Over the past few years I’ve realised that most brides find they learn more from past brides who’ve already experienced planning their wedding.
So, I’m dedicating a section on my blog to ‘Planning your Wedding – Inspired by real Brides Experiences”. Here I will feature as many of the weddings I’ve done and brides I’ve met as possible. It’s a questions and answers style blog post with lots of lovely inspirational images too!
My second post in this series is the wedding of James and Lorraine in Tullamore, Co Offaly. I first met Lorraine when she came to me for her wedding trial – I quickly learned that she lives and breathes traditional Irish music. That evening she was heading off to a very special Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann celebration and no better girl to put the make up to the test! (I also learned that Lorraine is a girl who know exactly how to live life and how to enjoy it!)
I enjoyed every minute of my time spent with Lorraine, her family and friends – such a welcoming home, no shortage of offers of tea and breakfast! And those girls had the best fun on the morning of the wedding – with their infectious giggles coming from the bedroom and hallway all morning.
The wedding itself was of course a very special day for Lorraine and James but also a great celebration of exceptional talent and superb traditional music (a little birdie told me the celebrations lasted a full weekend!)
I know you will enjoy Lorraine’s story!
How did you meet James?
I met James through a local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann 17 years ago. We were always great friends and the power of love and music brought us together.
Tell us a little bit about the engagement ….
We were officially going out for two years, it was great as we were such good friends for so long. The engagement was a complete surprise as James’ original plan was to head up the Slieve Bloom mountains, as we go up there quiet a lot with our dogs but it was so wet and windy James had to turn to plan B 🙂 It was my birthday and we had organised to go out for dinner with friends so as I was getting ready he was setting up the sitting room with candles and romantic gestures. I went down and he presented me with a poem that he wrote himself. As I finished the poem and in floods of tears, the end of the poem said “Therefore when you open your birthday card, be sure to look at the front of the card first” When I opened the birthday card, it said “Happy Birthday To My Wife To Be” that’s when he got down on one knee and proposed. I was a mess with tears of joy. It’s one birthday I will never forget. All the effort I went to getting ready for our dinner and night out was all reversed with loads of tears everywhere, my dress, makeup etc. It was well worth it!
How did you choose your engagement ring?
I didn’t. James knew I wasn’t a jewellery person so he went for something simple and nothing too bling. It was perfect, A lovely 18ct white gold ring, with some dainty diamonds on it.
Did you choose your wedding ring at the same time and tell us a little bit about choosing that?
We were so happy with our wedding rings. Michael Horan in Balinagar, Co. Offaly made them from scratch for us. Again I wanted something simple that fitted perfectly with my engagement ring.
What about your partners ring – how did he choose that and what styles did he like?
James parents are deceased so he decided to get his mothers ring melted to make his wedding ring. It was silver with his mothers ring as a strip in the middle of the main ring. It was lovely and also perfect!
Tell us a little bit about your experience choosing the church or if you decided on a civil ceremony, humanist etc tell us a little about that?
We got married in Ferbane church, it was perfect because we had high such numbers so the church was an ideal size to cater for 325 people. Our priest Fr Tom Cox was so accommodating and guided us through every step of the ceremony. We are both musicians so we were keen to have a lot of music at the church. There was no problem what so ever with anything we wanted. Fr. Tom couldn’t have been any more helpful. He really made us feel relaxed and allowed us to make the best of our wedding day.
Did the ‘theme’ of your wedding influence the venue you chose?
Yes in a way. We wanted a vintage theme and I knew the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore had a lovely setting, a great package and they also produced a fantastic vintage reception. We wanted a vintage music theme. Pinterest was great as they had loads of ideas. Our menu was traditional nothing too exotic 🙂
The Bridge House were great, anything we wanted they provided. We had very little styling to do except for a few personal bits such as centre pieces for the tables, memory boards, flowers from the church to be brought in.
We want all the details on your dress, from shopping to choosing to purchasing to alterations?
Well….. I wanted to be different and I had tea length in mind. Belladonna, Galway was my second bridal shop to try. It was the second dress that I tried on. I loved it but didn’t want to rush the decision. I brought my sister and Mam. We went away for a few hours and came back, when I tried it on the second time, I was 100% sure that was the dress for me. A local woman I’ve known for years done my alterations. Linda McLoughlin, she is excellent and most of all I trusted her 100% with my dress.
Tell us about your shoes….
I was searching online for vintage shoes and a designer popped up, Rachel Simpson. I fell in love with her shoes. I didn’t go for white or ivory, I chose vintage green and gold peep toe.
