Real Irish Wedding: Lan Nguyen & Brendan Grealis
~ Real Life Wedding
Real Irish Wedding: 25th August 2012, Kilronan Castle, Roscommon
A celebrity make up artist from Vietnam and a carpenter from Mayo may sound like an unlikely pairing, but for Lan and Brendan, fun and friendship soon led to love and a VERY glamorous wedding…
The pair had been together for just over a year when Brendan proposed in September 2011. “We were laughing so much from the antics of the night dancing and celebrating that when Brendan asked me straight up, I thought it was a joke and had to be asked again!” recalls Lan.
Unsure of the type of wedding they wanted, Lan spent a long time collecting magazines and looking for ideas to create a mood board of everything she loved, building up a picture of her day little by little. Splitting the duties with Brendan and friends, Lan planned the day with precision; “I felt the best way to deal with it was to treat it like a fashion show where I am used to working under pressure and in teams. Bringing people together for a common purpose was a skill of mine.”
“My wedding theme was old and new traditions with a splash of glitz and glamour,” reveals Lan. “I chose mainly white and red with crystals. It had to have all the trimmings of a traditional wedding, with a twist.”
Lan and Brendan chose Kilronan Castle to host the 270 guests who attended their wedding. “It was a breathtaking venue and had lots of character,” enthuses Lan. “The feel of the venue was exactly what we were looking for – grand but cosy and warm. I loved that everyone could stay for a long relaxing weekend if they wanted to and the staff were incredibly accommodating and enthusiastic.”
These were endless and ranged from arrival gift bags for guests, personalised favours, a secret garden, photobooth, sweet cart, Ferrero Rocher trees…However the biggest talking point of the day had to be the unique entertainment that included Escala string quartet (finalists from Britain’s Got Talent) Urban Voices Collective (the Olympics official choir and were flown in especially), Irish dancers Celtic Rhythm and a bagpipe player who greeted guests as they arrived at the castle for a drinks reception in the dungeon.
Lan wore Finisterre by Pronovias, a white lace mermaid bridal gown with a sweetheart neckline, which she customised by cutting out and making a veil from the left over material and adding extra Swarovski crystals.
Lan’s shoes were by designer Deborah Mechante and her bespoke bridal headpiece was by milliner Louis Mariette.
The six bridesmaids were dressed in Sex and the City inspired gowns from Coast and Mia Sposa in metallic nude colours.
Brendan wore traditional black tails with a gold and white waistcoat and white cravat. All the men’s suits were from Padraic McHale in Castlebar, County Mayo.
“We went for white roses with plenty of gyp and a splash of glitter all over so they sparkled and glistened in the light throughout the day and night,” reveals Lan. Floradale from Carrick on Shannon completely transformed the church and the reception venue, building a secret garden at the entrance of the reception and adding their own touch of bay trees, silk rose decorations throughout and plenty of extras such as candles and water features.
A Beauford 1930s vintage style car from Smyths Wedding Cars, Roscommon.
There were a few. The groomsman lost his cravat; another groomsman’s trousers didn’t fit and a mix up with the wedding cars kept the bridal party waiting!
Lan: My fondest memory was singing a special song along with the gospel choir with just the bridal party before entering the grand reception and seeing everyone together. It was very overwhelming and at this moment I really began to enjoy myself.