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A Midsummer Wedding’s Dream at BrookLodge Hotel

“No one wants to be fixing fairy lights the night before their wedding!”

The couple: Laura Healy & Mohanid (Moe) Ragel
Length of engagement: Two years | Wedding date: 25th July 2015
Wedding venue: Brooklodge & Macreddin Village, Co. Wicklow

Photographer: Couple Photography – Ros Byrne

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We met… Moe and I met through mutual friends. We first saw each other in Captain Americas in Dublin, however it wasn’t until weeks later, when Moe’s friend Ed got my number from my friend Sarah and numbers were exchanged, that we actually spoke! We went for a meal on our first date and then for a drink afterwards. When Moe got out of the taxi on the way home, he didn’t kiss me goodnight, which I thought was sweet, he was an old school romantic!

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Our proposal…  Moe surprised me with a very romantic proposal at the Trevi Fountain in Rome at midnight. We had gone to Rome to see my favourite band The National play, and it was that night after the gig that he proposed with the most beautiful diamond solitaire engagement ring. He had it specially made and kept it a secret for months before. It came out of the blue as we were only together a year and a half but when you know, you know!

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My dress… My dress is from Kathy De Stafford Bridal on Exchequer St. in Dublin. I tried on two dresses that I loved, the top of one and the skirt of the other so I was delighted to hear that the dress could be custom made to incorporate the two dresses into one. It took months to make but I couldn’t have been happier with the finished product. It was a floor length, fitted, ivory lace dress with small cap sleeves and a V-neckline. The back of the dress had a V-shaped sheer lace panel with a column of beautiful ivory buttons. My shoes were beautiful (and really comfortable!) gold strappy sandals from Dune.

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My hair and make-up… My hair was styled by the very talented Leonie Byrne, who is a friend of a friend. I went for a soft textured low updo. I wanted a style that would go well with the dress and I think this worked really well, as having my hair up showed off the beautiful detail on the back of the dress. My make-up was done by the highly skilled Aoife from Bobbi Brown in Dundrum. Aoife created a really natural bridal look which I loved. She used subtle shades of browns and creams on my eyes and finished with really natural individual lashes. The make-up lasted the whole day and night, and the mascara stayed put in spite of all the blubbering!

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Our wedding theme/colours… We chose a country chic style for our midsummer wedding. The bridesmaids wore a floor length mint green dress and the groomsmen wore dark grey suits to contrast. Our flowers were a mix of cream, pale pink, purple and green.

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His suit… Moe’s suit was a custom made suit from Louis Copeland in Dundrum. He chose it all himself so I can’t really take the credit! Moe went for a sleek, light grey fitted suit with an ivory tie and dark brown shoes. The boy done good!

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Our ceremony… We chose to have a spiritualist ceremony. Our solemniser, Thomas Patrick Colton, was very calm and professional and really made our ceremony feel unique and special. We got married in the beautiful chapel on the grounds of BrookLodge & Macreddin Village. To reach the chapel, you cross a bridge over a bubbling stream. We chose the unity candle ceremony which involved both our mothers who passed a candle to their future son/daughter-in-law. We also chose to have a traditional Celtic handfasting ceremony, where Thomas used four coloured pieces of ribbon, each symbolic, to drape over our hands before he tied the knot to make us officially husband and wife. We loved the spiritualist ceremony because it was so intimate and personal and really reflected who we are as a couple.

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We chose our photographer because… We came across Couple Photography at a wedding fair in the RDS. We loved the idea that two photographers would shoot our day and this is one of the main reasons we chose Couple Photography. Ros was so lovely and down to earth when we met her. We looked through her albums and loved how her style was both natural and quirky, exactly what we wanted. We arranged to meet and look at more of her work and we booked her straight away. Ros had photographed weddings in BrookLodge before so it was great that she was familiar with the venue and its surroundings. Ros and Anna were so easy to work with and so professional and captured the most stunning pictures of the day.

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My favourite part of the wedding day… Seeing Moe’s face at the altar as I walked up the aisle! That’s a moment I’ll never forget. I was so overcome with emotion! I also really enjoyed taking photos with our bridal party in the beautiful grounds of BrookLodge, we had such a laugh!

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We chose our venue because… For many reasons. We loved the atmosphere, it was exactly what we were looking for. BrookLodge is a really relaxed, country venue situated in the most beautiful surroundings of the Wicklow Mountains. It is an organic hotel and the food is out of this world, our guests are still raving about it! We also really liked the fact that the hotel has a separate building called Brookhall which is specifically for weddings. All our guests stayed in Brookhall too which meant it was like having a private venue for the wedding day. The staff are so friendly and helpful and everything was organised to a tee, we couldn’t have asked for more from a venue. On the day itself, Laura, Pavel and Niall were on hand to oversee the event, and everything went perfectly. Our guests were very impressed, commenting on how fantastic the service was and how seamlessly the day unfolded.

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Our menu…

Starter
Slow Cooked Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Bruschetta

Soup
Roasted Squash, Garlic Croutons

Main
Irish Beef Fillet, Herbed Potato Cake, Shiraz Gravy

Dessert
Macreddin Dessert Pot

Tea, Coffee and Petit Fours

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Our honeymoon… We headed off to Sorrento in Italy three days after the wedding. We had a fantastic time there, ate far too much pizza and pasta and drank far too much wine! The best part of the honeymoon was definitely getting a chance to relax together and enjoy our time as newlyweds after the excitement and business of the lead up to the wedding day.

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My piece of advice for other brides… Start the planning early! This means less stress leading up to the big day… no one wants to be fixing fairy lights the night before their wedding! And also, don’t get caught up in what other people have done for their weddings, remember the day is about you and your groom, so do what you want!

Suppliers

Wedding venue: BrookLodge & Macreddin Village | Wedding photographer: Couple Photography | Wedding dress: Kathy De Stafford, Dublin | Bride’s shoes: Dune | Make-up: Aoife, Bobbi Brown in Dundrum | Hair: Leonie Byrne | Bridesmaid dresses: Coast | Groom’s suit: Custom Louis Copeland | Flowers: Sharon from Blossomhill Florist, Aughrim | Ceremony Solemniser: Spiritualist Ceremonies, Thomas Patrick Colton

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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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