“I was in so much shock, I stumbled back, and nearly fell into the lake!”
The couple: Tara Talbot & Fionan Henry
Length of engagement: 18 months | Wedding date: 1st June, 2015
Wedding ceremony: St. Martin of Tours Church, Culmullin, Co. Meath
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath
Photographer: Daniel from DKPHOTO
We met… I travelled Europe in 2006, and lived in Ireland from 2006 – 2009. Fionan and I worked in the same office in Dublin, and we were friends for about a year before we started dating. Fionan was apparently chasing me this whole time, but I was oblivious, as I was in a relationship. After coming home from a short trip to Australia in 2008, my relationship ended, and I decided to move to Galway. One night at Christmas, I travelled up to Dublin for a friend’s birthday, and met Fionan in town that night. I remembered how much fun we had together, and we decided to start seeing each quite soon afterwards. We travelled from Galway to Dublin for the next six months, and then did six months long-distance from Dublin to Brisbane. We have moved hemispheres several times since then, and now live in Brisbane.
Our proposal… Fionan was incredibly crafty in orchestrating his proposal, I was genuinely shocked when he pulled out the ring! A friend of mine had last minute tickets to a gig the night before he proposed, and we stayed out until 5am dancing. I was a little rusty the next morning, but reluctantly agreed to go for a romantic drive in the country. He drove me to Glendalough, which is my favourite place in the world. My Dad and I used to go walking there when I was a little girl, and I told Fionan this once, about five years ago! We arrived at Glendalough, and he took a picnic basket and rug out of the boot of the car and I was just delighted with life, thinking about how lucky I was to have such a romantic boyfriend. We found a secluded place overlooking the lake, and I lay the blanket down. When I turned around, Fionan was down on bended knee, with a gorgeous ring, asking me to marry him. I was in so much shock, I stumbled back, and nearly fell into the lake! I couldn’t speak for about a minute, and finally managed to get a word out. The rest is a bit of a lovely blur, but we sipped Moet & the sun came out as we sat by the lake.
My hair and make-up… I am lucky to have worked with hair and make-up artists during my time in Ireland, and I became very close to a make-up artist named Deborah Leonard. We even found out that we had cousins in common! (How very Irish of us?!) Deb did my make-up on the day, and it was flawless, and lasted until the wee hours. She is an incredible make-up artist, and I would recommend her to any bride. We had 12 faces of make-up, so her colleague, Marie Joseph came along to help out. Everybody looked and felt incredible. My hair was done by Allison McCabe, who again is incredibly talented, has a real eye for detail, and listens to what you want. She was a trojan worker on the day!
His suit… Fionan looked so dapper, well, I thought so! He wore a Midnight Blue Dinner Suit, with a navy lapel from Ron Bennett, and a silver patterned bow tie. I think he got the idea from a Ryan Gosling suit, but he will kill me for saying that!
My dress… My dress ended up being totally different than I imagined it would be! I had coveted some dresses by an Aussie designer that I adored, but when I tried them on, they didn’t suit me at all! I was heartbroken, but it wasn’t meant to be. I ended up with an ivory, lace Pronovias number, and I had the neckline added on to the dress using the lace from the the original bolero jacket. I loved it!
Our ceremony… We had our ceremony in a gorgeous church, St. Martin of Tours in Meath. As we organised the wedding from Australia, we had never been inside the church, but it was so beautiful in real life, we couldn’t have been happier. Our priest was Fr. Michael Murphy, from Roundfort in Mayo, who I met on a trip with the charity SERVE in the Philippines during my Rose year. He was absolutely brilliant, and told a hilarious story about how we met, and had the guests enthralled. We had the perform, which added a lovely dimension to the ceremony.
