Our real wedding couple, Orla and Niall celebrated their love amongst all of their nearest and dearest in the idyllic Ballybeg House, Co. Wicklow, where they live. We absolutely melted when we saw the photos of their adorable fur babies, and the vibrant floral colour palette, full of rich pinks and purples. There was also an extensive list of personal ceremony readings we know you will love! All of this was caught on camera by photographer and videographer extraordinaire, Roger Kenny of The Portrait Room, and cannot wait to show you!
Niall and Orla met in January 2012 during a fateful student night out in Dublin City. They both studied at Mater Dei Institute of Education but had never crossed paths until that very night. They began dating that March, celebrating their 10th anniversary two weeks before the wedding. But let’s rewind to the magical proposal! On Christmas eve 2019, Orla and Niall returned home from London where they were living at the time for the festivities along with their much-adored doggies – Alfie and Molly. The family of four headed out for a stroll when the unexpected happened. “I was totally oblivious to what he had planned! I walked ahead and turned back to take a picture, to see Niall on one knee with Molly and Alfie on either side of him. It was the loveliest surprise and very special. I was so surprised by the whole thing, that I never actually took the photo!” says Orla.
The beautiful flower girls Cíosa and Rosie look super in their pure white gowns.
Orla chose a romantic wedding dress from Anna Campbell, embroidered from head to toe with delicate 3D flowers over a beautiful tulle skirt. Her matching cathedral veil made an awe-worthy statement and complemented her simple, soft waves hair and subtle diamond drop earrings borrowed from her mother. As for her beautiful bouquet, the mixture of pink and purple flowers added a pop of vibrant colour.
To cherish the pretty bunch of flowers, the bride knew she always wanted to have her bouquet preserved and pressed into a 3D art frame. “I am so excited to see the finished product! After hearing about Rebecca through a friend, I immediately booked in with her as soon as I started to plan back in 2020. She is magnificent at arranging flowers into unique patterns. Her Instagram is stunning and it will be so special to have a memory of our day framed,” says Orla.
The couple’s wedding ceremony, at Ballybeg House was filled with an abundance of candlelight with pooch Alfie taking centre stage dressed in his black tie attire. As the bridal party arrived at the ceremony, One Day Like This by Elbow was playing as she walked down the aisle. The couple recalls their favourite ceremony readings from their nuptials: “We loved all of our readings, Call It By Some Better Name by Thomas Moore, Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney, Just to Be Beside You by Gabriel Fitzmaurice, The Art of Marriage by Wilfred Arlan Peterson – but our favourite of all is Too Much Enough by Imelda May from her poetry book A Lick and A Promise. The flower girls also read a short four-line poem to start the ceremony – Rosie read it in English and Cíosa read it in Irish! They exited as husband and wife to You’re My Best Friend by Queen!
Greeted with a colourful shower of confetti, it was time for Orla and Niall to kick off the celebrations. Nestled in the Wicklow hills near Tinahely, Ballybeg House offers a wonderfully different wedding experience for couples to infuse their own personal flair into their day. “We wanted to make our guests feel welcome and totally at home. My brother Kevin and sister-in-law Sarah had married at Ballybeg in 2019 and we just fell in love with the venue. It is so unique and we’d never experienced a venue or wedding quite like it. We knew our guests would feel the magic of it all too!” they gush.
As always, Pinterest played a big role when it came to choosing their wedding aesthetic along with other real weddings. A delicate and romantic theme with splashes of vibrant colour was what would work best for bride Orla, who was guided in her decisions after choosing her gown and save the dates. Pretty florals and subtle hints of gold featured at the reception with beautiful centrepieces. “I chose a mix of light and bright pinks, deep purples, lilacs and blues in the flowers, with simple touches of greens, whites and creams helping to give a romantic, wildflower, but sophisticated look. My stylist was incredibly helpful as I figured out what decor and flowers to choose. She was a fountain of knowledge and has a perfect solution to any problem!” says Orla.
Check out the gorgeous wedding party, glistening in dusty rose and midnight blue – a colour match made in heaven! The beautiful bridesmaids in a silky-satin wrap dress and capped sleeves to match Orla. The dapper gents wore striking black tie ensembles, with Niall rightfully standing out in his sophisticated navy tuxedo.
Priorities for the newlyweds were simple on their wedding day. They wanted the wedding to feel as happy and as full of love as possible, and overall a proper celebration of them as a couple after a decade and many happy experiences together. “We also wanted to stick to our budget! It is so easy to get carried away with weddings and lots of little extras that cost a small fortune. You never think you’ll spend upwards of €100 on sparklers until you’re faced with the situation but those are the minutiae that can bog you down!” They thought carefully about what would matter most to them and their guests. “It was important to each have particular jobs as it definitely got hectic at times. Ultimately, we wanted the feel of an intimate and personal celebration with 137 people! We managed it by selecting a brilliant venue, music and words that felt true to us and great food!”
Magical, relaxed and brimming with love were the three words they use to sum up the special day. “It was everything we hoped it would be and so much more. Our friends and family are truly the loveliest people. It was wonderful to see all of our groups meet and mix, especially as we have been living in London for almost a decade. Niall and I felt so certain that everything would go smoothly and we came to a point where we felt nothing else could really phase us. We knew we would both turn up and that’s all that mattered!” says Orla. To top off the night, they shared their first dance to Dreams by The Cranberries and enjoyed a picture-perfect moment under a sparkler tunnel.
As for some worthy advice! They say: “Make a list of who you want photos with so you don’t miss out on people and ask your photographer if they can fit them in throughout the day!” After the celebrations, Niall and Orla set off on honeymoon to New York, Las Vegas, and Cancún in Mexico. They stayed at Kixby NY, The Cosmopolitan in Vegas and Secrets the Vine Cancún, and would definitely recommend their itinerary.
Thank you to the lovely couple and The Portrait Room for sharing this beautiful Ballybeg House wedding with us all. To view more images of this special day, take a look in the gallery below!