From the bride: Our big day was just six months in gestation – news that siblings living ‘Down Under’ were coming home for Christmas was the impetus for our haste. Once our date had been earmarked on the calendar, plans slowly meandered into place. We knew from the get-go that we wanted a relaxed, informal and fun day surrounded by close family, including all of the (20 plus) children, and friends.
What did you want in your dress?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to be honest. I had an idea that I’d like something vintage and maybe short but I had no clear picture of what the dress would look like. I looked at a few vintage bridal dresses online and while searching came across Bella Bleu in Cork, a shop specialising in vintage, and vintage inspired, dresses – they had a fitted calf-length 1940s French lace dress on Facebook that I instantly fell for . A weekend break to Cork confirmed that I’d found ‘the one’. The fur stole was a generous gift from my vintage store owning sis in law.
What inspired your day?
We wanted to keep everything fairly simple and low-key. Bellinter House had a lovely relaxed vibe, super friendly staff and we loved the quirky décor. They also allowed us to be as informal as we liked with our plans– we were sold immediately. We picked Rathfeigh Church due to its close proximity to the venue. It’s also a beautiful little church; nestled on hill down a quiet country lane near the hill of Tara, it has a lovely intimate feel, which was perfect for our 100 or so guests. We chose to get married in the late afternoon in winter – the light dimmed as we said our vows which added a nocturnal air of romance to the ceremony. We did all the formal photos before the ceremony in daylight to free us up to mingle with our guests immediately afterwards.
Again, to keep everything fairly casual we chose not to have bridesmaids and groomsmen but instead walked down the aisle hand in hand, flanked by our mums and flowergirls.
Tell us about all your details!
While we didn’t get too hung up on details, we wanted to add some creative touches to the day. Admittedly, much of the creativity was gifted by our talented friends and family. My multi-talented mum found time to make Damian’s wedding ring and source and arrange the bouquet and flowers. Sister in law, Jasmine painted the bunting and decorated the tables with stacks of old books, jam jars full of flowers and tea-lights made from candle wax poured into vintage china tea-cup. The cups were sourced at car boot sales and charity shops. The blue floral ‘Cath Kidson’ esque table cloth for the ‘dessert table’ was picked up at the last minute.
We weren’t fussed on a traditional wedding cake so instead we asked friends and family to bake or make something and bring it along – instead of desserts our guests were free to feast from this table of home-made treats.
Having asked around among musician friends for recommendations for ‘non-wedding bands’, we discovered rockabilly maestros, The Pavement Kings. Simon and the lads provided the perfect soundtrack to our night and had us shaking our tail feathers all night long.
What was your favourite part of the day
Waking up in Bellinter House on that crisp and bright January morning with the winter sun streaming through the sash windows, full of excitement about everything yet to come – and loving every moment of the next 18 hours until we collapsed into bed as married couple.
Any advice for our planning brides?
Don’t leave it until the morning of the wedding to collect rings or wedding candles! It’s also not ideal to work up until the day before the wedding!
My advice is to decide what you like and more importantly what you don’t, and leave anything you don’t care for out – there are no rules and your guests won’t care if there was a sash on their chair or not. So don’t sweat the small stuff, surround yourself with family and friends, involve your guests in some DIY details, relax and enjoy every minute of a wonderful day.