The Look Of Love: Crea + Ryan's Fairytale Wedding At Belleek Castle

The bride’s dream of marrying in her hometown came true. And only one venue could showcase the natural beauty of the west…

A truly romantic affair, Crea stole the show in a gatsby era champagne wedding gown with insane back detail. In true fairytale style, her groom wore traditional tails – and everything was oh so dreamy.

Planning a party of epic proportions was top of their wish list, and judging by these precious moments, the newlyweds and their guests didn’t stop smiling all day long.  

The Beginning…

“We went to the same University in Twickenham, South West London. However, we never actually knew each other at Uni – despite being at the same parties, the same bars, on the same dance floor in dingy student night clubs and having many mutual friends! It wasn’t until Ryan had left university and I was approaching my finals that we met on a boozy Sunday afternoon. We hit it off immediately and within a short few months our friendship blossomed into something more.”

The Proposal…

“Seven years later, on the back of a busy week of weddings – five in seven days!! We went to Barcelona for a well-deserved mini break. Despite seeing five brides that week, I was clueless that I was soon to be one myself. Ryan meanwhile had been planning and plotting the perfect proposal. On the second night of the holiday, Ryan proposed on Montjuic in front of the palace. Plenty of champagne and international calls to the west of Ireland and London followed.”

Dreaming Of Home…

I left home when I was 18 to move to London. My plan was to go for the few years I would be at university there and then move back. Eleven years later, and I am still here! With every year that passes, I miss home a little more. So when we got engaged, I knew immediately I wanted to get married in my hometown of Ballina, Co Mayo. The Cathedral in Ballina was a definite – where I was baptised, made my First Holy Communion and Confirmation. It is just minutes from the house I grew up in.”

On The Venue…

“There are so many wedding venues in Ballina and the surrounding area, but Belleek Castle was the clear winner for us. Growing up, it was on my doorstep and such a magical place to visit as a child. We used to go to Belleek Woods all the time and I have so many childhood memories in the castle grounds. I am a proud Ballina woman and knew that Belleek was the show-stopper to really showcase my hometown to all of our English guests!”

“It really is a stunningly beautiful venue, so unique and really has the ‘fairytale castle’ feel. Few brides have their dream venue right bang in the middle of their hometown! All of the above paired with Belleek’s outstanding reputation for food and service, there was no competition. We didn’t even consider any other venues!”

“So many of our guests mentioned the overwhelming view as they approached from the castle gates. Equally, the interior of the castle wowed everyone. So many amazing original features and wonderful surprises from room to room, especially the Banquet Hall in the dungeon. The food was incredible. As experienced wedding guests ourselves, we knew when we had our food tasting that the cuisine and service would blow everyone away!”

“The whole experience was so personal and we met with Stephen the Chef on a few occasions throughout the planning stages to discuss our menu and preferences. The staff were all so friendly and welcoming and really went above and beyond to ensure we had the best day ever. Despite being the chosen venue for so many couples, they really made us feel like our wedding was so special and couldn’t do enough for us to ensure it was exactly as we wanted it to be.”

On The Photographer…

“Our photographer, Mark Capilitan, had shot my cousin’s wedding the summer before and came highly recommended. He was everything we wanted in a wedding photographer. His style was exactly what we were after. Very much blending into the background capturing the day through natural shots of us interacting with our guests. There were no stereotypical ‘posey’ wedding shots – which we both dreaded and definitely didn’t want!”

“Mark was a true professional and extremely accommodating. We felt so comfortable in his presence and barely noticed he was there on the day, yet he still managed to capture some of our favourite moments and memories so well.”


The Dress…

“I always thought I would get my wedding dress in London and I also presumed it would take me ages to find ‘the one’. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I fell in love with the second dress I tried on – in a local bridal shop in Sligo! I was at home visiting my parents a couple weeks after getting engaged and decided on a whim to go to Simone’s of Sligo for a look, thinking there was no way I would find it there. But, I fell in love with it instantly and I was sold!”

The Highlights…

“For me, the entire experience of having so many friends that I associate with my life in London travel to my hometown for the weekend. It really meant so much. During the meal, looking down on a room full of all the people we love, who were all there to celebrate with us was pretty surreal.”

A huge thank you to Crea and Ryan for sharing their stunning wedding day at Belleek Castle and to their photographer Mark Capilitan for allowing us to publish these images. You can see more of his work at

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Ciara Moore

Ciara Moore is the Blog Editor & Social Media Manager at WeddingDates HQ. Anything you want to know about weddings and what is on trend - she's your woman!

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