Romance in Bloom At Ballyvolane House

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Good morning! Our wedding today is totally worthy of its own Pinterest page, there is just so much beauty and inspiration throughout! With thanks to Derek Hines of Hello Matilda Photography for sharing Kits and Podge’s special December wedding with us, now, notebooks at the ready, you are in for a real treat today!

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Kits and Podge are both from Carrigaline in County Cork, although they now live in London. The couple went to the same secondary school and vaguely knew each other but it wasn’t until a friends 18th birthday party that they got chatting and their future was sealed!

“Like many others Podge had to move away for work over six years ago. We were to and fro visiting one another for over three years (which wasn’t easy). Podge says it was over a three-week visit from me that he knew for sure. For me I think we have pretty much grown up together and have gone through so much together that I just stopped being able to imagine my life without him,” said Kits.

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Eight years after their first chat in Rosies, Podge proposed.

“It was the 16th of December and was eight years after the day we first met in Rosies. A few days before we were due to drive home for Christmas. Like Podge it was silly and sweet, low key but very romantic in our own way. 

Podge had big plans to cook a dinner but had to work late and that same day I was sent home from work sick so I was home early. Podge had that date in his head for months and he couldn’t leave it any longer with the nerves and the fear of me finding the ring so he just had to go for it! 

Podge came home and I was feeling sorry for myself lying on my bed. He put on some cheesy Michael Buble Christmas music and did one of the hilarious/silly dances he does any time he wants to cheer me up (it never fails). It worked and he dragged me up dancing around the bedroom. Next he got me to go into the sitting room where he dropped to one knee and nervously popped the question. I was completely shocked and speechless. I say speechless but really I think I repeated the phrases “Oh my god” and “Are you serious” many, many times… then the tears came! We decided we would not tell anyone until we told our parents, family and friends ourselves when we got back to Cork. It was a long few days for me… I thought I would burst. It felt cruel to have to wait that long. In the end it was such lovely timing as our families were already due to spend Christmas day together. It made for a very celebratory and memorable Christmas,” explained Kits.

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Kits was nervous about planning her wedding as she was the first in her family and friends to get married, whilst Podge on the other hand was very level-headed and treated it very business like and sensibly.

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“We got engaged in December and on a trip home in April we went to view a few venues just to suss it all out. We pretty much pulled a day out of the sky without much thought and chanced it when making our initial enquiries. Then each venue we had contacted happened to be available on that date. We were in luck. The first venue we saw was Ballyvolane House and it was love at first sight. We sat into the car after our viewing and both agreed we wanted to look no further. We did go to the other viewings that day but our minds were made up,” added Kits.

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With their venue chosen Kits and Podge came up with an approximate guest list and budget to see if they could afford it.

“We both got lots of quotes and tried to figure out average prices of the different venues. This was so helpful and we soon figured out we could go ahead with Ballyvolane House on the 13th of December. Once we got the ball rolling and booked the venue we just booked one thing after another and we had all the major things organised fairly quickly,” added Kits.

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“A very close friend acted as chauffeur in his gorgeous car and it was really nice having a friendly face and someone who knows me so well to drive us to the church. He had even compiled a wedding related playlist for the journey. I arrived at the church feeling like jelly. I think I grinned from ear to ear the entire time and felt a little shaky. Podge wasn’t sure if it was the cold or if it was nerves.  A bit of both I think. The ceremony was really lovely. Father Sean was so kind and welcoming. We are so lucky to have him marry us. The church looked beautiful and the music and singing was just gorgeous and was really moving.”

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Kits had great help choosing her wedding gown as her mum is a very talented seamstress and knew each fabric, style and cut.  During a visit home to Cork her mum booked three appointments and off the ladies set with Podge’s mum and Kits two sisters.

“In the first shop I saw two very pretty dresses and I thought, great I’ll pick one of those two and be done. I really liked them but was also very aware that I would need to order a wedding dress soon. We went for brunch and I felt quite deflated as I felt that it should feel more exciting and special. I think everyone thought the same as me. The next shop they just were not my style at all so we cut that one a bit short and that was that. The next shop on the list was Amore Bridal in Youghal and I was tempted to cancel as I felt a little deflated and thought we would be wasting my time.

I am SO GLAD we didn’t cancel as Amore Bridal had the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen. There were so many to choose from that were much more ‘my style’. The women who work there are fabulous and they are very honest which I found refreshing. I picked loads from the racks and flew through them. Soon I had it narrowed down to two. I was so excited I loved them both-they were very different. What threw me was that one fitted me so well and was a perfect fit and the other was too small so wasn’t as easy to get the full picture. However, after trying them both on again back-to-back I just fell in love with ‘my dress’. It was the one that was too small – it was much more special. Everyone else was hoping I would pick that one. We all felt over the moon!” said Kits.

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Kits didn’t set out with a clear theme or colour scheme but after deciding on her bridesmaids dress, a stunning floor length pale pink number, together with her florist Gillian from Sakura Floral Design, a scheme of dusky pinks, burgundy, green and natural colours with a touch of gold was born.

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“It was such a happy day. We literally didn’t stop smiling and laughing all day. It went so fast but we loved every minute. It sounds so corny but it was the best day of my life so far. I really never thought I would enjoy it so much. During the ceremony there is a lot of excitement and nervous energy but after the ceremony we both felt so relaxed, which I did not expect. I tried to be in the moment and take it all in as it goes so fast,” added Kits.

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Highlight of the day

Kits:  It’s so hard to pick as I felt I was on a high all-day and just loved every minute. I think the ceremony was the so moving for me. I have never had so much nervous energy in my life. Seeing all your friends and family smiling at you and being so happy for you is an overwhelmingly joyful feeling.

Podge: When we arrived at the venue and seeing how amazing it looked. Every last detail had been considered. Between Kits and Ballyvolane the place looked amazing and it was clear how much time and effort has actually gone into the day. It was amazing that it was all to celebrate our big day.

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Wedding Suppliers

Ceremony: Sacred Heart Church, Monkstown.

Reception: Ballyvolane House, Castlelyons.

Dress: Amore Bridal, Cork.

Bridesmaid dress: Coast.

Hairdresser: Lynsey O’ Leary.

Make-up Artist: Linda Collins.

Grooms wear: Hugo Boss bought in Brown Thomas.

Photographer: Derek Hines of Hello Matilda Photography.

Cake: Cakes by Dawn.

Flowers: Sakura Floral Design, Cork.

Drinks reception: Romanza Guitar Duo.

Band: The Stars.

DJ: Roy Scully.

Bus:  Austin O’Brien.

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