This is the first post of a little mini wedding series. This one documents our list of suppliers as I have received lots of questions and I am aware that brides to be are under time pressures.
First things first, we had the most incredible day. It was genuinely the best day of my life so far. It exceeded all of our expectations. The day ran so smoothly and it was incredible to have all of the people we love in one room. A massive thank you to our guests and wedding party as it was each one of you that made the day so special. We are still so overwhelmed by the abundance of love and the outpouring of gifts we received. My four bridesmaids were incredible to me and the fun we had the morning of the wedding is a memory I will cherish forever. I feel so lucky to have had them by my side.
My mother walked me down the aisle, which is something I have dreamed of since I was a little girl but nothing could have prepared me for how wonderful it actually felt. Her presence on the day and in my life in general is the biggest gift I could ever ask for. I didn’t take for granted how incredibly special it was to have her with me on our wedding day.
To any couples getting married I am so excited for you. It is genuinely the most incredible day and you have such an adventure ahead of you. Soak up every moment of it. I hope the list of suppliers and info on each assists in your decision making process.
Our day ran so well because of the professionals we hired some of whom have since become friends because they were just so lovely. I can’t explain how important it is to genuinely like the people that you have chosen to be around you on your wedding day. A natural connection with the suppliers is what guided us in choosing who we did. I have written this list in order of booking to help couples in their planning. All links of vendors will be at the end of this post also.
We really struggled to choose between two venues Carton House being one of them. We decided on Carton House because of many reasons but the deciding factor for me was when we drove in our song came on the radio (Never Change Picture This) our first dance song. I am always led by my gut and this really helped me resolve any previous indecision I had . Obviously we loved the venue itself, it was on the right side of Dublin for many of our friends and family travelling from Limerick and we loved the grounds. Fionnuala Townsend was the wedding coordinator there and she made it all so easy. Her level of experience put us at ease straight away and no matter what we asked for, it was accommodated. On the day itself, the hotel staff were incredible, so supportive and anything big or small was provided so fast. They guided us through the day with such ease and warmth. They run weddings there like a well oiled machine. We had our rehearsal dinner the night before in the newly renovated Club House which was also a lovely experience. Lastly, the honeymoon suite was absolutely amazing! We spent three nights in it and it was by far the nicest place I have ever stayed, such a treat. If you want to have a little peek of the suite there is a video on my Instagram page under highlight wedding.
St Patrick’s Church:
If you plan to get married in a church it is the next thing that needs booking after the venue as they book up fast. We got married in Celbridge St Patrick’s Church. I fell in love with the stained glass window and loved the length of the aisle. The ceremony part of the day was the most special piece of the day for both of us. During the service, it feels like it is just the two of you as your back is to everyone which makes it really intimate between you and your partner. Make sure that you love the church and that it suits your guests needs; size, place for the music and singers, accessibility etc. There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed prior to getting married in a church so make sure this is done in advance. It can be nice to also meet the chaplain to build up a rapport with him or her as they are fundamental on the day to insuring it all goes to plan timing wise.
- Bentley Boys:
- The Delahunty’s:
After we ticked both the venue and church off the list we got straight onto planning the band. Bands book up years in advance so I would really recommend prioritizing this once you have a date set. We had a few in mind. The Bentley Boys were holding a show case in the Ballsbridge Hotel and we went to see them. With the Bentley Boys you get to choose from a range of singers and what specific instruments you want. We were blown away by one of their singers Michael and because of his availability we actually changed the date of our wedding from Saturday the 3rd of Aug to Friday the 2nd. We highly recommend the Bentley Boys, they were so accommodating and had everyone on the dance floor from the get go. They also offer a DJ service for when the band finishes up which was really helpful and insured a smooth transition with no interruptions to the dancing.
At the church and venue we had the amazing Niamh Delahunty and her very talented brother Richie Delahunty conduct the music during the ceremony. Niamh is one of my best friends and for as long as I have known her I wanted her to sing at our wedding. Her voice is out of this world. Her brother Richie is incredibly talented and has already achieved so much in the music industry, we are all so proud of him. It was beyond special to have them sing at our wedding.
