Who is in the mood for an ultra glamorous Black Tie affair set against the wintry backdrop of Castlemartyr in Ireland? Well you’re in luck because we have exactly that in Kiara and Gregg’s delicious wedding this afternoon.
And these two are hot. Like seriously HOT. Perfection right down to Gregg’s shiny shoes and Kiara’s sparkly toes bringing with them a serious dollop of Hollywood glamour to these pages for our delection.
The pair opted for a winter wedding at Castlemartyr partly for sentimental reasons and partly because they felt that the venue would be just as beautiful on a cold wet winter’s day as it would at the height of summer and I have to say that they weren’t wrong. I adore the colour palette that Kiara has integrated into her wedding – all soft minky greys with subtle golden undertones and a dash of dusty pink – perfect for the time of year.
Kiara The Bride: For my dress, I had no idea what to get and I found choosing it very difficult. I don’t have a style of my own. Depending on my mood and where I am going I change the type of clothes I wear. Sticking to one style was very hard. So many shops asked me “what type of bride are you?”. I was getting a bit worried that it was a bad thing that I didn’t know “who I was”!
I was initially drawn towards more slinky, effortless, evening gown type dresses and I wanted something with a bit of an edge. However when I began to try dresses on, it seemed that style never looked the best on me as I am almost a size smaller on top than on my hips and so the dresses never fell right. After a while I decided a more structured dress would compliment my shape better and so I began to stick to those styles. The Suite stocks many unusual/ less traditional styles and is run by sisters Tara and Sarisha. They were absolutely fantastic and super relaxed. I loved the shop so much I went there three times before I actually tried on my dress.
Despite being slinky, I think my dress worked because of the shape of the beading. It seemed to even me out and it just sat right. The ultimate decision came down to the fact that I felt relaxed in it.
I wasn’t going to wear a veil but I felt that it worked really well with the dress and I thought I would feel more comfortable to be a bit more covered up for the Church. I switched to the headpiece one we got to the hotel. I had the headpiece made with Jules Bridal Jewellery in Dublin. Julie was fantastic and so patient and interested as I analysed all the different types of beads and pearls. I loved the piece.
We decided on a black tie wedding and so, in terms of formality, we thought the groomsmen should be at least in black tie, if not tails or white tie. Despite loving his clothes, Gregg is not a very traditional dresser usually and so we felt simple tuxedos would suit his style best. He had bought a good tuxedo three years previously for my sister’s wedding and so he was delighted to wear that on the day. We got him a nice new shirt which we had tailored to fit him and a new bow tie. I thought he looked very handsome.
We didn’t have any theme in mind for our wedding other than a few colours I had in my head for flowers and bridemaid dresses. I was thinking along the lines of a pallet of neutral colours like taupe, minks, greys, gold through to dusty pinks. My florist showed me a rose called the Amnesia Rose which is a brownish pink and worked perfectly with my ideas. From there the colour scheme evolved, very much dependent on the colour bridesmaid dresses I could find.
Having chosen my dress, it seemed to me that a 20s theme would work for the wedding and so I had that in my mind when choosing the bridesmaid dresses. Ghost provided the perfect frock and each of the girls chose a shape they liked and I thought they looked amazing on the day. Our flower girl, Sarah, is my godchild and niece and we dressed her in a beautiful tulle and beaded little dress with a matching cape. We thought it was in fitting with the 20s theme and she looked divine.
I picked up the most stunning (and warm) grey shawls with little pom poms attached from Coco Boutique in Dublin. The shawls were perfect for the girls and really complimented the look we were going for.
Nicola, the make-up artist, is based in Dublin and focuses more on complexion rather than dramatic features. I loved her style and was delighted with the results. We all got our hair coiffed in the hairdressers I’ve been going to for years – John Geaney.
Gregg’s mother Jayne made and decorated our cake. It was the most beautiful cake I have ever seen. Jayne went to a huge amount of effort learning the icing techniques; I wanted something a bit 20s and with different textures on the different layers. Gregg’s brother and best man Luke made the cake toppers. They were so cute, albeit he left them in the oven a little too long so we had great tans!
We chose the venue Castlemartyr for a number of reasons. It is located close to my parents’ house and to the church in which two of my sisters got married. We had been to a wedding there before and loved it. The hotel never disappoints when we walk in that door, from the beautiful lobby and bar to the friendly welcoming staff and spectacular gardens. We wanted a winter wedding and so, while we loved the idea of an old country house, we felt that the venues like that in our area were a bit more suited to the summer time. Although we were blessed with a perfect sunny crisp day, Castlemartyr would be just as nice on a cold wet winter’s day.
From when we got engaged I had fixated on “Winter Song” and really wanted it in our wedding ceremony. I wanted more contemporary singers and so began searching for the right voice. I was extremely fortunate to cross paths with the father of a good friend who understood exactly what I wanted. It just so happened that his own daughter, my friend’s sister, was hoping to form a church group along the lines of what I was looking for. They gave us excellent suggestions and were able to accommodate all of ours. I walked up the aisle to Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Falling In Love With You”. We used James Vincent McMorrow ‘s “Higher Love” for the lighting of the candles and we gave “Winter Song” its own special place after the reflection so we could all just sit and enjoy it. The girls from “Love’s Alive” were incredible and it was so nice and refreshing to see that they were so excited about our wedding.
Gregg’s family had arranged a beautiful wooden box to hold the rings and for Gregg’s grandfather to mind it until the rings were requested. It was such a surprise to see Luke walking down to retrieve the rings from Robin, and to see the priest’s reaction to the interesting wooden box.
For after dinner, we booked the most fantastic band – Soul Purpose. I had seen them twice before, once at the Cork Jazz Festival and once at a friend’s wedding. Jess, the lead singer, is the most engaging and interactive vocalist I have come across and really connects with the crowd. At one point, while on the dancefloor, I looked towards the tables and chairs and couldn’t see one person still seated – it was fabulous. I could not recommend this band more and I cannot wait to go to another wedding at which they are playing!
As two of my three sisters got married already, we were lucky enough to have the benefit of their advice. It can be so daunting when you start to plan a wedding, reading blogs and articles about various “must haves”. I adored every idea I saw – if I had the time, patience and budget I would have had all sorts going on! However my sisters wisely advised me that the most important thing is for people to have fun and so it was on that basis we made our decisions. We prioritised good ￼music, plenty of food and even more bubbles and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Brett Harkness had been earmarked as our photographer for years so that decision was easy. Gregg’s mum Jayne is a photographer herself, and had always said that she couldn’t relax on the day unless she knew that the photographer was doing everything she would want to do. Jayne has been attending Brett’s courses for years and when she showed us his website we were decided!
We loved Brett’s use of light and Jayne had us warned that for a winter wedding – this is vital. Brett’s wife Kristie was really helpful in the lead up, we chatted about which “posed” group photos we would do. Kristie was very thorough and we felt in good hands from the start. Brett and Richard arrived the day before our wedding and were able to come to our rehearsal dinner in my family’s house. We all sat around a big table and just chatted for hours. It was so great to get to know Brett and Richard that evening; the next day we felt so comfortable with them and they were such great company, we had lots of fun. We really hope they enjoyed their trip to Cork! We are delighted with the end result and still haven’t been able to narrow down the photos for our album as we love them all!!