Hello! How was your weekend?
We had a lovely one with some Christmas shopping, cosy nights in and my nephews 4th birthday party. It’s Blogmas day 3 and we have a very special real wedding to share – our Blogging Bride Deirdre and her husband, David’s celebration at Lough Eske. We’ve been so excited to share their beautiful day, from the styling to the sweet personal touches throughout, we just know you’re going to love it!
You can catch up on how Deirdre and David met and got engaged here.
Couple: Deirdre + David O’Neill
Wedding date: Friday 4th May 2018
Venue: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal
“We started off with picking the time of year we wanted to get married and then started looking at venues. Once we set the date, we focused on the band and photographer and then chilled out for a while. We made every planning decision together, but David mostly managed the finances while I did most of the spending. Once we decided that we’d like a May wedding, we looked at the maximum we could save each month until then and that figure became our budget.
We decided the three most important things to us were the music, the food and the craic so we focused on these areas. We booked a three-piece called ‘Viva Manila’ to play before and during our meal and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. We definitely tried to save where we could – we got our invites and save the dates from Vista Print and because we had our ceremony and reception at Lough Eske, we didn’t need to worry about cars. For favours, we ordered mini jam jars from eBay and filled them with Jägermeister with a tag that said, ‘take a shot we tied the knot!’ which didn’t break the bank and gave everyone a boost of energy after the speeches.
We were also very lucky that we had so much support from our family and friends. David’s parents did a lot of decorating for the venue, they even built a customised selfie frame! And two days before the wedding I came home from a nail appointment to find my Mum had literally pulled out a rosemary bush from the back garden and had my Dad and sisters cutting it up and tying rosemary twigs to bay leaves with a little thank you note for each guest.”
“We didn’t set out with a particular theme, but as the wedding planning went on we seemed to be picking a lot of greens, creams, and pale pinks which tied in with the spring time of year. I also wanted a lot of greenery in my bouquet and because we were planning for an outdoor ceremony, we went for very relaxed flowers and tried to “bring the outdoors in” with our décor. I’m not sure where balloons came into the theme but as I had four little pageboys I gave each of them a little feather filled balloon to walk down the aisle with. One popped in the middle of the ceremony which was pretty funny!”
“I had no idea what style I liked or what would suit me, so I didn’t take my first dress appointment seriously at all. I just had the craic with my mum and sisters and I tried on all different types of dresses. It definitely helped me realise what I didn’t like. After that, I started to do a bit of research and fell in love with Claire Pettibone dresses. Ivory and Pearl in Comber is the only place in Northern Ireland that stocks them, so I made an appointment. Kate, the owner, is so friendly and just understood exactly what I wanted (more than I did) and I ended up picking my dream Claire Pettibone dress that day. I loved how it was silk which made it so comfortable and light, so I was able to dance the night away.”
David: The outdoor ceremony was definitely a highlight for me. I always loved the idea of getting married outside, but I know how much of a long shot that is in Ireland. There had been thunder storms the week leading up to our wedding, so when the sun came out that morning it just set the tone for the whole day.
Deirdre: The whole weekend had so many highlights for me. From the night before, having a sleepover with my bridesmaids at the hotel was so much fun as we sat around in our robes drinking gin and reminiscing! Getting ready the next morning was so relaxed, apart from the screams we let out when we saw the limo pull up the driveway with all the boys in it! Coming back from photos and seeing guests with their sunglasses on, sipping French 75s and having a jive session during the pre-reception was amazing. And last but certainly not least, heading into Donegal town the next day for round two and having a guilt free curry cheese chip at the end of the night to mark the end of the wedding diet was a fabulous moment.
“It’s so cliché but it really is the best day of your life so just soak it all up and enjoy every minute.
A few weeks before the wedding I broke my left thumb and had to have surgery, I was worried I was going to have to wear a cast on the day but a week before the wedding my surgeon removed the cast and gave me a small sleeve that was a lot less noticeable. I jazzed it up a bit and sewed some lace around it to take the ‘medical’ look from it and it worked a treat!
It’s easy to feel stressed the week leading up to your big day but try to let go and hand over to the professionals. When you go off for photos, it’s a good opportunity to have some private time together and remember what it’s all about!”
Photographer: This Modern Love
Venue: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal.
Wedding dress: Claire Pettibone from Ivory & Pearl, Comber.
Veil: Visionary Veils, Belfast.
Bridesmaids dresses: Ghost.
Groomswear: Remus Uomo and Magee suits from McElhinneys, Ballybofey.
Hair & MUA: RoCo, Derry.
Cake: Sugar & Lace, Derry.
Flowers: John Paul Florist, Derry.
Floral hoops: Sass and Halo, Derry.
Videographer: Simba Star Media, Derry.
Ceremony entertainment: Ardu vocal ensemble.
Pre-reception music: Caitlin McLaughlin from Velvet Rose.
Dinner music: Viva Manila.
Evening entertainment: The Jukebox Jurors.