Royal Purple Castle Wedding

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Today we are featuring an international castle wedding with an Australian bride and an Irish groom, in the wonderful Cabra Castle in Ireland. Sometimes it’s difficult for even the most practical of people to deny fate. And we think Lara and Andrew’s chance meeting in a pub in Melbourne may just put them to the test! Australian Lara met her Irish beau Andrew on his last night on the continent before he headed back to the green grass of home, but it only took that short amount of time for the couple to know it ‘was it’.

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They married in a grand and beautiful ceremony fit for royalty at St Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan before staking their claim on the magnificent Cabra Castle where they spent the rest of the day eating, drinking and being married among their close friends and family. Their day was captured by the wonderful Phil Voon of Give us a goo Photography.

“For all the Australians (especially me!), a castle wedding was a magical and memorable experience.”
– Lara, on why they chose Cabra Castle as their wedding venue

Length of engagement: 11 months | Wedding date: 14th December 2011
Wedding ceremony: St Macartan’s Cathedral, Co. Monaghan | Wedding reception: Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan.

Photographer: Phil Voon from Give us a goo Photography

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“Our hair and make-up was done by the talented Rhona and Susan from The Powder Room Girls in Dublin who travelled to Monaghan. We were in stitches laughing the whole morning and really, really enjoyed the whole process!”

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We met… at a Pub in St Kilda, Melbourne on a Friday night – Andrew’s last night out in Melbourne before travelling back to Ireland. By the end of the weekend we knew that ‘this was it!’

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Lara’s first impressions of Andrew… he seemed like a relaxed guy, good dancer and good vibes with a great Irish accent. Then I realised he was also very good looking and really fun!

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Andrew’s first impressions of Lara… gorgeous, elegant, full of life, extremely fun… instant soul mate material.

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Our proposal… was a surprise picnic at the Botanical gardens Melbourne (with the ring hidden under a sun hat), dinner later at a nice restaurant and a night at the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

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Our ceremony… Our ceremony was conducted by Father McGinn at the spectacular St Macartan’s Cathedral. After my first visit to Monaghan, myself and Andrew walked out of the Cathedral and gave each other a knowing look – it was where we had to get married (when we got to that point!). Fr. McGinn created the perfect atmosphere, providing a sacred ceremony and making it relaxed and fun with his dry sense of humour. Glorious music was provided by Celtic Rose, including a soprano, violinist and harpist.

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“The incredible floral arrangements in the Cathedral were generously created by Andrew’s Aunty Bridie. Those flowers were sourced by Andrew’s parents from the wholesale flower market in Belfast, including some eucalyptus leaves for an Australian element.”

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My favourite part of the wedding day… laughing, enjoying the moment and seeing it all unfold as we had envisioned.

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We chose our photographer because… Well, we chose Phil from Give us a goo based on his beautiful relaxed style of photography, his attention to detail throughout the whole shot (including the background textures etc) and because his former clients seemed to genuinely like him! We booked Phil from Melbourne and when we met him felt immediately confident with our choice. He made us feel comfortable and in good hands, his work spoke for itself.

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Our wedding theme/colours… We chose silver and off-white as our colours and for a touch of winter, included snowflakes on the invitations, wedding booklets, bonbonieres and cake!

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We chose ourvenue because… Cabra Castle is the most beautiful venue in the Monaghan/Cavan area. It has picturesque grounds, a superb interior and is renowned for superb weddings. For all the Australians (especially me!), a castle wedding was a magical and memorable experience.

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We chose our wedding coordinator because… Cabra Castles wedding coordinators were wonderful and extremely accommodating with our email and skype questions and requests!

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Before the wedding… We enjoyed a fantastic afternoon tea at Castle Leslie Estate with family, out-of-towners and friends a few days before the wedding. It is a stunning venue with picturesque views and gorgeous food. It was a great way for guests to get to know each other and build an atmosphere leading up to the big day.

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“We had a delicious four tier cake. Decorated in line with the winter theme, it had a delectable mars bar slice and chocolate biscuit cake hidden beneath the white icing!”

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Our honeymoon…was in Italy. It was an unforgettable experience including delicious food and beautiful scenery in Rome and Florence!

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My piece of advice for other brides… If anything goes wrong on the day, ask someone else to sort it out! Also, things don’t need to be perfect!


Photographer: Phil Voon, Give us a goo Photography
Wedding Venue:
Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan
Make-up & Hair: The Powder Room Girls
Wedding Cake:
McConnon Cakes, Carrickmacross
Band & DJ: The Texas Wild Cats
Bouquets, Buttonholes, Corsages:
Flowers ‘n Things, Monaghan
Ceremony Music: Violin, Voice & Harp by Celtic Rose
Pre-Wedding Venue: Castle Leslie Estate

By Karen Birney

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