Justin Alexander
Casablanca Bridal
Hayes & Jarvis
Crawfordsburn Inn

Real Irish Wedding – Shirleen Flynn & Declan Lee

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4th June 2016. Ceremony at St Patricks Church Calry, Co Sligo followed by reception at Temple House Co. Sligo

Photography by Rafal Borek Photography

The couple

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The couple met through mutual friends and were together just over six years when they tied the knot.

The proposal

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The dreamy proposal took place on the Greek Island of Santorini. Declan had rented a private villa for the occasion with stunning views looking out over the cliffs and their own swimming pool. He waited for the perfect moment and popped the question while the pair watched the sunset.


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After being unable to find just what they were looking for in Dublin, groom Declan stumbled across the Temple House in Co.Sligo. “I am from Sligo and we regulary visit,” says Declan. “We viewed the venue on a damp and dreary Sunday in October with the wind howling and rain lashing down. Despite that, we instantly knew that Temple House was the venue for us and we could envision our big day there.”


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The couple chose Rafal Borek to capture their wedding day as they both loved his non-intrusive documentary style. “Rafal was a joy to work with and was able to capture us naturally which was reflected perfectly in the image he captured. Not only did Rafal get excellent shots in his beautiful style, he was also a pleasure to deal with on the day, before and after.”


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From the beginning the couple knew they wanted their wedding day to be a ‘stylish party’. “We didn’t want our wedding to be anything like other weddings,” says Declan. “We had an informal ceremony and had our reception and speeches outside in the gorgeous grounds. We wanted our guests to relax and enjoy themselves – and they certainly did!” The couple rented out Temple House for their wedding weekend and had a fun filled three day celebration complete with magician and well known impressionist Al Foran.

Wedding dress

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Shirleen wore a bespoke, mermaid wedding gown with sweetheart neckline, spaghetti straps and delicate lace detail. The dress was a couture creation designed especially for Shirleen by House of Delphine. “From the beginning I knew exactly how I wanted my wedding dress to look, I wanted the fairy tale,” says Shirleen. “I couldn’t have picked a better designer than Delphine. Designing a couture gown is a process that takes many months and Delphine and her mother hand-stitched every single piece of embroidery on my dress. When we began designing the dress I couldn’t have imagined wearing anything other than white, but Delphine asked me to trust her, so we ordered the most divine pink champagne shade of material. I’m so glad Delphine persuaded me to do it as the colour of the dress matched my skintone perfectly and it was everything I could have dreamed of and more.” The stylish bride paired her bespoke gown with a breath-takingly beautiful headpiece and earrings by Jenny Packham.


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The groomsmen wore three piece suits from Addam Menswear Sligo and Declan teamed his with a grey waistcoat to stand out as the groom.

The bridesmaids

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The bridesmaids wore elegant black gowns with sequin detail from House of Fraser. Shirleen describes the overall look as, “Timeless, old-school glamour. I wanted a style that was graceful and effective.”

Wedding flowers

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The wedding flowers were by The Flower Shed in Kintogher, Co. Sligo. The centrepieces were tall alternative arrangements of white roses and baby’s breath. “I wanted to continue the classic, elegant theme through the flowers,” says Shirleen. “I added some pink blooms to my bouquet to compliment the delicate shades of blush in my dress.”


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The wedding stationery was provided by Louise Kierman from Birds of a Feather. “Louise created chic navy, gold and cream wedding invitations with our initials as the motif.”

Wedding cake

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Shirleen designed the four tiered wedding cake with Park Lane Cakes and each layer had a different flavour including; chocolate biscuit, lemon and red velvet. The groom’s mother, who is an excellent baker, even added a layer of her very own fruit cake giving the special day another personal touch.

Favourite moment

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Bride: “The highlight of the day was the first dance outside. We had never heard of it being done in Ireland before but with the view and the space it just felt right. It was amazing to do with the view of the lake and castle and all of our friends around us enjoying a few songs in the open air.”

Top tip

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Groom: “Try not to get too stressed in the time leading up to the big day. When the wedding day comes around you’ll realise all the worry was not worth it and if anything does go wrong nobody will notice anyway. Leave plenty of time for photographs, you’ll have no idea how obsessed you will become with them after the wedding!”

Bride: “Put yourself in the shoes of your guests. We planned our wedding with our guests enjoyment in mind, trying to bring as much fun to the day as possible. If your guests are enjoying themselves, then you will be too!”

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