“My favourite part of the day was driving through the Phoenix Park in our vintage car with my new husband having our photos taken.”
The couple: Charlene Bennett and Stephen Devlin
Length of engagement: 9 months | Wedding Date: 5th December 2014
Wedding location: The Anglers Rest, Strawberry Beds, Chapelizod
Photographer: Emma Russell Photography
We met… Stephen and I were neighbours when we met first, and it was years later when we got together.
Our proposal… Stephen had surprised me with a night’s stay for my birthday in Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim. I was at that stage 6 months pregnant on our second child, and so the Spa treatments were to be the highlight of my stay. As I got my slippers and robe to go down to the treatments I found a little white box among them. That’s when Stephen asked me the big question as to which I said ‘Yes’ but had no time to enjoy the moment as I had to rush off down to the Spa – the girls were met with a shaking blubbering mess. Needless to say I didn’t really get to enjoy it as I kept staring at my ring and wanted to just go and ring my mam to tell her.
My hair and make-up… My hair was done by Casey in Hession Hairdressing in Drumcondra. It was decided during the trial that my hair pulled around to the side in a low bun with soft finger curl waves would suit the look. My hair wasn’t quite long enough so I bought extensions and Casey in Hessions looked after dying them to match my hair. I bought my headpiece in Debenhams and my bird cage veil from Emile’s Wedding Boutique on Facebook. My make-up was done by Ailbhe Gaskin and from the very first time we met during the trial, she knew exactly what type of look I was looking for. I wear make-up most of the time but it was my first time wearing a red lip. She was able to steer me in the right direction with regards to what type of red suited me (who knew there were so many)! I was so happy with my make-up on the day, the smokey eye and winged eye-liner together with the red lip completed the vintage look for me.
My dress… I never looked at any other dresses other then tea-length. I had searched the internet and hadn’t found exactly what I was looking for. I had more or less decided to have a dress made by a dressmaker and so I made some appointments to get some ideas. When I arrived at The Bridal Outlet in Baldoyle, I was given five tea-length dresses to try on. By the time I had the fourth dress on I was in love. It was a Justin Alexander (8706) and it was exactly what I had imagined I would wear. The lace neckline felt so elegant and the silk dupion criss-cross cummerbund gave me shape I wanted, especially as I worked hard after having a baby in June to get in shape for the wedding.
His suit… We had decided that Stephen’s suit would be navy and so three weeks before the wedding we headed out to Kildare Village. We ended up getting everything in the first shop we went in to; a lovely 3-piece Ted Baker suit, shoes, shirt, tie and belt. Thanks to Savoy Taylors Guild for the easiest wedding shopping we had to do.
Our ceremony… We held our ceremony in The Anglers Rest. The Collins Room is beautiful and intimate and has the same rustic feel as the rest of the venue. Our ceremony was officiated by Tom Colton and was put together by Stephen, myself and Tom Colton. It included a ring warming ceremony in which our wedding bands were passed amongst our guests to receive well wishes and blessings from all who were there. I was really teary during our ceremony as it all felt so intimate and personal. I managed to say my vows with a bit of help and they made reference to our two children as I wanted to include them. We had Doug Sheridan sing during the ceremony and at our drinks reception, he was amazing. We had so many of our guests complimenting him and inquiring as to where we found him.
What our bridal party wore… We actually didn’t have any bridal party as such. We just wanted to keep things simple and I have far too many friends to choose between so we decided Stephen’s friend Ray Elders and my brother Gary Bennett would act as our witnesses during our civil ceremony. Our two children Harry and Lucy acted as our unofficial page boy and flower girl. Our 3 year-old son Harry wore a navy 3-piece suit with navy converse and our 6 month old daughter wore a red silk dress with organza roses along the waist and a gorgeous ivory bolero hand-knitted by her Nanna.
We chose our photographer because… I found Emma Russell Photography while searching online. I found the pictures on her website so natural and exactly the type of photos we were looking for. I emailed her and we arranged to meet up. On meeting up she showed me her fab albums she had previously done. While trying to describe the feel of The Anglers Rest to her, she suggested we go and visit the venue there and then. I was taken aback by her enthusiasm and delighted to show off the venue as I knew it was a treasure trove for really beautiful pictures. I immediately felt at ease with Emma and knew she was definitely who I wanted to take our photos on our big day. Emma had discussed taking pictures in the Phoenix Park after the ceremony but we knew it would be weather permitting. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and I had my wellies at the ready. We are so delighted to have gotten the photos in the PhoenixPark as they are stunning, the location unique, easily identifiable and as we are both Dubliners we couldn’t have picked anywhere better.
My favourite part of the wedding day… My favourite part of the day was driving through the Phoenix Park in our vintage car with my new husband having our photos taken. It was lovely to have a glass of bubbly and digest what had just happened.
We chose our venue because… We decided on The Anglers Rest as we have been to a lot of hotel weddings and we just didn’t think that was for us. We loved the idea of having our ceremony at our venue so that when our guests arrived they wouldn’t have to stir again. We also wanted an informal and intimate venue which was more suited to who we are. The roaring log fireplaces and rustic décor also added to that vintage feel.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Mary from The Anglers Rest looked after every detail of the wedding plans for us. She was always at the end of the phone or email for every question I had.
Our wedding theme/colours… We knew from the start that we wanted to keep things simple. I absolutely love the 50s look, so I knew I would have red lips and a red bouquet so I guess that’s how our vintage theme came about. Red then became the main colour and we decorated the room through flowers, the ribbon on the cake, decorations and our daughter’s dress.
Confit duck salad, poached vanilla pear, rocket, dressing Citrus potted crab with lobster, carrot and fennel salad
Cream of leek and potato soup
Beef fillet with spring onion mash, baby veg bouquet, red wine jus
Pan-fried breast of chicken, pomme puree, roast parsnip, smoked bacon and tarragon jus
Wild mushroom tart, spinach, thyme and caramelised onion
Roast monkfish wrapped in Parma ham, celeriac gratin, chive beurre blanc
Chocolate tart, crème Chantilly, orange caramel Winter/Summer berry cheesecake, crème anglaise, berry foam
Our honeymoon… On our honeymoon we visited the Christmas markets in Cologne, Germany. They were absolutely magical and definitely exceeded our expectations. We spent our days strolling through the markets, tasting delicious food and sampling the must have Gluhwein which kept us warm. As we have two children it was great to have this time together and unwind after the run up to the wedding. When we returned from Cologne we went on a night away with the kids to Rathwood to visit the Santa train and then spent the night in the Mount Wolseley Hotel. Our son Harry absolutely loved the santa train experience and for us it finished off an amazing week.
My piece of advice for other brides… Enjoy it! It’s so difficult with all the running around organising everything and making sure everyone is okay and worrying if they are enjoying themselves. I decided beforehand that the first dance was to be my cut off for all that. I lost myself in our first dance (Blur: To the End) we just shut everyone out and held on to that moment as we had talked about it for so long beforehand. Then the DJ kicked off and I danced the night away. I really do think that if people see a happy bride, they will have a great night.
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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.