Chinese/Irish Doolin barn wedding on west coast of Ireland D&R

MrsRedhead Photography

The success of our wedding exceeded anything we could have hoped for. We both really enjoyed the whole weekend, from the fun and nerves of the preparations right through to the next day BBQ. We wouldn’t do it all over again because the day we had was just perfect!

We had a Chinese Tea Ceremony after the speeches in which Donna changed into a red Chinese two piece “kwa”. We kneeled before our “elders” and presented them with tea as a symbol of respect and gratitude, and in return we received red envelopes and Donna’s mum gifted gold jewellery. It was a really special ceremony which gave us the opportunity to personally thank our close family members for everything they’ve done for us.

We loved our humanist wedding ceremony. We thought this would just be a formality but it turned out to be our highlight. Richard denies he was nervous but the photos say differently! It was a very personal ceremony and it was made even more special with Heidi’s involvement – handing us the rings and tying us together for the hand fasting ceremony. Claire’s singing and the harp was just so beautiful, it brought out many tears. Guests have told us it was the best ceremony they’ve witnessed!

Donna – I loved the time we spent at Hags Head. After an emotional ceremony when all eyes were on us, we were able to relax and have a laugh with the bridesmaids & groomsmen. Despite a cloudy morning the sun miraculously came out and the sky turned blue. We were all in awe of the outstanding view of the Atlantic & the cliffs. I love that the smiles captured on the cliffs were genuine and they will remind me of the laugh we had.

Olga – MrsRedhead Photography was just amazing – from our first email to our first meeting to having her photograph our day, she was professional yet friendly, fun yet helpful.

A good photographer was really important to us as we knew the day would go by in a flash and we wanted to be able to show our daughter the photos in years to come! We chose to get married by the coast with the hope of having our photos taken on the cliffs. We were so lucky that the sun came out just as we approached Hags Head & Olga captured some really stunning shots. When we look at our photos we are in disbelief that we got to stand on the edge of a cliff with the Atlantic Ocean in the background! Only for Olga’s local knowledge! Olga was great with our 3 year old daughter who tends to pull faces at strangers but Olga won her around and we have really beautiful shots of Heidi!

We didn’t have a specific theme but we wanted the wedding to be rustic and relaxed, but also fun and really represent us. Louise from Grace Events did a fab job – from the ribbons to the table décor. It was a family friendly day so we had kids packs, sweets, ice cream cart and lots of balloons which were a hit with the kids! Donna designed our table numbers which were Chinese characters with Chinese proverbs to represent Donna’s Chinese background.

I thought the Chinese Floating Lanterns would be really peaceful to watch gently floating up into the sky. However, it was far from that! More chaotic and hazardous but entertaining! We underestimated the ease of getting the lanterns to take off….. it was windy by the time we started to light them, so they blew away erratically and some of the lanterns got caught in the garden lights. One got caught on the side of the building, but luckily we were amongst firefighters, and despite a few beers, one of the firefighters jumped up onto the side of the building and released the lantern! Despite the anxiety caused, the lanterns were really beautiful and it was a fun thing for everyone to do together!

Heidi, the flower girl and Joey the Page Boy missed the turn up the aisle and continued walking, until all the guests called out to them to come back. So Richard had to go down and hold their hands to walk them up the aisle. But they did a great job just walking into the barn by themselves with everyone watching them! This made for funny photos!

• Photographer: Olga MrsRedHead

• Videographer: Declan – SES Digital

• Celebrant – Bridget Carlin

Venue – Doolin Hotel

Decor – Grace Events

Second shooter : Aleksandra Skibniewska

• Bridesmaids dresses: TFNC

music – Claire Heffernan

• Shoes: Michael Kors

• Flowers: West Clare Flowers

• Groom(smen)’s suits: Michael Bourke Menswear, Ennis

• Accessories: Jewellery by Swarovski

• Cake: Hotel Doolin

• Cars/Wedding Favours – Family members / Fortune Cookies

• Stationery: Zazzle

• Make Up & Hair: Stephanie Clune Make Up,

Hair – Mimi’s Ennistymon

• Wedding Bands: The Elastic Band

• Ceremony/Reception Music: Claire Heffernan

• Wedding Dress: Stella York Dress from Bicester Bridal, Bicester, England

Go with your first instinct!!! With everything – venue, dress, wedding rings, lipstick etc – in each case I fell in love with my first choice straight away but would then look for a second option as I felt I was deciding in haste but in the end, I would always revert to my first option! Don’t be pressured to go with whats ‘expected’ of an Irish wedding, do what you want and have what you like, its your day!

Choose suppliers you will trust and just let them do their thing so you can enjoy your day!!!