An Elegant Barberstown Castle Wedding by Couple Photography

Real Weddings

“I felt as if we were in a movie – so much so that I shouted out the window “we just got engaged”, to which I was met with beautiful silence!”

The couple: Lisa Moorhead & Andrew Gaynor
Length of engagement: 13 months | Wedding date: August 25th 2017
Wedding venue: Barberstown Castle, Co. Kildare
Photographer: weddingsonline Awards 2018 Finalist Couple Photography

We met… February 8th 2014 in the Ivy Bar in Naas. I was celebrating a friend’s birthday; Andrew had been at a rugby match that afternoon and was persuaded for just ‘one more pint’. Shortly before we met I slipped (designated driver might I add!) in a new pair of heels while dancing (more like spinning) to Michael Jackson and I came crashing down on my rear; the mortification wouldn’t allow me to bounce back up as I was so sore and seeing stars! My friend James was on hand to help me to the ladies where I contemplated my next move. I thought to myself that if I went home early then something could happen that my friends would talk about for the next 10 years and I wouldn’t have been there to witness it. So as always FOMO won out so me and my sore rear got back out on the dance floor. Lucky I stayed, because half an hour later, Andrew and I met!

Our proposal… Andrew proposed in Florence, Italy by an open window in our apartment which overlooked the Duomo Cathedral. It was after breakfast and I thought we were returning to the apartment to pick up the camera for the day’s adventures. All my girlfriends were convinced he would propose this holiday, so naturally the thought filled my head for most of the trip. But it hadn’t happened in the gondola in Venice, or at the top of the Duomo overlooking the views of Florence, or the countless other romantic moments on our holiday… the moments I was prepared for! Three days before we were due to fly home I told myself it’s not happening this trip but I knew it would happen at some point. So when Andrew proposed, I was absolutely shocked and not expecting it! I was so shocked that when I said “yes”, I had to double check that he had in fact just asked me to marry him! Little did I know that Andrew had bought my stunning proposal ring in Florence while I was handbag shopping! It was the previous evening that I spotted the ring as we strolled through city post-dinner; because I’m such a magpie, I was drawn to it by it’s sheer sparkliness and pointed it out to Andrew – the pointing out of shiny stuff was nothing new in our relationship! I felt as if we were in a movie- so much so that I shouted out the window “we just got engaged”, to which I was met with beautiful silence! My inner cheerleaders however were jumping around with excitement and that was enough for me.

My hair and makeup… Everyone who knows me knows I’m very particular about my hair and were feeling sorry for whoever would take on the task of my wedding day ‘do! Susan Peggs, Director of The Powder Room Girls, was amazing and did my hair exactly the way I wanted it.  My sister’s hair was stunning for the day thanks to Susan. Anne Marie Doherty did my makeup. Anne Marie was amazing and made me look the best version of me! My mum and sister were also thrilled with their looks.

My dress... is by Ronald Joyce and I bought it in Belle Mariée Bridal, Athboy. It was the third dress I tried on during my search and I knew it was the one for me. I could have bought my dress in a shop closer to home, but Kathleen, Fiona and Annette were so amazing and made my experience so memorable that I knew I wanted to buy my dress there and the hour long drive would be worth it for the fittings. My dress was perfect for me, it fit my dream of a timeless and elegant wedding.

His suit… was a handsome three piece Magee suit from Richie Whelan’s Menswear, Naas.

Our ceremony… Fr. Liam Morgan P.P celebrated our wedding ceremony and he made it so special and personal. The chairs we used for the ceremony were wedding gifts given to Andrew’s great-grandmother – in 1925! Andrew’s wedding band is a combination of his grandfather and grandmother’s wedding bands while my band combines part of my grandmother’s one. It’s wonderful knowing we will always have a piece of them with us. The church music was beautiful and played by Tina Cuddy and Aisling Rohan. A friend of mine, Sarah Gallagher who is a wonderful singer, sang during Communion, which meant the world to me.

Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t set out with a specific theme or colour in mind. We are fortunate that Barberstown Castle lends itself to our taste and style therefore we had the perfect canvas for our wedding. We wanted our wedding to be timeless and elegant in a setting full of character.

