Halfpenny London’s ‘Iris Rose’ Dress for a Windswept Irish Castle Wedding Inspired by the Wild Atlantic Way

Ideas

I’m always so pleased when I get the chance to write about lovely Irish couples and/or weddings in Ireland. Although I was born and grew up in the UK, my family are Irish, and writing about Irish celebrations always feels like a wonderful homecoming of sorts.

Meet our couple, Róisín and Tim, who describe themselves as ‘risky people’ (!), working in credit risk, and natural catastrophe risk respectively. They were married on the 29 September in a ceremony at St. Brigid’s Church, in Róisín’s home village of Ballintra, Co. Donegal. This was followed by a reception held at the beautiful Markree Castle, Collooney, Co. Sligo, located on Ireland’s spectacular Wild Atlantic Way.

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“We wanted our wedding to be classically elegant with a modern twist, and were determined to reflect and share our love for Co. Donegal within the wedding weekend, and so subsequently adopted a Wild Atlantic Way theme.”

“We always dreamed of a fairytale castle wedding on the Wild Atlantic Way, and after hearing that Markree Castle had reopened after an extensive restoration, we knew it had to be there. Markree Castle has retained a classical charm, and is set within quaint country surroundings.”

Róisín and Tim discovered their stationery designer, Lucy Says I Do, at an Etsy fair in West Elm, London, and what an exquisitely illustrated suite she created for the couple.

“Our stationery had a 1940s railway poster feel, crossed with the destination of the wedding: The Wild Atlantic Way. Lucy did a superb job designing the stationery, and set the theme for the day.”

Róisín paired her dress with strappy silver ‘Ivette’ sandals by Jimmy Choo. She also wore pearl drop earrings by Dinny Hall, with her hair styled by Jillian Boylan from Rossano’s Hair & Beauty in Donegal, and beautiful make-up by Kerry Harvey.

“On our first holiday together in New York in 2010, we stumbled across a perfumery called Le Labo, on Elizabeth Street in Nolita. Ever since that day we have adored Le Labo’s stunning scents, and it was only fitting that I wore their Rose 31 perfume on the special day.”

There was a glamorous, 1930s feel to Róisín’s bridesmaid’s dress by Ghost London; the satin, cowl-backed ‘Salma’ gown in boudoir pink, which she wore with her own shoes, and a necklace from Monica Vinader.

Róisín was the picture of elegance in her dress by our brilliant friend, Halfpenny London. She chose the ‘Iris Rose’ design; delicate French lace over a silk slip, with cap sleeves and a shaped train, and had a wonderful experience at the designer’s flagship London boutique.

“After becoming engaged, I started researching bridal designers. My remit was  something elegant, timeless and handmade in the UK, fulfilling my style ambitions.”

“The experience I had at Halfpenny London’s boutique in Woburn Walk was magical. The idyllic boutique is set in a Dickensian style street in London’s fashionable Bloomsbury. Actually, one of my favourite poets, W.B. Yeats resided in the building opposite Halfpenny London in the late 1800s!”

“The customer service was excellent, the girls working there always made me feel very special, and gave an abundance of style advice. The atelier Marilynne was a true artist, and customised my wedding gown to my specifications.”

“I always envisioned getting married in lace, and when she saw ‘Iris Rose’ for the first time, I just fell in love with the delicate, full length Levers lace.”

The sweet flowergirls wore white tulle dresses from Monsoon, worn with white cardigans, and the page boy wore a suit from Roco Clothing, which perfectly complemented Tim’s suit, along with a pastel pink bow tie to match the groom’s party.

In keeping with the lovely pastel colour scheme, Róisín and her bridesmaid carried bouquets of softly blushing dahlias and feathery astilbe, alongside pink roses and lisianthus, waxflowers and beautiful greenery. 

These, along with the other floral arrangements, including the most spectacular arch at the entrance to the church, were created by Olga Clancy, of The Flower Shed.

“Seasonality and our colour palette were the key drivers when selecting our flowers. As the wedding was in late September, dahlias and roses were still in season, so we made sure our floral arrangements incorporated these elements, in addition to eucalyptus and other flowers carefully selected by the wonderful Olga.”

“Tim wore a Tom Ford suit in a Prince of Wales check. His inspiration was derived from a chance conversation with an art student, a Cuban stylist (by the name of Carlos) working at Tom Ford’s concession in Selfridges & Co.”

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“Fitting the brief of a modern twist on a classical theme, Carlos had the vision and unique drive to elevate the suit by adding evening attire accessories, and had the passion to help source these, too.”

These evening inspired accessories included a pair of smart, black patent shoes by Ede & Ravenscroft, a black bow tie, and a double-breasted waistcoat from Favourbrook.

“Tim’s Best Man, Mark, wore an elegant grey suit to complement Tim’s grey check suit, and likewise incorporated the pastel pink theme in his floral bow tie and pocket square. The ushers then matched to Mark’s floral theme with handmade pastel shade ties from Beau Tie, UK.”

The finishing touch to Róisín’s timeless, romantic look was a floral inspired hair comb by Britten Weddings, and a dramatic, cathedral length silk tulle veil by Helen Martin Veils. She made her way to the church in a cream, 1960s Mark 2 Jaguar.

“We first met in 2009 when we both worked at the same firm in the City of London. A chance encounter at the traffic lights outside our place of work led to a lunch date, and the rest is history. We got engaged in January 2017, on a beach in Port Antonio, Jamaica.”

