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Real Weddings: Jenny and Stephen tie the knot at Dublin City Hall

Real Weddings: Jenny and Stephen tie the knot at Dublin City Hall


by Shayna Sappington
09th Dec 2023

Globetrotters Jenny and Stephen always had their hearts set on Dublin City Hall and, with such a gorgeous setting, the venue didn't disappoint. Their chic ceremony included black bridesmaid dresses, colourful heels and handfasting – followed by an exquisite reception in a Georgian townhouse.

THE COUPLE
Jenny Holder, research administrator, and Stephen Flynn, engineer.

THEY LIVE
In London.

THE VENUE
Dublin City Hall for the ceremony and 25 Fitzwilliam Place for the reception.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Jasna Pasalic.

THEY MET
In a dodgy nightclub in South London called Infernos. We danced to Cotton Eyed Joe by Rednex together and the rest is history!

THE PROPOSAL
We were living in Toronto at the time, and we had decided to book a last-minute weekend away to New York. As it was such short notice, I never expected Steve to get down on one knee while we were walking around Central Park.

THE DRESS AND THE SUIT
I started dress shopping on a trip back to the UK in 2019, as I really wanted my mum and sister to be there when I found “the dress”. I ended up going for one of the first dresses I tried on, which was a design from Noble & Wright Atelier not far from my hometown in Leicestershire.

Although it wasn’t a bespoke design, I was able to make tweaks and changes to the design and fit, which was a lovely experience. I was really pleased that I’d gone with an independent dress designer/maker as they were so flexible and helpful after we postponed our wedding twice.

Steve went for a navy three-piece Hugo Boss suit, which he bought just a month before the wedding! We cut it a bit fine with the best men’s suits too, but it all worked out great in the end and everything came together.

THE CEREMONY
One thing we knew right from the start was that we wanted to get married in Dublin City Hall. Our reception venue changed a few times due to Covid, but we stuck with City Hall throughout.

It is the most beautiful venue and the backdrop for photos is amazing. We had a humanist ceremony, which was celebrated by Susie Kennedy from The Humanist Association of Ireland. Susie was brilliant and made us all feel so at ease before we walked up the aisle.

We had a short drinks reception straight after the ceremony so that we could all make the most of being in such a beautiful space.

THE RECEPTION
By 2021, we had decided to downsize our wedding to just 35 guests due to ongoing restrictions and all the uncertainty around Covid. Our original venue wouldn’t cater for our smaller numbers, so we decided to start looking at other venues around the city.

After looking at lots of different restaurants, we eventually booked 25 Fitzwilliam Place for an intimate drinks and dinner reception. Everything about the venue was perfect – the service, the canapes, the meal, the cocktails.

Because of the size and style of the venue, it almost felt like we were having our own house party, but in a really fancy Georgian townhouse! We stayed across the road at Number 31, so we could literally stumble across the road at the end of the night.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
We hired a keyboard for City Hall so that my brother could play Learning To Fly by Tom Petty as we walked down the aisle. It’s a really special song for my family and I, so it meant a lot to have him play it for us on the day.

We wanted our reception to feel very informal and relaxed, so we decided to go for a traditional Irish band. We booked the Asgards quite early on in our wedding planning, so it was lovely to finally hear them play live during our drinks reception.

THE DECOR
We were lucky with both venues as they didn’t really need any decorations to look beautiful. All we had at 25 Fitzwilliam were wildflowers from The Garden at Powerscourt Townhouse Centre and some family photos on the cake table.

We didn’t really pick a colour scheme for the flowers. I knew I didn’t want anything too structured or formal, so I just asked Róisín at The Garden to select wildflowers which were in season, and I couldn’t have been happier with what they picked!

Our bridesmaids wore black dresses from & Other Stories, Reiss, Never Fully Dressed and Alice Temperley. Everyone wore different coloured shoes for a pop of colour, including me.

THEY WISH THEY HAD
Looking back, it would have been amazing to have a videographer as well as a photographer. I don’t remember much about walking down the aisle and would love to be able to watch my brother playing the piano in City Hall. But our photographer Jasna put together an Instagram reel with a few short video clips and photos which is one of our favourite things to look back on.

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
Having a drink at the Long Hall pub just the two of us after the ceremony. We’d definitely recommend having some quiet moments set aside to just spend a bit of time together amidst all the craziness of the day. But we honestly loved every minute of it, and it was worth waiting three-and-a-half years for!

THE FIRST DANCE SONG
Bright Side Of The Road by Van Morrison.

THE CREW
Bride’s Dress: Noble & Wright AtelierBride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall. Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss. Florist: The GardenCake: Caroline Goulding. Make-Up: Mary Ellen Darby. Hair: Kristin Oritz. Band: Asgards.

See more photographs from Jenny and Stephen’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography and Videography by Jasna Pasalic.

Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.

This article was originally published in 2022