Muireann & Rebecca’s Tankardstown House Wedding

Muireann & Rebecca’s Tankardstown House Wedding

I’m going to be honest with you, selecting the photographs for Muireann and Rebecca‘s real wedding feature was a near-impossible task – every last one of the images taken by Aoife O’Sullivan Photography was a heart-stopper. Their autumn Tankardstown House wedding looks so magical, it’s hard to imagine how it could have been any better! This loved-up pair have the loveliest story, and – as you can see for yourself – incredible personal style. Throw in the fact that they had some of our all-time favourite wedding suppliers work on their big day, and you’ve got a real wedding feature worthy of a proper sit-down with a cup of tea (or two!)

Muireann and Rebecca have the most incredible how-we-met story! Rebecca tells us, “We met canvassing for the Marriage Equality Referendum in Dublin in 2015. I joined a canvassing group a few days before Muireann and, when Muireann started, I immediately fancied her, and tried to chat her up. I wasn’t very smooth, but, somehow, was awkwardly endearing enough to secure a date. Our first date was the day after the referendum passed. As Muireann’s mother now says, ‘You were supposed to be looking for the right to marry, not the person!'” My gosh, this is too cute!

A few years later, Rebecca planned to propose to Muireann during a picnic at Poolbeg Lighthouse, one of the couple’s favourite spots, but she hit a snag early on in the day! She explains, “Muireann had just returned from a national tour (she’s an actor). I suggested we go for a nice walk and she point blank refused to get out of bed, stating, ‘The only way you’ll get me up and out of my pyjamas today is if you’re proposing.’ I hastily told her we’d have a pyjama day instead and made her breakfast in bed. Mid-afternoon, she was still refusing to budge, so I did the only thing I could think of and made a second batch of pancakes and proposed there and then at home! Later that evening, we went for a walk around the city and Muireann proposed back to me (with a ring and all!) under the Campanile in Trinity College (which was where I was a student when we first met).”

Muireann tells us that she had a pretty unusual reaction to Rebecca’s proposal. “I’m pretty sure I screamed no multiple times before I said yes,” she says, “as the realisation hit me that I had totally ruined Rebecca’s plans!”

Rebecca tells us that the vibe they wanted to achieve with their wedding day was, “effortlessly elegant, warm and comfortable. We both love autumn, especially the quality of light and the colours, so we wanted to incorporate that into the visuals of the day in the flowers and outfits. We based the colour palette for the bridal party off autumn leaves and, for ourselves, we wanted to emulate that beautiful golden light you find on a warm autumn day. It was important to us that both ourselves and our guests had a relaxing experience, which is a huge part of why we chose Tankardstown House as our wedding venue.”

The couple quickly agreed on four top priorities for their big day. Rebecca tells us, “We wanted to be able to get legally married on the day. We wanted an exclusive venue with beautiful grounds. We really wanted the day to be relaxed and as easy as possible for our guests. And we wanted the food to be vegetarian!”

The extensive vegetarian menu at Tankardstown House was one of the main selling points for this pair. “We really wanted to have amazing food and we wanted it to be vegetarian. Lots of venues were not as enthusiastic about this as we were! But Gillian, our wedding coordinator at Tankardstown House, handed us a huge list of options as soon as we mentioned a full veggie meal! And every single aspect of the meal in the venue was incredible. It was absolutely delicious! We really wanted a beautiful, old venue that was easy to be in and Tankardstown has the comfort of a modern venue with all the charm and beauty of a historical house. So much love and effort has gone into its restoration and the staff are amazing.” We have to say, we wholeheartedly agree!

One of the couple’s favourite moments from their Tankardstown House wedding was what happened just before the ceremony began. “Each member of our bridal party walked down the aisle by themselves, including the two of us,” Rebecca says. “It was a really lovely moment. Just before the bridal party started walking down the aisle, we all grouped together and excitedly cheered, ‘Let’s get married!’ and completely forgot that everyone sitting in the ceremony space could hear it. It was a sweet, funny, excited moment together.”

