I got married!!

Myself and my husband (aah!) had the most magical weekend ever at our wedding! We got married on the 4th May - the Saturday of the bank holiday. I've been a part of so many weddings and wedding prep through doing makeup, so it was so surreal to be on the other side and be the bride. I know I have a lot of brides following me, as well as clients/friends/family who have been so interested in the day so I thought I would share the details and the fab suppliers who made it so special. So grab a cuppa (it's a long one) and take a peek into our wedding...

(For viewing on a phone, tap any photos to see better quality. Laptop recommended)

The Stationery

Our custom invitations were created by Cool & Co. The whole design process was tailored to our vision and inspirations.
They were delivered in "brown paper packages tied up with string" 😊

They feel so high quality and have a lovely texture to them, and we just adore how they turned out. Cool & Co also created our ceremony cards and place cards to match the invitation design.

The Makeup

Most people were surprised when I said I would be doing my own makeup but for me it was a no-brainer. I never get my makeup done by anyone else, and doing my makeup is one of my favourite things to do. I didn't want to go the natural route so I went for a smokey eye, full lashes, full coverage, and a nude lip, and I felt completely like myself. I posted a full product list on my Instagram so click here if you'd like to see what I used.

Billie Adele and I used to work together at Inglot and she is so talented and such a sweetheart, so I had her do the makeup for my bridesmaids, mom and stepmom.

The Hair

Claire Barrett of Visage did the hair for me and my bridal party. I went for a half up half down style. My hair is naturally very curly but I wanted styled curls instead. I didn't want the typical bridal half up style where it is pinned back low - I wanted it pulled up with high with the volume in the "pony" section.

I had a couple of trials with Claire for my birthday and for my hen, to tweak exactly how we would do it. This also meant that it wasn't going to be a completely new style for me or for others to see me in and again, I felt like myself. It's also a style I will for sure be doing again in the future, which I love that I can do.

The Dress

Many brides find that they choose a dress completely different to what they had imagined, but funnily enough I found exactly what I was looking for! I wanted full lace with no appliqué, in a fit and flare style. My dress is by Watters Wtoo, and I purchased it at Memories in Cork.

The lace is in ivory and the underlay is a slightly darker shade (there were so many options I can't remember the exact name!) It is hand beaded with little sequins and beads so that it sparkles when the light hits. I had some extra tulle layered under the skirt to kick it out a bit. I also had the straps changed as they come with pearl straps and I'm just not a vintage style girl. I loved it so much and didn't want to take it off at the end of the night!

My alterations were done by Laima (085-1580771), who is the go-to seamstress for Memories. Her work was impeccable, and the bustle was perfect. I've already sent another bride friend of mine to her and I will be going to her for any of my future alterations for regular clothes.

The Shoes

My shoes were so me and also so comfortable, which is vital. I had ordered a few styles from Zalando, which worked well as they do free returns. I decided on a pair from the brand Menbur, who do a lot of "bridal" shoes. The presentation of them was better than the other shoes as every detail was wrapped in paper from the shoes in the box to the straps and the little buckles. The quality of them was also excellent and there was lovely cushioning under the ball of the foot. I knew I wanted a platform to give more comfort as I like a decent heel. These also had a block heel, but still tapered which I thought was nicer than a straight chunky block. I would highly recommend this over a stiletto to eliminate any possible wobbling.

I lasted all day and danced for quite a long time in these. It wasn't until late in the night that I changed into a pair of Adidas Superstars 😎

The Bridesmaid Dresses

My bridesmaids were my best friend and my little sister. When I was looking for the their dresses I had a vague idea about styles I liked, but I very specific colour in mind.

The wedding colour scheme was cool toned pastels, to be integrated into the clothes, flowers, stationery, decor etc., rather than having one or two main colours in everything. My favourite colour is blue so I wanted this to be the bridesmaid dresses. And it turns out that this specific kind of blue is super hard to find! I would describe it as a light bright blue or a bright sky blue (because if you just search light blue bridesmaid dresses, most of them are a dusky blue, which is beautiful but not what I wanted). So I began my search by ordering swatches from any company that looked like it had the colour (a lot of them were off in person). I ended up finding it at uwdress.com.

Once I had the colour, I just wanted the girls to be happy and comfortable with the style. They were both so relaxed and open to whatever I liked so that made it very easy. The site has tons of styles, most of which come in any of the colours they stock, and you can easily filter your search by colour/ length/ sleeves/ silhouette etc so it's very easy to find what you are looking for. We settled on a flowy A-line dress with a wrap detail, which was actually very similar to something we had looked at in a store, but it was 1/3 of the price!

One concern about ordering online was the quality etc. but when they arrived they were absolutely perfect. I would definitely recommend looking at online options if you are getting married.

The Suits

When it comes to style, Christopher knows what he likes and doesn't like. He likes things that are different, but he also didn't want anything too "out there" for his wedding day, nor did he want something that a guest could easily wear to the wedding - basically he wanted to feel like a groom.

We shopped for the suits together but my priority was for him to have the final say. I loved my dress so much and I wanted him to love his suit just the same.