Given we met in the Ivy Bar, we incorporated Ivy in our invitations, wedding candles and flowers. For our wedding favours we made a donation to the Irish Cancer Society who provided table cards informing our guests of the donation. We set up a ‘memory table’ of pictures of loved ones who would have been with us at our wedding if they had not passed away. This was incredibly special to us both. We also lit a memory candle during our wedding ceremony to remember our deceased loved ones. Our divine wedding cake was a joint effort by my new sister-in-law Lynn Gaynor and my aunt’s sister-in-law Mary Shore. Magical Cakes in Newbridge iced and decorated the cake with handmade iced flowers. It was stunning and delicious.

Our menu… We wanted a menu that would suit all our guests so we decided on: Afternoon Tea with Prosecco for the arrival reception, Carmelised Onion & Bacon Tartlet for starters, Cream of Farmhouse Vegetable & Tarragon Soup, a choice of  either Fillet of Seabass or roast Irish Sirloin of Beef. Dessert was Summer Berries Meringue, Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Shavings.

We chose our photographer… after seeing the wonderful pictures at the RDS Wedding Fair, we knew Couple Photography‘s style fitted ours. Ros and Anna were amazing on the day, they ensured we got all the pictures we asked for, advised me when to top up my lippy and kept everything running smoothly. We love our wedding pictures, it’s so hard to pick which ones are our favourite. Myself and Andrew wanted pictures taken at the Naas Ball (or ‘Perpetual Motion’!) because we are both from Naas. Ros and Anna indulged us and the pictures are amazing!

My favourite part of the wedding day… I’ve tried think of one part of the day which I held above all, but I honestly can’t. It is impossible to choose. Every bit of it was so special and memorable from waking up beside my mum the morning of my wedding, spending quality time with my parents and sister, the neighbours in the estate giving me a send-off, the drive to the church with my dad and brother-in-law, waiting to walk up the aisle, the emotions as I walked up the aisle, hearing and saying our wedding vows, seeing my godfather read a Prayer of the Faithful (he does not do public speaking!), smiling and laughing all day, holding back tears of joy so as not to test the mascara, walking down the aisle as a married woman to ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’, stopping en route to our venue for nibbles for my hungry new husband, sitting at the top table and feeling the excitement in the room, seeing all the people we love, dancing with my new husband and laughing with friends. The list is endless, although I will never forget that it was the only time my big sister ever made me breakfast! A truly memorable moment!

Our venue… We chose Barberstown Castle for a number of reasons including the fact that it is close to the church and where we live, it is private and full of character, and it has a reputation for excellent food and service. Barberstown Castle was the only venue we viewed and we knew it was for us. Neither of us are fans of the contemporary hotel style and Barberstown Castle had it all. The staff were so professional but our coordinator, Anna, was exceptional, she felt more like a friend than a coordinator and was invaluable to us. The evening and nighttime coordinator Stephen was excellent and ensured the evening ran smoothly.

My piece of advice for other couples… is to take time out at the different stages in the day to just take it all in and be in the moment. Get nice hangers for your wedding dress and your bridesmaids attire. This was on many of my to-do-lists but I just never got around to it. Have a time keeper in the house – the morning ran away on me despite my best intentions! Set up a hashtag for your day so you get all your guests pictures (again this was on my to-do-list but I didn’t get around to it and now I’m chasing people for their pictures).


Venue: Barberstown Castle, Co. Kildare | Photographer: Couple Photography | Wedding Dress: Belle Mariée Bridal, Athboy | Hair: Susan Peggs from The Powder Room Girls | Makeup: Anne Marie Doherty | Suits: Richie Whelan’s Menswear, Naas | Invitations: Designed by my talented sister Lynda Moorhead and printed by Lantz Cards Direct | Florist: Forget Me Not Flowers and Gifts, Co. Kildare | Drinks Reception Music: Barberstown resident pianist Mr. Brian O’ Brien | Wedding Band: The Troubadours | Videography: Limelight Wedding Films | Wedding Rings: Hugh Statham Goldsmith, Naas