Well, this is a story for the modern age. From becoming friends at a local radio station, to a walk that sealed the deal, Charlotte and Nessan knew that they were meant to be. After 7 years, the loved-up couple decided that Ballyseede Castle Hotel was to be the picturesque setting for their vintage wedding day. The bride stunned in a Needle & thread dress, complete with flower crown, while the groom donned a top hat and tails.
Don’t miss this sweet couple’s love story and rave reviews of their special day at Ballyseede Castle Hotel below.
We met when I volunteered at a local radio station and Nessan was working as their technician and producer. I was a volunteer presenter at the station. We were instant friends for some time before we became a couple. We became a couple one year after we met, we went for a walk on our first date and after that day we just knew we had found something very special.
This is going to sound so funny but we talked about our desire to be married for 7 years, we talked about it that many times that we can’t remember who started it i.e who proposed it first! but we always knew our special day was going to come around and that we were going to be really grateful for it when it did. In December 2018 we decided that 2019 was going to be our year, I am 42 and Nessan is 43 so we wanted to go for it! We started saving and looking at venues. I didn’t want an engagement ring, our wedding ring was the only ring I ever wanted to wear. So I think that this will be the weirdest non proposal ever!
I did not want a traditional white wedding dress, I wanted something completely different, in keeping with a castle venue, and I wanted to feel like ME! so I went for a dress by Needle and Thread in London, it was inspired by Victorian silhouettes and the works of Danish painter P.S Kroyer and his wife Marie, it was a really romantic dress. I always wanted flower crowns and this year I did notice that a lot of people were going for a flower crown in 2019. The flower crowns were so beautiful, I was nearly crying when I saw how stunning they looked on my daughters and bridesmaids. The men wore top and tails and top hats and they all looked so handsome in the photos! At 42, I am a few years past the average age of a bride so I found that I was feeling really self conscious looking at bridal wear and make up, all I can say is that I felt amazing that day and the reason for this is the 42 lbs I lost in the year before our wedding and also the wonderful hair and make up people who all gave me such a confidence boost.
We nearly got married in Venice! It was provisionally booked! However, a chance scroll on Instagram one day led to one of the best decisions we could have made, on the most important day of our lives. We always loved castles, medieval history, Irish heritage but we thought a castle wedding might have been out of our league. I downloaded the brochure, looked at the pictures and packages, showed them to Nessan, and we knew that Ballyseede Castle was the place before we even went to see it. We felt so welcomed from our very first visit, the castle has a classy but relaxed and warm atmosphere. It was absolutely magic. Just like we always knew that we would marry each other, we just knew that Ballyseede would be the place. They also had a sword from the Braveheart movie, that sealed it, that, and the dogs Mr Higgins, Miss Molly, Einstein and Bubbles.
Those Special Moments
There were so many highlights, I do think our ceremony was the most beautiful part of the day for us, a lot of people commented on the ceremony and how personal it was, we were both very emotional especially reading our vows which we both put months of thought and tweaking into! There were tears, my daughter Lucie shed a bucket load. My brother Damien read a poem that we had personalised and had everyone in stitches at the end, that was a big highlight. We had a family unity ceremony to include my daughters Ella and Lucie who Nessan has looked on as his own girls for so many years. Uniting officially as a family meant so very much to us. Also, both our fathers were our witnesses, this was special to us because our fathers were old friends and we did not know this until we met. Really, the entire day for us was about how incredibly lucky we felt to have found each other, serendipity, and to be able to have a dream wedding with the people we loved most in the world there with us! There was an overwhelming sense of gratitude, for life, our health and second chances at love! Also DJ Sax Appeal was such a highlight, we bought blow up saxophones and guitars and our guests are still talking about the fun they had.
The Wow Factor
Our wedding day was all we dreamed of and then some, we know that Ballyseede Castle was a massive part of our dream day. It is such a beautiful venue with so much to see indoors and outdoors, on every floor, and whatever the weather you we guaranteed lovely photos inside and outside the castle. Our guests are still raving about the venue, their rooms, the food, how did you find it they asked? Like the place was a secret uncovered! Several people told us that it was the best steak they ever had which is such a huge compliment. All we wanted for our guests was a beautiful place to spend a day and night, good food and wine! They loved it so much that two of our friends have now booked the castle for their 2021 wedding!
Marnie and the staff came and walked dad and myself to the ceremony room, the Stone Room is so beautiful. I felt like a rock star. I never expected to feel so special. I will also never forget the hug from Esther on my way to marry my best friend. We had gotten to know her a little during our little visits over the year! There were just so many fabulous little touches from the staff, too many to list! We can’t wait to go down there again and again and remember what the place means to us.
Our photographer was Arthur Carron a freelancer who works with papers like The Irish Independent, he is also a dear old friend so that is the reason we asked him. It was really nice having a friend as a photographer. We gave him a list beforehand and it made everything really relaxed on the day. I would advise couples to make a list of the photos you really must have and try to get as many as those as you can because the day goes by so fast! It is important to be able to spend as much time as possible having a great time with your guests too so if you can’t get all the pics you hoped for then don’t worry!
We went for a vintage themed wedding which we hoped would complement our beautiful historic venue. Rustic flowers made up by my good friend Emma were placed in the ceremony room and a lot of lanterns. The Stone Room in Ballyseede Castle is so beautiful, it really does not need a lot added to it!
The Bride’s Advice
I think being a bit older and also having two teenage daughters we were very conscious, like so many other brides and grooms I imagine, of costs. We saved really hard for about 9 months and we came out of the wedding debt free. That was really difficult for the 9 months though, pretty much one wage a week went to the wedding fund! there were some direct debits bouncing! In the end it was so worth it, we also bought things weekly as we got paid and on sale. All of the dresses I bought were on sale, we paid deposits for the music, cake and celebrant and paid them all off before the big day. We still had everything we could have wanted, we just tried to be practical! Who said romance could not be practical!!! Make your day about you and your husband’s joy at finding one another in this big big world, forget about everything else that may not go right, it does not matter, remember it is your day and you are supposed to LOVE it, focus on good food, a good venue, good entertainment and a lot of laughter and you will have the best day of your life! Celebrate while you can, party when you can! We don’t know what is around the corner!