How did your ‘story’ begin? Tell us a bit about you both and how you arrived at this special day.

In short, an Irish girl, a French guy, who met in Belgium, fell in love, lived briefly in Dublin together before living and working in Germany and France before returning to Ireland and getting married.  To be continued…  J

I (MaryJo) am Irish from Newry, Co. Down and Max is French from Marseille, although he had left France many years ago.  After a brief period in London he moved to Dublin where he fell in love with the Irish culture and people… and finally me!! J. 

Max and I met in November 2009 in Liege Belgium whilst both working as part of a support team opening a new retail store where we were based for one month.  I had traveled from Belfast where I was living and Max had traveled from Dublin.   On returning to Ireland after our time in Belgium we began our courtship traveling to see each other in Dublin and Belfast on our days off.  In summer 2010 I transferred through work to Dublin and we set up our first home together in Dundrum. 

In November 2010 we went abroad and worked and lived in Germany; in Dortmund, Essen and Saarbrucken and in late 2013 moved to France; in Marseille, Dijon, and Paris.  We came home for our wedding in August 2014, honeymooned in Saint Lucia, and have since remained home in Ireland where we are enjoying our first months as a married couple.

How did you go about planning your day? What advice would you give to other brides, and were there any bumps along the way?

All along we had a joint vision of our day, we are both romantics who spend a lot of our time together traveling. We wanted a vintage inspired wedding and Max definitely did not want the standard 3 piece black or navy suit.  We firstly decided on who we wanted to be included in our wedding party.  Then we began ticking off the bookings of the chapel and venue.  We fell in love with Ballymagarvey Village for its homeliness and vintage charm. We had guests coming from France and other countries and wanted to make sure that they all felt the warm welcome to our wedding and for us this unique location was perfect.  We love how tranquil and calm this venue was comparison with a large hotel setting.

Then after this we did a lot of research before we booked our photographer; the talented Grace of Grace photography; our cinematographer; the fabulous Michael of Story of Eve, and our wedding band, the unique vocals of Aisling Connolly and the lads from ‘All talk’.  We took time to make these choices ensuring our choices reflected us as a couple. 

I chose my wedding dress, the very first dress I tried on and loved in the White Gallery Boutique… I only visited one store to look at wedding dresses as I knew I had found my dream dress.  Then Max chose his suit shortly after on a trip to Paris in Ralph Lauren from their vintage collection.  Then my bridesmaids and my mum and I began to look at bridesmaids dresses and colours.  The colour however was chosen in the end in a funny twist as my mum found a ‘mother of the bride’ outfit she loved so our colour was chosen on the back of this.  The cake, flowers and more intricate little details all followed after this.

As for advice…..

I would say to other brides, be true to yourselves as a couple and discuss what you both want and make sure that this is what you get in line with your agreed budget.  We both have no regrets and are over the moon with how our day turned out. 

On the morning of the wedding I was so calm and collected however there was a rush at the end where I wasn’t able to get some of the shots that I wanted as the finishing touches on the hair had not been complete.  This can lead to unwanted stress and anxiety so make sure you are allowing enough time for the morning preparations. 

On reflection we both felt that we missed some quality time in the afternoon with our guests at our drinks reception as we had gone for our single shots with our photographer.  We were having such an enjoyable time away that we lost track of time.  I think it is a good idea to have a set time agreed for the couple shots and have someone who is nearby to remind you of the time so you can enjoy all of the parts of your day with all of your guests.

So many people had said it to us before our big day but the day really does fly in, make sure you enjoy every little detail, all of the preparations and all the parts of the day that you spend so much time preparing for.  This probably is the only day in your lives when you will both have all of the people who mean the most to you in the one room for such a happy occasion, enjoy it, embrace it and make sure someone is there to capture it for you…. (Story of Eve!!! J)

What was the most memorable moment of the wedding day for you?

Definitely the overwhelming feeling that came over us as I (MaryJo) entered the Chapel for the wedding ceremony.  Also the joyous feeling as we entered the banqueting hall introduced as the new Mr and Mrs to all of our friends and family.

What would you say to other couples thinking about hiring a cinematographer for their wedding? Why was it so important to you to invest in cinematography?

It is no longer realistic or desirable for you or others to sit and watch 10 hours of unedited footage from your wedding day.  Using a cinematographer to create a film is a lovely way to enjoy and show others the highlights of your day in the creative way.  The joy we have watching back our wedding video is unbelievable.  What I would say is go for it, do it, and definitely invest in a good cinematographer.  Story of Eve offered a professional personal service from the initial contact right through to the final package arriving so carefully wrapped and personalized.  If you are someone like me who does have the desire to look through the footage of your whole day, Story of Eve also offer an add on to the packages where you can also have the full raw footage of your day. Win Win on all accounts!!

Everyone that made our day possible:

Cinematographer: Michael from ‘Story of Eve’
Photographer:  Grace of ‘Grace Photography’
Ceremony Location:  Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathfeigh, Co. Meath.
Reception Location:  Ballymagarvey Village, Co.  Meath.
Flowers:  Stephen May at ‘Fredas Flowers’, Ashbourne, Co,  Meath.
Catering:  Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath.
Wedding Cake:  Frances Flynn at ‘Fays Fancys’.
Entertainment:  ‘All Talk’ wedding band.
Stationery:  Ben Connolly of ‘Angel and Anchor’.
Rings:  Bennetts Jewellers, Newry
Shoes:  ‘Ginger’, by Rachel Simpson
Dresses:  Bride: ‘Yolan Cris’ Couture Dress from ‘The White Gallery’.  Bridesmaids:  ‘Maids to Measure’, also from ‘The White Gallery
Groom’s suit:  Vintage Ralph Lauren
Hair:  Valerie Patterson of ‘Cowboys and Angels’, Dublin
Make-Up Artist:  Amy at ‘Make Up For Ever’, Clarendon Street, Dublin.