Venetian Wedding Photo Over Share

I’ve been holding on to these for quite a while now. Partly because I’m having trouble putting our wedding photos experience into words and partly because I have only just wound down after the holiday season.

But here we are, Tiernan and I, in all our matrimonial glory!

There is lots to love about these photos. Aside from our wedding certificates, they are the physical embodiment of our memories. When I look through these amazing shots, it’s like walking through the streets of Venice again.

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My dress was made by Sally Eagle, a New Zealand designer. It’s called Rosella. I adore all of her dresses for their simplicity and vintage style. I ordered my dress through one of her stockists in Auckland, Primrose and Finch. At P&F, Kerry was a joy to work with. Her facilitating skills are excellent judging by my long distance purchase! Also her showroom service tea in a very inviting way. Wedding dress shopping was massively intimidating for me and Kerry really made it a pleasure.

I was living in the Philippines at the time I ordered my wedding dress. There was time for literally one measuring session and no opportunity to do alterations later on. Maintaining a consistent weight for 18 months was near impossible, I can tell you that for sure and certain!

With the help of my family and a test run with my work colleagues we managed to squeeze everything into a very forgiving dress! Thank goodness for a pleated skirt 😉

Speaking of carrying things from the Philippines. I came up with this wild idea of incorporating something from everywhere I’ve lived. So I bought my shoes at the Landmark Department Store in Manila and carted them around the planet, too! Did not manage to get anything Bruneian, however. That could be my one regret.

Oh yeah! I also carted around those silk robes from Thailand, too. In hindsight I didn’t make things easy for myself, did I? Things were picked up here, ordered there. My hair thing-a-me’s came from Orgeon, a wee company called Twigs and Honey. Completely international wedding.

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Early on in imagining our wedding I decided on bouquet charms (SmilingBlueDog). Mum and Dad sent me scans of their wedding photos and those of my grand parents. I DIY’d them into the frames and was really happy to be carrying around my family! If you like, I’ll share the large versions in the next post.

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Here’s Tiernan getting helped into his suit! We chose A Hand Tailored Suit to make this bespoke three piece for him. Tiernan’s a bit of a ‘yeah whatever’ guy when it comes to clothes, but he got a taste for custom made once he was in a suit designed for him. A Hand Tailored Suit also made the shirt, pocket handkerchief and cravat. They made the ties for the groomsmen as well; including a second set for use in our Irish wedding one week later.

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Tiernan’s too cool lion’s head cufflinks were made by SkeltonsTreasures. Unfortunately the lion came apart before he even got to the ceremony, but a quick thinking groomsman swapped it for one of his own owl head ones.

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Our wedding ceremony was held in Palazzo Cavalli, a 16th Century Venetian Palace with 18th Century interiors, that doubles as a government building. We travelled to Venice as a party of fourteen and the ceremony room is a perfect fit for a small group like that. Also, it had a really neat balcony overlooking the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge that can be used for photos.

Oh, and Mum! I found out about the painting in the background. It’s called ‘The Golden Wedding’ and dates to 1909. Very on-theme. Or ‘Spirit of Place’ as we say at work…

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We now live in Northern Ireland but were organising this day from New Zealand and the Philippines as well. With so much to do, it was absolutely essentially to have a wedding planner. Gemma Spagnol from Italy2Wed facilitated our wedding in Venice.

If I have to recommend one local service in Italy, Gemma is it. She was so professional and absolutely efficient. Everything was organised before we even thought of it. Gemma is totally discreet, she sorted out all our needs behind the scenes. My hair and makeup, trials for both, the paperwork, the wedding dinner and all the flowers were arranged locally by Gemma, I just gave her an idea of what I wanted by email before hand.

I had already decided on a photographer and videographer before I engaged Gemma otherwise I would have taken her recommendations there as well. It is so relaxing to just show up and know everything  is all taken care of! Thank you so much Gemma!

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Our photographer was Eigirdas Scinskas of White Fashion Photography. If you like an editorial, high fashion style, he has an excellent portfolio of work and plenty of experience photographing brides across Europe. For me, it was my first time having photos taken that weren’t a seated family portrait so the whole experience was very intense.

We took a gondola ride from Rialto to St Mark’s Square to take photos. Although the peak season was coming to an end there were still plenty of people around. When you’re walking around Venice in a wedding dress people notice. Look at the bridge in the back of this one!

