We’ve made the shortlist! Blog Awards Ireland 2014

I’m so delighted to say we’ve made the shortlist in the Lifestyle category of the Blog Awards Ireland 2014 — this is our second time being shortlisted for a blog award this year, after making the final in the OMiG awards in April. I want to say a quick thank you to all of the fantastic people who read the blog and have made it a success – I hope to keep entertaining you all for years to come!
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A Romantic Winter Real Wedding – Louise & David

In the depths of winter, a heart-warming wedding is a gorgeous thing to come across. Louise & David treated their guests to a sparkling affair at the Village at Lyons on New Year’s Eve last, with moments of true love and family bliss captured by the talented David McAuley.

Louise wore a stunning asymmetrical gown by Edel Tuite. “She was fantastic. I had visited several shops but couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. Edel listened to what I liked and within minutes had sketched out my perfect dress…it really was as easy as that!”. Cari’s Closet in Malahide was the source for the elegant bridesmaids gowns, while the groom chose a suit by Sandro at Brown Thomas.

The stunning Village at Lyons provided the perfect backdrop for both the ceremony and reception. “We fell in love with the Village at Lyons immediately – it ticked all the boxes! We wanted a New Year’s Eve party and it provided the perfect background.”

Louise and David were the result of a little matchmaking by a mutual friend. “Dave and I met through our bridesmaid Rachael. I was in University in Dublin City University. Meanwhile Dave was in University in St Mary’s, Twickenham. Rachael had invited me over to visit her and within a very short period of time, I had been introduced to one of her friends Dave….. and that is how it began!”.

David proposed on their 9 year anniversary. “It was all quite romantic…not only did he get down on one knee but he managed to position a go-pro camera to catch it all! We used the picture to make a jigsaw which was later used at our wedding (a 120 piece jigsaw – a piece for each guest). The evening of the engagement we stayed in the Fitzwilliam Hotel in St Stephen’s Green. It was then that he informed me that he had already booked the flights to Antwerp for the next weekend to select a ring.”

Gorgeous little details added style and elegance to the wedding reception, with a thoughtful chest of blankets to keep guests warm and sparklers at each table with a corresponding time zone to ring in the new year!

Edel was delighted to report that everything went according to plan on the day. This beautiful couple even have the same favourite moment from the big day – for Louise, it was walking down the aisle, and for David, the moment he saw her walking towards him in her amazing dress. It’s clear to see their love sparkling even on a dark evening in Kildare!

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Photographer David McAuley is offering a very special 10% off bookings when you mention ‘True Romance Weddings’, and an additional 5% off for bookings made by the 31st August 2014

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Suppliers
Ceremony Venue/Church: Village at Lyons, Celbridge
Reception Venue: Village at Lyons, Celbridge
Photographer: David McAuley
Dress Supplier: Edel Tuite, Drogheda
Bridesmaids Dress Supplier: Cari’s Closet, Malahide
Hair: Cathy McNulty
Make-up : Naomh Geday
Menswear Supplier: Groom: Sandro at Brown Thomas, Groomsmen: Marks & Spencers
Transport: Allied Coaches – Guest Transport
Band: 5th Avenue Wedding Band
Florist: Astounding Surroundings – Shropshire
Stationery Designer: Sinead McArdle

Over-flowered: the best non-floral centrepieces

Flowers are the go-to for decorating your wedding; but if you’re in search of something different, try these ideas for a unique alternative (also useful if you have allergies!)

Candles are your friends!

Keep it natural

Vintage Styling

Elegance and Glamour

Nautical but nice
Nautical sailboat centrepiece

Modern & Quirky

Floral without the flowers

For more great ideas, contact True Romance Weddings

*All images from Pinterest*

Fall in Love with Autumn Wedding Inspiration

Yes, it’s technically still Summer, but as soon as August hit and the new collections start filtering into the shops, it’s Autumn in my books. You see, I just adore Autumn. Warm layers, rich colours and a crisp edge in the air…and a fabulous time of year to get married. Here is some great fall wedding inspiration to get you started.

Colours

Ambers, ruby reds and golds are your Autumn friends, working well within your attire, stationery and decor

Decor

Take inspiration from the natural world with foliage, deer antlers, acorns and pine cones accompanied by romantic candlelight

Food and Drink

Warm up your guests with hot chocolate favours and hot apple cider, accompanied by rustic appetisers and cakes inspired by nature

Attire

Intertwining leaves and floral appliques on your wedding dress will carry the Autumn look throughout your wedding. Adorn your hair with a floral crown, and embellish your look with co-ordinating sashes and shoes

Photography
Make the most of the stunning backdrop that this season provides and capture magical moments with your love among nature

Three Little Words, So Many Quotes

With the emerging popularity of wedding signs, props and decor items featuring cute sayings and quotes about love, I’ve researched a few that could help you stand out from the crowd! These are lovely to feature on stationery, ceremony booklets, table decor and general signage throughout your wedding.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it” – Nicholas Sparks

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever” - Alfred Tennyson

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once” – The Fault in our Stars

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” – Jess C. Scott

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” – Pablo Neruda (in fact, just look up Pablo Neruda in general, his poetry is incredible!)

“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi (True Romance Wedding’s tagline!)