Guests were entertained with music from the Ulster String Quartet, who then played Pachelbel’s Canon in D as Róisín walked down the aisle with her father, Tommy.

“The ceremony was conducted by Father Joseph O’Donnell, parish priest of St Brigid’s Church, who performed a beautiful, intimate ceremony.”

“We kept with the traditional Roman Catholic vows, and were keen to incorporate music throughout the service, and so to complement Father Joe and the Ulster String Quartet, we were graced by opera singer Barbara Edwards’ beautiful singing voice.”

“Barbara sang a blend of traditional Celtic solos, and concluded the ceremony with a rousing version of the hymn Jerusalem.”

To choose their wedding rings together, Róisín and Tim visited Hatton Garden in London, and were most impressed by the level of service from Chintan and the team at RPS Diamonds.

“Our first reading from the Book of Ruth, and the second reading was the First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (Corinthians 1). Both readings were very poignant, and focused on love and unity, which were very fitting for the occasion.”

The couple’s third reading was a popular and beautiful extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernieres; Love is a Temporary Madness. It’s lovely to know that this was chosen from the ‘Readings’ section of Love My Dress. If you’re in search of some literary inspiration for your ceremony, you’ll find pieces, poems and lyrics of all kinds there.

Discover more wedding readings here

“I found Love My Dress very useful and got a lot of inspiration from it, so I’m deeply honoured to be featuring in it! I loved looking at all the featured weddings for ideas. “What I loved most were the real life weddings featured. It was great to read about other people’s experiences, and to look at all the stunning pictures. The Little Book directory is awesome, and crammed with some of the finest wedding designers and vendors out there. You guys at Love My Dress do a splendid job.”

“The ceremony was magical and very emotional, and it was amazing seeing one another for the first time in the church. Also, to have all our family and friends under one roof witnessing our vows whilst the Ulster String Quartet and soprano Barbara Edwards performed in the background was magical.”

Joyful, post-ceremony confetti shots are always some of my favourites to see in couples’ collections of images. The moment is always full of such exuberance and energy, and photographer Sarah Fyffe did a brilliant job all-round in capturing Róisín and Tim’s day.

“I initially came across Sarah Fyffe’s work when seeing her stunning photos of a fashion shoot in Dunfanaghy, in north Co. Donegal. We greatly admired Sarah’s use of light and landscape compositions.”

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“Upon meeting, Sarah inspired our vision for how the Wild Atlantic Way theme could be incorporated throughout the day. Moreover, throughout the day itself, Sarah was a hugely positive influence to have around, and captured perfect memories that we will cherish forever.”

The wedding party enjoyed a walk with drinks along the windswept shores and dunes of Murvagh Beach, before rejoining their loved ones at Markree Castle for an elegant party to remember.

“We also really enjoyed heading to Murvagh Beach afterwards for the photographs with the lovely Sarah and our small wedding party. Then, with all formalities completed, arriving at the wedding reception to the evocative Fatboy Slim tune of Praise You signalled the start of the party.”

The grand, sweeping staircase of the castle was lined with lanterns and decorated with greenery and fairylights, and ahead of the wedding breakfast, guests enjoyed a drinks reception with more live music from the Ulster String Quartet.

The colour scheme for the day was inspired by a trio of Róisín’s favourite colours – pink, gold and green, reflected in the beautiful centrepiece floral arrangements in the magnificent, gilded room where the reception was held.

Candles were dotted across the tables, laid with simple, white cloths, and guest favours were miniature bottles of Teeling Whiskey, kindly gifted by close friends of the couple.

“Tim designed and made wedding signs to greet guests and to display the order of the day. He put his occasional calligraphy skills to good use!”

“For the little ones who were at the wedding, they were fantastically looked after in the evening by Fun ‘N Frills, led by Ana Carr, enabling parents to relax and thoroughly enjoy themselves.”

“Markree Castle did all the catering, enabling us to create a bespoke, seasonal wedding menu. The guests were indulged with a chorizo, pepper and sherry dressing starter, followed by tobacco onions in creamy mushroom soup, and then fillet steak in a whiskey sauce for their main course.”

There was delicious wedding cake, too; a luxurious, three-tier gold and blush pink ombre creation, complete with sugar work dahlias, by Park Lane Cakes. The three tiers were Victoria sponge, chocolate biscuit, and a classic fruit cake.

It took some time, and a lot of internet searching for Róisín and Tom to find their perfect first dance song, but they eventually settled on You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne.

“We instantly fell in love with the track. We decided to undertake much-needed private dance lessons to prepare for our dancing debut!”

Jaker & Co. were the amazing wedding band (later DJ too) who impressed with their rock, indie repertoire, and ensured most of the wedding party were enjoying themselves on the dance floor for much of the night.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“We know it is a bit of a cliché but, put simply, enjoy it! The day goes by incredibly quickly, so it is important to be mindful of every moment and treasure it.”

“I thought I would be nervous, but on the day I was as calm as ever, and was able to indulge in every moment. Before the day, there is a lot of organising to do. We’re the kind of people who enjoyed every aspect of this, but still benefitted from lots of support from family and friends.”

Róisín and Tim, thanks a million for sharing your effortlessly elegant day with us. It has me longing for a seaside walk now, I don’t know about you?! Many thanks to photographer Sarah Fyffe for her lovely and atmospheric images.

Until next time!

With love,

Laura

Laura Callan

Laura Callan
View all Laura’s articles

Laura is a freelance writer and content creator who loves telling stories. She has keen eye for photography and art, and lives with her husband, cats, and huge amounts of books.

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