Today’s wedding is all about embracing the season.
What better for a New Years Eve wedding than a candle lit ceremony, Bridesmaids in faux fur jackets, vintage roses in metallic vases and an exclusive Dublin townhouse from which to watch the fireworks at midnight?
There was only really one gown fit for the occasion…
And that of course, was Eden by Jenny Packham. The ultimate in glamorous wedding gowns.
Probably THE dress of 2013. But rightly so – it really is eternally beautiful.
I am well and truly embracing the festivities now, have a lovely Christmas everyone!
Venues That Speak For Themselves
Emma The Bride: We wanted a local, intimate, city wedding. With no fuss. It was also important that the venues had the wow factor. This meant they spoke for themselves and required very little dressing/styling.
Our civil ceremony was in City Hall on Dame St. Once we knew it was an option there simply was no other contender. City Hall is a stunning historical building in the city centre of Dublin.
The reception was in The Cliff Town House on St. Stephens Green. The Cliff Town House is a short stroll across Grafton St. from City Hall. It overlooks Stephens Green and has fabulous views of the park. The interior is gorgeous. It was the perfect size for our wedding (86 people) and it is known for it’s top notch food and wine.
We had the whole house for the wedding, the drinks reception took place upstairs, the meal was in the restaurant on the ground floor and the party was upstairs again. The bridal party and close family stayed in the 9 bedrooms.
A Spectacular View
There was a massive New Years Eve party in the city that night and we could see the fireworks over Stephens Green from the window of the restaurant (some of the guests watched from the front door). Outside the city was alive with NY’s celebarations and we were tucked away inside eating and drinking like royalty.
Antique And Vintage
The inspiration for the look of the wedding came from my 1905 antique engagement ring which was bought in Delphi Antiques. I love old buildings, old furniture, anything antique and vintage, I find them so interesting and romantic. I wanted a wedding to match the ring and that is how we settled on the venues and outfits.
Gold And Silver Embellishment
My dress, Eden by Jenny Packham, captured the New Years eve look – platinum satin covered in silver and gold embellishment. Initially I struggled to find anything I remotely liked and visited numerous shops. I held out hope for the much anticipated Jenny Packham trunk show and it did not disappoint.
The sales assistant in Sharon Hoey’s recommended I start with my least favourite and work my way up to my favourite. Eden was the first on the list. To my surprise the minute I tried it on I LOVED it and the others paled in comparison. It was the first and only dress that I got excited about. I loved how it was so glitzy and thought it would be perfect for a New Years eve/winter wedding. I also liked that it was not white or expected – though some of my friends guessed the dress before they saw it – maybe it was predictable for me.
The Perfect Silk Tulle Veil
The dress was not very wedding dressy so I wanted to wear a veil to ensure I looked like a bride. I could not find what I was looking for and so I had a dress maker make one from silk tulle, I loved how light and soft the material was and how it fell. It also worked as a train as there was not one on the dress.
I searched all over for a suitable headpiece and ended up with two. The first was sourced on Etsy and came from a designer called Doloris Petunia in California. It was made to order and the designer matched the stones and petals to the colours of the dress. The net hair band matched the netting on the dress. It worked perfect with and without the veil. I am only dying for an excuse to wear it again.
With all the looking around for headpieces I ended up finding another beautiful piece in Knightsbridge in the Powerscourt shopping centre and wore that from the first dance on.
My shoes were a gift from my very generous parents in law. My friend and I got them in Jimmy Choo on Bond Street, London. My earrings were from Loulerie, they were very simple – gold drops with a little diamond. I lost them on honeymoon and poor Alan had to buy me a new pair. Alan’s suit was from Reiss and he wore a navy blue velvet tie and white shirt.
A Very Glamorous Wedding Party
We had two bridesmaids. My sister Sarah who flew back from Australia to be there and our lifelong friend Mairead. It was tricky to find dresses to go with the wedding dress and rather than trying to match them up we contrasted the complexity of the wedding dress with simplicity.
The colours tied everything together – silver/platinum dresses, grey faux fur coats and gold and silver shoes (Buffalo) and accessories. The dresses were from Cos, they were knee length and had a low and open back. In contrast to me the girls wore their hair up with a big pale grey flower loosely pinned in.
The two Groomsmen wore slim fit navy blue suits from Marks and Spencer , with white shirts and silver ties.
