Breaking Rules: Andy + Eibhlín's Retro Garden Wedding

This cheeky pair just upped the bar for DIY wedding receptions…

Andy and Eibhlín’s wedding quite literally blew us away. On first glance, we could not believe this unique outdoor celebration actually took place in Ireland!

Every detail of their 1950’s themed day stayed true to them as a couple. From the bride’s glittering shoes which were customized by her groom, to Andy’s one-of-a-kind tortoise print waistcoat. A massive fan of paper crafts, Eibhlín made a magical display of colourful hanging cranes which brought their al fresco dining area to life.

We know you are going to love this wedding as much as we do – and boy are the bride and groom a whole lotta fun!

The Beginning…

“We have known each other for years, but during our teenage years we didn’t always see eye to eye. We met again one night at a charity event and we were both in the right places in our lives. One thing lead to another and seven and a half adventure-filled years later we were getting married (something both of us thought we’d never do)!”

The Proposal…

“As a couple, we spend a significant amount of time in our car. A lot of the big events in our lives happened in our car, so the proposal was no different. Andy popped the question one evening on the way home – in the car! He didn’t have a ring yet but had the ideal design in his head. His uncle is a jeweller and brought that design to life. The actual giving of the ring also happened in the car. It was snowing pretty heavy one night on the way home and Andy used this as an excuse to pull the car over. Then he flamboyantly produced the ring, as only Andy could!”

On The Photographer…

“We looked at over 100 photographer’s work and again nothing really spoke to us until we happened across PhotoMV. We didn’t want traditional wedding portraits because we are far from traditional people. We wanted the day to be fun and have everyone involved and in that vein, we wanted a person who was going to capture that spirit. We have both been to weddings where the photographer is bossy and doesn’t really listen to what the bride and groom wants. That was not the case with Mario. From the first time we met him, we just knew the fit was right.

He was fun and relaxed and really understood what we wanted from the day. He offered great suggestions and really helped us capture everything we wanted from the day. The feedback from our guests was that they really enjoyed his company too. He was never in your face, but still managed to portray all the magic. He went with the flow and didn’t try to force any poses.”

Choosing A Venue…

“The venue was really tricky for us. We knew once we picked the perfect venue, everything else would fall into place. Initially we were going to go abroad to get married because of the weather and just to do something different. We have nothing against traditional church/hotel weddings, but we knew that wasn’t for us. The idea rapidly went downhill when we discovered that having a wedding abroad is pretty much the same as having it at home (apart from the good weather and the massive financial burden we would put on our family and friends).”

“We had pushed the decision to the back of our minds for a couple of weeks and were out walking one day in Huntington Castle. It is 10 minutes from our home and neither of us had ever been. We knew the minute we walked into the gardens in the height of summer that it was the place. The rose garden was in bloom and the animals were all roaming free around the estate. We stood under the tree where we would later be married and googled if they actually catered for weddings.”

On Huntington Castle…

“There was so much about the venue that just worked for us. From the first time we met with the owner Alex, we knew it was the right fit. He essentially told us the castle was ours for the day and we could really put our own stamp on the place. He also gave us lots of useful suggestions and guidance on the setup. We were able to have our own food caterers and provide a free bar for all our guests, which was one of Andy’s main criteria for the day.”

“The main attraction for us was the garden. We always imagined getting married outside, but being in Ireland, it was a pretty high chance that we wouldn’t get good weather. We essentially planned two weddings – an indoor one and an outdoor one! Luckily, at 1:30pm on the big day, the clouds parted and the sun shone for the whole day. Half the country had children of Prague in their back gardens for us! Several of our guests hadn’t been to a non-church ceremony before and just loved it. The decorations like the paper cranes and personalised place cards really went down a treat too.”

The Wedding Attire…

“It was going to be simple from the beginning. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on clothes we were only going to get one wear out of. We’d rather spend it on food and drink for our guests. Andy’s suit was made by Brendan Kidd on Capel Street. They’re pretty legendary -and even though they might have thought the idea a little crazy at times, they made the exact suit he wanted. We found material online with a tortoise design (we keep tortoises as a hobby). The guys in Brendan Kidd were able to integrate the material into the waistcoat and even the lining and pockets on the suit. It was perfect. The tea-length birdal gown came from Honey Pie Boutique. It’s not difficult to find a plus-sized wedding dress, but it is pretty difficult finding the right one!”

A huge thank you to Andy and Eibhlín for sharing their fabulous wedding day with us and to their photographer Mario of PhotoMV Photography for allowing us to publish these pictures. 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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