the tulle in New Look for €25 which was very lucky. My flower girl’s dress was from Dunnes and her runners were Converse that just happened to match the bridesmaids dresses nearly exactly. I completely forgot to get her shoes so only got them the week before the wedding so the fact they matched so well was a complete fluke.
Our honeymoon… we haven’t gone on our honeymoon yet. With the two kids and our wedding only a month before Christmas we felt that we would have been putting ourselves under pressure. So next year we will worry about that. We did go to Disneyland Paris with the kids for a few days just to get some family time as in the run up to the wedding we were relying on babysitters to mind them a lot! I suppose mother’s guilt set in!
Our menu… we were very boring with our menu and went very traditional. This was the one area where we chose to please the masses and not just ourselves. We had chicken salad, vegetable soup, turkey and ham and an apple and almond tart for dessert. The food was fairly simple but cooked to perfection and everyone said they enjoyed it (although they probably wouldn’t have told us any differently!)
We chose our venue because… my only specification was that we got married in Wicklow and not in a traditional hotel. We only went to view two venues and we both loved Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort straight away. It had all the modern amenities but with a separate manor house to have the wedding reception and fabulous grounds. It’s only a 30 minute drive from our home but felt like you were in the middle of the country. It was the perfect balance. Also, because we would be getting married in the venue I didn’t want the ceremony room to just be a function room that was separated. Tulfarris had a separate ceremony room that was amazing, it felt that little bit more special and our parents gave it a big seal of approval (after we’d already booked it!).
My piece of advice for other brides… enjoy the day! Don’t waste your wedding day pleasing everyone else. Do what makes you both happy and if that’s dancing the night away on your own then so be it. It’s not up to you to make sure other people enjoy themselves, that’s up to themselves. Also it’s only one day! Don’t sweat the small stuff; I forgot loads on the day and it didn’t matter. We still finished the day as husband and wife and that’s the main goal of the day.
Photographer: Couple Photography | Venue: Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort | Ceremony Solemniser: Philip Byers | Wedding dress: Kenneth Winston, Tamem Michael | Groom’s Suit: ASOS | Bridesmaid dresses: Coast | Flower girl dress: Dunnes Stores | Dancefloor: So Fresh Weddings | Flowers: Celine’s Florist| Chairs: Corporatehospitality.ie | Band: Pump up the Jam