This real wedding has truly made us fall in love all over again with the color purple, and actually, Tinder too, but more on that later. If there’s one way to brighten up a winter wedding in November, it’s surely a warm palette of deep purple and sweet lavender shades. Hannah & Eoghan 75 guests for their wedding at the charming The Village Barn in Tyrellspass, County Westmeath and brought the most gorgeous personal touches to their day, with the vibrant images captured beautifully by Olga Hogan Photography.
Though Hanna hails from Louth, it was while she was living in Limerick, writing her PhD at the University that she met Clare man Eoghan, who had also moved to Limerick. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a true Tinder success story, as it was on that very same dating app that these two love birds met. After some long distance relationships, Hannah was happy to see that according to Eoghan’s profile he lived within a three-mile radius. It turns out he lived in the next estate only 500 meters away!
Their first date wasn’t exactly traditional! “Our first date was actually a strength and conditioning class on the bank holiday of Paddy’s weekend,” says Eoghan. “Originally we were going to meet for gelato, but I somehow got roped into doing this exercise class. Hannah suggested meeting outside the class 10 minutes beforehand but in typical fashion she was late to meet me, but right on time for the warm up! ” Eoghan survived the class, despite “looking like a deer in headlights when Hannah arrived!” A quick coffee after class, turned into the promised gelato and waffles, which then turned into a walk in Mooghan Hill Fort for pizza and a movie. A fairly successful first date, if we do say so!
Even though the timing wasn’t perfect, the support Eoghan showed Hannah during her PhD write up and subsequent move back to Louth proved that he was a keeper, and they both moved to Dublin together in May 2020. “Fast forward to that November and we were once again in lockdown,” says Hannah. “Eoghan nipped into town one Friday under the guise of Christmas shopping and bought the engagement ring. After two missed opportunities to propose in quite romantic settings, the time finally came when I insisted on putting our Christmas tree up early on the 20th of November, to bring a bit of joy during the pandemic.” Once the Christmas tree was up and the takeaway eaten, Eoghan said he’d had a lovely weekend and would like more of them in the future, and he proposed in front of the tree!
For the big day Hannah chose to wear the Avery gown by Madi Lane Bridal, which she accessorised this with something borrowed from her mother and with something new from handmade Irish jeweller, Juvi Designs. While her bridesmaids were adorned with accessories from Betty & Biddy.
The couple wanted a venue that had everything in the one place: ceremony, reception and dinner as well as accommodation for the bridal party and somewhere for Hannah to get ready in the morning. “We liked the uniqueness of The Village Barn for the wedding. It had a quirky, laid back feel and even though we only got to see it virtually before we booked, we definitely got the right vibe from it. answering all our questions and giving us reassurance in the lead up.” With Hannah being from Louth and Eoghan being from Limerick, the Westmeath location also meant pretty much equal amounts of travel for both sides of the family.
Helping their guests to feel relaxed and safe was a top priority for the couple, and they devised clever ways to achieve this despite being a covid wedding. “We were lucky to get married almost between waves in Covid, so we used the wristband system (which Hannah has read about here on One Fab Day!) as well as providing personal hand sanitiser on arrival and the plan for our day with all our Guests beforehand. Everyone commented on how safe they felt and relaxed it was.”
Describing the vibe of their celebration, Hannah and Eoghan said as they are both pretty laid back people, that’s what they wanted. “We both come from relatively small families, so they and our friends are really important to us. We got married in November 2021, which meant it was the first big get together since the start of Covid. We wanted to spend as much time with everyone and have as many people involved as possible.” They invited guests to help set up the venue and join them for drinks and food in Hill Farm House (the associated self-catering accommodation) the night before, with their mums making a dish for people to help themselves to. “It was a really nice gentle start to the weekend! Most guests were there from Friday right through to Sunday brunch!”
Hannah’s mum is from the Philippines and so they included the traditional Filipino nuptial cord (also known as the Yugal) in the ceremony. Sadly, Hannah’s dad had passed away in 2015, but her brother walked her down the aisle which was very special.
There was certainly a lot of effort put into DIY and crafting by the bride and family that helped made the day feel really personal to them. The cake was made by the Eoghan’s sister Eimhear, who is a keen amateur baker, while his mother, who loves quilting made the colorful bunting that decorated the reception room with the help of her friends.
The couple had an uneven number in their wedding party, Eoghan had his childhood best friend as his best man, whereas Hannah had three bridesmaids. For this reason, and also because they thought it was a nice idea, they had a sweetheart table at dinner. “This was a really nice way for the two of us to spend time together and actually talk about our day.”
Meanwhile Hannah got to show off her artistic side, and painted and designed the wedding stationery and signs, which she then had printed at Reads Design & Print. They also made their own wedding arch and Hannah put together the floral decorations. “Hannah is pretty artistic and so really wanted to put her own stamp on how the day looked. He worked out well with our venue who were really accommodating, allowing us to create our own style. It was also a really nice distraction to plan and work on these things during the various lockdowns.”
As is obvious from the photos, the day itself was really emotional for the couple and their families. “From the first look to the speeches, both of us shed many tears,” says Hannah. “This gave all our guests permission to be emotional too, which meant there was hardly a dry eye in the house! It had been a tough 18 months for everyone. But we are both very in touch with our emotions and Eoghan especially is a big softie. We even made our celebrant cry!”
Their advice to other couples planning is to pick the things you won’t compromise on. “Realise what they are, and try to make sure they are as good as you can have them. For everything else, people won’t know what they’ve missed out on. So try not to worry overly much about it being ‘perfect ‘.” They also highly recommend recruiting your friends and family to help out rather than trying to do it all yourself!
“The wedding day was very ‘us; with lots of personal touches and things that really reflected our personalities and approach to things.” For Hannah it was photography and Eoghan it was music. After the venue, these were the two first things they researched and booked. “Our ceremony music performed by Emma Langford was a real treat for us and our guests, and the Velvet Lounge Band kept the dance floor full the whole night.”
For the honeymoon, they went to Costa Rica in late January which meant perfect weather at the start of the dry season. “We arranged a semi-private tour through Trailfinders and found the whole experience to be perfect for us, lots of adventure and tours with beaches and relaxing included too. We only had to arrive at the airport on time and everything else was taken care of.”
Thank you to Hannah And Eoghan for sharing their colourfull The Village Barn wedding with us, and to Olga Hogan Photography for providing the beautiful imagery! There are even more photographs to swoon over in the gallery below.