DIY Irish Wedding with an Outdoor Woodland Ceremony: Noel & Dee


January 30, 2013


Noel & Dee’s Cork wedding had a laid back, bohemian vibe and was held at Ballyvolane House. The ceremony was held outside in the woods. “The owners of Ballyvolane House, Justin & Jenny Green and their wedding coordinator Breffne McKenna organised our ceremony and reception flawlessly”, began the bride. “We didn’t have to worry or think about anything on the day as everything went so smoothly. Even when our celebrant didn’t show up, there was no issue as Justin stood in to conduct our ceremony in the woods. This made it even more special. Our guests didn’t know any different, and just assumed Justin was the celebrant until he came around during the reception with a tray of champagne. Some of the guests commented that we were really getting our money’s worth out of him! We can’t thank them enough for going above and beyond in every way.”


The ceremony was made even more personal by the musicians who performed, “Music for the ceremony was by my husband’s extremely talented musician friends, Craig O’Neill, Grainne Gormley, Sandra O’Halloran and Karen Jordan”, Dee explained. “They chose the music and I walked up the aisle to ‘Scarborough Fair’. During the hand tying they sang a very old Irish love song called ‘Eileen Aroon’ and we walked back down the aisle to Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’. All of these songs were so beautiful and haunting, it was so special to have them sing for us and we are eternally grateful. As Karen lives in Buenos Aires many a Skype practice session getting their harmonies right happened in preparation.”


The reception was held inside and the space was completely transformed by the couple and their epic DIY skills. “All the decorations were collected and made by me”, Dee continued. “Most were sourced from etsy. I made hand-stitched table numbers on embroidery hoops, vintage napkins and handkerchiefs for the tables, mini cake bunting made for the cakes and embroidery hoops filled with net curtains (same effect as lace and were sourced from charity shops) for hanging around the dining room. I also made yards and yards of bunting from vintage fabrics, had ribbons hanging from the dining chairs, vintage tins for the guest book cards and jam jars covered in lace trim for flowers and candles on tables. Our hand stamped beer mats (custom stamp from etsy) were stamped with our names and wedding date.”


“Most of my inspiration came from wedding blogs like Rock n Roll Bride and places like etsy and Pinterest. We really wanted to avoid any traditions and anything we weren’t comfortable with. We wanted a relaxed day for us and our guests. We had our ceremony in the woods, which was a first for nearly all of our guests. I think many of them were apprehensive at first but when they saw the location and how magical it all was they were raving about it after. The groom and best man arrived through the woods to the ceremony in a vintage Land Rover to the guests surprise. Our dog Belle was part of our wedding party and was the ringbearer. We fashioned a pouch to go around her neck and she walked up the aisle with my sister the bridesmaid. She spent the whole day with us and even got her own wedding dinner.”


“My advice to any engaged couples would be to make sure you plan your wedding the way you want it as a couple”, Dee concluded. “Don’t get bogged down with other people’s ideas of how things should be done. Break the rules and don’t do anything you are not comfortable with. We really had to stand our ground with some of our decisions but it was worth it. I believe this is why we were so relaxed on the day, everything was what we wanted and it made a huge difference. Other people will have their ideas of what should be done at a wedding but only you know what you are comfortable with so stick to your guns and put your own stamp on your day.”


Great advice from a stunning bride! Thank you so much to Noel & Dee and their wedding photographer Amy of Rubistyle Photography for sharing with us today.