Emma Brazil and Niall Feeney recently hosted their stylish wedding celebrations in Boyne Hill House.
Date of Wedding: 8th July 2023
How did you meet?
We got together in 2015 and like any true Irish romance, we met in the smoking area of a nightclub. We were both in Pygmalion and Niall’s friend (the man who would later go on to be his best man) pulled a disappearing act and left him on his own. Niall thought; “I could sulk, look moody in the corner drinking on my own and wait for him to get back or I can go up to that group of girls over there and talk to someone special.” Spoiler alert…I was part of that group of girls,’ recounts Emma.
‘We were together most of the night, Niall was wearing a hat (very 00’s hipster I know) that I wanted to wear for a selfie (which we still have and love that we have a picture of the night we met) and we then exchanged numbers and went our separate ways.
‘Niall text me that night and we joked and talked back and forward for a few days until I left Niall on read and never text me back one day. Something I still enjoy bringing up.
‘Three months later we would match on Tinder. Niall messaged me “well well well, look who it is” and this time I replied straight away. The texting started then and never stopped. Within a couple months of that day we were a couple. About six months into our relationship I was moving to Aberdeen, Scotland to complete my masters and we made the decision to move there together. We have so many memories from that time which we’ll always cherish and we have amazing friends from Scotland too which means we always have a great excuse to go back,’ explains Emma.
How did Niall propose?
‘He popped the question in December 2020. The actual proposal was a dream, the lead up to it not so much! We were planning a big trip together to New York and Niall thought that would be perfect for his proposal. Niall booked a rooftop proposal, and then Covid happened. Everything was cancelled, it didn’t look like we would get to New York for a couple of years and Niall knew he didn’t want to wait any longer to ask me to marry him, so he needed a new plan.
‘He booked the wonderful Wineport Lodge and reserved the Pavilion overlooking the lake. To reduce my suspicions about any random fancy hotel weekends being booked, Niall made up a lie that one of my clients was dating someone who worked in “some hotel in Athlone” and got us a room. I love a good deal so didn’t ask too many questions. But, we were cancelled on again.
‘Then, when Niall was booking a new date someone else had reserved the Pavilion so Niall had to find another date. Then Niall was cancelled on again because there was no inter-county travel. For the final re-booking, travel around the country opened up on the Friday and we were staying the Saturday. The original booking was for early June and eventually we got engaged in December.
‘I didn’t suspect a thing because Niall was too calm all day. I never noticed that he wasn’t really drinking much while I was helping myself to lots of Prosecco, while he was running off to the toilet a lot to practice his speech! A speech which he never got through because he was balling crying too much,’ recalls Emma.
‘Niall hired a photographer to capture the moment (the brownie points are endless for Niall after this – he knows me very well), and it’s so nice to have photos because it was all over so quick. Niall was absolutely exhausted after everything, and I just wanted to sit up all night talking and celebrating, but he KO’ed after dinner.
‘I can still remember how I felt so vividly, the adrenaline, love and excitement was like nothing I have ever felt (until our wedding day); this was one of the best nights of my life. It’s so beautiful to have someone ask you to marry them, to know they love you to their very core and they want to journey through life with you for the amazing moments and the difficult ones. I know my path wouldn’t be as fun and loving if Niall wasn’t there by my side.
How did the planning process go?
‘So I did all the planning myself from start to finish,’ explains Emma. ‘I loved the planning process as a whole but there were definitely some periods of stress. Now I actually miss the planning process, it was such a massive part of my life for two years that it feels like I’m missing a little piece of me. I’m a little jealous of all the brides to be and this part of their wedding journey. I started planning IMMEDIATELY, from the engagement night (because Niall fell asleep from the exhaustion of proposing) meanwhile I was on Pinterest at 3am in the Wineport Lodge in our beautiful suite,’ she laughs. ‘I began listening to wedding podcasts etc, but to be honest I soon let all those influences of the planning go because I found that too many opinions were pulling me away from what I actually wanted our wedding to look like and feel like. Trends and social media can be great for inspiration but equally they can steer you in the opposite direction and make you doubt your own vision. I can admit, I love to be organised when needed and I am a planner so I was READY to plan the most important day of our lives.’