We chose our venue because… I always knew that if I ever got married it had to be an Irish wedding. My Irish friends were delighted when Fionan and I got engaged, as they thought they’d have an excuse to come down under, but alas we ended up in Meath! The choice of venue was difficult from abroad, as it’s hard to get a feel for a place purely from the website. We chose Ballymagarvey Village as we had been to a wedding there in 2012, and it just felt like home. The food was amazing, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the venue itself is so warm and welcoming. We don’t have anything like it in Australia, so it was a real novelty/treat for our international guests. We had 180 guests from Australia, USA, Canada, England, Jersey, Guernsey, Germany, France & Ireland. So [we were] very blessed.
What our bridal party wore… I have always loved bright colours, so I chose mismatched purple bridesmaid dresses. My six bridesmaids were girls from high school, and also my Dublin Rose, Siobheal. They spanned three continents and were all so very different in shape and size, so I chose knee-length wrap dresses, and chose colours that I thought would make them look and feel great. They chose their own style, and had lots of fun playing around with how they would wear them. I bought the dresses from an American store on Etsy called Coralie Beatrix. The choice of purple was a nod to my beautiful Washington DC Rose, Dott Henggeler, who passed away last year, as this is the colour we use to remember her. The boys wore navy suits to complement Fionan’s dinner suit, with ties in the same print as his bow tie, and all the boys wore little tuxedo socks. The two Dads also wore the same suit as the groomsmen.
My favourite part of the wedding day… There are far too many to choose from! Probably the two car trips on the day; one to the church with my Dad, which was so special, and the other with my new husband Fionan. It was lovely to have a few private moments amongst the madness. It was also lashing rain and wind was blowing a gale, so it was a safe haven for us! I honestly loved every minute of the day and looking around seeing all the people I loved in one room is a feeling I will never forget. The two times I laughed so hard I cried, were at the Magician/Comedian Jack Wise and watching everybody dancing and singing at the Silent Disco.
Our honeymoon… We honeymooned in the Maldives at a place called Constance Moofushi. I would highly recommend this place to anybody. It is the definition of paradise, and the staff pride themselves on being helpful and making your stay really personal, and truly memorable.
We chose our photographer because… I booked Daniel [DKPHOTO] quite soon after we got engaged, and he was nearly booked up 18 months in advance! I loved his style in that the colours were so vivid, and his pictures were so full of life. I like his journalistic style, and he captured the day perfectly. So many wonderful, natural moments that we now have forever. I have to mention our videographer, Complete Weddings here also. They were just so fantastic on the day. We honestly didn’t notice them all day, and the highlight clip is so amazing. I would highly recommend them to any couple.
Our menu… The food at Ballymagarvey was divine. Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend the tasting, but my mother and brother-in-law happily went in our place. We had beautiful Haddock Smokies to begin, Passionfruit Sorbet next, Beef or Seabass for main, and a sweet little mixed dessert plate with four desserts. We then had the fish & chips at midnight which was perfect.
My piece of advice for other brides… As long as you are there, and he/she is there, the rest will happen as it is supposed to. Relax and have fun! Don’t be afraid to indulge a little in the couple of weeks before the wedding. People will want to celebrate with you, and in a lot of cases have travelled to see you, so relax and enjoy! You will look beautiful on the day. Make sure you have a list written down/in your head of the people you must have photographs with. The day flies by, and often at the end, you realise you are missing a photo with someone special. Lastly, smile and soak it all in!
Wedding Dress: Pronovias, White Lily Couture, Brisbane | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coralie Beatrix on Etsy | Wedding Band: The Goodfellas | Make up: Deborah Leonard & Marie Joseph | Hair: Allison McCabe | Wedding Bands: Rocks Jewellers, Stillorgan | Photographer: Daniel from DKPHOTO | Videographer: Niall from Complete Weddings | Wedding Venue: Ballymagarvey Village | Wedding Cake: Iseult from The Cake Stand | Flowers: Theresa from Petite Fleurs | Ceremony Music: Dublin Gospel Choir | Suits: Ron Bennett & Monza Menswear | Magician/Comedian: Jack Wise | Silent Disco: Bob from Headphonedisco.ie | Favours: Teeling Whiskey
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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.