In the Wicklow countryside, under springtime sunshine, Peggie and And's wedding was underway with an abundance of special touches! Just wait until you see the magic that was created at Ballybeg House which was brought to life with Scottish and Chinese wedding traditions, which honoured the couple's family heritages. The bride wore no less than three wedding gowns, two of which were worn by her mother on her wedding day, and the groom rocked his family tartan in the form of a kilt! A Chinese ceremony ritual, dreamy bridal shoes and a sweet and savoury cake! The Portrait Room was on hand to capture this very special day, and we have the delightful album to show off below.
Our couple currently live in Wales, and Peggie who is from Ireland, first met Andy who says he has a a bit of "Scottish, Welsh and English" in him, at work. "Whilst both working at a thrilling workplace (an insurance company) we met at an equally 'exciting' training course and after some post-training drinks, we went for our first date, only for Peggie to give me a wrong number and then not show up at the correct place. We then met as I was dejectedly leaving and it turns out she was standing only about 150m away!" says Andy. Skip forward a few years later when the couple visited Rome for a city break when Andy had something very special planned for the love of his life. "We were heading out for a meal and as we were walking down an ancient staircase Andy got down on one knee. The rest is history, apart from the ring, which he sized using his own finger and added a couple of sizes up to ensure it would fit, meaning I had to use a rubber band to keep it on my finger until we could get it resized!" laughs Peggie.
The detail of this spring Ballybeg House wedding day featured a wedding gown with ethereal applique, eye-catching pearl Jimmy Choos, burgundy bridal nails, and an exquisite bridal perfume by Vilhelm Parfumerie. Peggie's beautiful bridal style was by designer Suzanne Neville and her gown was the stunning Petunia dress. She paired her look with delicate floral hair accessories, and a bouquet of ivory roses and soft sage greenery.
Elements that made Peggie & Andy's wedding day so special were being able to celebrate their Chinese and Scottish heritage on the day with their family and friends. "We were very lucky to be able to incorporate the traditional Chinese tea ceremony and have my family tartan kilt on the day," said Andy. The groom and his stylish groomsmen wore a dapper and traditional attire of kilts, sporrans and ghillie brogues along with beautiful matching navy waistcoats and jackets.
The newlyweds held a traditional tea ceremony to tie the knot. Traditionally the ceremony is a chance for the couple to show respect and gratitude to their parents and family, for their upbringing. It is also an act of welcoming the bride and the groom within the respective families, thereby unifying both families. Peggie explains: "We had a red China tea set with the double happiness symbol (another integral symbol of any Chinese wedding) which was used, and black tea was served. We knelt on the floor in front of our parents. My family was served first and as the tea is served, the phrase ‘please drink tea’ is spoken to them by us, the couple. After each parent has taken their sip of tea, we are offered a red envelope to bless us as a couple. We, the couple, then served tea to other chosen family members, such as older married siblings." What a beautiful custom!
During the tea ceremony, the bride wore one of her mother's beautiful wedding dresses.
The couple chose one reading each to feature during their ceremony, and needless to say, each thinks the one they choose was the best! Though Peggie admits that Andy’s was the more imaginative as it was an extract from the Terry Pratchett book, Thief of Time. "My chosen reading was from a traditional Irish Blessing, which was read whilst I was changing into the tea ceremony dress. There was Lord of The Rings music in the background, some of the guests must have also noticed!"
After being pronounced husband and wife, the couple were greeted with a confetti shower under the April sunshine! The whole day took place in the charming Ballybeg House, in Co. Wicklow. The couple knew the wedding venue was the one after a viewing with Paddy on site. "We knew it was perfect as we could have the place for the full weekend, with family and friends able to come and go as though it was an extension of our home. The Ballybeg staff went out of their way to let us enjoy ourselves even including introducing some of the children to the local animals." They also got lots of compliments on the food which was provided by Ballybeg House's resident caterer Molly's Larder. "They also provided food the day before the wedding and also for the day after where we had family and friends join us for some lunch."
The wedding party wore beautiful shades of blue! The bridesmaids dazzled in A-line gowns, with a cowl back detail. While the gentlemen sported Scottish kilts, complementary blue ties, and pocket watches, which make for a fantastic groomsmen gift.
Describing the overall feel of the Ballybeg wedding day, good food, delicious drinks, and a lot of dancing is what they wanted to achieve for the big family celebration. "Theme-wise, we opted for a relaxed, chilled vibe complemented by greenery with white roses and tulips. Tee and Kiley from Pairs and Peaches did an amazing job with sourcing and arranging the flowers," says Peggie. The reception tables were garnished with gold and rustic wooden elements, and finished wit personalised table name cards and mini lego boxes filled with candy as place names.
They not only had one drool-worthy wedding cake, but a second one too! One was a five-tier savoury delight of cheese wheels and the other a sweet four-tiered iced beauty! "We met with Julien to chat through the cake design and more importantly cake tasting! It was difficult to choose from the flavours, but in the end, we chose the chocolate and orange sponge cake, passion fruit sponge cake, chocolate biscuit cake, and fruit cake. Proof was in the pudding as there was none left at the end of the night," they say. They also thoughtfully offered their guests a vegan cake option, with a chocolate sponge made by Butter and Cream.
Another special surprise that made the day extra special was when Peggie changed into her mother's second wedding dress for dancing - another gorgeous red ensemble. The evening celebrations kicked off with a fantastic ceilidh band with Peggie even playing the bodhran during one of the songs. They shared their first dance to Wo Yao Ni De Ai (I Want Your Love) by Grace Chang which featured in the movie Crazy Rich Asians. All of this was captured to perfection by Roger Kenny from The Portrait Room, and the couple were thrilled with the results. "We didn’t meet Roger before the day but loved his photography style. We communicated via emails and he understood what we wanted on the day, the photos are fab and proving difficult to choose ones for the album!"
Last but not least, the couple leave us with words of advice for those in the wedding planning process. "Firstly, have fun! We spent the entire weekend just enjoying ourselves, which the venue helped massively with. In terms of planning, keep a very good spreadsheet - with a spreadsheet nothing gets missed! You each know what you have to do and no one feels like the other isn’t helping as you can see each other's tasks as well as track the all-important budget!"
A very special thank you to Peggie, Andy and The Portrait Room for sharing the wonderful wedding day at Ballybeg House with One Fab Day!
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