Casablanca Bridal

A Personal Celebration With A Show-Stopping Dress

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bride and groom with umbrella

Darren & Roisin tied the knot 29th April 2017 at St Catherine’s Dominican Chapel Newry followed by a reception at Carrickdale Hotel & Spa, Co.Louth

Photography by Lifting the Veil

The Couple

bride and groom top table

Darren and Roisin met when they were just 17 and 18. Roisin says, ‘We met in a nightclub in Newry through a friend of mine who worked with Darren (one of my bridesmaids, Niamh). We got talking, he took my number and that was the start of it!’

The Proposal

bride, groom and page boy

The proposal took place in September 2015 in Kilbroney Forest Park with Darren’s son, Benjamin and their dog Buddy. ‘This is something we do quite regularly so I thought nothing of it, Darren had brought had one of Benjamin’s school bags with him which wasn’t usual, but didn’t ring any alarm bells as they said it had a football in it. I was wearing tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie – not the most glam of outfits to get engaged in! We stopped halfway up the mountain to take a break and while Benjamin was climbing a tree and the dog was running about, Darren went into the school bag and produced a ring. He got down on one knee and said some lovely things. I asked if he was serious and we just kept laughing and smiling until I finally found the words to say yes! I found out after the proposal, that all of our families had been in on the surprise and my sister Claire had even helped pick the ring!’


Carrickdale Hotel

‘We wanted a local venue as both of our families are from Newry and we didn’t want them to have to travel very far. The food at the Carrickdale Hotel is amazing and the beautiful grounds were perfect for wedding photographs. We loved that the Bernish Suite, where we had our reception, was in a separate part of the hotel, so was extremely private, and due to a recent renovation it felt like a brand new hotel!’


centrepiece 2

‘We didn’t really have a theme,’ says Roisin. ‘ We just wanted the day to be as relaxed and fun as possible, filled with personal touches. I love sweet things so we had mini tray bakes (made by the very talented Alison Adams) for everyone on arrival.  All of our tables were named after our favourite TV shows, and on each table we had a photo of Darren and myself through the years.  Our family and friends are very important to us, so just to embarrass them all, during our dinner we had a big screen pulled down showing old photos of our guests from years ago, it definitely went down well with everyone! There was a kids entertainer during the speeches to let the parents relax after dinner and then during the band’s interval we had a group of drummers called the Hit Machine performing a routine for everyone.’


bride in church

The couple chose Lifting the Veil to capture their big day. ‘We had seen Lifting the Veil at a friend’s wedding and we even recommended them to another friend after our wedding,’ says Roisin. ‘I loved the candid snaps they took of all the guests throughout the day and as Darren and I are not very posy people, this style of photography suited us down to the ground.  We are delighted with our photographs, Lifting the Veil were perfect for us.’

Wedding Planner


‘The Bernish Suite is so beautiful it didn’t need much decoration, but I contacted Martina Crilly who was recommended by the Carrickdale Hotel and she provided white linens, candles and large glass votives for the flowers.’

Wedding Dress

bride and groom in black and white

Roisin looked every bit the beautiful bride in a wedding dress from Ophelia Bride in Drogheda. ‘I saw the dress on a mannequin as soon as I walked in and I knew straight away it was the one. I fell in love with the subtle broderie anglaise pattern, round neckline, and simple pleated skirt. The best part was that it had pockets! I know it’s clichéd but I felt like a princess in it.’


bridal partyDarren hired his three-piece, navy suit from McCartan Bros in Newry. ‘Again it was quite simple but he broke up the navy with a pink, paisley tie and I thought he looked very handsome all kitted out!’


bride and bridesmaids

Roisin spotted the bridesmaids’ gowns in Creative Ideas in Armagh. ‘The dresses were full length in a shade of mauve. It wasn’t a typical spring colour, but it suited them both perfectly. The girls looked gorgeous and I loved the subtle beading and v-shaped back.’

Wedding Flowers

bridal bouquet

‘Awh the flowers, the were just stunning!’ says Roisin. ‘The flowers were created by the insanely talented Kathryn Stafford from The Posy Barn.  My friend used Kathryn for her wedding and as soon as I saw them I knew I would be chasing her down too. I had my heart set on wild flowers with lots of greenery and ribbons on the bouquet. Kathryn completely understood what I wanted and they turned out even better than I had expected.’


bride outside church

‘One of my bridesmaids Niamh and her sister Louise very kindly offered to make our invitations for us as a wedding present.  The girls are very creative so I was very happy to leave most of it to them. They created purple invitations with an ivory topper that opened  up in the middle to two pockets inside. One pocket held the main invitation providing all the info  and the other pocket contained the RSVP.  They were something a little different and very elegant looking.’

Wedding Cake

naked wedding cake

‘Our wedding cake was made by a friend I work with, Alison Adams. She is so talented, I don’t know why she’s not baking cakes full time!  We chose a semi-naked cake with two layers of lemon drizzle with a white chocolate filling and then one layer of carrot cake.  We also had a chocolate and Guinness cake that wasn’t a part of the cake display.  I wanted the chocolate cake for me but it was all eaten so quickly I didn’t get a chance to have a piece of it -I think that says it all about how good the cake was.’

Favourite moment

page boy making speech

Groom: ‘Roisin walking down the aisle to me.’

Bride: ‘Walking out of the chapel after we had signed our papers.  It was official at that stage and everyone was clapping and cheering for us. Also, Benjamin made a small speech after our dinner which I had no idea about, it was a very special moment of the day!’

Top Tip

flower girlsGroom: ‘Try to relax and enjoy every aspect of the planning and the day itself.’

Bride: ‘Don’t over think or stress about the small things because no one will really notice them, as long as there is good food and drink everyone will be happy.’


If you’re getting married and are looking for a gorgeous dress design, take a look at our brand-new directory. We only recommend the highest quality Wedding dress & Bridal Shops in Co. Carlow .

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