Whimsical Wedding with Polish Influences: Shona + Rafal

Tullyveery House

Good morning gorgeous ones! What a day – honestly, I love autumn but the crisp, crunchy leaves version, not this torrential soaked to the bone kind! 

I hope your week has been great, I am having a very busy one with a very fun night approaching on Saturday. I’ll be sharing some of the details on Friday but THIS MAMAS GOT A NIGHT OFF!! I am going out out and I couldn’t be more excited! 

Thanks for all the love and messages on last weeks wedding of Ashlea and Tim, you all have brilliant bridal taste and yes it was as epic as it looked. Today we’ve another lovely couple to share, Shona and Rafal. Married at Tullyveery House, their day was elegant and stunningly styled whilst filled with fun traditions from Rafal’s homeland of Poland – vodka shots anyone?! Hope you enjoy… 

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Couple: Shona + Rafal Kozak 

“We first met when we were both working at the Irish Open in Portrush, which took place in 2012. We worked together for a few years and were friends, until Rafal asked me to go for ice cream one day after work in 2014 – it was a very spontaneous date, but at least I didn’t have time to be nervous or stress over an outfit!”

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

The Proposal

“Rafal proposed to me at White Rocks Beach, just down from where we first met. It was Boxing Day 2016 and he had asked me to go for a picnic – I thought he was mad! We would’ve gone to White Rocks quite a lot though, so I didn’t suspect anything. When we got there and set up our picnic, he was too nervous and worried about it raining, that he just went on ahead and asked me straight away! I was so taken aback, I replied “are you sure? Because I’m really annoying!” Probably not the movie moment response he expected! He pulled a navy box out of his pocket, and asked me once more – I replied yes that time!”

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Wedding date: Saturday 9th September 2017 

Venue: Tullyveery House, Killyleagh 

Our Planning

“Working with events and weddings, we already knew a lot of the suppliers that we wanted to work with so we didn’t spend a lot of time shopping around. It was more just getting quotes and then booking the suppliers who we were really interested in having.

Rafal is originally from Poland, and all of his family were coming over for the wedding so we knew it was going to be really important for us to embrace both cultures and make sure everyone had an amazing day. We wanted a relaxed, fun day with lots of craic and little stress. That was why we decided to have our wedding all in one venue, and we provided a coach service for guests to get to the wedding and to take them home at the end of the night.

Rafal and I both worked for Posh Nosh for many years, and we knew there was nobody else that we could have to provide the catering – it was great to create a bespoke menu and to know that our food would be of an extremely high quality and using all local produce, which was important for us to showcase to our Polish guests. All of our guests commented on the amazing food and portions throughout the day.

We had also spent a lot of time at venues throughout Northern Ireland, and none compared to Tullyveery House. We did look at a couple of other venues, but Tullyveery was always the frontrunner. Colin, Heather and Gwen were fantastic to work with, and went out of their way to ensure we had a great day. They were also a massive help for us in creating our multi-cultural wedding and having some Polish aspects to the day. To be fair, however, we would highly recommend all of our suppliers – they were fantastic and we would recommend them to anyone!”

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Our Style

“The style we wanted to go for was romantic and whimsical, with lots of pastel colours. We worked with an events stylist to help us achieve this style, Blue Moon, who were amazing and really helped to achieve this. Marie from Marie Cafolla Flowers was unreal – she knew better than I did what my style was! I gave her a very vague idea of what I wanted to capture, and she completely embraced my ideas and brought them to life. I think working with a great stylist and florist is so, so important.” 

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

My Dress

“I absolutely hated dress shopping! I found it so stressful, I hate shopping in any instance and so for my wedding dress it felt like such a pressure and weight hanging over me! I originally wanted a princess dress but every one I tried on I looked like a little girl playing dress up! It was only when I went to Forever Bridal in Finaghy that Leondra talked me into trying something that was a tighter fit – the first dress I tried on was the one! It was a crepe dress with lace cut outs at the waist, a small delicate crepe belt and lace cap sleeves that continued on around the back.” 

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Our Highlights

“For Rafal’s toast, we toasted with a shot of traditional Polish vodka which his parents brought over for us for the wedding. The photos of peoples’ faces taking the shots are hilarious! His parents also performed a Polish blessing at the end of our ceremony with Holy Water from his church in Krakow, and then they gave us a gift of Bread and Salt – the bread is to symbolise that you may never go hungry in your marriage together, and salt to symbolise the richness of your lives together.” 

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Our Advice

“Don’t sweat the small stuff – there were so many things I had over-analysed and thought out in fine detail, that on the day, I didn’t even notice! Also, eat!! In all the excitement, I probably didn’t eat enough that morning and when getting our family photos, I went completely white and fainted! It’s quite funny looking back, I felt so bad for our photographer Jonathan Ryder, ha! But yes, get that bacon § into you before you leave the house! 

We set a budget, however, we found it extremely difficult to stick to – there was a lot of things that we didn’t really think to budget for (as awful as it sounds!) like gifts for the bridal party, gifts for our parents, beauty treatments coming up to the wedding, order of services (oops!), clothes for honeymoon etc. I found having a spreadsheet was great – I listed each supplier, what we had paid so far in deposits/instalments, and then had a remaining balance column with a running total at the bottom. It really helped to (somewhat) control spending and also manage our finances leading up the wedding.” 

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Tullyveery House

Wedding Suppliers

Venue: Tullyveery House

Dress: Mikaella from Forever Bridal

Bridesmaids dress: Eliza & Ethan from Forever Bridal 

Accessories: Argento

Groomswear: Focus Menswear 

Photographer: Jonathan Ryder Photography

Cake: Cake Couture NI 

Flowers: Marie Cafolla Flowers

Bridal cars: David Andrews Wedding Cars

Videographer: Amber Tree Filmhouse

Entertainment: Sharon Graham Pianist, Off the Scale Music and The Breakfast Club

Hair: Dani-Belle Wedding Hair

Makeup: Deborah Harper Make-Up & Beauty

Catering: Posh Nosh

Event Styling: Blue Moon Events