Blog entry courtesy of OneFabDay.com
Laid back glamour at it's best.
Like something you'd see in a rom-com, Irish couple Crystal and John met totally by chance half way around the world in a pub in Argentina. Both travelling to different destinations. Crystal and John ended up watching an Irish match together, had a great time but then parted ways to continue their travels. Months later their paths crossed by chance again and this time they stayed together. Simply meant to be it's a pleasure to share their Virginia Park Lodge real wedding by Annie Kheffache Photography with you today.
Crystal tells us their serendipitous love story..."We met in Argentina while I was travelling on the way to Sydney and John was on a 6 month trip before he returned to Dublin to start a post grad. We got talking at an Ireland v Argentina rugby match as all the few Irish supporters were grouped in to one small section. Ireland sadly lost however myself and John got talking and ended up spending the day together. We kept in touch a bit but were thinking there was little point as we were going to live on separate sides of the globe. Two months later I was in the Bolivian salt flats and randomly bumped into John again. After a couple of weeks of travelling together with our friends we became an item. John cancelled his post grad and joined me in Sydney shortly after, where we spent the next 3 years."
Seven years later John proposed, Crystal remembers..."I’m a big fan of making photo books for my friends…John proposed on our anniversary by making me a photo book of special moments over the past 7 years. Towards the end of the book came 4 photos, each containing various members of our families holding up signs “WILL” “YOU” “MARRY” …and the 4th photo containing John driving his Dad's tractor with a “ME” sign! John presented me with a beautiful 1950's antique ring. It was perfect."
Once their venue hunt began Crystal immediately fell in love with the old school elegance and charm of Virginia Park Lodge in Co.Cavan. Crystal told us..."I adore antiques and old style properties so I was keen on an old country estate from the start. It was easy to fall in love with Virginia Park Lodge – a house full of character set on Lough Ramor surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodlands. We loved the idea of having an evening reception based in the house with different rooms for people to meander through – giving it a really informal relaxed vibe. In choosing our venue food was top of the priority list for us and the style and quality of the offering at Virginia Park Lodge was perfect. An unfussy menu using the best of Irish ingredients. Many people commented on how chilled out we were about the whole day and although we are generally relaxed people – the key thing was we were able to be. We had so much confidence in the venue staff that we could sit back and know that things were being taken care of. Our nightmare would have been feeling like we had to micro manage things."
Considering Ireland's unpredictable weather Crystal and John at first decided to have their ceremony indoors, but as the shone began to shine on their wedding day they changed plans and headed outdoors. Crystal recounts..."Up until an hour before the ceremony we planned on having it inside. The week's weather had been quite overcast and unchanging (but to be honest I didn't care, I don’t think it’s a good idea in this country to bank on nice weather!) The sun did miraculously come out blazing and it was decided to move the whole event outside last minute. It made for wonderful ceremony photos and a summers day cocktail reception on the lawn."
Matching the elegant style of their venue Crystal chose a beautiful silk wedding dress with a retro glam feel, which she accessorised with a headpiece made from a necklace bought at Rhinestones. To keep her bridesmaids (and bridesman) happy and stylish Crystal then chose different dresses for each of her bridesmaids in the same pastel pink, as well as a dapper suit for her bridesman.
Big into music John sung Bill Weathers “Lovely Day” as Crystal walked down the aisle, and Crystal's cousin's band later provided the entertainment for the night. Crystal told us..."Music is very important to us – I’m very lucky that my cousin Glen is the lead singer of a great wedding band A Few Good Men. We needed a venue that would suit a good party vibe with a spacious dancefloor and a cosy corner for the trad session to carry on afterwards. I also spend lots of time making the perfect 1940's & 50's jazz playlist which really suited the vibe of the venue."
A big thank you also goes to Annie Kheffache for sharing her work with us. To see more from Annie Kheffache visit www.anniekheffache.com
"Ensemble pour toujours..."
Blog by One Fab Day
Today's real wedding is elegant and classic. Set within the breathtaking grounds of Luttrellstown Castle, Alix and Conor had their perfect wedding day. As giddy 17 year olds they first met in Nantes airport on their way to study French for their Leaving Cert. Little did they know their meeting would send them on a journey of love. On-hand to capture every moment was the talented Annie Kheffache. Their wedding radiates pure style and class, I know you'll just love it...
