Hold on tight, you’re in for a real wedding extravaganza today with this 3 day garden party wedding of dreams. YES.
WWW readers Ben and Naomi’s wedding is the ultimate summer celebration, what with the Friday night BBQ, followed by the Saturday garden party and all culminating in the wedding hosted on the Sunday. Ballinacurra House in Ireland was the perfect venue for their vision and they really utilised their gardens especially, what with the spectacular garden ceremony in particular. There was a magnificent faux flower arch, Persian rug aisle and sand pouring ceremony. Oh my.
Let’s get on to the outfits now as I just cannot miss out on Naomi’s three outstandingly stunning vintage dresses, which were all incredible bargain finds too. She really did make the perfect boho bride, complete with flower crown and wild style florals. Ben and his fave gents wore pale blue suits and open collars or bow ties and braces for the relaxed vibes, with the bridesmaids in mismatched frocks. They all ooze cool laid back style.
There is just so much to share, that I think it’s best to let these incredible images do the talking, supplied by White Cat Studio, we cannot thank them enough for sending them over.
THE PROPOSAL | We got engaged in Dublin in Ireland on our 4 year anniversary on the Ha’penny Bridge, which was super romantic and another reason why we chose Ireland for our wedding! We went back there the day after we got married which was really special.
THE VISION | The main thing for us was to have the best time celebrating with friends and family together. We chose to do 3 days as you only get married once so we wanted a big party! On the Friday night we had a welcome BBQ and a local Irish singer at The Blue Haven Bar in Kinsale and everyone stayed locally in the town.
Then on the Saturday we had a garden party at Ballinacurra House where we surprised everyone with a secret garden walkway through the grounds of the house, which had activities and decorations on the way such as message in the bottle, a disco tree, a swing and festoon lighting the way. It led to a private jetty where we hired boats, which people could go out on the sea into the sunset it was magical.
We chose our wedding day for the Sunday as the big finale, the boys went to play foot golf in the morning and Ben surprised the bridesmaids and me by booking a yoga teacher to relax in the morning. We then went to get ready. The ceremony was outside down by the pond at 3pm surrounded by the lush green Irish countryside.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Planning a 3 day wedding weekend and making everyday different was hard work but also the most fun and rewarding. We spent 2 years planning the wedding of our dreams and it was worth every single second and now that fact that it’s being featured in Brides Magazine and now on the WWW blog! Ben and myself make the best team, he is in charge of budget, emails and schedule and I was in charge of creative, clothing, flowers etc. We even had a critical path for all the jobs we had to do which would really help us keep on top of everything!
The very first thing we decided on was that we wanted to get married in Ireland. We always wanted to do a 3 day wedding weekend but wanted it to be somewhere people could still afford and was close to get to. Ben has family in Ireland so we started looking at wedding venues, which was so fun flying over for the weekend driving around Ireland. We knew when we left Ballinacurra House that it was the one, there was nothing else like it, so that was the first thing we decided on.
BUDGET | 30k
THE VENUE | Ballinacurra House Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland.
We saw a lot of venues in Ireland but this one blew us away, it’s so unique and special and the staff are all an absolute dream. All the rooms are decorated to different countries such as the ‘Bali Room’ and ‘Japan Room’ it’s so stunning. The outside of the house is yellow, which in the summer almost looks like your in Spain or Italy and the grounds are just breathtaking, lush green and with a private jetty.
They literally made it the easiest job in the world for us. Nothing was every too much for them, all our crazy ideas they helped put into reality and make-work. The team are all amazing. Stuart who implements all the decorations made my vision come true. By the end of the weekend the staff knew the names of all our guests, which was impressive!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I had 3 vintage dresses on my wedding day. I spent 2 years searching everywhere and ended up finding 3 dresses I fell in love with and captured different elements of my style. Being a stylist I LOVE putting together outfits so one dress just wasn’t enough. We had a 3-day wedding so on the Saturday I wore 2 Free People dresses, one of my favourite brands.
Veil: Handmade Floral Lace Veil From Etsy (as my dress was vintage the dress was slightly off white, I used tea to make the veil match the dress).
Shoes: Barefoot for the ceremony but later on wore some Zara gold cross over block sandals, I think metallic is great for brides as I found a lot of bridal shoes quite stark against my dresses.
Head-dress: Floral Head crown made by Daisy Chain Kinase, which had wild flowers and thistles in it.
FINDING THE DRESS | Dress 1: This was a vintage 70s dress I found on eBay and I paid £50 for it. It has a hand crochet vest detail with button down front; big long sleeves, which go into crochet buttoned cuffs and then a floaty skirt. I wore this for the ceremony, which I always feel like you should be quite conservative as it’s a religious ceremony. It’s quite understated but whenever I put it on I knew it was the one, it made me feel like me. I love texture and handmade details; this was unlike anything I saw. I had the ceremony outside on the grass so opted for barefoot, which felt like a dream and accessorized with a real flower crown and matching bouquet, I felt so comfortable and like myself, which is the most important thing.
Dress 2: Just before our entrance to dinner I changed into a handmade 70s crochet maxi dress, which I have had saved in my wardrobe since I got engaged. I used to work for vintage company Beyond Retro, so I often found absolute gems. I found this dress on the rail for £40 and knew it was mine. I had it altered at the waist and wore it with a body shoulder chain, which is handmade from Claudia Pink and a headdress to match.
