Frances and Damian were married a week or so after New Year’s, so their wedding has a lovely cold and crisp feel to it, with warmth provided by a few pops of bright colour, tactile textures and fabrics, and soft but modern styled lighting – I’m talking about that awesome bull’s head lamp!
From the Bride
We met through work when I, fed up in my job, decided to get some journalism experience with a view to changing my career path. I applied to the editor of every local paper within a 30 mile radius looking for work experience. Damian, short staffed and stressed, was the only person who took me up on the offer!
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 January 9 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. So when you know what you want, it is totally doable, and time isn’t necessarily a huge factor. Plus never be afraid to ask family and friends for assistance.
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 because of 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 flower girls.
Our theme was vintage and DIY, I guess. 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-cups. The cups were sourced at car boot sales and charity shops. The blue floral Cath Kidston-esque table cloth for the dessert table was picked up at the last minute in Virginia.
We weren’t fussed on having 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 homemade treats.
For my dress, 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’.
Our stationery was a vague idea about a Penguin classic book cover, cleverly translated by Damian’s friend into an invitation.
We walked down the aisle to Winter Song, by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, and our first dance was to Into the Mystic, by Van Morrison.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.
Advice for brides- and grooms-to-be? My advice is to decide what you like, and more importantly what you don’t, and leave out anything you don’t care for – 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.
Also 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!
As for advice for married life, nothing so far, but ask me again in 30 years!
Photography – Sheila Marie Rooney Photography
Venue – Rathfeigh Church for the ceremony and Bellinter House for the reception
Bride – Original 1940s vintage dress from Bella Bleu; ASOS shoes; fur stole was a generous gift from the bride’s vintage store owning sister-in-law; headpiece was from The Goddess Room
Groom – Suit from Baumler; shoes from Fitzpatricks Shoes
Flower girls – Monsoon
Band – The Pavement Kings