December 16 2016, Ballymagarvey Village in Co. Meath
Sam and Rachel met in Fitzsimons Temple Bar seven years ago after coming across one another online. The spark was undeniable, and for Sam it was “love at first sight.”
Fast forward to September 21, 2013 when Rachel went down on one knee in a suite at the Morrison Hotel with Sam’s favourite song, ‘Turning Page’ by Sleeping At Last, playing in the background. The emotional proposal reduced them both to tears of joy and, of course, Sam said ‘Yes!’
The gorgeous couple picked the first venue they visited, Ballymagarvey Village in Co. Meath, which gave Sam “butterflies” and had “the wintery wedding feel that I knew was right for our wedding day.”
The Wedding Details Sam fell in love with her Mori Lee AF couture dress from Bridal by Nikki Kavanagh in Ratoath, Co. Meath, ending her search after five other dress shops. Rachel knew she wasn’t going to wear a dress, and on the hunt for the perfect outfit came across a blue suit from Scribe by London, based in House of Fraser. Knowing instantly it was the one, she contacted the designer, Pat Morley, who agreed to design Rachel her own suit in ivory. For a personal touch, they had lace from Sam’s dress sewn into the lining of Rachel’s jacket and covered some of the buttons with satin from the dress.
Nikki Kavanagh, owner of the shop Sam found her dream gown in, did Sam’s makeup for the occasion while Susan Peggs from The Powder Room perfected her Hollywood glam hair. Rachel’s makeup was done Deirdre Lynch with hair by Reita Muldoon, both also booked through The Powder Room.
Sam and Rachel’s floral arrangements were done by Theresa from Petit Fleurs in Navan, who brought their ideas to life. They also had brooches with their grandad’s pictures in them added to their own bouquets to carry with them through their special day.
Professional chef Rachel, with help and recipes from her sister Sarah, made the couple’s three-tier wedding cake. Each had a different flavour: top layer was red velvet sponge with vanilla filling, middle layer was apple, cinnamon, pecan and coconut sponge with salted caramel filling and the bottom layer was plain vanilla with vanilla filling. They also made 50 cupcakes to make sure all their guests got a sweet treat on the day.
Emma Sides from the Humanist Association of Ireland officiated the ceremony, and for Sam “Emma was exactly what we needed to make our ceremony as special and as memorable as it was.”
Nikki Kavanagh, the wedding all-rounder, also sang at the couple’s ceremony and during the pre-reception drinks. She sang the same song Rachel played while proposing as the brides walked down the aisle. On a friend’s recommendation, Sam and Rachel booked The Beat Boutique for their wedding band and DJ. The entertainment didn’t disappoint and they had the floor “hopping from the very first song!”
The happy couple initially booked Elisha Clarke Photography to capture their day. When offered an upgrade to have Niall Scully Photography come on board they “jumped at the chance” as it meant they could have a photographer each to “capture all those little moments with our family and bridesmaids.”
Favourite Memories For Sam, seeing Rachel before the ceremony was one of the most precious moments of the day; “It was overwhelming. I wanted our family to also share it with us. Both of our families were in the room where I had gotten ready and they were able to watch us have our moment. Both of our photographers captured the emotions of this moment and we will treasure them forever.”
Rachel’s day was made by “just having everyone together to share our day”, and fondly recalled the speeches made by “my dad Derek and my sister Sarah, and Sam’s mam Pam, and her sister Ciara.” Another stand out moment was the couple’s first dance to Neopolitan Dreams by Lisa Mitchell; “Literally nobody knew the song but it means a lot to me and Sam, and it’s also not one of those really slow songs as I didn’t want that. Instead we had a relatively unknown song that people ended up loving by the end because it’s such a happy song.”
Special Touches Sam and Rachel worked hard to add personal touches to their day to fit their Christmassy theme. They had mistletoe dotted around the manor and “set up a cute sparkler station for our guests to have one as they left the Manor House for the short walk down to the reception hall.”
Tell us about your experience with Ballymagarvey Village? “Ballymagarvey Village is amazing and lives up to its reputation. The grounds are breath-taking for photographs. They have the barn house area to hire for you to get ready on the morning of, the bridal suites are beautiful and the reception hall is something out of a fairytale. The food surpassed our expectations.”
How great was it working with your photographers Elisha Clarke and Niall Scully? “Elisha and Niall are such good friends and on both our engagement shoot and on the wedding day the four of us got on so well and had such a laugh. Both Elisha and Niall were absolute dream to work with. Elisha was super easy to deal with every step of the way. We had so much fun on the morning of. I honestly cannot recommend both photographers enough! We still keep in touch even several months later and that should be the kind of photographer you need to get, someone with that personal touch.”