20th Oct 2014

Meghan & Joel

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The Proposal

I was in my pajamas, drinking my morning coffee, and he came downstairs, made me find a hidden photo book, and as I flipped through it, I realized that the last page of the book would be him asking me to marry him. Sure enough, he got down on one knee, took my hand, and handed me a beautiful Tiffany's blue box with an absolutely perfect ring (that I had picked out)!


Shop Till You Drop

I was engaged for just one week and my mother came to visit me and we booked an impromptu trip to New York City and made an appointment at Kleinfeld's Bridal. I have always said I wanted to wear black and the dress had to have some sort of sleeve or strap, so it was just a matter of figuring out what style of dress I wanted. I told the lady that I wanted a black dress. She said there wasn't a whole lot there but she would see what designers could change the color. Augusta Jones was there for a trunk show and originally we were told nothing could be made in black. Then, the lady came back around and said that anything in satin could be made in black so we grabbed a few white and ivory dresses off the rack and took them to the dressing room. The first dress I tried on was a very fashion-forward black evening gown, it was stunning, but wasn't bridal. (And, yes, I was trying to go for a black bridal dress.) Then, I put on the Taima gown from Augusta Jones, looked at myself in the mirror (in a white gown) and said, you know what, I am very comfortable in this and love it. I turned to look at my mother, and there are tears of joy in her eyes and I immediately was reassured that it was the dress. I didn't try on anything else, we purchased it, custom wrote that it was to be made in black, and found some accessories (including a black veil!).


A Perfect Day

We got married at the stunning Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland. It was a small, intimate wedding with 19 guests. Upon waking up in the morning, my soon to be husband and I had breakfast together before departing into separate areas to get ready for our big day. We played music, relaxed, ordered lunch and a bottle of white wine, and got introduced to our videographer (Pink Lime Video Productions) and photographer (Shane O'Neill, Aspect Photography). We got our hair done by our friend and personal hairdresser who also went to Ireland with us and our make-up done by the spa. It was a perfect day for our wedding, definitely not typical Irish weather. It was sunny and warm so our original plan to get married outside by the pier was successful. I had a grand, dramatic entrance of a 10 minute walk with my father to the area where we were to marry and the whole time Joel would not turn around for a peek! (He did know I was wearing black, as did my guests.) We had a beautiful ceremony in which we involved all of our guests with readings, a ring warming ceremony, and reception line and had harps accompany our ceremony. Afterwards, we took pictures on the grounds and then headed back inside for a champagne toast. We had our first dance, played by the harps, and then cut our wedding cake with the customary Ashford Castle sword. A formal, 5-course meal was served regally and afterwards, we enjoyed drinks in the bar and seating area where live music was playing and they had us re-create another first dance. We were also very lucky to have been upgraded that night to the Presidential Suite in Ashford Castle, Ronald Reagan´┐Żs suite, complimentary and we ended our evening even more elegantly and royally than we had started the day, including being married.


Words of Wisdom

Our wedding was a 17-month planning process in a foreign country with a five-hour time change and without an international calling plan. We knew finding the right wedding planner was the most important step and once we found Michelle with Waterlilly Weddings, we had gained a friend whom immediately gained all of our trust. That trust allowed me to focus on other things, yet be involved and caught up-to-date when necessary. Everything happens for a reason, from planning to your wedding day and I highly suggest finding a great wedding planner.

We also asked our guests to be electronic-free on our wedding day. We had been traveling for ten days, taking picturesque images throughout Ireland to help in remembering all of the details, but I wanted our wedding day to just be. It is hard to be in the moment, especially at a wedding when we are always trying to get the best shot of the bride walking down the aisle or that first dance angle to post to social media, but you don't actually get to see the day that way and it takes away from what a wedding is really about. Plus, that is why you have a photographer and videographer. It makes getting the pictures in the mail or online that much better because you not only get to relive your day for the first time, but you can see people's true reactions to you rather than a cell phone in their face in the background. Just be present.

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