All the way from Arizona, our real wedding couple Francesca and Chris captivated us with their love-infused wedding day and super-stylish bridal attire! The bridesmaids each wore their own dress shade (and some shades), the dazzling bride donned a retro pair of bridal sunglasses and the groom wore a 70s vintage suit passed down from his father. Personality was far from spared for this intimate wedding at The Millhouse, in Co. Meath and photographer Rafal Borek ensured no detail was left uncaptured! So let’s not waste a second more to see this beautiful day…
Francesca and Chris, who have made Arizona in the US their home, first met at a New Year’s Eve party back in 2012. Their first words to one another were an argument over the rules of good ol’ beer pong! “We didn’t see each other again until the following New Year’s Eve at a mutual friend’s house where we spent the entire night chatting away about everything. The next morning I woke up to a Facebook message from Christopher, and it all started from there!” she says.
Francesca hails from England, and Chris from San Francisco, and their promise of forever came on a romantic camping trip in February 2021. Christopher explains how he proposed to the love of his life: “We spent the whole day hiking, setting up camp, and just enjoying being outdoors. That night after we had cooked a lovely meal, we sat by the fire when Francesca’s favourite song The Air That I Breathe by The Hollies started playing. I asked Francesca to dance and then mid-way through the song, I got down on one knee. It was the most perfect moment ever!”
The bride’s style was a lesson in understated elegance. She chose a classic fitted off-the-shoulder gown, paired with glamorous Hollywood curls and a vibrant bunch of garden wildflowers. Our favourite accessory, besides her smile, is the fun heart-shaped bridal sunglasses! The couple wanted the day to be intimate and unique. and that it was them and their style as a couple without too many outside voices influencing their decisions. “Overall, we wanted an undone, wildflower look with some refinements – so we made sure things didn’t match too much but also that there was a simplicity to it,” says Francesca.
The beautiful bride squad were dressed in a selection of mix-and-match dresses in different textures and shades of blue. As for the dapper men, the groomsmen wore elegant navy three-piece suits to complement the ladies, whilst the handsome groom Chris contrasted in a striking tweed suit from the 1970s, that belonged to his father with a pale blue tie. So whilsthilst the ladies had the something blue covered, we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit for something old and borrowed for Chris!
The ceremony song choices were the favourites of the couple. Chris and his family walked down the aisle to Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons and Francesca to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis. “We didn’t do any ceremony readings but our celebrant had Christopher and I write the things we love the most about each other and keep it a secret until the ceremony. She revealed the things we’d written about each other and they were almost identical, it made us both laugh and cry more than we would like to admit!” they say. They finished the ceremony as husband and wife with Burning Love by Elvis Presley!
The newlyweds chose a handfasting ritual as part of their ceremony. Hand-fasting is a symbolic unity ritual in which a couple stand face to face as their hands are tied together – hence the phrase, tying the knot! What made the day truly special was keeping their wedding at The Millhouse quite small and intimate. By doing that they were able to take full advantage of the pre-celebrations that their exclusive wedding venue had to offer. “The afternoon and evening before our wedding, we were able to spend extra time with our family. We live on the other side of the world away from half of our family, so more quality time with them was perfect!” they say.
After countless online searches for the prettiest wedding venues in Ireland, there was one that kept appearing time and time again. The Millhouse is a truly romantic haven for a wedding in a wonderful garden setting and the couple fell in love with it from the moment they saw it online. “The more we learned about the history and the individualistic style, the more sure we were that we wanted to get married there,” they say.
One of the main elements that inspired the wedding aesthetic was the choice of flowers. Francesca explains: “After browsing Pinterest and chatting with Vilma at O’Reilly Flowers, we found a gorgeous colour palette of blues, peachy tones, white, and greenery. It was unlike any floral arrangement we have seen and that helped guide us with styling the rest of our day.” O Reilly Flowers is a family-run flower farm which specialises in beautiful and sustainable floral designs and they certainly delivered something special on the day. The main room was alive with florals and ambient candlelight. Repurposing flowers and decor throughout the day is an excellent eco-conscious tactic, and the end florals from the ceremony were reused along the base of the top table adding extra oomph to the reception space.
To ensure no moment was missed on the day, the talented Daydream Pictures was on hand capturing every smile, laugh and precious moment on video for the couple to cherish. When it comes to offering words of advice, they keep it simple. “Remember that this is a happy day for you and your love. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed and forget why you’re doing this. Keep yourself and your partner at the forefront and all will be okay!”
As the evening approached, Chris and Francesca shared their first dance as husband and wife. They chose The Air That I Breathe by The Hollies to honour their special proposal moment. After the wedding day, the lovely duo set off on a mini moon to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher.
Let love sparkle! Thank you to the newlyweds and Rafal Borek for sharing their picture-perfect wedding day at The Millhouse with One Fab Day. There are plenty more images to browse in the gallery below!
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