The stunning couple first met on a trip to France when they were studying for their Leaving Certificate. Alix recalls..."As budding 17 year olds we were both sent off to France to learn French for our Leaving Cert exam. We first met in Nantes Airport when Conor held the door to the baggage area open for me, which I was impressed by". Alix goes on to say..."Conor is not that strong at French but would always manage to finish up the end of class exams early enough to ensure he was outside at the same time as me while the rest of the class were properly completing the tests…" It looks like all Conor's hard work and persistence paid off!
Such a dapper set of groomsmen, all decked out in Louis Copeland black tie suits.
Conor suggested a romantic trip away which sent Alix into full suspicion that a proposal was on the cards. She remembers..."Conor suggested we go on a trip to Antigua in May 2015. After spending 12 years together, I was suspect about this spontaneous romantic trip away… Especially when I was warned, repeatedly, not go near his briefcase before we left on our trip. My suspicions were heightened even further when Conor nearly had a meltdown as his bag was selected in baggage security for random security check." A very nervous Conor insisted in booking a romantic meal for their final night on the island but Alix couldn't hide her sheer excitement and she suggested to dine the next night.
Alix goes onto say..." The big day arrived and we spent the day in silent anticipation of this sunset walk. As the sun began to set, Conor suggests that we head for the beach, each a bag of nerves, glass of champagne in hand. 5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed, we had soon walked the 2 miles up and down the beach, pretty much in silence. Conor throwing in the odd “What a perfect evening…isn’t it so beautiful out…". Conor finally plucked up the courage. Alix recalls..."We were almost back in the hotel, it was fully dark at this point, when Conor finally blurted out the question “Will you marry me”… I was so relieved I could only nod in response!"
Alix's breathtaking Anna Georgina wedding gown was complimented beautifully by bespoke soft pink bridesmaids dresses. Equally stunning were the flowers by Bella Botanica, which were a staple to the styling of the day.
Every moment should be cherished. Alix explains why..."My advice to brides and grooms planning their day is that the day flies by!! Make sure to take some time out during the day together to soak it all in. "
The venue for this very classic affair was the stunning Luttrellstown Castle. When choosing a venue both Alix and Conor found it pretty easy. Alix explains the moment they both decided..."Luttrellstown Castle is the only venue we viewed, the minute we drove up the beautiful tree-lined avenue we knew it was for us. It is just the most breath-taking place. I loved that we had the venue to ourselves so you were only bumping into people from the wedding who you wanted to be there and could just walk down for breakfast in our pyjamas; really just take over the place for the weekend. The staff at Luttrellstown are incredible, we really cannot recommend Luttrellstown enough. We were absolutely delighted we chose it as our wedding venue."
Alix describes the vibe of their day..."The day of the wedding we wanted a formal, elegant, romantic atmosphere. The setting at Luttrellstown Castle facilitated this perfectly." Family and friends were a very important part to the day also, the couple explain..."From the beginning we just wanted to make sure everyone would have a good time on the day. We also wanted to make the planning process as enjoyable as possible, and to not get bogged down in minute details which would take up a lot of time, and on the day would hardly be noticed. We knew from the start we wanted good music, good food, a well-stocked bar, no drama over minor issues and the rest would take care of itself!" The party didn't stop there, this was a two-day affair, Alix continues..."On the second day we had a BBQ outside on the lawn and had a DJ playing beach-house music all day which was really enjoyable. By the late afternoon everyone was up dancing on the garden furniture on the lawn!"
A huge congratulations to you both, and thanks so much for sharing your wedding day and romantic love story with us all. A big thank you also goes to Annie Kheffache for sharing her work with us. To see more from Annie Kheffache visit www.anniekheffache.com
Reception: Luttrellstown Castle
Flowers: Bella Botanica
Groom's suit: Louis Copeland
Wedding Photography: Annie Kheffache
The Wedding Details
Ceremony: St Mochta’s Church Porterstown
Wedding Dress & Bridesmaid Dresses: The Attic Bridalwear Boutique
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Cake: Love Um Cakes
Stationery: Sure Print
Make Up: Make Up Forever
Hair: Cathy McNulty
Ceremony: Sacred Heart Church, Borris, Co. Carlow
Reception: Step House Hotel, Co. Carlow.
Florist: Wedding Flowers with Love
Cake: Mag About Cake.