Who were the wedding suppliers you chose to work with?
‘We chose Boyne Hill House as our venue. Honestly, from the moment we ventured up the beautiful driveway we knew it was the one! The aesthetic was just perfect, we wanted an outside ceremony if possible, which they offered in the form of the secret garden nestled on the grounds. What is not to love about that? However, it was mainly how amazing the staff were and their attention to detail. From our first viewing we were given the most heart-warming welcome and we were made to feel like we were the only bride and groom to ever exist. The customer service and attention to detail was second to none with the venue. The team and staff were wonderful. Accommodation for guests was on the grounds so we knew the party could go all night. The manor house is breath taking and the aesthetic inside was beautiful. We also wanted our wedding day to be held in the one place so ceremony, dinner, dancing etc. all at the same venue. However, we didn’t like the idea of everything happening in the one space, again Boyne Hill was perfect because you flow from the grounds to the manor house to the reception area to the courtyard, which gives the illusion that you’ve journeyed to different places without the inconvenience of actually travelling. I also brought my mum to see the venue and she loved it so done deal.
The team as Boyne Hill are some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with. I never felt an ounce of stress when organising my wedding regarding the venue. The individual team members I dealt with know who they are and from the bottom of my heart I want to thank them for making our day so seamless. They were so organised but lacked any rigidity, they were relatable and kind. I loved having them guide us both through the day and any question or thoughts was emailed and replied to instantly. The reservations team – they need a special mention because they were like ninjas when it came to the name changes that needed to be made in the lead up. I don’t have the words to express the gratitude I felt for the whole team,’ adds Emma.
‘Niamh Callery from Anu Celebrancy was out celebrant and from the moment of first contact all the way through until the day of our most perfect wedding ceremony she was amazing! It goes without saying that the celebrant you choose for your wedding day is an integral part of it and I’m so grateful that my husband and I found this wonderful lady! We wanted to create our own individual wedding ceremony, have it be our style, fun and free with a whole lot of love! Niamh helped us shape our ceremony to our exact style as she is brimming with knowledge and information and so happy to share this with you but never forceful about ideas, which we loved. Niamh is so warm, funny and brings a sense of calm that can help erase any jitters you may have about the ceremony and how it will run. If there are a few nerves still around on the morning of the wedding ceremony don’t fret as Niamh is there with some calming techniques to help you breeze into your wedding morning! I cannot express enough how amazing she is as a celebrant and I would highly recommend all couples to place their trust in Niamh for their wedding day! I have never had so many messages about how wonderful our celebrant was and how much people enjoyed the ceremony because it was so personalised. Logistics wise – flawless once again. Great communication and contact and always there if needed! Niamh you made our wedding day such a joy, full of laughs and love just as we had hoped, we’ll be forever grateful to you for that. She is awesome.’
‘The ceremony music was by One fine Day. It’s hard to put into words how amazing Lorna and Jack were! Music was such an important part of our wedding day as we know for years to come the songs we chose will evoke such beautiful memories for us and mission accomplished with Lorna and Jack. The pair were so accommodating regarding song choices and preference for our day. They complement one another so beautifully and Lorna’s voice is the dream, this music duo were everything I imagined for my wedding day. From the day of booking to the day of my wedding they kept great communication and any changes needed closer the time were accepted without issue. We were lucky enough to have an outdoor ceremony in Boyne Hill House and I worried if the sound would carry in the outdoors but there was nothing to be feared as they had all factors catered. Honestly, they complemented the ceremony so much as opposed to overpowering those intimate moments. I would HIGHLY recommended One Fine Day for your wedding. All our guests spoke so highly of Lorna and Jack and they deserved every bit of praise. I would love to get married all over again just so I could have them perform once more.