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It took a while to warm up, but during our gondola ride Tiernan and I decided to just mess around and have a bit of a laugh. Hopefully that came through in the photos! Being followed around Venice by three people and two lenses was so bizarre! Tiernan and I do a bit of vlogging, but this was another level entirely. I have a new found respect for legitimately famous people, because it can’t be possible to get used to that.

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After a couple of hours we decided we had taken enough pictures and the photographer, videographer and we parted ways. Not long to go until March when videographer Claudio Sichel of Whites Film will have our wedding video ready to share. Claudio was another pleasure to work with. There was no drama, just a quietly confident style that I really liked. After looking at the trailers of other weddings he has done I am sure the result will be brilliant.

And then it was over. Two months have passed, in fact! I’m on the sofa in our Belfast house wearing leopard print pj’s (a print I have never had on my body before), eating chocolate and drinking coffee. I’ve fallen off the wagon so badly it’s halfway back up the lane.

Oh well.

Rachel x

Dress: Rosella by SALLY EAGLE (supplied by PRIMROSE & FINCH), VEIL & HAIRVINE: TWIGS & HONEY, SuiT: A HAND TAILORED SUIT, cufflinks: SKELTONSTREAURES, INVITaTIONS: OAK & ORCHID, Planner: Gemma Spagnol of ITALY2WED (arranged flowers, hair & Makeup), Photography: WHITE FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, videography: WHITESFILM, Reception dinner: TAVERN AL REMER

Making our Pre-Wedding Magnums! [Vlog Part Three]

Venice continues! We found the Make Your Own Magnum shop very early on in the trip and finally went back on Day Four to try it! I really over did it on the chocolate there. A chocolate magnum and a thick hot chocolate was really over stretching even my sugar addiction!

The next day was the one we’d all been waiting for – our wedding day. Tiernan seemed to have a lot of time on his hands because he documented the lads getting ready and drinking beer quite closely! Hmm… perhaps I should have  given him more chores?


R x

Day Tripping to Murano [Vlog Part Two]

We were lucky to be able to spend such a long time in Venice this time around. I even got to go to Murano, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, to see a glass blowing show. Tiernan was able to film inside the showroom and it was amazing to see such beautiful things made out of molten sand. The man made it look so easy.

As well as that there were all the meals, the nights spent in one of the apartments watching the sun set, and all the nonsense conversations we had with friends over beers.

A Perfect Holiday

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How do you write about a perfect holiday? Even if you don’t care about how obnoxious it is to rub your travels all over people’s computer screens, it’s difficult. But that’s what Venice was for us. A perfect holiday.

As our plane landed, we could see the city rising up out of the lagoon,  and I remembered what it was like landing there with Tiernan on our first holiday together – almost 3 years ago.

Returning for our wedding, we rented four apartments in La Serenissima, the Queen of the Adriatic, the Bride of the Sea (the last I only just found out is nickname for Venice after researching for this post).

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One Grand Canal-side penthouse and an additional block of three apartments just off the canal were facilitated by Truly Venice Apartments. Their agents met us off our water taxi at Rialto Bridge, but I’ll talk more about them in a wedding blog later. I don’t know why we’ve never rented on holidays before, because it was so, so easy!

And check out that canal view!

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I defy anyone who says Venice is over-rated. It is one of the world’s true paradises, and one of the few man-made places I can give the word to.

What I loved about staying in the historic city was how the crowds people complain so much about just melt away in the early mornings and evenings. Wandering off along minor canals, away from the tourist traps, Venice seemed empty.

There were 14 of us on the trip. We had no major plans and everyone could explore Venice as they wished. For our part, Tiernan and I walked every, single day during the five day stay and found some of the most beautiful spaces.


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Not to mention all the gelato, pizza and carbonara we managed to consume in that time!

One day my family decided to cook in (which made sense since we had three kitchens in our building). A notion arose that it would be nice to have some gelato for dessert, so Tiernan, Jack, my friend Brigette, and I walked to the nearest gelateria and bought a litre tub! We ordered a scoop of almost every flavour and it was divine.


Time seemed to pass slowly until the day before we left: our wedding day. Tiernan and I got married on November 5, 2015 at the Comune di Venezia, Venice’s 18th Century palace of a city hall.

The day bolted passed in a ray of sunshine and I’m hanging out for the photos and videos, just to prove it really did happen. Before we knew it, we were saying goodbye to the city as our extended family group went its separate ways across Europe.

Tiernan and I nursed our food babies all the way to Paris for a long weekend honeymoon.

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