Destination Wedding Videography

I swares to you that this is the last of the wedding stuff. If you do not follow my social media (which you totally should do. I mean, come on, sort that out) then you may not know we have received our official wedding video.

This was totally worth the 5 month wait and captures the day better than anything Tiernan and I could have done on our own.

The videographer, Claudio Sichel of Whites Film, did an amazing job. He spent time with Tiernan in the morning before coming to me during the makeup session. From there he captured the whole day in some extraordinary pans.

Ireland by Liza Anne, an American musician, is the score for this trailer. The lyrics say everything we couldn’t put into words on our own about Ireland and about moving here as an Irish/Kiwi couple!

When I grow old, I want folks to come around and sing me songs of youth 
Remind me of the time that I moved to Ireland, just to be with you

A videographer was a last minute decision for us. I thought we would be fine with simply a traditional photographer. I love photos and put a lot of effort into making sure that we would be left with a portfolio to really enjoy.

As the wedding drew nearer I really started to appreciate vlogging (not that I do it as often as I would like) and decided to have a quick search for someone who could film the day and not make it too cheesy or smoochy.

Claudio came up as a local videographer with a lot of experience in Venice. His website and huge variety of publicly viewable trailers convinced me that he would be amazing to work with. We booked him and he definitely exceeded expectations! His following is not half a large as he deserves and I thoroughly recommend him to anyone considering a destination wedding in Northern Italy.


An Irish Wedding Reception at Killashee Hotel

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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!

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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!

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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…

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.


Our Wedding in the Irish Times

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Over the weekend, the Irish Times featured our wedding in their life & style section. Tiernan bought me a hard copy of the paper for a Valentine’s Day gift. The first time I have had a proper paper newspaper for years! Check out the link below to read the article which includes a few of our wedding pictures that were not included in my overshare post a few weeks back.

Rachel Farndon and Tiernan Ennis Rachel, from New Zealand, and Tiernan, from Killiney, met in Killarney in 2012 where they both worked for Paddywagon Tours. After dating for three months, Rachel asked Tiernan if he would join her in the southern hemisphere.

Read more!

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

Worse for Wear in Paris

paris sunriseIf you woke up to this view, I’d say you’d be pretty happy no matter what. With a 24 hour stomach virus I had no choice but to enjoy this bedroom view all day. Oh how terrible for me, I hear you say. Thanks for the pity.

Yes, I was sick on our honeymoon. I know the inside of the Hyatt Regency toilets better than their housekeeping staff.

I’d planned a free day which was to be spent getting to know Paris and its highlights. Instead we did not go anywhere for 36 hours. When we were obliged to check out of the hotel we made a last ditched effort to see what we could. This meant leaving out the Egyptian exhibition at the Arab World Institute. So mad I could puke… again.

Thus I give to you Tiernan and Rachel’s Walking Tour of Paris. A 15km, 3 hour and 3 minute stroll through urban Paree. Although we only walked half of it. Once we reached Notre Dame I called time and we used the metro to make out way back to the hotel via the Eiffel Tower – which we did not ascend because HEIGHTS.


Un. L’Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées
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As much a Parisian icon as the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon ordered the construction of this huge triumphal arch in 1806. The Arc de Triomphe was not completed until 1836, well after the emperor had died. It stands at the top of the beautiful shopping boulevard, the Champs-Élysées, at the centre of one of the world’s most intimidating round-a-bouts.

Deux: Musée du Louvrelouvre museum paris glass pyramid

Walking down the Champs-Élysées will take you passed so many of Paris’ beautiful attractions. For us, this was the longest stretch of the walk because we had to stop for me about a dozen times. We could have spent a lot longer in the Tuileries Garden or looking at the Luxor Obelisk, but I just wasn’t up to it.

I also was not up to queuing at the Louvre! Even in November there was already a long line by the time we got to the museum. Not that we planned to go in, both Tiernan and I have been before. Maybe if I go to Paris again I will be able to do a Louvre blog – it really does need one all to itself. This time we skipped seeing the tiny Mona Lisa from three bodies deep.

That said, I’m in favour of the glass pyramids, are you?
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Trois: Notre Dame de Parisriver seine paris

For  a full month before going to Paris I was listening to my Disney mix on Spotify. This included plenty of score from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We didn’t see Quasi, but we got to this turning point in our tour just in time to hear the 1pm bells – THE BELLS ESMERELDA!

A block down the road is the Irish Pub, literally Galway, where we sat on sticky leather seats and drank some of the most expensive pints we have ever had.

Leaving here, our walking tour turned into more of a public transport tour. We hopped on the metro and went all of two stops to the Eiffel Tower.

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Quatre: Eiffel Towereiffel tower paris

Here it is. Up close and personal. Paris in iron. We’d watched it twinkling from our hotel room two nights in a row and, fortunately, the fog had lifted by the time we ascended from the metro.

It was not the most popular monument in Paris when it was erected, but where would we be without it today?

Tiernan and I finished our whirlwind catch up by sitting briefly on a bench in the tower’s shadow. Sitting here is probably where I felt the most clarity in a while. The rubbish. The begging. The hustling. Yet there were hundreds of people who felt the need to be here. To see the tower in person. To take that selfie that is proof they’d been to Paris and seen it.

Paris, 3 hours is not enough to know you.