Tipi by the Seashore….Real Irish wedding
By Paula O’Hara Photography

I get so excited when I come across Irish weddings where couples have taken a risk and thought outside the box! You might remember the fantastic photography of Paula O’Hara from Alise and Conor’s engagement shoot a couple of weeks ago. Today I’m sharing the gorgeous real wedding of Victoria and Robin, who rocked their big day in a tipi!

It’s real weddings like this that make me want to have a reason to celebrate all over again! Not only do tipis give off an effortlessly cool, festival vibe, they also give you the freedom to tailor your day completely to your own personal party taste. That was something that Victoria and Robin were keen to do from the start.

“The most important thing for us was to have a relaxed day and have nothing too formal.  We wanted to relax and enjoy ourselves with great food, great wine and great company.”  

First meeting at Victoria’s 21st birthday, it was a year before they officially went on their first date. They knew it was the real deal early on and were willing to overcome a year apart while Victoria worked in Japan. They then saw each other only on weekends while Robin was based in Larne, and Victoria worked in Donegal. Clearly it was worth all the effort to be together and Robin popped the question after four years!

“We got engaged last October.  We went to Ballyliffin for the weekend, and he proposed on the beach at sunset.  He asked how I felt about being the next Mrs Arnold?! And after discussing all the terms and conditions I agreed!   We always knew we would marry each other, so it wasn’t a “surprise”, but it was lovely!!”

With a sea shore proposal and Victoria’s roots with the ocean, it seemed obvious to try to find a beach location for the wedding. Rather than opting for a hotel wedding near a beach they decided to go it alone and organised for tipis to be set up in a neighbours garden at the waters edge!

“We decided to get married at the Mill Bay, the small beach beside where I lived in Donegal.  I grew up and lived on Inch Island, so the beach was my regular walking spot and I had many childhood memories from it.  I love it there, so we decided to ask our neighbour if we could borrow his house and garden for the weekend, as it is just at the beach.  He very kindly agreed!”

How amazing is that bath?! Such a fun idea and little touches like that were featured throughout the day, with plenty of help from family and friends to create the relaxed party atmosphere they were aiming for.

“My bridesmaid/sister designed and hand made all the stationary, which was really personal to Robin and me. I also wanted to do afternoon tea, so we collected china tea sets and cake stands from the family and friends and used those.  Robins mother provided the planters which were lovely outside the tepees and we used bales of straw as seating, from the farm. 

The old slates were found in my granny’s garden and we used these as signs.  The bath was also rescued from a field and my dad painted it.  The neighbours and families were such a help during the set up, it was like a community project!”

Serenity strings provided music on the day, serenading guests with pieces which included; Canon in D: Pachelbel, One Day Like This: Elbow, Be Thou My Vision, and The King of Love my Shepard is.

That looks like my kind of food! One of the biggest benefits to having a tipi wedding is the freedom it gives you to choose your own personal favourite food choices, and Victoria and Robin made the most of it!

“Our caterer was local, from Letterkenny, and he worked with us to compile the menu.   It was great having the tipis, as we were not having to conform to hotel standards.  The food was really amazing, and we got to pick most of our favourite foods.  We loved the idea of a bbq for the main, and ordered my favourite chocolate brownies from a bakery in Limavady, and mauds Pooh Bear Ice Cream! The wine was also our favourite, and we supplied a free bar for the guests.”

I can’t say I’ve ever tried Pooh Bear ice-cream but on further investigation it’s apparently vanilla and honeycomb flavour! I’ll definitely be trying to source that sometime soon! I really think taking the time to make your day as personal as possible will make it all the more special for you, and a really memorable day for your guests.

I love all these detail shots and Victoria and Robin couldn’t praise Paula O’Hara enough! One really good piece of advice Victoria had was the importance of feeling comfortable with the suppliers you are working with.

“We looked for a long time to find the perfect photographer, and we were delighted that Paula O’Hara agreed to do the wedding.  Her style was exactly what I wanted, and the photos were so beautiful.  I think we were really lucky that the suppliers we choose were on the same wavelength as me, and you are never sure how things will turn out until the day but it really was more than we could have hoped for.”

Doesn’t it look like they’re all having the time of their lives? Definitely worth the risks they took to avoid going the traditional wedding route!

“We are so glad we thought outside the “wedding box” and did our own thing.  There will always be people who think it is a bad idea and its hard to stick to your convictions but you’ll only do it once!  Prioritize what is important to you and don’t feel you have to conform to things because it is what is done at every wedding.  And marry the right person!”

Lot’s of words of wisdom there, but my favourite has to be “Marry the right person!” It’s clear Victoria and Robin have followed their own advice perfectly!

Wedding details:

Photography: Paula O’Hara Photography | Wedding Dress: Ciara Bridal | Shoes: Diane Hassall | Veil & Accessories:My grandmothers veil and earings were a present from my parents | Stationery:Lyndsey Bryce | Tipi: Magnakata Flowers: White Orchid | Hair: Steve, Seaimpéin, Burnfoot | Makeup: Aisling FrielGroom’s Suit: TomorrowsCatering: The Crest Catering Company Cake: Marks and Spencers and Robins Mum | Bridesmaids Dresses: The Closet, Derry

Posted in Floral Inspiration, Real Weddings | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Tipi by the Seashore….Real Irish wedding
By Paula O’Hara Photography

  1. Gorgeous wedding! Love the beer bath idea…could so steal that for some parties!

  2. That looks like such an amazing wedding with beautiful personal touches! I love the tipi both the exterior as well as the cosy stylish interior. I would like to have been a guest at this wedding.

  3. Exquisitely photographed !! A beautiful blog piece and a credit to the photographer and author !!!

  4. Just gorgeous. Looks very special with so many treats for all the guests. Brides hair was beautiful. Great images.

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