We met at our work Christmas party in the Burlington in 2007!! It wasn't quite love at first sight, as if I remember correctly one of our first conversations that night was a debate over our different taste in music, for which the most part has not changed! This is something we still disagree on!! :) He tells everyone I told him I loved him after 2 weeks (which is a total exaggeration!) but I will admit that I was the first one to say it, after about 3 months! I'm very impulsive like that! But I also knew he was pretty keen on me too, because a month before I said "I love you" it was Valentines Day...and he bought me Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker perfume (which is still my fav) and wrote "LOVE Anthony" on the card...come on now....that is pretty intense. Love? After 2 months? :) I don't think I even got him a card that year! :)
I designed and made all the save the dates, invites, directions and accommodation sleeves myself. I bought all the paper from Daintree last year when they where having a closing down sale. It was a very very long process which took a massive amount of work but it saved us about 600/700 euro. Invites are expensive!! I spent 210euro,, which included paper, envelopes, labels & ribbon. I did all the other work myself, from start to finish by coming up with an original design concept (i.e. not using a predesigned template), layout, printing, address labelling and assembly! I also managed to do our wedding mass booklets out of a ream of pearlescent paper left over from our invites. Its not a task I would take lightly but it was worth it in the end.
We chose to have our dog Charlie included in our special day, he is very much a much loved and treasured family member and we could not imagine our day without including him in the celebrations. He sported a little grey tux and wore the rings on his collar! I think you can agree that he pretty much stole the show!
Anthony made me a photobook with loads of pictures of us both in it taken from over the years and a love letter handwritten inside it - cue the tears!!!! It was so romantic. He also gave me the same perfume he gave me on our first Valentines - Lovely by SJP. My bridesmaid Tracy presented it to me on the morning of the wedding. It was a beautiful moment.
Proposal? Em...well I told him we were getting married because I was pushing 30 and I didn't want to look wrinkly and old in my wedding pictures. haha! He was like, ok then. Then we went ring shopping and bought a ring!! Talk about romantic, poor fella! He officially proposed to me in the grounds of Ballymagarvey Village by the lake after we booked it, I know, I know, talk about backwards but it worked out perfectly! and I actually cried when he got down on one knee....it was just so unexpected, haha ;)But it then made Ballymagarvey that extra bit special, because that's where it all happened for us, proposal and Wedding.
The most important thing for us was that we where happy and comfortable with every aspect of it. Personally I wanted my make up and hair to be nice, as that is what gives you that confidence, especially when you are about to be centre stage for the day which can be quite daunting. Good hair, make up and a dress you love will help with those nerves. We both wanted to ensure our families where included as much as possible. We also had to make sure our furbaby Charlie was given loads of attention too, being out Ring Bearer, we think he stole the show :) And we wanted to relax and enjoy the day and not have any stress or worries.
We had a traditional Church wedding. This was more my choice, Anthony didn't mind either way. I know a lot of people are choosing Humanist Ceremony's or Civil Ceremony's nowadays but I am a traditional girl at heart, and for me the faith and meaning behind a Church wedding is really important, so it just felt like the right thing to do was to get married in the Church.
We wanted the venue to be really special and unique to us, so we decided on a country house/private estate type of venue. We found Ballymagarvey Village online. They hold open days every couple of weeks, so at the next open day myself and Anthony went to have a look. Well what can I say, it just blew us away, we fell in love with it immediately! It is hard to explain, but we both got a "This is it" moment the minute we drove up to the house. There was this warmth to the house when you first walk in which made us feel so comfortable and relaxed and it wasn't the central heating :) , although the house was extremely cosy, especially with the two open fires blazing away!! We just knew there and then that we'd found it!The staff where amazing and so welcoming and made us feel so special and this was only the open day! The grounds where stunning, the accommodation in the house was just the epitome of luxury and class. The cottages where beautifully renovated and designed. And the banquet hall, wow is all I and say! It was stunning! It stood out by miles in comparison to some of the more well known and established country house venues we had also viewed.So we booked it that same day for 2 days, 11th for the reception & also the 12th Sep so we could have a private BBQ the following day.
This is going to sound strange but our favourite part of the day was the vintage car ride from the Church to Ballymagarvey Village. It was just the two of us for 40 minutes alone, we could talk to each other and really enjoy each others company and discuss the ceremony and the guests, it was a really nice private moment.