‘The glam squad of dreams was Ruth Cassidy on make-up and June Murtagh on hair! It was only after meeting these two queens for my trial that I realised how integral your hair and make-up artist are for your wedding day. It goes without saying that they are EXCEPTIONAL at their profession, their work is second to none and I am obsessed with what they do. It’s unfair I can’t have them help me bring the glam every day but here we are. As I said the people you pick for your hair/makeup etc. are so important. I don’t think brides realise that these are the people who are with your from the very start of your wedding day until you walk down the aisle. So the energy, attitude and vibe they bring will have an impact on the tone of your wedding morning and if you want the most amazing wedding morning of all time then you need Ruth and June. They are hype queens, who encourage you to feel like you are the most beautiful bride to ever grace the planet. Also they ensure you as bride are priority but nobody in the bridal party ever felt less than, they treated everyone with the upmost respect and we all had the BEST TIME. Also I can say hand on heart, my mam never felt more stunning because Ruth and June both took the time to chat with her about the look she wanted and they made that happen. So age, hair type, skin type was irrelevant because they took the time to listen and explain what was possible for you individually. During my trail I knew I was in safe hands, I left on cloud nine, so confident and happy in my decision. My wedding morning was a dream and I will always look back with the fondest memories of having both of them with me.’
‘Emma Rose Floristry supplied my flowers. For me Emma and Jack have a unique take on floral wedding aesthetic and they understood what I wanted so well. The communication between us was always consistent – I bombarded them with moodboards and Pinterest boards and they never batted an eyelid at this! They were also so understanding in knowing that your idea for your wedding can definitely change within a two year timeframe and when that did indeed happen, they supported me in finding what was right for our wedding. I would highly recommend people get in touch, as they will enhance your wedding day.’
Who captured your day?
We had the amazing, Caroline McNally, also known as “Wild Things Wed” on socials. There are not enough words for us to describe how much we love Caroline and the fantastic job she did on capturing our special day.’ As Emma goes on to say, ‘I’m not afraid to admit that I love photos and I have zero issues having my photograph taken, now let’s elevate that by having a professional take our photos…bliss! To be fair Niall and I both love pictures because they are the memories that will live on forever and they evoke such happiness. Picking the right photographer was a major priority for us so I had started the hunt really soon after we got engaged. I stalked Instagram every day religiously until I stumbled upon Caroline’s page. Her whole vibe and aesthetic was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Not only that, Caroline has such an extensive professional catalogue that she is clearly not a cookie cutter, one size fits all photographer. Her client base is so varied and individual that I knew upon meeting her we would be able to devise a plan for our wedding that was individual to us. She is easily one of the most effortlessly cool people I’ve ever met but the genuine warmth and enthusiasm she showed was amazing. Caroline was like a ninja on our wedding day, snapping away, most of the time we didn’t even know where she was. She also had a preview of our wedding photos THE DAY AFTER THE WEDDING – I’m sure she has superpowers! I had tears in my eyes looking through the preview – my heart was so full I could burst. She has such a unique, alternative, modern style of shooting, your photos will be super special. In conclusion, we are obsessed with Caroline and out photos and highly recommend you book her, and fast because she is booked and busy!
What did you wear?
My experience with Forever Bridal in Belfast was fantastic, they were so helpful and friendly. I had the opportunity to try on lots of different styles (dream come true!). I was really influenced by the “dramatic sleeve” trend (March 2022) and I thought this was the route I would go but when I tried them on, I just felt they weren’t the one and I didn’t want to look back and think I picked my dress based on a trend. I had travelled to a number of different boutiques but Forever Bridal really felt like my style, it stocked some incredible designers and I really wanted to make a statement with my dress. I loved the idea of a classic design because it’s timeless but I wanted some flare and a modern element because truthfully I wanted to feel out of this world in my wedding dress. I fell in love with Pillar by Woná Concept because of the lace sleeve with the scalloped edge (timeless) but the drama of the overskirt/backless element and the modern twist with the structured shoulder. I tried on the dress, fell in love but I wanted to make sure so I didn’t buy on the day and instead I had already booked in for another fitting in another boutique so I attended that and it just solidified what I already knew; Pillar was my dress and I couldn’t wait to wear her on my wedding day. Also I only ever brought my mam to any of my try-on’s from the outset until I knew I had found the one and then I brought my bridal squad along. The dress has drama which I loved but I was still super comfortable and I could party the night away with everyone. It is funny, when I think back, the wedding dress I chose was the visual I had in my head many moons ago, I wasn’t one to dwell on when I would get married, but the long lace sleeve, low back was always in my mind’s eye and I never wanted to wear a veil which also came to fruition.
