Although Tiernan and I planned to get married privately, we knew we would need (and want) some kind of shin dig for all his friends and extended family back home in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to showcase some of the awesome vendors we worked with in Ireland! (Links to all are at the end of the article!)
Very early in the planning, we decided find a hotel where we could offer a sit down dinner. This started out as a dinner only idea. We met a young wedding planner with aspirations for Australia at Killashee Hotel in December 2014. Her name was Noelle and she inspired us to choose that venue for our celebration in 11 months time. Unfortunately Noelle did make that trip to Australia and was not able to join us on our day!
By the time it came around it had snowballed into a full on second wedding. Dress, hair, suits, and all the trimmings which go with it. Only this time Tiernan and I were able to get ready together, which made for some great, non-traditional photos!
Of course, we had the traditional couple’s photos as well. It was bitterly cold that day, but our photographer, Christina Brosnan, did a wonderful job of assembling us and choosing less windy spots. You could not tell that it would end up hailing only half an hour later!
Christina shoots some of her photos on film which gives them such a light, nostalgic feel. This is definitely one for the mantle piece…
The bridesmaid’s dresses were made in China by For Him and For Her. There are a lot of comments online, not necessarily for this company but for others, about ordering something without seeing it. In this case I found it worked really well. I was sure to place my order with enough time to change things if they didn’t work.
After wandering about in Belfast and being told by numerous boutiques that there was “no way” they could source me bridesmaid’s dresses in five months I was pretty peeved off to be frank. For Him and For Her had the dresses to me within 21 days. For shame those unnamable places in Belfast! For shame!
My only criticism would be those mad sizes. We used the For Him and For Her sizing chart and wee Caitlyn’s dress, which was supposed to be knee length, was a full length tent on her. Her mum had it taken up on the shoulders for modesty and the final look worked. It might be worth having things made to measure (just be aware you would not be able to return it under those circumstances).
Would I do it again? Yup. I found FHAFH provided great service.
So, how about a close up of those flowers eh?
For some reason I had a blue kind of feeling when planning this day. Perhaps it was because the beautiful old house dining room at Killashee is wallpapered in blue and gold. Nevertheless, blue was the colour I needed, but after reading the Language of Flowers blue hydrangeas were essentially ruled out. Although it has some good meanings, hydrangeas include frigidity and heartlessness amongst its symbolism.
So I started talking to our cake designer Caroline from The Wedding Cake Boutique about rustic alternatives while keeping the blue theme. She came up with this gorgeous thistle and blueberry design I still cannot stop looking at. I eventually had Lovebird Designs create the bouquets and buttonholes to follow suit. Thus – theme!
It was not actually too cost ineffective to add a little ceremony on to the front of the dinner. After doing some hasty research only a few months out from the day we contacted Marry Me Ireland about creating a little something and were introduced to the lovely Niamh Davis.
A simply, but elegant ceremony was put together for us. The words said about family, friendship, and love during that will stick with me just as much as the tiny ‘Si’ from Italy. An Irish hand-fastening was also included to provide symbolism and a harkening back to the celtic traditions Tiernan and I love about Ireland.
Dinner lasted four courses and the wait staff kept bring around more and more so some of us had seconds and thirds of the main meal. I am honestly surprised that anyone had the energy for dancing. After the ceremony there had been drinks and cookies. Then dinner. Then tiny sausages and cake throughout the night. Yet there was nothing left over. We ate it all! Every last bit!
But J90 are too cool a band to miss. Even the hotel staff said it was the best band they’d had there. I feel that praise is justified. Tiernan and I, as some of you may know, met at the Grand Hotel in Killarney while both working for the same tour company. That hotel is a pub and nightclub. And on Monday nights, J90 play. I went dancing there every Monday for about five months. It was really a no brainer to book them as our wedding band. We knew we liked their music and proceeded to mosh and swing hair until 12.30 in the morning!
After that it was keen beans only! My youngest brother, Jack, did a haka which was followed by an acoustic session comprising of anyone who wanted to take their shoes off, sway slowly and continue drinking. To those champions still up at 5am – I salute you.
Irish wedding. Completely different and completely worth it.