We browsed a few places but Mick Murphy's had the nicest selection and their customer service was excellent - helpful but relaxed. Christopher ended up choosing a Benetti suit with a beautiful cut. It was navy with flecks of a light grey/ivory running through it - so it looked very classic from afar but up close it was that bit different and had a cool texture to it. He also decided to go for an ivory tie to match my dress. 


For the groomsmen we chose light grey suits with lilac ties, so that they would be different to Christopher but also work nicely with the pastels.

The Page Boy & Flower Girl

We had my godson as page boy and Christopher's goddaughter as flower girl. Again, the theme was pastels.
So for Áine, I found a gorgeous pink and lavender dress from Angel & Rocket, and shimmering pastel rainbow sandals from Next.
For Peter, we found an adorable light blue suit at Marks & Spencers, and light brown comfortable shoes at Next. The suit didn't have a jacket so we picked up a light grey on from Next, in case it was chilly and so he would also tie in with the groomsmen.

The Car

I knew I didn't want a typical wedding car like a Beauford or Bentley, and Christopher is in love with American muscle cars. So when I was working a wedding last year and a gorgeous matte black Dodge Challenger pulled up as the wedding car, it was fate! We booked Happy Ever Challenger and were so thrilled with it.
Dave the driver is so friendly. He also had cold drinks, cookies and chocolate covered strawberries ready for us after the ceremony! Our venue was 1hr from the church so we got to spend a nice bit of time in the car and Christopher was in absolute heaven!

The Flowers

Daisy Chain florists in Kinsale did our flowers. I don't have specific flowers that I love or hate so again, my main concern was the colours. I did say that I wanted bouquets with texture and a bit of wildness, rather than a ball shape. So I basically gave them the colour palette and let them get to work with what they thought would be best.

I had a large bouquet, the bridesmaids had slighter smaller versions, and the flower girl had a mini version. The groomsmen, page boy and parents all had button holes. The church had a swag around the entrance door, an arrangement for the candles, and pew ends for every other pew going up the aisle.

The Rings

Christopher had my engagement ring made at Ballincollig Jewellers and it is perfect so we went back for our wedding bands. We didn't get a matching set but we both got gold bands with engraved designs. I loved one style as the design was simple, and the flat edge fit perfectly with my engagement ring, but I found it a little wide (my fingers are ridiculously slim so rings tend to look chunkier on me) - so they custom made made me a thinner version.

I adore both my rings and I love how they look together. Christopher also loves his ring, especially as in the whole run up to the wedding he was really looking forward to wearing a wedding band. We also got him a gold rubber band to wear if he needs for work.

The Ceremony Music

We opted to have music only without singing. We fell in love with Arundó, who play beautiful trad/celtic music. We both love the uilleann pipes so this was perfect. I walked down the aisle to Inis Oírr, which was originally composed as a bridal march for a wedding on the Aran Islands, and I think it has to be one of my favourite pieces of music. It makes me feel so warm and happy and reminds me of so many things. We loved all the pieces we chose for throughout the ceremony including Gift of a Thistle, She Moves Through The Fair, and The Lonesome Boatman. We walked out together to an upbeat trad piece called Out On The Ocean. If you enquire with Arundó they will provide a link to a full selection of their ceremony music options.

The Venue

Where to start?! When we were viewing venues we saw some lovely hotels, but we decided to opt for a house/manor type of venue as we wanted something warm, intimate and different. We saw some that were a bit too farmyard/rustic feeling, some that were a bit too stuffy/old English feeling, and some that were a bit too eclectic.

Then we found Liss Ard Estate. It was beautiful, cosy, clean and inviting. We fell in love instantly. The layout is perfect, the grounds are magical, the staff cannot do enough for you, and the food was absolutely divine.

I can't count the amount of times I heard people say "that was not wedding food" after the meal and even to this day, because nothing felt mass produced, and everything is top quality from the ingredients to the presentation.

The venue and its grounds (163 acres including a lake) were exclusively ours for the weekend as we all stayed for 2 nights. Literally - the gates are closed and the code is changed to something you choose.

Liss Ard is also pet friendly so we were able to have our dog around for the weekend. He couldn't believe his luck!

Liss Ard is an absolute hidden gem, and well worth a visit even just for a night away!

The Decor

We added a few personal touches to the day with our decor.
We acquired some 100year old slate pieces, and I wrote on them with chalk markers for our church signs.

In Liss Ard we had loads of fairy lights and photos of us with our family and friends around the whole main house.

Our "guest book" was a jar with wooden hearts for guests to write wishes/messages on.

For our tables we had books with folded pages as our table numbers (we have since used these to display our wedding date on a shelf at home), we made hessian table runners, placed some long faux flowers in the centre (which have all been put into a large jug vase and placed in our porch), wedding confetti scattered, the pew ends from the church, and individual place cards designed by Cool & Co. 

Our favours were key bottle openers with tags that read "Thank you for sharing our special day #chris2wedding"

For the top table our centrepiece was a jug of faux flowers placed on a large wooden heart, and wrapped with little wooden heart fairy lights (this now sits in the centre of our kitchen table).

