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Real Irish Wedding: Caroline Smith & Brian Maher

11th May 2013. St Joseph’s Church, Ballyorgan with a reception at Castle Oliver, Limerick.


Caroline Smith & Brian Maher

11th May  2013. St Joseph’s Church, Ballyorgan with a reception at Castle Oliver, Limerick.

Photography by Christina Brosnan

Caroline and Brian first met at a black tie event and love blossomed when she accidentally ruined his suit…

“I had the tiniest clutch bag ever so I deliberately asked Brian to put my compact and lip gloss into his suit pockets and said I’d be back at the end of the night,” said Caroline.

“Later on that night he went to get a drink and found all this make up in his suit pockets and went looking for me. The rest is history!”

The proposal

During a holiday to Ibiza in 2012, Brian hired a boat and dropped ancor off a deserted island called El Spartan where he proposed with a beautiful engagement ring.”

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The venue

“I visited every possible wedding venue in Leinster and Munster, I think nearly 35 in all,” reveals Caroline. “There was always something missing from the venes of our preferred date was already booked. Then we visited Castle Oliver which was just so dramatic. We visited on a dark, cold November night and even then we knew it was special. We kept imagining it in the summer and how beautiful it would be.”

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Wedding theme

The couple chose a classic and timeless colour scheme of black white and gold. “From the very beginning we wanted everyone to feel and be a part of the wedding as much as we were,” Caroline explains.

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“We wanted everyone to relax and feel at ease as soon as they entered the castle. The first thing they saw was the ‘NO HASSLE IN THE CASTLE SIGN’, which summed up our day. We also wanted the WOW factor for arriving guests so inside the grand hall we had a stylized drinks reception – an ice cream cart, cocktail stations with signature bride and groom cocktails, handmade Fruit de pate canapés, handmade marshmallow canapés along with the savory canapés loved that even the ice cream man Mr. Butler was given a gold sequined cloth to lay his cones down on!”

There was a photo booth area in the Library with customized laser cut mini flags and props.

Once dinner was called, guests went to our escort card station, found their nametag and table number on the neck of the mini gold glitter bottle – on the reserve side was a quote “Don’t Pop until the speeches stop

The Dream Team

With less than 8 months to find a venue and create their dream wedding, time was against Caroline and Brain so they enrolled the help of Claire of White Sage Events and the ladies at Pearl & Godiva who worked seamlessly together to ensure that this couple had the wedding of our dreams. “Claire played an absolute stormer organising all the logistics, liaising with the different vendors and managing details that we weren’t even aware of. Pearl & Godiva brought our aesthetic to life, from the stationery through to the floral design, venue styling, favours, bespoke signage and everything in between.”

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Wedding flowers

Hanako created the beautiful wedding flowers. The style was gently feminine in tones of soft pink, blue and green which worked well to balance the boldness of the rest of the design. “We used gorgeous soft blue succulents and eucalyptus along with peonies and pin roses. We even went with dramatic gilded gold leaves to tie it into the overall look,” Caroline reveals.

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Wedding dress

Caroline’s gown was by Essence of Australia: “I loved the lace detailing and sash as well as the fit. It was a luxe taffeta fit-and-flare dress featuring a romantic removable lace overlay, dramatic low back, sexy plunge neckline and detachable satin sash.

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The bridesmaids

The maids wore one-shouldered chiffon Sorella Vita gowns in a beautiful blush pink tone.

Wedding cake

Karina’s Cakes in Cork created a four-tier wedding cake decorated with edible lace flowers, toopped off with a customised cake topper made via an artist on Etsy.

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Favourite moment

Brian: The décor and seeing everyone enjoying their day made us realise all of our efforts had paid off.

 Caroline: Everything – all of the beautiful details and celebrating with all our friends and family.

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