There is so much emphasis put on the engagement ring when you are getting married...
Monday lovely Monday! I hope you have all had a good weekend? What did you get up to? Mine was been pretty quiet, but I managed to catch up on some work and get ahead of myself as I am going to be out of the office quite a bit this week. To ease you into the week I have this gorgeous wedding from Ireland. The bride is Irish but her husband is from Australia, where she now lives. They decided to get married in Ireland so she could be with her family, and what a beautiful day it was. I love this wedding as there are so many portrait shots, the couple really embraced the camera and have some beautiful shots to treasure taken by Brideen.
Clare and Damian were married on 4th April at Long Tower Chapel, Derry followed by reception at the An Grianan Hotel, Burt, Ireland. ‘The chapel has been one that I had attended as a child and where many family members have also got married, including my parents thirty years prior. As we live in Australia, we had to rely on friends and family recommendations and the An Grianan was a front runner from the beginning. The setting is beautiful, we had 115 guests. We got engaged in 2008 and were in no rush to set a date and start planning as I had only immigrated to Australia that year. The date was decided 2 years in advance yet a lot of the planning and decisions were made by a fantastic wedding planner-my mother! Planning a wedding from overseas was daunting to think of yet looking back, I feel that we were so relaxed and enjoyed every second of the lead up to the Big Day, as we didn’t have the luxury of perusing locations and menu tasting. It also meant that our families were more involved which was really special
How they met
I met Damo 8 years ago in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia when I was backpacking for a year with one of my best friends. Ironically, that friend also met her now husband (also an Aussie) who worked with Damo and they got married in May 2012 in Derry. We both had a mutual friend that we met through and what we both thought started out as a ‘holiday romance’ progressed into Damo moving to Ireland for 2 years with me and subsequently my emigration to Australia.
Damo proposed whilst we were on holiday for his sister’s wedding in Koh Samui, Thailand. The actually proposal was at a cliff top restaurant on the island and quite funny at the time as I had been talking about friends of ours that recently had gotten engaged, not knowing that Damo planned to propose that night. I actually had a few choice words when he got down on one knee as I though he was joking and trying to embarrass me! Needless to say, when I realised he was being serious, I said yes!
Why did you choose your photographer?
Again, relying on advice from friends and family, my bridesmaid (also planning her own wedding) recommended Brideen as she had a photographer included in her reception package. Once we looked at Brideen’s blog and saw the quality and candid style of her shots, we were blown away and knew straight away we needed to book her.
My dress was by Anoushka G of London called Katrina and shoes by Alan Pinkus in Melbourne
Suits were hired from Tomorrows in Derry and bridesmaid dresses were ordered from bridesmaid.com in Manhattan.
Theme or colour scheme
I found difficulty in picking a colour scheme as I knew I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be from a neutral palette with the resulting colour of their dresses being ‘Palomino’. However, this resulted in the freedom of colour in others area such as my powder blue and pink wedding cake by Rubyteacakes and my bouquet of simple blue hydrangeas.
We tried to keep the decoration at a minimal as we felt that we wanted the venue and its surroundings to speak for themselves.
Personal / DIY touches
I am lucky to have a talented family with my brother making our Australian football themed table plans and table numbers and my mother kindly making our order of service booklets for the ceremony.
The wedding breakfast was a sit down 4 courses with a salad and soup entree, choice of beef or turkey for main and a trio of desserts.
We were lucky to book the James Peake Experience band. We had heard fantastic reviews and the manager noted our difficulty in making decisions from Australia, so sent us a CD with the a selection of the band’s work which was fantastic.. We then had a DJ for 3 hours after the band played with myself and the groom, dancing Gangham style on the stage!
Both my bouquet and the bridesmaids were hydrangeas. Both sets of my grandparents are now deceased and I wanted to have some little reminders of them on the day. The hydrangeas were a childhood reminder of my granny’s garden.
The first special moment for me was at my family home that morning getting ready. At one point I had 29 friends, neighbours and family members in the house having cups of tea or champagne and enjoying ‘the craic’. I made a point to myself to take a wee moment at certain points of the day and this was one where I was able to soak up the feeling of happiness surrounded by my loved ones. The second one that stands out is after the ceremony. Myself and Damo had decided to get photos taken without the bridal party. Driving up to An Grianan fort and drinking apple vodka out of my new husband’s hip flask is a happy memory!
Hands down, without a doubt, the biggest surprise of the day was a ‘Marry-oke’ video that my family and friends had made for us! The award winning performance was to Lou Reeds’ ‘Perfect Day’ and my very talented brother, produced and directed it all. It has now been loaded on to YouTube and proves to be a great remedy for any homesickness I sometimes face now in Australia as it reduces me to tears of laughter!
I think for any bride my main tip is once you see something that you like: whether it is your dress, shoes or even flowers, be confident in your decision and don’t feel the need to keep looking! I feel having to plan from so far away was a saving grace for us in these scenarios!
On the lead up, and on the day itself, remember to enjoy ALL of it! As I was home from Australia for the wedding for only 3 weeks, I made a point of enjoying each day and whoever I was spending time with. I think this type of focus, made me so much more relaxed on the day of the wedding and so much more relaxed to enjoy it all!