Dress: Watters 'Marnie'
Luttrellstown Castle, Dublin
Weddings in BrookLodge are always a little bit special for me because I married my own lovely husband Kevin in the intimate woodland surroundings of Macreddin Chapel. So photographing a wedding in BrookLodge with Kevin as my second photographer was extra special. That Tara and Shane were the wonderful couple who brought us back there made it perfect. From the first time we met them their warm openness made me feel like we were all old friends.
That warmness (and a lot of love and beautiful detail!) ran through the whole day in Macreddin Village and made for a fabulous Thai-Irish wedding celebration in vivid colour and dreamy detail. A beautifully decorated Macreddin Hall full of fresh roses, pink peonies and tables named after Thai islands made me dream of white sand and long tail boats. Tara was regal in her beauty in a dress that looked made for her and those pink Manolos gave me serious shoe envy!
But my favourite part of the day was Tara and Shane’s story. Tara’s proud uncle Graham told us that story, delivering part of his speech in Thai to the amusement of the Thai guests. I didn’t understand a word but the laughter and tears in the crowd told me his Thai wasn’t up to much but his words were heartfelt. His niece moved here a shy little girl and blossomed into a beautiful young woman, built a life for herself with some loyal Irish sisters and met the love of her life. I’d already witnessed the sisterhood in her friendships that morning. To see how the girls were ready with a hug every time the occasion threatened to overwhelm Tara made the bridal preparations a heartwarming affair! Meanwhile Shane’s crew kept his nerves in check with their traditional pre-wedding pint in their Clane local Jas Manzors.
I imagine Tara turned a lot of heads working in the local shop years ago but for Shane it was love at first sight. Best man and loyal younger brother Kevin had us in stitches filling us in on Shane’s newfound beauty routine before he would go to the shop. But it was listening to Shane's speech about how much Tara means to him, while watching Tara’s lovely face try not to cry, that really had me choking back the tears.
They say one wedding begets another... So just a few years after they met at a wedding, Jenine and Conor celebrated their own gorgeous wedding in the stunning surroundings of Castle Durrow.
A lady of impeccable taste and attention to gorgeous detail, Jenine had planned a wedding of classic romance and elegance, with sleek navy bridesmaids and tuxedos, timeless white bouquets, baby’s breath hair crowns and pops of silver sparkle. All of it perfect against her showstopping Justin Alexander dress. This was a wedding so glamorous it made me want to plan my own wedding all over again!
Jenine and her girls (and one of the most stylish mothers-of-the-bride I've ever seen!) got ready in the beautiful bridal suite at Castle Durrow. Meanwhile, Conor, his groomsmen and his "mini-me”/Best Boy Aaron chilled in their matching super hero t-shirts in one of castle’s quirkier oriental suites before popping on their navy tuxedos and heading over to the church to get the orchestra ready… yes orchestra! There was a full awesome orchestra, made up of Conor’s musician friends and bandmates from Brass&Co.
The orchestra played the newlyweds out of the church to Pharrell Williams’ Happy setting the scene nicely for a day full of great music, flowing champagne, dancing and laughter. Every time I looked at Jenine and Conor they were spinning and dancing and cracking up about something!
Congratulations Jenine and Conor! Wishing you a lifetime of dancing, laughter and good times together! Thanks for letting me and Kevin be a part of the fun! x
Nicola and Paul didn’t have too many “must get” shots for me, Nicola's simple request was “It’s Valentine’s Day, capture the love!” Was there ever a more perfect brief for a wedding photographer? I was excited.
It turns out capturing the love was a pretty easy task that day, it was everywhere! From the two brilliant families (who all had a part in the big day, right down to the littlest of them!) to the neighbours who put the Statues of Prague and "Good Luck" signs out... and of course Nicola and Paul who chose the most romantic day of the year to get married and enjoyed every minute of it.
Nicola’s impeccable style made for a gorgeous day full of pretty details (that dress... just wow!). The glorious Salthill sunshine added a little magic too. Maybe the statues worked because you rarely see a February day this perfect! I couldn’t believe our luck standing on the Prom outside the Salthill Hotel when the sky started to turn shades of pink. We all had our eyes on the top of the Blackrock Diving Board. I’m not sure Paul was convinced Nicola would do it so I couldn't have been more excited when Nicola said “sure why not?!’ to the chilly diving board photo shoot (it may have been sunny but it was still February!).
Nicola and Paul, thanks for choosing us to capture this amazing day, Kevin and I had such a wonderful time doing it. Wishing you both, Gemma and your lovely families a future as beautiful and full of love as your Valentine’s Day wedding x