‘Niall and his groomsmen wore tuxedos from Tangos Suit Hire. Niall added a waist coat purchased at Moss Bros because he wanted to stand out as the groom. He is also a man with a great sense of style, so he added some accessories like a gold pocket watch which was a communion present from his uncle many years ago. It was so special to be able to add this to his wedding attire.
‘My bridesmaids wore champagne, cowl neck full-length dresses from Pretty Lavish.’
What were your favourite moments from the day?
‘For us the most special aspect of the day was having a personalised wedding ceremony, we spent a lot of time creating our wedding ceremony with our celebrant Niamh (who is just amazing). We asked our friends and family if they would be part of our ceremony by reading particular pieces of writing we both loved and asking both our mum’s to carry the rings up the aisle for us to exchange. We also decided on including the “Love letter and wine box ceremony” as part of our wedding ceremony. So on our first anniversary we get to unbox the letters we wrote the night before our wedding and pop some Moet to celebrate. We are both SO excited to experience those raw feelings and emotions from the night before the wedding once again. Finally, we had our good friends (epic singers and musicians) close our wedding night with a sing song in Boyne Hill House and everyone sang and danced the night away with one another and that’s something we’ll never forget.
‘For me having a first look with my dad and getting ready to walk through the gates of the secret garden and down the aisle is a feeling and a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life,’ adds Emma. ‘At that point, I needed to see Niall, I was so ready to marry him and see him and experience this day together, which we had dreamt about. So when I stepped through the gate, linking arm in arm my dad and I saw Niall (tearful, which made me melt), the love I had and the joy I felt was like an explosion. The smile could not be wiped from my face.’
Do you have any advice for other brides or grooms-to-be planning during this time?
‘So one thing myself and Niall tried to do in the lead up to our wedding was make every moment count. Meaning no matter how big or small the wedding milestone (choosing your venue, picking up your green book, collecting your wedding rings, etc.) we marked it with a celebratory drink, a home cooked meal, a special date night because your wedding day is 24 hours and sometimes the lead up is forgotten with the stress of planning and organising. Lock in your key suppliers ASAP, so your photographer, celebrant and band etc. – you will not regret being organised when it comes to this.
‘Stay true to yourself and don’t be swayed by trends or the opinion of others, this is your day and you want to be able to look back and think, “Yeah that was absolutely perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing”.
‘Finally it’s an obvious one but your wedding day will fly past in the blink of an eye, you CANNOT prepare yourself for how quickly it goes regardless of being told a million times in the run up, so SOAK UP EVERY SECOND. Don’t feel guilty for making sure you spend lots of time with your new hubby/wife on the wedding day – you can get swept up in thinking you must only ensure your guests are enjoying themselves (there is food, drink and music, believe me they are fine).
Last one, and it’s another common one, but take those 20mins just you and your new husband/wife after your ceremony, have a smooch and a giggle and just buzz of the fact that you are now MARRIED…EXCITING!’
Emma & Niall’s Dream Team
Photographer: Caroline McNally, Wild Things Wed
Venue: Boyne Hill House
Celebrant: Anu Celebrancy, Niamh Callery
Wedding Dress: Forever Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Pretty Lavish
Groomswear: Tangos Suit Hire
Flowers: Emma Rose Floristry
Wedding Rings: Commins & Co Jewellers
Bridal Accessories: One Dame Lane
Makeup: Ruth Cassidy
Hair: June Murtagh
Ceremony Music: One Fine Day
Band & DJ: The Beat Boutique
Floral Arch: La Luna Floral Studio