Nautical Island Wedding by Rafal Borek

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Today we’re kicking off our Real Wedding sections for 2017 with an absolutely incredible Irish wedding – and we think you’re going to LOVE it!

Johanna and Michael were married on Inishturk, a little island off the west coast of Mayo, last August. Their wedding was an absolute dream, and the photos of the breathtaking Inishturk serve to remind us just how incredible our little island really is. This one’s a real treat, readers. Thanks to photographer Rafal Borek for sharing with us.

Johnna and Michael met in a harbour-side pub in Plymouth where they were both studying. They got engaged in 2015 during a holiday in Cuba which involved a private yacht and a night of Champagne, Cuban cigars and mojitos – sounds perfect to us!

The couple knew instantly their wedding day would be held on Inishturk as it’s where Johanna was born and raised and where her parents and extended family live.

“We like a challenge and nobody had done a full ‘modern’ wedding on the island. The last wedding to be entirely celebrated on the island was in the 1950s. A couple of people have had their church ceremony on the island and then arranged boats to take guests to the mainland for a hotel wedding reception afterwards. We were determined to have the whole day, and weekend in fact, on the island,” said Johanna. “The island is a very special place and we both really felt getting married there was the perfect opportunity to share my home with all of our friends and family. Having a wedding in a destination like Inishturk was, we felt going to be very much an experience for our UK guests especially almost all of whom had never been to the island. It was a mega challenge and expensive but we knew it would be unforgettable for our guests as well as for us. It was an all or nothing kind of wedding, more like a festival, and signing up to come to our wedding was ‘warts (seasickness) and all’.” 

After a misty start to the day, Michael took the guests for a walk around the island which included a tour of the Napoleonic fort at the highest point on the island and some whiskey tasting.

With a nautical theme throughout, many of the details were handmade and created by friends and family, including the wild island flowers, collected by the bridesmaids which added to the rustic nature of the day.

“The day went brilliantly! We were very lucky with the weather. The day before our guests arrived in stormy seas and were worse for wear by the time they arrived, but the actual day went off without a hitch. We had wonderfully supportive family and friends who mucked in to help with all the jobs. The catering staff of McArdle Catering from Galway were fantastic. They were incredibly professional and organised especially given the challenges with logistics and the terrain,” added Johanna.


For Michael, “The 5am stroll from the community centre at the top of the hill, down the windy road to the harbour after dancing the night away will be my greatest memory.” For Johanna the moment happened earlier in the night. “Walking into the community centre bursting at the seams with all of family and friends whooping and cheering. It was just that sense that it had all come together.”

Wedding Suppliers

Wedding dress: David Fielden

Hair: Karen Duffy, Westport

Groomswear: Marks & Spencer

Cake: Homemade by Michael’s aunt Evelyn McGregor

Flowers: Helena Moran, Westport

Band: The Fuzzy Burgers

Photographer: Rafal Borek Photography

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