Updated 28 April 2020
Planning a wedding at Bellinter House is nothing other than exciting. Set in beautiful County Cavan, Bellinter House is a stunning exclusive wedding venue in Ireland. And one where I had the absolute pleasure of working in the summer of 2019. Alongside my friend Darragh from Forever Endeavour films, we shot the wonderful Caroline and Eoin’s wedding. It was filled with so much style and attention to detail. But the main focus was on fun, family and love. Something that every wedding should be. In this blog, you’ll get an insight into Caroline’s incredible wedding planning and some top tips for planning your Bellinter House wedding, including why choosing a videographer that works well with your photographer is so important.
Setting Priorities For Your Wedding
Before you start planning your wedding, a top tip is to sit down together and lay out your priorities. This is so important when choosing your wedding venue but also helps with things like setting your wedding budget, picking your wedding date and choosing your wedding suppliers.
Caroline how she and Eoin set the priorities for their wedding and what was important to them when it came to wedding planning.
“When we got engaged we toyed around with getting married abroad but as we wanted to have all of our family and friends there, we knew if we did that it wouldn’t be possible so we started looking all around Ireland. We talked about what we wanted from our venue. Our top deciding factors were:
- We knew we wanted a very relaxed wedding, really just a big party where every person attending could just have fun.
- That we could get married outside and have as much of the day outside that was possible so the venue needed to have a really beautiful outdoor spaces.
- That it could take the numbers of guests we would have coming to the wedding.
- We are big foodies so the food needed to be top class.
- It needed to be somewhere we could make a weekend of it with our family and friends.”
Bellinter House as a Wedding Venue
Caroline and Eoin’s wedding was the first time I’d shot at Bellinter House. Darragh had worked there several times before, so he’d sent me some footage of previous weddings. I also had done my research beforehand and then as normal, I arrived early on the day to scout the grounds. I was instantly blown away by how stunning it was. So many wonderful spots inside and out for photos, without lots of walking needed. For a photographer like me who hates having my couples away for too long, that was so important.
From Caroline’s point of view there were so many aspects that she loved.
“Bellinter House is very quirky, a vintage country house full of character, with interesting interiors and we could book it out exclusively for our wedding day all to ourselves and spend the full weekend there with all our family and friends, it had a really homely feel and our wedding was like a big house party. The Weeping Beech Tree at Bellinter that we got married under was the deciding factor for us to choose this venue. It is really beautiful.”
An Outdoor Wedding In Ireland
Planning an outdoor wedding in Ireland is always going to be risky, but a couple like Caroline and Eoin were ready to embrace whatever weather came their way. Luck so happened that they had a stunningly hot day for their summer wedding and their outdoor ceremony was a dream. It was the first thing Caroline thought of when asked what was special about her wedding. I think that in itself says it all, as that moment of committing to each other and celebrating your love is what it’s all about.
Here are some ideas from Caroline for a personal and intimate wedding ceremony:
- “At the start of the ceremony we had a ring warming ceremony, Ann (our celebrant) encouraged us to have readings that meant something to us read by our family.”
- “Before the wedding Ann asked us to email her 4 things, we loved about each other without telling one another, so during the ceremony she read them out to us, which was really lovely.”
- “Near the end of ceremony, we gave a single Red Rose to each other as a symbol of love and life. The idea behind this was that when we argue, we give a rose to be a reminder that, whatever the circumstances, whatever the difficulties, our love will prevail.”
- “After the ceremony we walked down the aisle together to the “Game of Thrones” theme tune as we are big GOT fans, which gave all our guests a good laugh and it was amazingly played by the D Strings Ireland.”
- “Our Dstrings string band played for guests as they arrived and during the ceremony with songs we both loved from classic movies like “Stand by me” and Disney songs from the “Lion King”, I had “A thousand years” played as I walking up the aisle which the musicians had to play around 3 times as Bellinter House’s aisle is not just the most beautiful setting for a ceremony, but probably the longest aisle in history. I didn’t mind, it as it gave the photographer time to take some amazing shots that we will have forever.”
DIY wedding ideas
The amazing thing about Caroline was her attention to detail, her creativity was clear straight away on meeting her. She had thought of everything but I was even more surprised when I found out how much of the wedding details she and Eoin had done themselves. From the stationery to the unique table plan, she had so many amazing ideas for DIY wedding details.
Handmade Wedding Stationery
“All of our stationery was designed by me and then handmade by me and Eoin. The colours we used throughout the wedding were Powder Blue, Gold, Green and then pops of Red in the flowers.
Our Wedding Invitations were a “Vintage Inspired Design”. The card was Ivory and I wanted the design to incorporate the gold so I used it in the font, and I added some greenery to represent our outdoor ceremony. I sourced a silk Powder Blue ribbon for the bows to keep in the inserts, and got an old-style sealing stamp that had our initials and the date of our wedding on it that I used to seal the gold wax to close each of the envelopes. We hand tore each invitation and the menus. Not for the faint hearted as they take time to make, but so worth it to have the perfect invite for your wedding. After sending them out, we were getting messages from our guests telling us they didn’t want to open them as the wax seal was so pretty, which was really lovely.