This couple decided to spend the night before the wedding together. “We got ready as one big bridal party with both sets of parents around. We got dressed together just the two of us (until Muireann’s Mum had to be called as an extra pair of hands!), which was really special. Since our wedding was smaller than originally planned, we were able to spend significant time with each of our guests but it was still really lovely to have time just the two of us in the morning.”

The couple’s ceremony was soundtracked by the very talented The Canapé Cruisers. “They were wonderful to work with,” Rebecca says. “We always wanted the ceremony to have an intimate and warm feeling. The combination of the guitars and mandolin really gave that warm, upbeat feeling throughout the ceremony.”

Rebecca tells us that the day itself was, “incredibly joyful. It felt like time was paused and the stresses of the world didn’t exist. I have never felt such an intense joy and gratitude for Muireann, our families and our friends. It was perfect.”

How gorgeous are the girls’ bouquets!? Rebecca tells us, “Stephanie did such an amazing job. We wanted really textured colourful flowers, like as if we had just grabbed armfuls of flowers and foliage from a forest floor. Stephanie was amazing to work with, she really took the time to understand exactly what we wanted and did a better job than we could have even imagined.”

One of the couple’s bridesmaids, Frankie, organised a slideshow of guests who weren’t able to make it to the wedding and surprised the couple with it during her speech – what a lovely idea! “It was incredibly emotional,” Rebecca says.

We can’t believe we’ve made it this far without talking about Muireann and Rebecca’s phenomenal wedding dresses! A masterclass in same-sex wedding styling, their looks are true expressions of their personalities, while fitting in with their autumnal colour palette. Plus, they compliment each other beautifully!

Both brides’ beautiful makeup looks are the work of one of our favourite wedding makeup artists, Nicola Plummer Makeup. “She did the most beautiful job on the entire bridal party and both our mums,” Rebecca says. “I never wear makeup and I was really nervous about getting it done in case I didn’t feel like myself. But I had nothing to worry about! Nicola really listened to me and put me at ease. She made the whole make-up experience really relaxing and made sure I looked like myself but could still compete with Muireann’s beauty on the day!” Ah, stop – these pair are so adorable!

The couple’s wedding portraits are unbelievably lovely. “There are no words,” Rebecca says of Aoife’s talents. “I can’t believe our wedding photos are ours! Aoife disappeared into the day and got such beautiful candid photos of everyone. She is such a lovely person to talk to as well! There were more than a few people in the bridal party who would normally feel awkward in front of a camera and everyone felt at ease.”

Muireann and Rebecca had an impromptu first dance on the grounds of Tankardstown while taking wedding portraits with Aoife – how sweet!

Rebecca has some incredibly sensible advice to pass on to engaged couples. She says, “When people try to tell you what you need to have, or who you need to book, just say, ‘Thanks, I’ll look into that,’ and move on to talking about something else. Everyone has an opinion and what’s right for them doesn’t have to be right for you.”

Rebecca also advises, “Have a game plan for photos. We took the group photos before the ceremony on the grounds of College Hill House (where they stayed the night before) and it was very handy, as there wasn’t a reception happening at the same time, so people didn’t get distracted and wander off.”

As for their stationery, they enlisted that incredibly talented Hannah Blake Art.

For their honeymoon, the newlyweds spent two nights in the Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow. “We had booked three nights,” Rebecca explained, “but we got to stay for two nights before the country shut down and they were brilliant! We will 100% be going back for our ‘third’ night. It was the height of luxury and the spa was wonderful.”

Thanks so much to Muireann and Rebecca for sharing their Tankardstown House wedding day with us, and to Aoife O’Sullivan for providing the beautiful imagery! There are even more gorgeous photographs to peruse in the gallery below.

Tying the knot? Check out even more Irish Real Weddings!

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