Lena & Ramon’s colourful and romantic wedfest in Doolin Ireland
All we knew at the beginning was we wanted a colourful, friend filled, relaxed wedding near the sea.
My Mam is from Kerry, but we have also made many great memories in Clare, so we narrowed our search for venues down to that stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way between those two counties. Luckily we came across Hotel Doolin , and it had all the things we wanted. Luckier still, they built the new barn venue sometime after we booked with them. From there it was plain sailing, we had a dream venue and all we had to do was fill it with the people we love, pops of colour and some music!
The main theme was colour! As we are both working in Art, we both really love colour and wanted our day to be bright, airy and colourful, starting with the outfits. I chose a range of bright colourful flowers and ordered a colourful flower headpiece on Etsy . Ramon chose to wear a green suit, simply because it’s his favourite colour, and he thought, if not his wedding day when would he ever get to wear one! Colourful hearts, ribbons, confetti and signs were dotted around the venue to provide plenty of colour also.
I made a sign for the backdrop of the wedding which said ‘Best Day Ever’ and it really was our ‘Best Day Ever’. We were so lucky to have perfect weather for the whole of the wedding celebrations so our guests could really enjoy the outdoor garden and bar at Hotel Doolin. The day was truly magical.
We had a humanist ceremony and were so happy with our choice. It was quite informal. We had a ring warming ceremony where our rings were passed around to all of our family and friends to give us their best wishes. During the ceremony, we also hammered nails into a wooden box time capsule, which had a bottle of wine and love letters inside which we will open and read in 5 years time. My bridesmaids and Ramon’s sisters boyfriend provided the unforgettable ceremony music which were all songs we love.
We didn’t do a first look but we did hold hands across a doorway before the ceremony. Ramon came down to the B and B I was staying in and we talked about how we could’nt wait to see each other.
Things got a little emotional…
We first met in art college in Limerick back in 2003, although it wasn’t until after college that we got together and realised we could be more than just friends.
Ramon proposed to me after a three and a half hour hike around Glendalough . It was during the freezing cold January weather, and I was tired and cold and dying to head back to the car to get warm. Ramon asked me to come down by the lake to take one last photo. He totally surprised me by getting down on one knee and told me that ‘he loved me before he loved me’ and wanted to love me forever. I couldn’t believe it. Ramon was so romantic, he then surprised me by telling me that he had booked us into Tulfarris Hotel to stay the night. He had even booked a tour around the hotel as a potential wedding venue for the next day!
Did you make anything yourselves for the day?
I made a lot of the décor myself. I handpainted a chalkboard welcome sign and painted other signs to put around the venue. With the help of my bridemaids, I cut out hundreds of colourful hearts as the main decorations. These were hung from the ceiling, added to the table décor, and put on sticks in the grass outside. I made a ‘Best Day Ever’ banner for the backdrop to the ceremony and also made my own cake topper. We made our own ceremony booklets, which included bitmoji portraits of the bridal party, and a crossword all about the bride and groom.
As part of their package, Hotel Doolin provide you Louise from Grace Events to look after your décor. I gave her a sketch of what I wanted, handed over all my handmade bits, and she and her team, did all the hard work. She brought my vision to life.
What was the highlight of your day?
Lena – I really loved walking into the room as husband and wife. With Arcade Fire- Rebellion as our entrance song, the atmosphere in the room was electric. I was just so excited to walk in to a room full of our favourite people , to begin the night of celebrations. I also loved our first dance, ‘Rainy Night in Soho’. Our band, The Guilty Judges learned the song especially and did a very beautiful, memorable version of it.
Ramon – I can’t choose. It was all an amazing blur! The whole day from the moment Lena walked up the aisle towards me was the most incredible dream we never wanted to wake up from!
Where did the groom get his suit?
Getting a green suit proved much trickier than we thought it would be. Ramon got it tailor made online in the end as it proved impossible to find one in the shops. It was a bit of a gamble on our budget to order a colour and fit he couldn’t try on first, and only a couple of weeks before the wedding. It arrived needing some work, but luckily it worked out in the end, and I got me a handsome and very cool groom.
He got the groomsmen their teal suits in Next. I made heart pins for Ramon and his men to wear on the day and sourced buttonholes for them on Etsy.
We broke with tradition and had a best mate speech instead of a best man speech, done by our great friend Julie who knew us both well.
Lena stayed in a B and B up the road from the hotel the night before. It was so lovely, as it felt like a home away from home. Rita from Pairc Lodge was so hospitable. She even ironed the guys shirts on the wedding morning.
Right after the wedding we went to the Aran Islands with our families to continue the celebrations. We went to Inisheer and it felt like we had the whole island to ourselves, it was bliss. Highly recommend a visit here if you are in the area. We then went to Copenhagen for a few days where the sunshine continued. We didn’t get home to Kilkenny until after all this, so we really made the wedding celebrations last.
Advice for other couples?
Don’t leave writing letters to each other till the night before! Make sure to sleep the day after the wedding to rest yourself for the day 2 celebrations. We were exhausted but couldn’t sleep, for fear of missing out! Finally savour every moment of your day, we didn’t want it to end and only checked into our bridal suite at 6am after one hell of a sing song!
Your wedding day is such a blur, everything moves much faster than you have time to process. Thankfully though, we booked Olga, and her images pieced together our day for us again in every detail.
Her photos bring it all back, and more! They describe not just the scene but every emotion and moment felt, from the tender to the hilarious. Her photos illuminated every magical memory from the day far beyond anything we expected, and they filled in the blanks of our mind , the parts we may have missed out on, failed to notice, or forgot. Olga is not just an amazing photographer, but an amazing story teller through images too!
We could not recommend her enough!
Bridesmaid dresses: Folkster Kilkenny
Shoes: King’s Shoes, Kilkenny
Groomsmen suits: Next
Groomswomen dresses: Cari’s Closet
Heart pins: Made by the bride
Cake: This was included in our package with Hotel Doolin
Cars: My brothers in law had nice cars so they just drove us the short drive from the b and b to the venue.
Stationery: Made by the bride and groom
Ceremony / Reception music: Ramon’s sister’s boyfriend Johnny Shay sang Lena down the ailse https://www.facebook.com/johnnyshaymusic/# and each of Lena’s sister’s who were her bridemaids sang also. W e had a trad band during the reception, organised by Hotel Doolin.
DJ: Our friend from art college Tom was our DJ.
Bride night before Accomodation: Pairc Lodge B and B