Can we just take a moment to appreciate bride Laura's adorable MaudiKa gown. Honestly the tulle tea length skirt mixed with the lace bodice are just heavenly and perfect for this relaxed wedding at Durhamstown Castle in Ireland. I think we should also stand back and marvel at all the colourful DIY decor. It really adds the fun factor to the nuptials and you can't help but smile. Paula McManus Photography is behind the lens today making sure we see that gown from every angle, all the delicious decor and feel every ounce of the love.

The Dress

Laura the Bride: My dress was made and designed by MaudiKa - which is made up of two girls who set up their own wedding dress company straight out of fashion school over the last year. I knew I wanted a three quarter length dress, and when I saw this one with the crocheted cotton lace bodice, long sleeves, pockets and tulle skirt - and that I could go and try it on nearby to where I lived in Oxford. - I could hardly believe my luck. I chose to wear baby blue suede small heels. I wanted something to match to stand out a little but not too much. I then had a small floral headband made from heather.

Grooms Attire

A dark blue suit from Jaeger and a turquoise tie to match the bright bridesmaid dress theme.

The Venue

Durhamstown Castle is supposedly the oldest continually inhabited castle in Ireland. We knew we loved the castle itself - where everyone stayed - with it's amazing Norman architecture and quirky interior design. It was the warmth of the owners Sue and Mike, and the lovely barn which really swung it for us. Not only did we have space for our family and bridal party to stay for the three nights, but we had hosts who were entirely flexible and a huge amount of space to do what we wanted with. Even without decorations the barn was beautiful with fairy lights everywhere and old beams from when it was a horse stables. And every room in the castle felt entirely individual and personal.

Colour Scheme/Decor

I was clear that I didn't want a colour "scheme" I just wanted lots of bright colour! As such we had pom poms, fairy lights, fans, ribbon, bunting all in bright yellows, pinks, turquoise and blue. The same went for the bridesmaids who each wore a dress of their choosing in one bright shade.


Blackrock Flowers in Dublin - such good value and such beautiful flowers. On the tables we had succulents in teacups which were made by a disability charity specialising in Horticultural Therapy. The only other flowers on the tables were the bridal bouquets which we stuck in water once the ceremony was complete - unplanned but they looked great!

The Wedding Party Fashion

5 bridesmaids, 1 master of ceremonies and 1 best man. We also had a friend officiate the ceremony, who came to be known as the vicar throughout the day! All the guys wore whatever suit they liked, with a corsage of lavendar and heather. My best friend also happens to be a hairdresser, so as well as being a bridesmaid (or bridesperson really) he did everyone's hair. Some styles were fifties, some were modern, some were tousled - it was whatever each person wanted. 


We loved our ceremony, especially since our friend did it who did an incredible job! The warming of the rings whilst the violinist sang 'Never Alone' was magical. My sister read a poem about sisters which was very moving. Will (the vicar!) read some beautiful words about being best friends and bought a special piece of ribbon with which we tied the knot after reading our own personal vows. Myself and the bridesmaid entered to the violinist playing a traditional irish tune - it was so beautiful.


We had a ceilidh band followed by a Spotify playlist on shuffle with songs chosen by all the guests. It got wild, it was awesome! 


brushetta, cocktail sausages and hummus and pitta as canapes, lamb shank for main and River Cafe chocolate nemesis for dessert. A cheese board in the evening.


Paula McManus - so sweet and so willing to let us do our own thing. We also brought our camera with us and had guests take photos on it throughout the day.


My sister's partner James made a grogeous little film with his Go Pro! in-post-rmw-reader-survey
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Maudika | Grooms Suit: Jaeger | Venue: Durhamstown Castle | Florist: Blackrock Flowers | Hairdresser: Robs Mobile Hairdressing
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