The Cake

So did I mention I like colour? lol. Well I also love confectionary so Rachel of Daisy Chain Cakes made us the most amazing "Willy Wonka inspired" wedding cake and cake table, complete with cupcakes, cake pops, viennese whirls (my favourite), millionaire shortbread and more. It was straight out of my dreams!

The cake "topper" that sat in front, I ordered specially. I love the classic style rather than the cartoon versions and I wanted one that had people that look similar to us so I went to confetti.co.uk where you can select the individual bride and groom by colouring.

The Band

Choosing Gemma and The Jets as our band was easy for us. We already knew how fab Gemma is at not only singing but entertaining and having amazing energy. My brother used to play with Gemma in another band so it was also lovely to have a personal connection. For the first dance Gemma gave me the option of an mp3 version or to sing it live, and she also sang "Brown Eyed Girl" as my father-daughter dance. The band as a whole were fantastic, so efficient with setup/takedown and so friendly. I was on the dance floor all night!

The First Dance

So, our first dance song was "Where You Lead" by Carole King. You may know it as the theme song to the Gilmore Girls. I have always loved that show and used to watch it with my mom growing up. Now Christopher has grown to love it and even sings along to the theme at the top of his voice! So one day we were watching it (I think before we were even engaged) and he said that would be a cool first dance, and it was!

We danced outside on the courtyard after sunset, with our guests holding sparklers. It was magical!

"Where you lead, I will follow, anywhere that you tell me to. If you need, you need me to be with you, I will follow where you lead."

The Photographers

Something I discovered about myself when looking for photographers and videographers is I am very picky about those things! I think because I am a creative myself, I have a definite style and vibe that I look for, not just any wedding photographer that has a good price. We both wanted photographers that took mainly candid photos (along with our family and couple portraits of course). I wanted the photos to capture moments and memories.

Awake and Dreaming are made up of Dave and Laurie, who are a couple themselves. They have an amazing eye(s!) as well as a lovely friendly nature.

They were so unobtrusive throughout the day, yet made sure they got the amazing shots they needed. Plenty of people said they didn't even see them. Because it was a lovely clear day they even grabbed myself and Christopher quickly in between the meal before dessert, to get some extra shots at sunset. No one even noticed we were gone!

I could not be happier with the finished results. My dad is also an artist and loves photography and even he said "There isn't one wasted shot. Every single one is beautiful." These are two really talented photographers and I've had a few friends already take their name.

The Videographers

Like I said, I was picky about choosing a videographer. Again, I wanted something that would have a documentary style to capture the moments as they were.

D.Art Wedding Stories is actually made up of another couple, Rafal and Daga. And another friendly and easy going pair, with real talent.

They Skyped with us in the lead up so that we could "meet" face to face and chat about the day so we all knew what was happening and what we wanted. Myself and Christopher decided to write each other letters to read on the morning, and to have included in the video.

Again, they were almost stealth-like in their presence (so many people thought we didn't have video at all!) but captured and created the most amazing videos.

We were given a 1minute "Instagram Edit", a 5min "Short Film", and 1.5hr "Documentary", and I love that we have those different versions.

Day 2

As I said above, we did two nights at Liss Ard. This was perfect as it made a real weekend of it and it felt like we were all away on holiday. It also meant everyone could continue to relax, drink and be merry while the venue and grounds were still exclusively ours.

The second day was honestly just as good as the first. We were blessed with amazing weather so after everyone had breakfast, people dispersed into going for walks to explore the grounds, sitting out in the garden, taking a spin into Skibb town, or simply relaxing in the fabulous rooms.

One of my favourite moments of the weekend was looking out of the window of our (amazing) honeymoon suite down onto the garden, to see all different members of our families and friends mixing, chatting and laughing in the sun.

We all then met back in the garden in the late afternoon for a BBQ meal and live music. Once the sun went down we moved inside for more drinks, chat, sandwiches and sing-songs!

So many of our friends and family have said they want to go back to Liss Ard themselves and a fair few have even asked if we can do it all again for our first anniversary!

My dress for during the day was from H&M, and my dress for the evening was from Boohoo.

The Honeymoon

After all the wedding craze was over, we jetted off on our honeymoon to Dubai & Bali. We spent 3 nights in Dubai (but we will be back!) and 10 nights in Bali (Seminyak & Ubud). It was so perfect. We had a lovely mixture of excursions, and laying out in the sun with pool service!

We booked it all via Travel Counsellors (Antoinette O'Connor specifically), which made it all so easy for us. The flights, accommodations and transfers were all seamless.

We actually had a week in between the wedding and the honeymoon which I would highly recommend. It meant that we could catch our breath, unpack, repack, and fit in a few visits with family to chat about the wedding. I would also recommend going sooner rather than later in the year, if possible for your schedules. We felt like newlyweds and we remained in our "wedding bubble". It also meant that by the time we got back home, it had been a month of wedding excitement and celebration so there was no sudden come-down that a lot of brides feel, and it was actually nice to get back to normality and just be us as a married couple. It felt like a New Year, and I was actually excited to make resolutions, organise my life and get the time back that previously went towards the wedding.

Thanks a million for stopping by!
If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to ask.
Mrs. Christine Collins


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