The table names and table board which were all made by ourselves. Anthony was a big Marvel comic fan when he was younger (he still is!) and he collected hundreds of them as a kid. His comics are in mint condition as he took really good care of them, so I suggested we use them for our table names!.So we bought plain white frames from Ikea for 3 euro each and framed a different comic for each table.We then googled images of each comics we had framed and used photoshop to add the guest names to the front of the comic so they knew which table they would be on. I then printed these all out in work and designed and assembled the table board! Simple! I hand drew and cut all the lettering for the heading and we called it "SuperHero's Assemble" which is a play on words of the comic Avengers Assemble!
Our colour theme was Navy, Grey & Merlot (merlot is the pinky wine shade of bridesmaids dresses).
My gift to Anthony was an antique style pocketwatch, engraved with our names and our wedding date. I gave this to his Mam to present to him on the morning of the wedding.
Cake pops where all baked and hand made by myself 3 days before the wedding!! It took 12 hours from start to finish 130 cake pops in total. I bake as a hobby so I knew I'd enjoy this, however I tend to set myself tasks that I think " ah yeah, sure I'll do that myself " (like the invite scenario!) then once I start it I realise that its a much bigger task than I first anticipate! So I had to bake 4 red velvet sponge cakes, once they where all baked and cooled, they where crumbled up and mixed with buttercream icing and rolled into ping pong sized balls. I had to do this in batches so it took quite a while and then place them into the fridge to cool. I had never made cake pops before either so I made extra mix just in case I had any disasters so I think I actually made 150 in total! The next step was to melt the chocolate, I inserted the lolly pops into the cake balls, dipped the ball into the white chocolate and decorated with the little sprinkles. I used mugs to place the cake pops into 4 at a time face up - as you would ruin them if you put them ball size down. They then had to go back into the fridge to set! Once the 150 cake pops were all set, I then wrapped then in cellophane, ribbon and attached homemade "thank you" labels with our names and the date of our wedding, these labels had the same design as the invites/mass booklets.
Google & Pinterest where my to main "go to's" for inspiration. I Googled "how to" for everything, from Cake pops, to invites, from Dresses to pocket watches - Everything!!!
For us marriage means a new adventure & a new beginning. We are entering a new phase of our life now, which is so exciting! Hopefully we will have a family one day! I cant wait for Christmases with our kids! :) But it also means hard work and remembering your vows during difficult times. We are pretty strong so I think we'll do just fine :)
We wanted to choose a menu that reflected us and our personal tastes, but also cater for all our guests tastes. So for starters we chose a Sweet Chilli Chicken salad - it sound quite plain, but Ballymagarvey's food is anything but plain, its is just on another level. It was divine. There was also a veggie option , which was blue cheese, caramalized walnuts, red onion chutney & spinach. For the main, we actually went with Lamb for meat and Hake for fish. The lamb went down a treat with our guests. Veggie main was a Tortellini. Dessert was a chocolate and hazelnut roulade -it was to die for!!!
We decided to have the speeches after the meal.My Dad had his speech first, Anthony went second and Frankie the best man/Anthony's cousins went last. He got a standing ovation!
For our honeymoon we went to Orlando in Florida for 1 week and did all the theme parks. Then we hired a Mustang convertible and drove down to Miami and stayed there for 3 days. We were on a high from the wedding and the adrenalin was still pumping so Orlando & Miami where perfect for the first week! Then we flew out to the Sandals Grande All Inclusive Resort in Antigua in the Caribbean for another week. There we were able to relax and completely switch off in a tropical paradise with pure white sands and crystal clear waters - heaven!
I'm gonna sound like "Monica" now but my advice is be organised! I cannot stress that enough. Organisation is key to a stress free wedding. Keep spreadsheets for all your guests RSVPs & for their addresses & keep spreadsheets for your budget. Make sure you keep track of every penny because it is very VERY easy to get carried away! Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, unless you are a total control freak like me and want to do EVERYTHING yourself. But if you feel stressed then offload and delegate. Don't be a bridezilla though - its not attractive! :)But most of all relax on the day and enjoy it. I was stressed the day before, but when I woke up the morning of the wedding, I was the calmest I have ever been in my entire life, it was a surreal experience, and feeling.And guess what? It just so happened to be the best day of my life :)