How did you meet and get engaged? A chance meeting on a summer’s night, in New Zealand two souls connected, making sparks ignite. From different sides of the world, yet perfectly paired, a new rhythm formed and heartbeats shared. Forever changed by our paths being crossed, our journey guided by love is never lost. Real love, seven years and adventures on the way all led us to our special day.
Describe your wedding: Early on into our engagement, our wedding was inspired by a poem I (Sinéad) wrote about the stars aligning for Shaune and I to meet. After being engaged for around a year, I also bought Shaune a star map as a birthday gift to honour the night we met. I then noticed that one of the constellations in the middle was called Canis Major which just so happened to be the name of the chapel we were already booked in and due to be married in at the Clayton Hotel, Sligo 7 months later. I took this as a sign that stars had to be part of our wedding theme. Teal became the key colour which is a blend of us both; the beautiful forests and greenery of Ireland for me and the blues from the surf and sea of Australia for Shaune. White and silver tones were chosen as the neutral complementary tones inspired directly from celestial style stars. As bluebells have been my favourite flowers since I was a little girl, purple-blue tones also made some appearances where possible such as in our floristry.
Tell us about your bridal look: I fell in love with my dress which is a Maggie Sottero design called Andraea. From the first time I tried it on it made me feel like a fairy forest princess! It’s a dress with lots of beautiful beading and stunningly intricate detail on both the front and back so I was passionate about letting the dress be the standout. As a result my makeup was based on natural looking tones such as brown eye shadows to maximise my blue/grey eyes with a subtle pink lip colour. I opted to have my hair up so none of the dress was hidden. I made my own hair piece by repurposing a small bracelet I found in a costume jewellery shop which had stones that were reminiscent of my beautiful emerald engagement ring. Finaula my hair stylist did a beautiful up style which incorporated the hair piece sitting to the front as a hair band with a plait sweeping from the right side of my face towards a generous cluster of curls pinned up at the back.
What did your bridesmaids wear? My bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid (aged 11) wore gorgeous teal convertible dresses I purchased from an Etsy online store called thedaintyard. They all wore them in different styles to suit their very various body types and comfort levels. The dresses were accompanied by silver accessories and upstyles with silver filigree hair flowers.
What was your ceremony like? Our ceremony was very personalised. We really wanted to include music and content that was really meaningful to us. Instead of traditional entrance songs we picked different music, the bridesmaids, flower girl and our ring security agent walked down to an instrumental version of ‘Can’t help falling in love’ by Elvis and I walked down the aisle to a live sang version of my favourite song Damien Rice’s The Blower’s Daughter. We had two readings, I wrote the first one which told our story and the 2nd was a stars inspired poem.
In between our two readings the song Millionare was performed. We had a unity candle ceremony accompanied by the song Alien like me and while we signed the register Etta James’ at last was performed and we walked down the aisle together to a performance of never tear us apart by INXS.
Tell us about your wedding venue: The Clayton Hotel Sligo is a beautiful setting, with the curved driveway leading up to the ornate Elizabethan style building. We got married in the charming Canis Major chapel on the grounds which was not only absolutely stunning but was also so handy since we had lots of guests from overseas who had already travelled so much to be there. Our reception was in the Pegasus ballroom, everything had been tailored to our taste and style as a couple perfectly.
What is your favourite memory from your wedding day? It’s so hard to pick one memory… I loved walking down the aisle with my Dad with so many happy smiling faces looking back at us to then see Shaune’s face overcome with emotion or to hearing his or my stepdaughter’s beautiful speeches. After our reception, our photographer took us to the bridal suite to have some photos and a bit of alone time, it allowed us to actually hug each other and get teary-eyed in private over how amazing it felt to have finally said we do! Another massive highlight was when the band took us up on stage to look out at all our guests – it was so amazing to see everyone having so much fun and all in our honour!!
Have you got any advice for other couples? Delegate as much as you can, you’ll be surprised by how many people want to help and you can’t literally do everything!! I was very relaxed right up until the week before our wedding and then it suddenly got very hectic and my tummy was upset all the time which meant the days before our big day were really stressful and on the day nothing really matters besides you and your other half.
Wedding venue: The Clayton Hotel, Sligo | Planner/coordinator: Sandra O’Hara from the Clayton | Ceremony Music: Michele Feeney | Reception Live Band and DJ: The Heebie Jeebies | Hair: Finuala’s Hair Design | Makeup: Ann Young | Dress: Andraea by Maggie Sottero purchased in Astra Bridal (Auckland) | Suits: Cambridge Outlet Store (Auckland) | Bridesmaids dresses: The Daintyard on Etsy |Cake: Dervla Hamilton | Celebrant: Siobhan Duffy Browne | Jewellery: Michael Hill Jewellers (Auckland) | Flowers: The Flower Shed