Get ready for all the feels. Firstly Bride Imogen's Pronovias Princia gown and jacket - oh my! Every angle you look at it you can't help but swoon. The gorgeous button detail, the elegant silhouette and the Bardot neckline of the jacket are just heavenly and Imogen couldn't look more beautiful. Next to make your heart race will be the stunning portraits captured by Jason Mark Harris, perfectly capturing the love, breathtaking backdrop of The Haven in Ireland, and more of that exquisite gown. Plus how can I forget the couples gorgeous little girl who almost steels the show she is so off the chart adorable. You sitting comfortably? Then lets begin.
DressImogen the Bride: I always wanted something very traditional, but with a bit of a twist – so pretty much your average ‘show me everything bride’. The girls at Mirror Mirror were fantastic. I let them pick what they thought would suit me and within 3 dresses we had it nailed. In fact my aisle song actually came on the playlist as we were buttoning it up. The dream! The gown was strapless with a low back, but it came with a lace jacket, which when buttoned up, looked like I had an off the shoulder dress on. Many guests thought I had completely changed outfits, it was fantastic. It's also worth baring in mind that even though I lost over 10cm in the 6 months from buying the dress to walking down the aisle, the Mirror Mirror girls didn’t bat an eye. We did my final check the day before we flew and even a week before they happily took it in again. So prepared! I went to one shop before finding Mirror Mirror and I cant believe the contrast. The first dress I tried on she honest to god said “ you’ll look great once you start going to the gym”. Well, I picked up my bags, said thanks but no thanks and walked right out of that door.
Grooms AttireThe only ‘must have’ for Hugh was that the trousers had to fit over his cycling thighs. After a few laughs from the assistants at Moss Bros, the first suit was a hit and we were in and out in 20 minutes. The boys did however fit in with theme by adding pink ties and button holes. And the best man added his own flair with a striking pair of white cowboy boots – none traditional but we wouldn’t have him any other way.
VenueThe Haven was a must for us. Hugh grew up spending his Summers on the lawn, and 2 of his aunties have been married there across the years. It holds so many memories for us we didn’t even look at another venue. We wanted a wedding that felt like a party. Everyone happy and dancing without any of the ‘standing on ceremony’. Pretty much every choice we made, from the venue to the photographer was suited around this. As an excel fanatic, I was a little surprised when Paul at The Haven kept saying “oh sure that’s fine” to every request. And I mean everything. I didn’t have to lift a finger. Cocktail cart? “oh sure”, ice cream cart “oh sure”, heaps of wine at every table “no problem”. The Haven were a dream. They kept this paranoid control freak completely calm. In fact even though we live in a completely different country, the wedding planning was basically stress free, all thanks to these guys. They are also the reason we added a BBQ the day after the wedding for everyone to nurse their sore heads. It really completed our weekend and made the wedding that bit more special. It also meant we were able to spend enough time with all of our guests because believe me, one day is not enough, even with only 80.
Colour Scheme / DécorBaby pink all the way. I wanted gypsophila everywhere, and the rest just came along for the ride.
Florist / DecorationsAside from the bouquets, which we made based off a previous wedding our photographer had shot (the truth comes out Jason!), I made all of the decorations with help from the mums. I knew I wanted a white and pink theme, but I also didn’t want anything over the top. I set myself a £10 limit for any individual things, allowing me to go crazy with odd bits and pieces. All table decorations were made on the morning of the wedding from a picture locked safely in my head. IKEA is a great shout for lanterns / wooden crates that you can paint white etc. I spent many a day trawling through. My centerpieces are actually Ikea lanterns, stuffed with copper fairylights and gypsophila, with tiny white bicycles next to them to represent our love of the sport (but keeping it pretty) Gypsophila is beautiful, but it's also super cheap and goes a long long way. We covered the whole venue and still had enough to line the aisle and for my grandma to take a bucket home.