Hilariously, we picked Paul Kelly from the internet and only realised upon meeting him that he is our neighbor. Paul and his assistant photographer Joe were one of the highlights of the day. They brought so much fun to the day and were a dream to work with. Ian really doesn’t like posed pictures and they both made us feel at such ease. At one stage, Joe was helping my bridesmaids look for my tennis bracelet I wanted to wear that we couldn’t find right before we were leaving Carton House. We received our photos within three weeks and to say we are delighted with them is an understatement. We couldn’t believe that we got them back so fast. We also got a little teaser video of the photos a week after the wedding which was very exciting and emotional. They caught such special moments that are really natural (below is one of my favourites, I think I just realised I was actually getting married) . On our first meeting, Paul presented me with a chocolate shoe which was such a lovely touch and was just the start of the bond that grew over the coming weeks. He is one of a kind and I couldn’t recommend him enough.
Hair and Makeup
- Sarah Keary Makeup:
- Katrina Kelly Hair:
Again hair and makeup is important to book early as they also tend to be reserved years in advance. There were a number of make up artists I considered but I picked Sarah Keary and she didn’t disappoint. Sarah is such a talented makeup artist. I knew her sister Sinead in College who I imagine a lot of you already follow her as she is such a little fashionista and has her own personal shopping business. Sarah was so professional and quick which I really liked because I hate when makeup takes forever. She really understood that I wanted a natural look and achieved exactly what I asked for. Sarah is an absolute pro and the girls loved their makeup. It also lasted all day, I remember my aunt saying to me in the bathroom at 2 am that my makeup still looked fresh.
Hair was put in the trustee hands of the amazing Katrina Kelly who was also an absolute highlight of the day. From the minute I met her at my hair trial we clicked. I genuinely came home raving about how excited I was to have her with me on the morning of the wedding. She is so warm and caring. Katrina’s expert skill in hair is just the icing on the cake of what an amazing person she actually is. Her co-worker Sean was also so lovely and great fun. I loved my hair and despite the wind it lasted all day. I really wanted to wear it down and she did an amazing job of still making it look dressy. The girls loved their hair also and my mammy couldn’t believe that her hair piece didn’t budge all day long. Katrina filled the room with her lovely positive energy, made tea for us all, helped me get into my dress and stayed with us until the last minute to insure that I was happy getting into the car. She went above and beyond and is an expert in her field but her lovely bubbly personality is the real gift you will benefit most from should you choose her.
We were unsure if we wanted to get a videographer but my chief Bridesmaid Aoife convinced me that it is really worth it. After seeing her wedding video, I knew then how valuable it is to have one. It might sound a bit morbid but having video footage of people in the years to come when they are no longer around is so lovely. We choose Mario Vaitkus who is a cinematic wedding videographer. He was also so lovely and gelled with everyone. We really wanted drone footage which he provided so we choose him based on that also. We have yet to receive the video of our wedding given it was only six weeks ago, but our experience of him on the day was very positive.
I can’t even explain how nervous I was about wedding dress shopping. I find it difficult to get a dress for friend’s weddings because I am so fussy so the thought of buying a wedding dress completely overwhelmed me. For this reason, I went wedding dress shopping on my own first, to get a sense of what style suited me. This is not for everyone, but it was right for me. I really enjoyed going on my own and felt so supported by the staff. Once I found the style I liked I brought my girlies along with me and we had such a lovely day together. We went to four bridal shops and had champagne lunch in Balfes. We were somewhat tipsy for the final shop which was hilarious. I loved two dresses and couldn’t choose between them. I knew I needed my mother to help me choose so she and I went along and looked at both dresses. When she saw the one I choose, she jumped off the chair and shouted ‘that’s the one’. It confirmed what my heart was saying. My dress was designed by Amanda Wakeley and I loved it. It is heart breaking to think that I will never wear it again. We bought it there and then and I never looked back. Mammy and I then enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the Shelbourne which just added to the lovely experience. It is all of these lovely little outings that make weddings so special. It is so important to cherish each and every one of them. Marina in Myrtle Ivory was so lovely to deal with and made the whole experience so meaningful. She was so helpful and I trusted her completely. She offered us champagne when we decided on the dress and joined in on our celebration which was so lovely. I also enjoyed bringing Ian’s mother to see the dress too. The shop has since closed down which is so sad because Marina’s years of experience was invaluable in helping in the process.
