Oscar de la Renta 1932-2014

Oscar de la Renta, one of the world’s most eponymous and elegant fashion designers, has passed away at the age of 82. Trained by Cristobal Balenciaga, he had been creating some of the world’s most beautiful gowns since the 1950’s. His iconic designs have graced the forms of first ladies Jackie Kennedy, Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama, award winning actresses Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams and Penelope Cruz, and most notably in recent weeks, he designed the stunning bridal gown wore by Amal Alamuddin on her marriage to George Clooney.

He only took his first foray into bridal design in 2006, resulting in some of the most gorgeous gowns we’ve ever witnessed. One of his creations famously featured in the Sex & the City movie for Carrie’s photoshoot for Vogue. Celebrities Kate Bosworth, Jenna Bush and Amal Alamuddin stunned audiences worldwide in Oscar’s signature elegant bridal style.

His passing marks yet another loss of one of the original greats of the fashion world. Today we celebrate his life with our favourite Oscar de la Renta bridal looks.

Groomed to Perfection – Top Five Looks for Grooms

It’s often all about the girls, so today I’m kicking off a series of posts specifically aimed at the guys – including tips for style, grooming and skincare, stag parties and wedding survival tips. Today we are looking at menswear looks inspired by the catwalk shows, for the groom who wants to be stylish and unique (without looking like a member of One Direction). Up to now, especially in Ireland, the easy choice has been for the groom to head to a formalwear rental store with his band of merry groomsmen, pick out a typical three piece suit and a cravat that somewhat matches the bridesmaids. To this we say “no more!”. Be individual, be stylish. Don’t settle for anything less than perfection.

1. Velvet
Yes, velvet, but in a good way. Dolce & Gabana models strode down the runway at the autumn/winter 2015 shows in opulent velvet suits in shades of onyx, plum and midnight blue, combined with crisp shirts in muted shades and silk ties in subtle paisley patterns. The overall look is elegant and expensive.

2. Tweed
A rise in rustic and vintage styled weddings calls for suitable suits. Tweeds jackets and waistcoats combined with creamy shirts and whimsical ties or bowties are on trend. Finish the look with a natural boutonniere of berries, herbs and leaves. For this style, vintage is a good place to start, or try Hackett for the designer look.

3. Denim
The denim-on-denim look is hard to pull off, but Ralph Lauren have made it work. This three piece suit combined with a brass pocketwatch looks perfect without being pretentious.

Ralph Lauren denim suit groomswear

4. Colour
Black, grey, charcoal, navy…sound familiar? These are the go-to colours for 99% of grooms. There has been a swing in the direction of blue lately, combined with tan shoes, however this need not be the only foray into colour that grooms take. Dolce & Gabana, Marc Jacobs and Brioni provided us with dashes of stunning jewel coloured suits and tuxedos – a word of warning though, I would not condone wearing these without socks!

5. Casual
Step away from the formal three piece suits, tuxes and cravats toward a more relaxed look – perfect for a wedding abroad or outdoors. If you are a groom who doesn’t like the idea of dressing too formally in everyday life, don’t feel that you have to do so on your wedding day. Bear in mind the overall style of the wedding though – a shirt without a tie and linen trousers won’t work for a black tie affair in a castle.

For more inspiration check out our Pinterest board ‘For the Groom’

Winter Wedding Inspiration

Winter is a fabulous time to get married; regardless of grey skies and cold weather, this is the perfect time to get really creative with your colour scheme, your wedding attire and your food and drink. Today I’m sharing my top tips and inspiration for winter weddings, exclusively for fans of Loughrea Hotel & Spa.

Colour & Décor

As the light is fading and the leaves have left the trees, you are left with what really is a blank canvas on which to paint beautifully warm and rich colours. The go-to colour for winter and Christmas weddings has been burgundy for many years, but you are certainly not restricted to this. Think jewel tones of emerald and amber, vivid raspberry and icy blue, combined with soft gold and silver tones for a colour scheme that will really pop in your wedding photographs. These will also suit the new décor in the Loughrea Hotel & Spa beautifully. For décor, the shorter days mean that candlelight will be acceptable everywhere! Candles are a beautiful and inexpensive way to decorate your wedding, from the ceremony to the reception and everywhere in between. Candelabras, lanterns and bowls of floating candles will look elegant and provide a warming atmosphere. If you are getting married around the time of Christmas or New Year’s, a bit of sparkle is completely acceptable and encouraged!

Food & Beverages

Your drinks reception is the ideal place to serve some warming winter favourites, such as hot toddies, Irish coffees and warm apple cider with cinnamon. Warm your guests up with shot glasses of hot soup and mini toasted sandwiches instead of the usual tea and finger sandwiches. Keep the kids happy with hot chocolate and marshmallows. For the meal itself, bear in mind the outside temperatures – a chilled sorbet or cold salad may not be ideal, so choose a heart-warming soup for your appetiser. Bear in mind in-season produce rather than choosing ingredients more suitable to a spring or summer wedding – the chef at your venue will be able to help advise you on this.