Wedding Party FashionThis was more difficult than my dress. With two young flower girls, I had to get stuck in with baby shopping. Picture a bride, with no children, buying dresses for 2 girls she hasn’t seen in 6 months, both different sizes and ages, running around Oxford street with a credit card. That was me. Helped of course by the grooms brother texting me “Sinead is as high as my belly button” when I asked for sizes.
CeremonyOur ceremony was incredibly personal and built by our fantastic celebrant Jessica. She asked for a personal love story from both of us, and then compiled into story that mapped out our whole relationship. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. So personal, so touching and so perfect for our day.
EntertainmentI hate to be a cliché but we wanted each other to be the entertainment. Our aim was for everyone on one side of the family to have shared a pint with one person from the otherside by the end of the weekend. On our first date, Hugh hunted hi and low for somebody with sparklers after I mentioned how much I loved them. At about midnight we found kids in the street with some and Hugh still has a video of me running through Shoreditch, sparklers in hand grinning like a toddler. To carry on the tradition, we filled a bucket with sparklers for the end of the night.
FoodBeef…rib of beef and an ice cream cart. What else could a girl want after dieting for 6 months
PhotographerSo I actually chose Jason before I chose my husband! I’ve been following Jasons work for years and never imagined he would be available for our date…or budget. Every small moment, every emotion, every laugh and tear is captured in his and Deans images. I feel a part of every second of everybodys day looking through our album and it’s just breath taking. Both became such a part of our wedding that by the end of the weekend they felt like family. But more importantly, I didn't notice half of these photos being taken. Its really rare that I like photos of me, which is why I had a complete Facebook ban at the wedding. But not one photograph from Jason is bad. Not once have I thought my arms look fat, or my skin bad. Jason also arrived on site a day before the wedding, giving us a good 10 hours to relax on the grass, have a pint and get to know each other. Dean and Jason became part of the gang and it made me so relaxed when he arrived the next day to get to work. Jason is the best money we spent hands down and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I cannot recommend this man enough and to be honest. If im not gushing over the photos these days, I'm gushing over Jason!
VideographerThe advice I would give to any bride now: Don't hire a cameraman, hire someone with a real passion for emotion and stolen moments. These are the things that will last forever. However first… call Jason.
Special MentionLiving in London and getting married in Ireland sounds like a planning nightmare. The simple truth – it just wasn’t. And this was all because of our Lady on the ground, Hugh’s mum. She even walked to the beach constantly, hunting through the stones to find perfectly thin and flat stones to paint and name for our table name decorations. She was a dream and we couldn’t have had such a perfect day without her.
AdviceIf you are on a budget, work out your priorities. Our whole wedding budget, including EVERYTHING, was £10,000. We didn’t have any wiggle room in this. Think about what will really last. Think about what you remember from peoples weddings. Is it really the aisle song, or the quality of confetti? More than likely not. It’s the personal touches and the photos. I asked all my married friends what their asile song was because I was freaking out, you know not one of them could remember. But they all got their phones out and showed me pictures of their big day. And even 2 weeks on, all I remember now is how blissfully happy I was, and how my smile never left my face. You may want to be a beautiful bride, but more importantly you want to be a happy one. Have you ever really seen an ugly happy person? Wear old shoes. You will never see them and you can dance all night long. Final little thing but, remember you’ve hired amazing people for the amazing work that they do. So let them do it! Don’t give your photographer a list of images you ‘need’, don’t stare in the mirror while your makeup is being done, just enjoy the moment. Enjoy being pampered and soak every last second up. Trust that you hired the right person because the second that doubt or worry creeps into your mind, you’ve already lost half an hour of your day. Oh also the best man wrote a poem with a repeating chorus that everyone could join in on. It was AMAZING.
Dress Designer: Pronovias - Princia | Bridal Boutique: Mirror Mirror | Bridal Shoes: Topshop | Personalised Superga | Groomsmen: Moss Bros | Bridesmaid Dresses: Monsoon | Coast | Venue: The Haven Hotel | Florist: Flowers by Ray | Cake: Sheridans Cheese Mongers | Stationery: Papier | Makeup: Laura Kay