Absolutely Fabulous Celbridge:
Anyone who knows me knows that I love flowers. I buy them for the house every week and when I am lucky sometimes Ian surprises me with them. I had a very clear image of how I wanted the flowers to look. While they are an expensive addition to the overall wedding cost, they really are worth it for the day itself and the pictures. If you have a good relationship with the florist you can definitely get your dream flowers in a cost effective way by going with the flowers in season and also by picking similar but lower cost alternatives. The minute we walked into the shop, we immediately warmed to Lorcan, he has such a good sense of humor and really understood the look we were going for. On the day he had everything ready to go and did an incredible flower arch (picture above). I couldn’t recommend him enough and I think he was one of my favourite suppliers.
The Wedding Car
Ian took the lead on this and organised the wedding cars. I didn’t mind what we traveled in but I have to say it was lovely to have a nice car for the drive to the church with my mammy by my side. The chats we had in the car were very memorable and ones, I’ll always hold close to my heart. We booked the cars through AW Beckett who are based in Dundalk. The driver played the most amazing trick on me. Our wedding was at 1.00 pm and when we arrived to the church the clock in the car said 12.45 pm. I thought to myself, how am I going to wait 15 minutes! The driver then told me it was actually 1.00 pm and time to go into the church. They had the clock set that way for that purpose. I know it is only a small thing but it made such a difference to my pre-walking down the aisle nerves. Also when Ian and I traveled back to the venue they had champagne and the best part, jellies in the car. A little kick of sugar was exactly what we needed. These nice little touches were very much appreciated. We would highly recommend this car company however in saying this, it is an area you can save on if cars aren’t your thing and rope in a family member who has a nice car to bring you instead.
The cake is the one thing I wish we had made more of a saving on. It really is a very insignificant part of the day and even if you choose not to have a wedding cake very few would notice, in my opinion.
We got our cake from Emily’s Pantry. We enjoyed the cake tasting immensely. It was complete cake overload but was so much fun as we made a little date evening out of it. We got three tiers; chocolate biscuit cake, vanilla and one champagne and strawberry. Emily was really lovely and paid great attention to detail. Here is a picture of our cake.
Frog Prince :
The Carton suite was so beautiful already but we entrusted the lovely Frog Prince with helping with the interiors of the room. They are so unbelievably talented and professional. We had to be very careful to not go over budget on this part of the wedding because we wanted everything. In the end we got the backdrop for the top table, Geo stands with flower arrangements (These were my favourite part and really added to the room), other little flower arrangements for the table and drapings. Have a look on their website but I can guarantee that you will be head over heels in love with their attention to detail and tasteful eye.
My very creative and talented husband made our sweet cart and we bought the sweets for it. This sat in our kitchen for the weeks prior to the wedding so I became quite attached to it. I also had to re-purchase three bags of white mice (they are my ultimate favourite sweet) because I ate them all in the lead up to the wedding. It is a good idea to keep this in mind if you plan to do your own sweet cart. Be aware that you will struggle to stay away from picking. My chief bridesmaid gave me the last one on the day of the wedding and I was genuinely so thrilled. The sweets went down a treat and were gone so fast so definitely a favourite among guests.
So there ends the long lists of suppliers and people who helped make our day the wonderful day that it was. All the links are below. From the bottom of our hearts thank you to each of our suppliers. I really hope that you found this post helpful. If you are getting married, enjoy every minute of it. You are in for the most wonderful time of your life which is filled with love from every angle. If anyone has any specific questions about pricing etc. please message me on Instagram @carrlia and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Next up in the mini wedding series is all about wedding prep. Thank you so much for reading; I have really enjoyed writing this and reliving the day.
All photo credit to Paul Kelly Studio