A Romantic Castle Wedding In Winter | Wedding Journal
Crawfordsburn Inn
Justin Alexander
Hayes & Jarvis
Casablanca Bridal

A Romantic Castle Wedding In Winter

~ Real Life Wedding

We join Niall and Shóna as they talk us through their big day.
Ceremony: St Michael’s Church, Darver
Reception: Darver Castle, Dundalk, Co. Louth
11/01/19

HOW THEY MET

Niall and Shóna’s love story began seven years ago when they were taking part in a production of Hot Mikado at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, South Dublin. Niall says, “Shóna was playing the part of Yum Yum and I was in the orchestra pit playing trumpet in the band. She caught my eye and I couldn’t stop thinking about her, so I made the first move later by sending her a message on Facebook.” He continues, “Unfortunately, Shona didn’t reply to me until nine months later but it was worth the wait! We went on a date shortly after and from then on, I knew she was the one.’ Shóna agrees, saying ‘ I knew that night there was something different in the air. We clicked on every level and I didn’t want the date to come to an end. As cliché as it may sound, even though it was only our first date and actual conversation in person, I felt as if I knew Niall forever.”

THE PROPOSAL

The couple had headed to the Lexicon Theatre in Dun Laoire when Niall surprised his girlfriend by popping the question. Shóna says, “Niall had conned me into coming down to the theatre that morning to take part in a video shoot for a friend of his. However, when I arrived, there was no shoot. Niall made me close my eyes and had made a huge heart out of candles in the middle of the stage, while music played. I opened my eyes and Niall was down on one knee. He asked me if I wanted to marry him and of course, I said yes!”

THE VENUE 

Niall and Shóna married at St Michael’s Church, Darver and held their ceremony at Darver Castle, Dundalk. ‘Our ceremony at St Michael’s Church was gorgeous and we loved our reception at Darver Castle. It was stunning.’ They didn’t have a set theme but they wanted their day revolved around music. Niall explains, “We had a few musical surprises throughout the day, such as the incredible music trio The Priests. They married us and our course sang a song or two at the ceremony alongside some of the finest musicians in the country, piper Mark Redmond, pianist Brian Conor, guitarist Kevin Whymes and percussionist Gary Grant. We also had friends of ours jump up for a few songs, Alex Ward, Jennifer McGann and Jamie Lyon.” Niall continues, “Shóna and I tour our show in Ireland and the USA, so we thought we should do a song that we love for the reception. It was definitely our most significant performance to date!” After dinner, the married couple were surprised by Mario’s Singing Waiters who gave an unforgettable performance. Shóna says, ‘It was an incredible set, it was so fun seeing our guests dancing, singing and waving their napkins to opera. It was the perfect interlude post-dinner and pre-speeches.’

THE DÉCOR

Niall and Shona did not have a specific theme in my mind and instead left it up to the venue to arrange their venue. Shona says, ‘We let the venue organise the decor as they always have the place looking amazing and we simply didn’t want to change a thing! The only thing we did was add a few simple touches with photographs of family and friends scattered around the place. We also named our tables after some of the venues we have performed throughout the USA, Ireland and Asia.”

WHAT THE BRIDE WORE & THE REST…

Shóna stunned in a white lace dress by Morilee and Niall looked smart in a navy and black suit and bow tie. Niall says, ‘When I first laid eyes on Shóna in her wedding dress, she looked absolutely stunning and perfect. It was the most incredible dress I’ve ever seen.’ Meanwhile, Shóna’s sister and bridesmaid Saoirse looked elegant in a teal dress and Niall’s nieces Teagan and Lexi looked adorable as flower girls, alongside page boy Charlie, Shona’s best friend’s son, who purchased their outfits from Debenhams.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL

For the flowers, Niall and Shona purchased from Blooms Flowers, Dundalk. Shona says, “Breige who works there did the most incredible display for us. Roses are my favourite flower and she incorporated them into beautiful winter style bouquets.” For their wedding cake, it was a family effort. Niall says, ‘My brother Gearoid, mother Anne, and aunt Liz all contributed to the cake. One layer was fruit cake, one layer lemon curd and one layer vanilla with a hint of chocolate. It was iced by a family friend. It was incredibly delicious!” Niall also made a gluten free chocolate biscuit cake for guests. 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY

For the flowers, Niall and Shona purchased from Blooms Flowers, Dundalk. Shona says, “Breige who works there did the most incredible display for us. Roses are my favourite flower and she incorporated them into beautiful winter style bouquets.” For their wedding cake, it was a family effort. Niall says, ‘My brother Gearoid, mother Anne, and aunt Liz all contributed to the cake. One layer was fruit cake, one layer lemon curd and one layer vanilla with a hint of chocolate. It was iced by a family friend. It was incredibly delicious!” Niall also made a gluten-free chocolate biscuit cake for guests.

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Shóna and Niall’s Wedding Team:

Venue – Darver Castle

Wedding Dress – Morilee

Flowers – Blooms Flowers

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Are you a bride or groom to be? For more tips and inspiration, make sure you head along to The Wedding Journal Show Belfast on Sat 5th & Sun 6th Oct – get your tickets here!

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