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The Science of Love, Metal & Football at The Millhouse, Slane

“Prior to the wedding we filmed a short video (with the help of our talented bridal party) with a plot that featured a time-travelling adventure back to Italia ’90.”

The couple: Jennifer Tweed & Alan Tweed
Length of Engagement: Almost 2 years | Wedding Date: 29th April 2016
Venue: The Millhouse, Slane
Photographers: The Fennells

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We met… When we were 17 we both ended up going to a summer camp in Maynooth University. It was science camp. We “bonded”. Alan, a long-haired bass player in a metal band, walked up to me, a gangly girl in baggy jeans and various shades of purple hair. Both of us were wearing Metallica t-shirts. “Did you see Metallica play there in the RDS last month?” And the rest was history…

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The proposal… This took place on our 10 year anniversary. We had met when we were 17 so, at 27, Alan decided to take the plunge. We had a super romantic day which involved our first car getting its first NCT. Then followed a drive down the motorway blasting Metallica to the sprawling metropolis that is Portlaoise for a night away in a hotel. That’s where Alan popped the question. After the calls and texts and celebrations, we realised that the World Cup match between Brazil and Chile had just gone to penalties. Cue me: “forget the engagement, the match has gone to penalties!” Then off to the bar for cocktails and football. Good times.

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My hair and make up… Sinéad from The Hair Mob styled my hair and my make-up was done by Michelle of Michelle T Make up.

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My dress… Was the second or third dress I tried on, in the first shop I visited. My dress was actually second-hand, although you’d never have known it, and I picked it up in the fantastic Memories Bridal Boutique in Dublin. I loved the dress immediately. The simple boho style fitted perfectly into the relaxed, summery feel I wanted for the day. Unusually, I got married barefoot. I actually spent the whole day barefoot, until I got onto the dance floor that night. I love the feeling of being barefoot and, again, felt like it suited the style of the day.

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His suit… We wanted to move away from the traditional black or grey wedding suit so Alan, his groomsmen and our two dads were all kitted out in blue suits. The suits were from Collar & Cuff in Glasnevin and were matched with peach ties, in keeping with the colour scheme.

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Our wedding theme… We had a number of different themes to the wedding, as we tried to capture as many of our interests as possible and draw on key moments from our relationship. One of the themes that ran throughout the wedding was a science theme: appropriate given that we met in science camp! Rather than using the traditional candle ceremony to symbolise the “coming together” of our lives, we invented a ceremony: a live chemical reaction mixing two chemicals of different colours to form a totally new chemical compound. Our guests loved the dramatic reaction of the chemicals!

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Our wedding ceremony… As we had a civil ceremony, we were pretty much free to make the ceremony our own. I walked up the aisle to Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’, in homage to how we met. We walked out to the iconic guitar solo from Guns N Roses ‘November Rain’ – rock and roll! All the music was performed by our friends which made it all the more personal.We wrote our own vows and saw a lot of laughter and not a dry eye in the place.

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The wedding car… We are both huge Back to the Future fans and that made our choice of wedding car very easy. I arrived to the ceremony in a Delorean! This was a big surprise for all the wedding guests and made for some brilliant photos on the day.

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We chose our venue because… We said from the start that we wanted to get married in a relaxed venue that let us put as much of ourselves into the occasion as we could. We would like to say that we searched high and low for a venue but we didn’t. When we visited The Millhouse in Slane we immediately knew it was the right place for us. We loved the ceremony room, the lovely country house and quirky bedrooms, the scenery on the banks of the river Boyne, and also the bathtubs randomly dotted about the grounds. Essentially it was the bathtubs that sold it. One of the things that sold the venue to us was that we wanted a small private venue, where we could have both our ceremony and reception in the same place and which we could completely take over for the day. The Millhouse fit the bill. We also loved the old buildings and quirky features, which we knew would look really good in the photos, contrasting with all the colours of the wedding decorations and everyone dressed up for the occasion. The staff were superb throughout and provided us with so much support, both in the planning and on the day itself.

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The room decor… In keeping with the science theme, we had chemical flasks as flower vases on all our tables. Each table was named after an element from the periodic table and each table we had related props for our guests to react with – the Krypton table had a Superman cape, Calcium had chalk and chalkboards, Carbon had Pogs! Another element of our relationship that we captured on the day was our mutual love for football! I designed and made bride and groom cake toppers, each wearing the colours of our favourite teams, Liverpool and Manchester United. Prior to the wedding we filmed a short video (with the help of our talented bridal party) with a plot that featured a time-travelling adventure back to Italia ’90. We showed this on the wedding day prior to dinner and made our grand entrance with all our guests singing “Olé Olé Olé”. We even had the Champions League theme tune on piano as part of our wedding ceremony!

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We chose our photographer because… The enthusiasm he showed for all our weird and wacky ideas, coupled with his portfolio of photos from past weddings won us over. On the day, both Mark and Fiona from The Fennells made us feel so relaxed about getting the photos taken and so many of our friends and family have said the same. Having the two photographers meant that we captured so many moments and angles that we wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. Even battling hail and snow showers, mis-functioning sparklers, and rogue sensor lights, the pictures are unbelievable.

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My piece of advice for other brides… Enjoy every moment of the engagement and wedding planning. It flies by so quickly! Don’t let yourself get stressed by the details, everything comes together on the day, one way or another.

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My favourite part of the wedding day… The whole day was amazing from start to finish, seeing all our months of planning come together in such a brilliant day. I think my highlight has to be the wedding ceremony itself, I’ve never laughed or smiled so much in my life. Walking down the aisle with my new husband, surrounded by all our friends and family is something I’ll never forget.

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Suppliers

Photographers: The Fennells | Bride’s dress: Memories Bridal Boutique | Groom’s suit: Collar & Cuff, Glasnevin | Rings: Martin Gear Jewellers | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Coast | Hair: Sinead Gaffney, The Hair Mob | Make-up: Michelle T Make up | Venue: The Millhouse, Slane | Ceremony: The Millhouse, Slane | Ceremony music: “Some very talented friends of ours” | Band: Hit Rewind | Flowers: Joseph M Duffy & Sons, Smithfield Market | Bouquets: DIY by Jenni & Alan | Cake: DIY by Jenni’s Aunt | Invites: DIY by Jenni | Morning venue: Collon House, Co. Louth

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Karen
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.

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