Real Weddings: Food blogger Ellen Lunney’s summer wedding in Co Wicklow
25th Sep 2022
Ellen and Ryan's big day truly reflected their relaxed, retro style. They wore high-street wedding clothes, cruised in a vintage Jaguar, and booked a cool brass band for the reception.
Ellen Lunney, food blogger and senior planning manager, and Ryan Kenny, analyst.
in Hampstead Heath, London.
Summerhill House Hotel, Co Wicklow.
Tanya Colclough, Eden Photography. We loved her dreamy, breezy, feminine style of photography, and she was an oasis of calm on the day.
On the very first day of college at a party in Kenilworth Square. Four months later, we had our first kiss at a party in Ranelagh, and here we are now, 13 and a half years later — meant to be!
Ryan proposed on a sunny Saturday morning over breakfast in our flat. I loved that it was just the two of us. After I got my ugly-crying over with, we started calling our families to share the news. It was at the takeaway-Aperol-spritzes stage of lockdown so luring them all onto the phone was a bit tricky!
I even bought a second dress that was much more princess-y (read: very not me) but thankfully, I saw sense and just wore the original dress. It was fitted, but not constricting, with movement at the back, and it felt just right for the unexpectedly good weather we got.
Much to the surprise of our friends and families, we bucked the trend for civil ceremonies and had a beautiful service in Christ Church Rathgar. The church couldn’t have been more welcoming, even opening up the gates at the front so we could drive into the grounds in the wedding car, a lovely vintage, white 1960s Jaguar.
We had beautiful singing throughout the ceremony from Ryan’s cousin; we managed to convince the audience to sing one song for us, and we walked out to Two of Us by The Beatles. Magic!
We had a lovely summery reception at Summerhill House Hotel. Prosecco and afternoon tea at the front of the house in the sunshine, then dinner and dancing until late. Our friends did us proud, staying up far later than we could manage!
Glenn Kristiansen played classical guitar during the afternoon part of the reception. And then The New Brass Kings had the dancefloor full all night long with their fab brass band versions of hits and surprising Red Hot Chilli Pepper renditions.
We specifically wanted to avoid a ‘band with a charismatic lead singer in a leather jacket playing Bruno Mars’ and with The New Brass Kings we definitely got that – such character and sass; very, very cool. Book them!
We put photos of our parents and grandparents’ weddings beside the entrance to the dining room. Other than that, we kept our decor quite simple with some extra candles on tables, and Summerhill did the table flowers – elegant glass bowls of fresh pink roses. We brought the arrangements from the church up too.
At our request, they also laid the settings as long tables rather than the usual round tables they’d normally go with – their first time trying that. It felt more modern, although we accidentally miscounted how many people per side when working out our table plan, which meant the weddings manager Ann was sorting it out right before the meal, but it was no problem – the staff couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating all day.
THEIR TOP TIPS
- Switch off your phone the night before. It is so lovely to get all the messages but they keep your mind buzzing after what has probably already been a very action-packed (AKA stressful) week.
- Lean on everyone who said they’d be happy to help in the days before. You can’t do it all, and if you try to drive to the far side of the city to pick up your table plan from the printers the day before, it will break you.
- Try on your shapewear before the big day.
- Have a few parts of the proceedings that are just for you. We went across the road from the church to a pub for a quick pint with friends before we hit the road to the venue and it was one of our favourite bits of the day.
- Also, make sure you eat early on in the day. Stash a deli roll of your choosing in the fridge so you can scoff it after your make-up is done!
THEY WISH THEY HAD
More targeted planning of the important bits, and earlier delegation of the less important stuff before the wedding week. We could have enjoyed the lead-up a bit more, as there is such a nice buzz then. But we have no real regrets; it was perfect for us, and we loved all the suppliers we worked with.
THEIR BEST MOMENTS
Walking up the aisle with my dad and seeing everyone in one place was very emotional; walking down the aisle as a newly married couple was very fun, and walking into the pub in Rathgar – with cars honking horns left, right and centre – was a hoot!
THE FIRST DANCE SONG
These Dreams of You by Van Morrison.
Bride’s Dress: Monsoon. Groom’s Suit: Hackett. Florist: Green Door Florist. Cake: SoloBake. Hair & Make-Up Artist: Keira Smyth. Band: The New Brass Kings. Wedding Car: Classic Wedding Car & Limousine Hire.
See more photographs from Ellen and Ryan’s wedding in the gallery below.
Photography by Eden Photography.