Metallic For New Years Eve
The colour palette was metallic – predominately silver with some gold – and navy blue. The metallics were inspired from the dress and the navy blue from the guys suits and the decor of the Cliff Town House. These colours were reflected in the wardrobe, invites, menus, table plans, and décor. The theme was New Years eve vintage/antique.
The two venues are so beautiful that they really needed very little added. Lighting was very important in both venues so lights were dimmed and there could never be too many candles. Inside City Hall we had a focal point at the top where there were two large candelabras and two huge urns of flowers.
Again candles and flowers were the main additions to the Cliff Town House. The three fireplaces were adorned with candles and flowers as were the tables. All flowers were the same colour scheme as the bouquets. Sparklers were placed in the menus and our guests lit them as we entered the room for the meal.
Natural And Messy Flowers
Flowers were white, purples, pale pinks – all complementary with metallics. They were natural and messy rather than perfect and structured, the girls had smaller version of mine and the flower girl had a smaller version again. The men’s button holes were particularly nice and they were all different. Noting was too matchy-matchy.
As I mentioned above, we had two massive urns of flowers in City Hall, these were then brought to the Cliff House. There were also flowers on all mantle pieces and tables. They were displayed in small metallic vases. Our florist was Mark Grehan from Powerscourt.
One Day Like This
The venue was so beautifully lit, it was getting dark and the candle light was amazing. The music was brilliant – we had a guitarist / singer and violinist – they had never worked together before but were perfect together. The music really was very moving and gave me goose bumps. The poems were read by Emer (close friend of Emma) and Adam and Zoe (Alan’s niece and nephew).
Our music choices included ‘One Day Like This’ by Elbow, Katie Herzig & Matthew Perryman Jones ‘Where The Road Meets the Sun,’ an acoustic version of The Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love’ and Lumineers ‘Ho Hey.’
We chose not to have a band due to the size of the venue. Instead we had a dj and it worked perfect. The rooms were amazing, the fires were blazing the champagne flowing and everyone was on the dance floor from the get go. The cocktail bar opened on to the reception room where the dance floor was so people could to and fro. Our first dance was to Katie Herzig ‘Dreams Come True’ followed by Calvin Harris ‘Feel So Close To You.’
A Special Cake
Our cake was baked by Sarah (Bridesmaid) and her boyfriend. We loved that Sarah and Eric made the cake (chocolate biscuit cake and ruby sponge cake) as it gave it significance and made it much more special. Mairead made the love heart cake topper the night before when the actual cake topper was sent to Columbia instead of Dublin!!
Our favours were sparklers – they were a bit of fun for people and added to the NY’s eve theme.
Simple And Elegant Stationery
Stationery was very important as I work in advertising. There was a common design for all and this helped tie things together. The design was simple and elegant – a large navy blue ampersand and Emma and Alan in silver. This worked across the invites, menu, ceremony booklet and thank you cards.
The table plan was written on an ornate silver mirror in silver pen by the very steady handed Mairead.
Delegate On The Day
Enjoy the day. You spend so much time planning it and sometimes people do not get around to enjoying it. We tried to relax on the day and enjoyed every single minute of it.
Delegate for the big day. Try not have any responsibilities on the day. You have done enough and it is time to enjoy! Make sure to spend plenty of time with your husband, the day is all about you two after all…
It was very important to us that the photos were relaxed and not posed. Immediately after meeting Peter at Explore Light, we knew he was our perfect photographer – he just got us. He understood what we wanted and the fact that we did not want to spend hours on photos when we had a room full of guests to entertain. Peter worked really hard to stick to a schedule and he actually had us back to the drinks reception early.
Brides Gown – Eden by Jenny Packham at Sharon Hoey
Headpieces – Doloris Petunia & Knightsbridge
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Make Up Artist – Edwina Kelly
Hair – Christian at Brown Sugar
Groom – Reiss
Groomsmen – Marks and Spencer
Bridesmaids Gowns – Cos
Flower Girl – Jenny Packham
Page Boy – Zara
Florist – Mark Grehan
Venue – Cliff Town House
Photography – Explore Light
I love the images where the light just catches Emma’s face – she looks like a Vintage Hollywood siren.
And how beautiful are the flowers?
I hope you too are all feeling suitably festive now!
Lots of love,