The main factor to keep in mind when choosing your attire for a winter wedding is warmth. You will be standing for quite some time for your ceremony (possibly in a chilly church) and afterwards when taking photographs, all the while getting more and more hungry! When choosing a wedding gown, bear in mind the type of fabric. A light, chiffon dress will not give you the coverage you’ll need on a cold day, so it may be wise to go with a heavier fabric. Long sleeves may be a good option here too to avoid frost-induced goosebumps and will help you avoid fake tan disasters. A cover-up such as a faux-fur bolero or beaded shrug is a gorgeous addition to keep you warm, and don’t forget to add a little bit of sparkle or colour to your hair and accessories. Closed toe shoes are recommended, and try to source heel protector caps as the ground may be wet, and these will keep your shoes protected should they sink into the grass. For the groom who wants to be a little different, a great winter look is a tweed suit. A boutonnière featuring winter berries will complete the look.

Blog Awards Ireland 2014 Winner

It’s been a very exciting few days at True Romance Weddings HQ. On Saturday night, my other half and I traveled to the Westgrove Hotel in Co. Kildare for the Blog Awards Ireland, where I was a finalist in the ‘Best Lifestyle Blog’ category. It was a fabulous night with an irresistible 80’s theme, complete with giant Connect 4, cassette tape centerpieces and the all the greatest hits of the 80’s playing late into the night. I was up against some stiff competition in my category, so I was completely gobsmacked when I heard the host call out ‘And the winner is…True Romance Weddings!’. What an amazing feeling – to have come from starting this blog as a way to keep my creative juices flowing over 2 years ago, to now being an award winning writer! It’s an amazing feeling, and I hope I can keep on providing you, my lovely readers, with inspirational and insightful content for years to come!

Blog Awards Ireland 2014 True Romance Weddings

Signature Cocktails

You’ve spent hours ensuring the wedding menu is perfect, so why stop at the food? Add style to your big day by creating your very own signature cocktail to serve to your guests. If you have a wedding theme or colour scheme, this could be an ideal way to bring it to another level. You could also create your own twist on you and your other half’s favourite drinks or flavours. Alternatively, take a classic cocktail and add a wedding twist to the name Here are some of my favourites, with recipes!

S’mores Martini
For the chocolate lovers!
Smores martini wedding cocktail

4 ounces marshmallow vodka (if you can’t get marshmallow, try vanilla vodka)
4 ounces chocolate liqueur
1 biscuit (e.g. digestive, cookie, whatever floats your boat!) for rimming glass
Chocolate syrup
Marshmallows and cinnamon for garnish

(Makes 2)

Place the biscuit in a Ziploc bag and crush to small pieces, and pour onto a plate.
Rim martini glasses with chocolate syrup and dip into the crushed biscuit.
Pour the marshmallow vodka and chocolate liqueur into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake and strain into the biscuit rimmed martini glasses.
Sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon on top and garnish with a marshmallow (preferably toasted to get that campfire feel).

Blushing Bride
Pink and sparkly
Pink champagne wedding cocktail

1 ounce peach schnapps
1 ounce grenadine
4 ounces Champagne
Handful of blueberries

Pour chilled peach schnapps in a champagne flute. Carefully add chilled Champagne and grenadine; don’t stir, but allow to blend. Top with blueberry garnish.

Agave Kiss
Pretty in pink
Agave Kiss wedding cocktail

2 ounces Tequila
1 ounce white creme de cacao
1 ounce double cream
1/2 ounce Chambord
White chocolate flakes for rimming
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake for 15 seconds.
Pour into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with white chocolate, add a spear of fresh raspberries, and serve.


Lakeside Romance – Eleanor & James’ Real Wedding

There’s nothing I love more than gorgeous wedding photographs near water – whether that’s by a lake or by the ocean, it’s one of the most magnificent backdrops you can have. That’s exactly what was captured by the talented David Casey, who I’ve known for several years now and have always admired his work. He was kind enough to let me share with you Eleanor & James’ wedding in county Clare, with a heartfelt traditional church ceremony followed by fun and frolics at the Lakeside Hotel in Killaloe, a fab venue on the shore of Lough Derg. With one of my own clients getting married there next Summer, I loved seeing the stunning locations of Lough Derg in action.

David Casey Photography

Eleanor & James met in disguise at a Halloween party, but there was no disguising the sparks between them that night. James went on to propose on Valentine’s Day in 2012, capturing the radiant bride completely by surprise.

The church and the locations that the couple chose for the big day were of great significance to the bride and her family; with the stunning vistas of Two Mile Gate and Lough Derg providing the most incredible backdrops for their enviable photographs.

David Casey Photography

The happy families celebrated long into the night at the lovely Lakeside Hotel in Killaloe, with Eleanor and James’ parents own wedding photographs proudly displayed by the cake.

David Casey Photography

David Casey Photography

Photographer – Casey Photography

Church Ceremony – Killaloe, County Clare

Reception Venue – The Lakeside Hotel, Killaloe

Gown – Justin Alexander, Amore Mio, Killaloe

Band – Escapade

Car – Heritage Wedding Cars, Adare

Suits – Esquire, Limerick

Make-up – Susan Robinson from J’Adore, Killaloe

Hair – Veronica Collins from Amber Cool, Castletroy

Flowers – Killaloe Flowers

Cake – Fairy Queen, Shannon

Magician – Gerard Kearney

We’ve made the finals! Blog Awards Ireland 2014

Just got the fantastic news that True Romance Weddings has made the finals in the Lifestyle category of the Blog Awards Ireland! I’m so pleased to have not only been selected as one of the best blogs in Galway earlier this year (at the OMiG awards) but now to be one of the best in the country! Thank you to all of my loyal readers and supporters, I promise to keep providing you with awesome content if you promise to keep reading and sharing :)

blog awards ireland