Menus, Order of Service Paddle fans, and Place Card
I designed our menus, order of service and place cards to match our wedding invitations. The order of service fans came in very handy for our guests as during our ceremony with the heat from the sun I could see our guests using them to keep themselves cool.”
A Personalised DIY Table Plan
“We made the table plan ourselves. I had a lot of different ideas for our table plan and finally decided on a photo memory table plan. At the start I didn’t think it would be that difficult, to get a photo of each of our guests but I soon found out it would be tougher than I expected.
We spent the most of a week creating the table plan before the wedding, gathering all the photos, printing and cutting them and then Eoin made the timber base that would hold them all.
The drive from Limerick to Meath the day before our wedding didn’t go too well for the table plan and I ended up having to re stick a lot of the photos at 1 in the morning the night before the wedding. Even though at the time it didn’t seem like it, all the time spent to get it set up was definitely worth it, to see our guests laugh at the photos as they looked for their seat. The table plan was a real conversational topic on our wedding day, we used some fun shots of some of our close friend from different places we had been with them and when they saw them they were trying to remember when they were taken, and how we got them.”
The Custom Made Wedding Dress
Caroline’s wedding dress was spectacular. The perfect mix of boho and timeless, custom made for her. I loved hearing her experience of having a wedding dress custom made.
“It was a custom Anna Georgina dress by “Kobus Dippenaar” who is a South African designer. It was Orlaith from The Attic Bridal Boutique in Limerick that got in contact with him to make the dress for me.
I travelled to many shops up and down the country to try to find my wedding dress. I liked different things from a lot of them I had tried on, but there was never one that stood out to me, as I had an idea in my head of what I wanted. My last stop was The Attic Bridalwear Boutique where I met Róisín and Orlaith who completely understood what I was looking for and got Kobus of Anna Georgina to make me a custom dress that I absolutely loved.
I got the text message for my first dress fitting while on my hen in Albufeira and I was so excited to meet Kobus who was in Limerick with it, he then took it back with him to finish it off. As he made it, it was so lovely to get some pictures to see how it was coming along and when it arrived back in Ireland, Orlaith added the final touched of the Wings. I wanted them to be removeable so I could leave them on until after the first dance and then take them off. All during the process of making the dress I was back and forth for deciding if I would go with a veil or wings and I was so glad I went with the wings, I just adored them.”
Wedding Photographer and Videographer
As I mentioned, working with Darragh was a real joy on this wedding. It always is. We have similar styles and approaches, whilst each bringing something unique to the table. For me this is essential in enhancing the work we both produce. So often I find couples don’t really consider the importance of choosing a photographer and videographer that work well together and whose styles compliment each other. But it doesn’t just impace the photos/videos you receive, it also plays a big part in the experience. As Caroline’s experience explains.
“For me having the right Photographer and Videographer on our wedding day was a big deal. Everyone kept saying how quick the day would go and they were so right. We had never had professional photos done together before and we felt we would be very awkward in shots but our Photographer Lauren and Videographer Darragh worked together so well and gave us great direction to help us get the best shots possible. We completely trusted them all day and we are so glad we did as we have some amazing shots that we will cherish forever. They were so creative, we walked through branches and long thorny grass to get the shots and they made it the best fun. They were so quick and professional; we had no idea that the shots that they had taken would turn out so amazing until we were sent them after the wedding. “
Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this blog to check out Darragh’s incredible film from this wedding.
Wedding Planning Advice For Brides
“The weeks leading up to the wedding can be quite stressful and busy, no matter how organised you try to be, there are always last minute details and things to be finalised. It’s a good idea to take a few days off before the wedding to get things finalised.
When you are planning a wedding and telling all your family and friends about all your ideas that may not be very traditional like getting married outside, or not having speeches at the meal it is easy to get influenced or second guess yourself and change your mind. Do whatever you want, just go for it and don’t regret a thing.
No matter what people say to you, you want everything to be perfect on your big day but really on the wedding day everything just falls into place and the things that don’t, no one will notice. You will have all of your family and friends around you and you are marrying the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, so nothing could ruin your day.
Take time on the wedding day to step back and watch all of the people around you chatting, laughing and dancing and take it all in, they are there for you. A number of people said this to me on the night of the wedding and I did it, the dancefloor was full all night long we just didn’t want it to end. We can 100% say now that it is a day like no other, and one you will never forget when you have all of your family and friends together to celebrate your day. You will be on such a high, you will feel like you are in a dream or a movie playing someone else getting married. It is a truly magical day.
Note to all brides: Bring double sided tape (I used this to fix the table plan the night before the wedding, a needle and thread, safety pins and plasters for emergencies.”
Bellinter House Wedding Photography
If you’re planning your wedding at Bellinter House, get in touch to chat about your plans. I would love to capture all the moments that will make your day special and unique to you. All the love your wedding is going to be filled with. And the memories you’re going to want to remember forever.
Other Suppliers Involved
Men’s Suits: Suit Republic Galway
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Bride Shoes : Jimmy Choo from Brown Thomas
Bride Headpiece: Joanna Reed Bridal
Flowers: Jenny at Flowers By Moira
Cake: Deel Bakery
Makeup: Natasha Ray Pro Artist
Reception Music: Kooky Ukes
Evening Reception Band/DJ: The Bentley Boys