They were so comfortable that I wore them all day and night and the next day 🙂
How did you choose the jewellery you wore on the day?
Again as I mentioned earlier, I am not a jewellery person so I kept it simple. Linda O’Brien Tullamore, so helpful and she made me a lovely bracelet as well.
How did you choose the fragrance you wore on the day?
I was very laid back and just wore the old reliable. Armani 🙂
Lets not forget the boys! How did they choose what they wore on the day?
James bought his wedding suit (Sky Blue, Hermit) which was slightly different to the groomsmen (French Blue), Galvin’s Tullamore are very professional and they helped in any way they could.
Tell us about your hairdresser …..
Studio One in Tullamore is my regular hairdresser. Valerie Foran styled my hair, she is excellent and listened to all my ideas. I did not want a very severe up style look as I was set on an loose up style keeping with the vintage theme. Pinterest gave me lots of ideas to choose from.
Any tips for brides regarding choosing hairstyles?
My advice would be choose something comfortable and something that will last the day and night, keeping your hair up is the way to go I think.
Tell us about your photographer….
Our photographer and videographer were so professional (Events Captured) and they were personal friends so they knew all our friends and family (Christine O Gorman our photographer and Sean O Grady, our videographer ).Very discreet on the day and captured every important moment.
What was important to you when choosing your bridal makeup artist?
The most important thing for me was keeping it natural, Aileen was highly recommended for providing that flawless natural look for my wedding day.
I decided to get my trial done before a night out. As I have rosacea, It was very important that the products agreed with my skin. Aileen was so careful using products, she had a great variety for all skin types. Aileen knew exactly what to use on my skin. I was so happy it lasted all night without any touch up.
We’d love to hear about your flowers and what you decided upon and also who did your flowers?
Josephine’s flowers, Monasterevin, a great character with loads of knowledge. I had my own ideas and Josephine added to them, there was a lot of baby breath, memory lane and colour. The church was fab.
How did you choose your bridesmaids and tell us about their dresses?
My five bridesmaids were from all aspects of my life: play school, music and travels. I had my only sister as chief bridesmaid. The dresses were from Dessy, I checked out suppliers in Ireland and I was lucky enough to find Amarra Bridal, Newbridge. The colour and style suited every shape and size, they were so fresh and perfect for a summer wedding.
Anything special that you’d like to share about your bridesmaids?
My best friend since playschool, Orla designed all the wedding invitations and the girls earrings, she is so talented and creative.
My sister Aisling, went above and beyond to make our day very special we are very grateful to her.
Anything else that made your day special and memorable?
Nearly half our guests were musicians so as we cut the cake they preformed a flash mob of music, what a surprise! It was electric!
So many great aspects of the day we were blessed with, the weather friends and family.
Tell us about your honeymoon…..
We travelled to Mauritius and Dubai. It was so magical. We went for an all inclusive in Mauritius and it was worth every penny. It was amazing. We booked it through Mc Dermott’s Travel, Mullingar. They were great.
How did you feel after the wedding day and honeymoon?
We were still on holidays so we had some time to sit back and say WOW. We were so happy everything went so well and we could not have asked for anything better.
YOUR top tips for brides who are currently planning their wedding
- Don’t Panic
- Do not get caught up with little things.
- Enjoy your day, whats done is done, just relax and soak it all in.
- Take time out it, can get a little overwhelming.
- Bring water for the church and don’t forget to eat.
- It’s not possible to worry about every guest they are enjoying themselves !!!
I have a passion for Irish and local designers please tell us about any you came across?
- Linda O’Brien, fab jewellery
- Michael Horan made our wedding rings so gifted.
Anything else that made your day extra special that you’d like to add?
Simon Casey was our wedding band. What a professional he is. His band are very professional, top class entertainment, excellent with crowds of all sorts. Our crowd were still talking about it a month later. A top class man with a great band and will please all demands.
- Rings Micheal Horan
- Venue Bridge House, Tullamore
- Bride’s Dress Belladonna, Galway
- Bride’s Shoes Rachel Simpson
- Brides Jewellery Linda O Brien
- Boys Suits Galvin for Men
- Mum’s Outfit Sinead’s Boutique
- Hair Studio One (Valerie)
- Photographer Christine O Gorman
- Videographer Sean O Grady
- Flowers Josephine’s flowers
- Cake Leah McEvoy
- Cake Topper
- Bridesmaids dresses Amarra Bridal, Newbridge. (Dessy)
- Car/Bus Lawler Chauffeur Service
- Band Simon Casey
- Honeymoon McDermotts Travel, Mullingar
- Alterations Linda Mc Loughlin
Browse this gallery for more pics …