Lisa Eade and Derek Mahon
Length of engagement: 2 years and 4 months | Wedding Date: 17th June 2013
Wedding venue: The Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore Co. Waterford
Photographer: Ebony and Pearl Photography
We met… We met in 2008 when I was living in Vancouver, I booked an organised tour around the US. Derek and his friends booked the same tour. We became very close over the weeks and, thinking that it was just a holiday ‘fling’, I was very upset when it came time to say goodbye. When I asked Derek why he didn’t seem upset at all, he simply replied; “I just know this isn’t goodbye for us”. I remember thinking this Irishman was mad! I was an Australian, on a 12 month working visa in Canada, and he lived all the way over in Ireland! Six months later I was on a plane to Ireland! I had no idea how long I was going to stay, but I had to see if this holiday romance was actually more. And it was, five months later I had to return home to Australia and Derek decided to join me. For the next year and a half, everything was going well, we had decided to apply for a De Facto Visa so that Derek could remain in Australia, however Derek’s initial visa was expired he would have to leave Australia immediately and apply again. We were given three days. Saying goodbye to the man I loved and not knowing when I was going to see him again (we were told the process takes a minimum of 9 months) was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. After three months of phone calls, emails and texts, I decided I couldn’t be apart from him any longer and applied to my work for an extended leave of absence to join Derek in Ireland.
Our proposal... Derek proposed when I was visiting in Ireland over Christmas. He had my grandmother’s engagement ring re-set and polished up so I knew was planning to propose, I just didn’t know when! The day before I was due to fly back to Australia, I started getting nervous and worried that he’d changed his mind! We were walking through Dublin and we came to the Ha’penny Bridge, he stopped me in the middle of the bridge and told me that he didn’t want me to go home as his girlfriend, but as his fiancée, I then got to see the beautiful ring that was so special to my grandmother and was now so special to me!
My hair and make up… I wanted to steer clear of the traditional brown/gold make-up for weddings and instead opted for metallic pinks, copper and grey. My hair was braided to the side and then curled, with my hand-made birdcage veil pinned to the side.
My dress… Was an ivory, sweetheart fit and flare style dress in satin, netting and beaded lace on the bodice and the train.
His suit… Derek wore a grey three-piece suit with a black tie. His tie had a little grey moustache motif on the bottom, which I thought was an adorable quirk!
What our bridal party wore… Our groomsmen and page boy wore grey suits with black, grey and white striped ties. My bridesmaids wore a full-length strapless chiffon gown in Nude Pink, with beading on the top of the bodice. Our flower-girl wore an ivory dress with sash and petals loose in the bottom.
“One of my favourite moments was seeing Derek for the first time as I walked down the aisle. Another was our first dance! I remember just looking into my new husband’s eyes as we danced and feeling like we were the only people in the room. It was the best feeling knowing that those arms around me would be there forever.”
Our ceremony… was a Civil Ceremony and was held in the North Pavilion Room of the hotel. Both Derek’s 9 year-old cousin and my brother did a reading, and we both wrote our own vows. I loved that it was very personal, with lots of laughter.
We chose our photographer because… The photos on Ebony and Pearl Photography‘s website stood out as being so candid and natural. Our biggest thing was not wanting “posed” shots on the day. When I rang Emma and explained that we were organising everything from Australia, she was so helpful in making sure the planning process went as smoothly as possible and she was more than happy to accommodate our requirements.
Our honeymoon… was a 7-day cruise through the Greek Islands; Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolon, followed by three days in Barcelona.
Flowers and decorations… Organising the wedding from so far away meant that I was very nervous about ordering flowers without ever being inside the florist! Instead I opted for no flowers. I handmade my own bouquet out of second-hand brooches, buttons and pearls and used tulle and organza flowers as fillers. I also made the flowers for my bridesmaid’s bouquets and the flower-girls basket out of satin, tulle and ribbon embellished with beads and pearls. For the table centrepieces I filled ornamental tin cans with large lollipops that also doubled as our favours.
We chose our venue because… it was the only venue we could both agree on! Coming from Australia, I had always pictured my wedding to be outdoors, when we decided we were getting married in Ireland I quickly became disappointed when I realised the unpredictable Irish weather and the types of wedding venues available meant that my desired wedding might not happen. I love that the Cliff House Hotel has that “outdoor-indoors” feel with the floor to ceiling glass windows and doors looking out onto the ocean. With a little compromise, I could still have my perfect wedding.
My piece of advice for other brides… is to relax and enjoy the day. I was so surprised at how little I was stressing, my mum and bridesmaid took care of that for me, and at how much fun the whole day was. Everything went so smoothly, and the things that didn’t just made us laugh.
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.