“I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.” – E.E. Cummings

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Bronte

Whatever our souls are made of

 

Wedding Foodie Heaven

Food is of utmost importance for your wedding day. Almost every couple I have met down through the years has had the same two objectives for their big day – great food and fantastic entertainment. The Irish wedding differs from a lot of other cultures in the span of the day – with most beginning with a church ceremony that can last upwards of 2 hours by the time the registry has been signed, hands shaken and cheeks kissed, and a myriad of photographs captured. From there, taking travel time to the venue into consideration could add another hour. Guests could be met at the venue with anything from a simple glass of bubbly to a spread of canapés and sweet treats, depending on the bridal couple’s budget. Give or take another two hours before guests are called for dinner, this is where the trouble often begins. Speeches before? You could be waiting another hour from the time you sit down to be fed. Speeches in between courses? Main course could be ruined. Speeches after the meal? You’re absolutely stuffed and can’t fathom the thought of getting out on the dance floor. Another couple of hours go by and you’re nibbling on cocktail sausages and chocolate biscuit cake.

If you’re looking to escape from this typical Irish wedding routine, here are a few alternative options you might want to consider:

Brunch & Lunch Wedding
Go for an earlier ceremony, followed by some delicious breakfast and lunch inspired dishes. Keep the tone light with French toast, eggs Benedict, crisp salads, omelets, a continental selection of cooked meats and cheeses, fresh breads and pastries, accompanied by light and refreshing champagne cocktails, juices and smoothies.

Brunch wedding food ideas

BBQ Wedding
Perfect for a summer evening wedding, a BBQ is a great way to keep your wedding fresh and fun. Steer away from the typical burgers and steak and go for more unusual options like pulled pork, chargrilled lemon and herb chicken, marinated sausages, baby back ribs, lamb cutlets and a build-your-own-burger bar, with an array of salads, cheese, breads and toppings. Don’t forget about your vegetarian guests with delicious Mediterranean vegetable skewers, falafel burgers and corn on the cob. Follow this up with a great dessert buffet or ice cream sundae bar, a selection of craft beers and pitchers of cocktails.

wedding bbq food ideas

Afternoon Tea Party
Tiered stands of finger sandwiches, gourmet tartlets, quiches, scones, cakes and sweets accompanied by fresh prosecco and a selection of freshly brewed teas and coffees is a lovely alternative to the wedding dinner for a smaller or more casual wedding reception. This is something that could also be followed later by a BBQ or buffet of hot food if you want to keep the momentum going.

afternoon tea wedding food

Themes, Dreams and Colour Schemes

This past weekend I spoke at the Wedding Masterclass at Loughrea Hotel & Spa about choosing a wedding theme and colour scheme so I thought I’d share some advice with you all!

A wedding theme creates a unique style for your wedding. Many couples want their wedding to be ‘different’ – you may be at a stage where many of your friends and family are getting married around the same time as you, and you might even choose a venue that you have been to often – so you want your wedding to stand out and be memorable.

A theme should reflect your personal interests both individually and as a couple. A couple who love old music and vintage clothes could choose a vintage or 1950’s theme with rockabilly music, tea dresses and gramophones to decorate; fans of music could have a festival themed wedding in a marquee with festival style food and several bands; a couple who love to sail and go surfing could have a beach or marine themed wedding featuring sand, seashells, anchors and seafood.
In order for a theme to be successful, it needs to tie all the elements of the wedding together. It can begin with your stationery – the wedding invitation will set the tone for the big day. The style of dresses and formalwear can also reflect the style of the wedding, for example if you have a vintage theme you might choose a lace dress, for a Great Gatsby theme a beaded, dropped waist dress may suit. Decor is important – you centrepieces are a great way to bring this in. Birdcages, lanterns, books and jars look great for a vintage theme. For a nautical theme, anchors, little boats and navy and white striped ribbons will be perfect.

Here is where your stationery continues – your table plan, menus and place cards will all continue the theme. Food and drink is a new and fun way to bring in your theme – for a great Gatsby wedding, champagne is essential! Festival style weddings could feature mini burgers, hot dogs, popcorn and candy floss. Finally, your music is not to be forgotten! A jazz trio or trad band can set the tone for the evening; a swing band is great for a 1950’s theme or a great 80s band for the retro aficionados!

Whether you choose to have a theme or not, you will inevitably be choosing a wedding colour – this usually is carried through in your bridesmaids colours, stationery, chair covers and lighting. My big tip here is to take into account the colours of your venue. A minimalist venue style leaves you with plenty of scope for colours, but if there are very strong colours in the wallpaper or carpets, it may limit what you can use. If you both have favourite colours, try and create a palette to see if they will work together – I am a big fan of a colour combo as opposed to just one solid colour. Be careful to make sure they complement each other though – as hot pink and bright orange might be a little much…You can also use the seasons as a guide. There are many more colours out there than the typical ones you are used to seeing each season! We are all used to seeing the burgundy and chocolate brown at Christmas, and the baby pink in summer but there are so many other options out there.

A gorgeous way to bring in a strong colour without having it looking too ostentatious is to bring in an ombre style. This is where you have several shades of the same colour – this could be in the bridesmaids dresses and this is great to give them each an individual look, or in your cake or flowers.

To make your theme or colour scheme work in your venue, again consider the colours that are in your venue. Are there any features like pillars or antique furniture that you can incorporate? Is it a very modern space? A rustic theme may not work, but a 1920’s art deco theme might. Is it an older/historic property? Modern themes and bright colours may look out of place.