I’m still on a travel kick after spending the weekend styling a 60′s aviation shoot captured by the fantastic Christina Brosnan (more on that soon!). So I thought Claire and Andy’s international love affair, and travel themed wedding would be the perfect choice for this week! Savo Photography captured all the gorgeous details throughout the day, leaving Claire and Andy with a seriously stunning set of photos!
Four different countries featured in Claire and Andy’s love story, but it all began in Australia!
“Andy and I met in 2003 when we are both travelling in Australia for six weeks. We travelled up the East Coast of Australia together and then met up again in New Zealand. We had our first kiss in Byron Bay and it will always be a very special place for us that we hope to visit again one day. When we returned home from our travels, it wasn’t long before Andy moved from where he lived in Northampton, England to be with me in Dublin. We lived in Dublin for a couple of years before going back to Australia for a year. Once our year in Australia was up, we settled back in the UK and have made a lovely little life for ourselves here.”
Did you spot those amazing gold Louboutins?! Yes, I was swooning too! Well lucky Claire got them as a present from her sister, I guess she must have won the best sibling of the year prize?!
It looks like the travel theme was inevitable, as Andy decided the perfect place to propose was out at sea, exactly half way between their two home countries, and even more impressive, he proposed “As Gaeilge”!
“We were on the Ulysses ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. It was a lovely calm crossing and Andy asked me to go for a walk with him on the boat. . It was so unexpected and absolutely perfect. He had planned the timing perfectly so as we would be half way between both of our countries. He had made such a huge effort by proposing in Irish! He proposed with his late mother’s wedding ring, which we subsequently had melted down to make both of our wedding rings. It was so special to both of us.”
I love the pastel tones that were carried throughout the day and how Eric of Savo Photography brought a softness to all the images, so gorgeous!
Service and quality of hospitality was a big priority for Claire and Andy when it came to picking their wedding venue. They chose The Heritage Golf and Spa Resort in Laois and couldn’t recommend it enough.
“Service was a huge factor for us. We wanted everyone at our wedding to feel so looked after and special. That is why we chose The Heritage. Also, the hotel is stunning and had the ‘wow’ factor that we wanted for our special day. Our friends and family still talk about it now and how impeccable the service was. We also went on our gut feeling a lot. If we didn’t gel with something, or we didn’t get a good feeling from somewhere, than it wasn’t what we were looking for!”
A family connection made their ceremony in nearby Rathdaire Church even more special, as it was conducted by Claire’s aunt.
“We had our ceremony at The Church of the Ascension, Rathdaire which is only five minutes away from the hotel. The church was absolutely beautiful and gave us such a lovely feeling straight away. Ellen (who arranged all of the flowers) and Eva (the organist) could not have been more helpful to us. It was made even more perfect for us, as my Aunt who is a vicar was able to conduct our ceremony. It was so personal and emotional.”
The light is so beautiful in the photos in the church! And the golden field images?! There’s too many stunning options, it’s impossible to pick a favourite! The golden tones and soft light really shows off Claires rustic bouquet in it’s full glory!
Their vintage travel theme came into it’s own through all the thoughtful details at their reception.
“As we met while we were travelling, we wanted to reflect that in our day. We hired vintage suitcases and stacked them on top of one another, we scattered reproduction vintage postcards on the tables. Our table names were our favourite places in Australia (the top table was called Byron Bay!) and our table plan was mounted on a reproduction vintage world map. We also had luggage tags as name tags, and little luggage tags on cocktail sticks stuck in marshmallows scattered on the tables.”
I love their unique guest book idea, another lovely take on the wish tree concept I explored last week! They asked guests to peg messages to a vintage birdcage display, and used golden birdcages as centre pieces.
“We managed to get 20 gold sparkly bird cages that we put on tables, and instead of a message book, we had little cards for everyone to write messages on for us which were then to be pegged on to a birdcage frame for us to read later.”
They also had plenty of help from family members to bring the day together!
“My lovely now sister in law and brother in law made all of the luggage tag cocktail sticks, and all of the cards for people to sign. They were on beautiful cream card with vintage text, in a mixture of English and Irish. We also had a sign made that said ‘Mr and Mrs Bate, in love since 2003’ and this is now hanging proudly in our house.”
Claire and Andy also had some really fun and unique ideas for keeping their guests entertained throughout the reception!
“My mother and Andy compiled a ‘Candy Mag’ (Claire and Andy = Candy!). This was kind of a spoof of Ok and Hello magazine. Andy also wrote some funny horoscopes incorporating things that were to happen on the day using our guests as the celebrities. This went down really well. We also chose a ‘head of the table’ for each table and gave them some special jobs, and gave each table their own dance move for the night.”
Massive congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Bate, all the best for the future and thanks for letting us get a glimpse of your gorgeous day!
Special thanks also to Eric Savoie for sharing more of his fantastic work on Style Serendipity! You can see his previous feature of Jenny and Andy’s wedding here, or be sure to check out more at Savo Photography!
Dress: Benjamin Roberts, The Wedding shop. | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Venue: The Heritage | Coordinator: Emer O’Hora at The Heritage | Flowers: All Occasions Florist | Hair: DHD Salon | Groom’s Suit: Gieves and Hawkes | Cake: The Boston Bakery | Cake topper: Cake That | Music: A Few Good Men |