Bridal Blog Featuring Emma Aherne

1.Where did you buy your dress and how long before the wedding?
I bought my dress in Katy De Stafford in Howth. A year before the wedding I went to Dublin with my Mam, my Aunt, my Nan and my Maid of Honer to see a Riki Dalal dress I had seen in a bridal magazine. When I went to the shop to try it on, it just wasn’t for me (this happens a lot…beware brides!) but while I was there I spotted my Pronovias Ivania dress, it was a dress that I had pinned from months beforehand. As soon as I put it on, I knew it was “the dress.” I had tried on 20 plus dresses before going to Howth many of them were dresses I had seen online beforehand but, everything is so different on. I wasn’t liking anything I had tried on previous and just knew I wanted something a bit different. It was so lovely getting my dress in Dublin because I got to have two lovely exciting nights away, one with my family and one with my Bridesmaids when we went to pick up my dress a year after trying it on. We went on a Sunday night to Dublin City we had a few drinks, dinner and caught a drag show in The George Bar and then picked up my dress on the Monday. We had such a lovely night dancing and laughing, it really added to my experience as a bride and to the memories that I will cherish forever with people who are so important to me.
2.Who did your hair?

My hair was done by one of my Bridesmaids Louise Mason she is a hairdresser in Vibez Hair Salon on the main street in Killeagh. She is amazingly talented and I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else. I knew that I was going for a vintage kind of look so we went with hair down in old Hollywood waves. It was so nice having one of my closest friends doing my hair I knew I was in the best hands possible.

3.Who did your makeup?

  My makeup was done by Jeanette Cronin. I went for a trial in her house a good few months before the wedding, needless to say it was the only trial I did and the only trial I needed. She knew exactly what I wanted, she is a true artist and professional I would highly recommend her to anyone. She has a quality that just puts you at ease when you are in her company and on the day of the wedding we had a super laugh with her all morning. She has recently opened a Bijou Makeup Salon in Cork City centre, which I would really recommend brides check out.

4.Where did you buy your accessories?

I bought all my accessories from Azure Jewellery in Cork. I first went in for a head comb because my dress was so plain, with no lace or beading, I knew that I could go with something blingy for my accessories. The girls in Azure were so helpful and I completely fell in love with a gold comb drape but, because I wanted my hair pulled back on one side a drape wouldn’t have worked so Azure made me the two combs without the drape, it was so beautifully crafted and I was incredibly happy with it on the day. Then, a few months before the wedding, I decided because I was going with a statement red lip and that old Hollywood vibe that emerald accessories would really go well with that look. I went up to Azure again and I picked out the Vintage Lou Lou earrings and a stunning emerald choker. These pieces again really complimented my dress and gave a needed pop of colour. I think it’s lovely to have nice jewellery for your wedding, something to pass down to future generations (when the time comes) but for the moment I’ll be getting loads of wear out of my Azure pieces this winter!

5.Where did you get married and did you look at many venues before deciding on that particular one?

We got married in The Maryborough Hotel in Douglas, Cork. I think we only saw two places before The Maryborough, both me and my husband were in complete agreement that this was going to be the place we got married. The setting is so tranquil and full of character in the older part of the hotel and lovely modern decor in the bar, restaurant and spa. What really sold us on The Maryborough however was the Orangery. I was floored when I saw it, it’s absolutely gorgeous and has the hotel’s 300 year old listed gardens as a backdrop. We had a humanist ceremony and this setting was perfect, it was so vintage, whimsical, romantic and magical (I have more words to describe it but I’ll stop myself) and nothing like anything I had seen in any other hotel. Our wedding coordinator Niamh McCarthy was amazing she left no stone unturned any email I sent her was answered almost immediately and my every whim was taken care of. We stayed the night before the wedding as well as the night of and as soon as I got to the hotel and handed everything into reception I didn’t have to lift another finger. The whole weekend went so smoothly.

6.How many bridesmaids did you have and where did you buy their dresses and accessories?

I had four gorgeous bridesmaids, I got their dresses from (I know it sounds dirty :P), it’s a lovely clothing shop based in America with very Cali girl vibes. I saw the dresses first on Pinterest and liked the idea the all the dresses were the same look and colour (silver sage green <3) but different styles to suit all different body shapes and that they were comfortable as well. The girls all agreed on them and were delighted to be able to pick their own dress from various styles on the website. For anyone looking for this bridesmaid dress option I did get the dresses quite fast (less than a week) but, don’t forget the custom charges that come with buying items from America. When we picked the dresses we decided to go with flower crowns for the complete hippie look, and I thought on the day of the wedding the bridesmaids looked so stunning! Their accessories were from the Mari Mina Pharmacy in Youghal and Go Wild Hair Salon in Youghal did all their hair.

7.What did you find the most challenging aspect of organising your wedding?

 I would say the most challenging part of any wedding is the guest list. When we were first planning the wedding we thought we would have had about 180 people max. The further into the planning we got the more and more people we had to keep adding and ended up inviting about 235 people in the end. We would have had more but, we decided only nieces and nephews at the wedding (as far as children went) and everyone else who attended was of drinking age. If we had invited children as well there was no way we were going to afford it, it was already way over our maximum amount of people. You are always going to put people out though no matter what you do with the guest list so my advice is to not let it stress you out and only invite who you really want at your special day.

8.Brides always mention how difficult it is to find shoes; where did you get yours?

I got my shoes from The Modern Occasion Wear in Cork City. I’m pretty tall and needed a small heel so that I didn’t tower over my husband in all our wedding pictures. I found them by chance when shopping with my mother for her wedding outfit.

9.Were there any individual touches that you added and that you particularly loved about your day?

 I loved our humanist ceremony. It was so intimate and tailored just to us. We met up with our celebrant about 6 months before the wedding, it was so lovely, we called to her house and just chatted about what we wanted. She asked us about how we met and really made an effort to get to know us as a couple she then integrated the story of how we met into the wedding ceremony. She told us about all the different little traditions we could use in our ceremony and we ended up using the old Celtic tradition of hand-fasting, which involves binding the hands of the couple with ribbon (four ribbons a blessing for each season) to symbolize wedding vows. Another thing we did for our humanist ceremony was a couple of nights before we each wrote a love letter to each other and during the wedding the letters were put into a box with a bottle of champagne and sealed, this box is then to be opened on our first anniversary…I really can’t wait to read mine!


10.What piece of advice would you give to an upcoming bride?
 I would tell brides to make sure they get all the pictures they want. A good idea might be to sit down and write out a list of all the different picture combinations you would like on the day. Then, give that list to one of your bridesmaids who could bring it and remind the bride of what was on it, to make sure no picture is forgotten on the day. After the ceremony you are on a complete high, your floating on cloud nine and your anxious and excited to celebrate your marriage with all your loved ones, it is so easy to think you got all the pictures you wanted. It all goes by in a blur. At the end of the day though, if you’re married to the man you love, then the day has been a complete success.
Photographer: Barry Lawler

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