Today’s real wedding is the kind of big day many couples would love to have.
(Before they get caught up in big guestlists, special requests, and following traditions!)
Barry and Bairbre were married in the small town of Borris, County Carlow Ireland.
Their sweet family wedding was filled with romantic hues, cute kids and special moments.
All captured by the wonderful Sona of Inspired by Love Photography, Bairbre and Barry’s day kicked off with a gaggle of flower girls and page boys getting ready with the bride, then on to a joyous church ceremony.
With a stop for ice-cream outside (such a great idea!), there was a short stroll to the pub before heading to the reception venue. (Where the bride and groom were still up singing at six in the morning!)
Relaxed, casual, intimate and oh-so-pretty, it’s so nice to feature a wedding day that not all about staying on schedule and simply about having the best day ever. Don’t you think?
As our wedding was a June wedding in a small country village, we just wanted to go with soft, romantic, sweet colours. We didn’t want anything too fancy or fussy.
I’ve always loved soft pinks and ivory so they were an obvious choice for me.
Our brilliant graphic designer came up with the lovely birds for our invitations, so we incorporated them into the reception decor.
We wanted our day to be a celebratory, fun day with our family and friends.
For the bridal bouquet, we had a hand-tied garden posy of ivory peonies, pink spray roses, ivory lisianthus and green ruscus trails.
The bridesmaids had a mixed romantic bouquet of soft pink spray roses, ivory stock and hydrangea with accent of trailing green lisianthus buds.
And for the flowergirls, a mini ivory posy of stock and flower ‘halos’ made with white astrantia with neat bows of cream lace ribbon to tie.
The groom and groomsmen’s buttonholes were lisianthus, ivory and pink buttonholes with rosemary sprig finish.
And for the ceremony flowers we had a unity candle arrangement in ivory and greens using ivory stock, lisianthus, and roses and handtied bouquets of ivory stock for church pews.
For our centerpieces, we chose birdcages with quirky keys, caging lush posies of hydrangea, dusky pink & lilac roses, a hint of astrantia, silvery foliage and moss trailing , pendulous amaranthus with tendrils of jasmine and ivy.
I loved all the preparations in the morning, it felt so surreal to be getting ready for my wedding. I just loved hanging out with my family and best friends.
It’s probably such a cliché but walking down the aisle with my dad to meet my future husband was (so far) the most magical moment of my life. I was just beaming and felt so blessed and loved to be surrounded by all the people that are special to me and about to marry the man of my dreams.
We both loved the ceremony and saying our vows.
We also loved being able to walk from the church to the village pub. I think that was the groom’s favourite part, it added to the casual relaxed atmosphere that we wanted our guests to enjoy.
Later, the band and DJ really got everyone dancing and then the singsong went on till 6am.
I was still beaming!
We had two processional songs as our bridal party was so big!
Tabhair dom do Lámh (Irish for Give me your Hand) for the children and then followed by a version of I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles from the film Across the Universe.
Recessional was the grooms choice; Story Book Love from The Princess Bride.
And our First Dance was True Love Ways by Buddy Holly.
We walked from the church to the local pub followed by our guests.
After a few pints of Guinness there we walked to the hotel for our drinks reception with canapés.
We had a formal sit down meal with a starter of salad of confit duck leg, white bean & apricot. Soup course was a parsnip & apple soup. Our main course was a choice of either fillet of Hereford beef, pomme fondant, sauce Béarnaise or pan-seared fillet of roast hake, ratatouille of fine vegetables, sauce rouille followed by passion fruit cheesecake, fresh raspberries, mango sorbet with tea and coffee for dessert.
Food was important to use and The Step House Hotel really is a foodie’s paradise. They looked after us so well.
I wore the first dress I tried on, my Stephanie Allin, Olivia dress which I just adored wearing.
I loved the simplicity of the front and then the detail in the back of the dress. I wore my hair down as I wanted to look and feel like myself, albeit a spruced up version.
I felt amazing in my dress and it was so comfortable so I was able to completely relax in it and dance the night away which was very important to me!
My bridal party also wore the first dresses they tried on, Lela Rose, Dessy dresses. I loved the soft pink and then the contrasting ivory bodice. They were just so romantic and the girls looked beautiful in them.
I really wanted to be able to enjoy every moment of our wedding day and not spend hours away from our guests taking posed wedding photos but yet I wanted to have beautiful images that would capture the day, with Sona I felt like I got the best of both worlds.
As soon as I saw her website I knew I wanted her to be our photographer.
Her photos have a gorgeous freshness about them. Everyone in them looks so happy and natural which is what I wanted. She also captured quirky little moments that have turned out to be some of my favourite pictures.
We had a mix of birdcages or candelabras on each table. We also had some jam jars wrapped in lace and individually decorated as tealight holders.
As I work in education in a prison, we thought it would be a bit of an icebreaker at the tables to name the tables after famous prisons.
Advice for Other Couples
Just do what makes you happy and what feels right. You will have so many people give you advice and opinions, sometimes very useful, but ultimately it’s your day. Pick vendors you really trust and take their advice, as they are the experts. On the day you really want to be able to switch off from organising mode and just enjoy every moment.
When it comes to budget, prioritise what’s really important to you and then cut back on the things that aren’t as important (We didn’t bother hiring wedding cars, we borrowed a nice car from a relative and then loved being able to stroll through the village to the reception)
I used a lot of wedding forums which were invaluable for me in getting local knowledge and also loved wedding sites like One Fab Day.
I researched everything online which saved a lot of time and energy. I also started picking up little things like tealight holders, bathroom baskets etc about five months before so gradually began to collect things and I used sites like Etsy for picking up little things like a birdcage stamp and bird themed name places.
Doesn’t it look like just the sweetest day?
Thanks so much to Bairbre and Barry for sharing their beautiful wedding day with us.Photographer: Sona of Inspired by Love / Bride’s Dress: Olivia Dress, Stephanie Allin / Bride’s Shoes: Carmen, Rachel Simpsons / Groom’s Attire: Zenga / Reception Venue: The Step House Hotel / Flowers & Decor: Buds & Berries / Birdcages and Flower Crowns: Wild / Invitations & Stationery: Dearbhla Ryan / Ice-Cream: Butler's Ice-Cream / Makeup Artist: Kate Rose Crean / Hairstylist: The Powder Room Girls