Dress 3: I was actually looking for bridal accessories on Depop about 4 months before the wedding and stumbled across this one, I paid £80 for this embellished, bell sleeved dream, which is incredible as I couldn’t dream of finding a more suited piece. A long white maxi dress with big huge bell sleeves (perfect for the first dance) and embellished gold detail down the front. I think this either might have been made in India or Morocco. I had the skirt underneath altered to a mini length so I could wear a heel and finished it off with a matching head chain. I changed into this after dinner for the evening.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | I wanted the palette to be pale and summery so opted for light blue suits, which also have a 70s retro feel.
Groom / usher and best men: Blue Suit 3 piece from TOPMAN, Shirt, Shirt From Hawes & Curtis, Brown Suede Shoes From John Lewis, Buttonholes from Daisy Chain Kinsale .
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Walking down the aisle song: Fleetwood Mac – Songbird
First Dance: Sister Sledge: Thinking Of You
We are huge 70s / disco fans so the soundtrack for the whole weekend was very retro.
We had two readings, one a bible reading about love that one of our friends read out, which Ben’s dad chose and the second a poem that one of our best friends wrote about us, which was so cute and funny and made the ceremony just how we envisioned it, happy and fun.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Sarah – maid of honour, Kourtney, Alice, Danielle – bridesmaids and Sophie – flower girl.
I wanted the bridesmaids to be in romantic soft florals, all in different, which I have to admit, was the hardest job of them all! I started looking for all vintage dresses but found it too hard to match the right dresses. I then bought dresses, which suit them, and their styles and this was so much easier and I wanted them to wear something they would wear again. They were from ASOS, Zara, Free People and Miss Selfridge. They all look like bohemian goddesses, the perfect Bride Tribe!
THE FLOWERS | Bouquet, headdress etc: Daisy Chain Pearse St, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland.
I asked for soft colours and light blue to match the bridesmaids and Ben’s suit. They used a mix of wildflowers, roses and gorgeous thistles. The flowergirl’s head piece had gyp, delphinium and spray roses crema Garcia and coral peonies.
Bride’s head piece had nigella, delphinium, vuvuzalia roses crema garcia and spray roses.
Bridesmaids had stocks ,peonies, norma jean roses ,astilbe and eucalyptus,
Bride’s bouquet had Astilbe, coral peonies, vuvusalia roses, delphiniums, nigella, eringium and eucalyptus.
THE CAKE | We didn’t have a cake as we were in Ireland we thought it would go to waste, instead we put the money into midnight snacks – stone baked pizzas the evening of the wedding, which definitely was a good shout!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Egle Laukyte @ White Cat Studio, Ireland
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We handmade most of the decorations for the wedding. My favourite thing was a floral arch we made for the ceremony. We brought a 7ft metal garden pergola and covered it in artificial flowers, it looked so beautiful for the photos. We then used bohemian rugs for the aisle with lanterns and candles either side for the ceremony. For dinner we hung huge handmade dream catchers from the ceiling with floral hoops and a chandelier. For the table plans we used my dads old white shabby stepladders with frames and flowers on.
We did a personalised cocktail menu, which was really fun, the name! We had things like – Naomi’s Express Dress Martini (because I did so many outfit changes) and the ‘Lovers Lemon Heaven’,
We had a big candelabra in the middle with a floral hoop decorating it with big white dream catchers hanging from the ceiling. Then we had lots of little jars and flowers, which I decorated around it scattered for a shabby chic bohemian feel.
THE HONEYMOON | We couldn’t take a honeymoon, as we had to use a lot of holiday pre wedding and for the wedding. We had to travel over to Ireland in the van on the ferry with all our decorations and Roxy our dog, which was an experience! But we are currently on a 8 month holiday around the world so a late but very big honeymoon!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I think the ceremony, you can’t really explain that feeling of walking down the aisle and marrying your best friend with everyone around you celebrating together. I’ll remember the way Ben looked at me and that feeling of pure happiness forever. That was the time I looked around me and thought ‘we did it’ after 2 years of planning.
Ben for his speech at the dinner surprised me as he kept this silly book I made him after we had been together for a year, which was a funny story about us with photos, he started reading the book out to everyone and told everyone to look under their chairs, he had copied 105 books and stuck them under every ones chairs, they looked exactly the same even down to the red ribbon holding it together, he continued to read the book and then finished the story that we ended up getting married, it was so lovely!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | To keep on top of the budget and build a contingency fund, as there are always surprise costs the closer you get to the wedding. It’s also good to be in charge of different jobs. Ben focused on the budgets; liaising with suppliers etc and I focused more on the creative side, which was the perfect balance, dream team!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | White Cat Studio
Headdress | Aaggnnii
Bag | ASOS
Henna tattoos | Bohomoon
Bridesmaids Dresses | Zara ASOS Miss Selfridge Free People Monsoon
Suit | Topman
Shirt | Hawes and Curtis
Shoes | John Lewis
Venue | Ballinacurra House
Flowers | Daisychain Kinsale
Artificial flowers | Silk Blooms
Signs | Etsy
Wooden letters | Hobby Craft
Lanterns | Sell My Wedding
Dream catchers | eBay
How utterly amazing!
Ben and Naomi, thanks ever so much for sharing your wonderful wedding story here with us xo Lou