An Elegant Backless Pronovias Gown and Maids in Sage Green

PRONOVIAS backless dress

I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far, and if the weather is being kind in your part of the world, that you’re enjoying it as much as I am! This early heat wave here in the UK has me imagining it’s the height of summer, even though it’s still spring, and so it’s wonderful to be able to share a lovely summer wedding with you all today.

We’re heading to the coast of County Waterford, Ireland for the sweetest of celebrations and the prettiest of florals, too. Community work Engagement Manager Eimear married her groom Luke, a Forest Inspector, on the 28 July 2017 at the Haven Hotel, Dunmore East. How stylish does Eimear look in her amazing Pronovias gown? I love the clean, simple lines with the drama of the glittering beaded back and shoulders.

“I didn’t want anything frilly or fussy. This was a simple dress with a bit of fun. Kind of like a  mullet – business at the front, party at the back! I loved the shape of it too and its fitted style. The train at the back and the waterfall effect when the bustle was tied was also something I really loved. It was also really comfortable and easy to wear.”

Photography by Katie Kavanagh Photography

Bride wearing Pronovias and her maids in sage green dresses

Today’s photos are the wonderful work of Katie Kavanagh, and they’re filled with such candid, heartfelt emotion and delight. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed looking through these images – it feels as though I’ve been truly immersed in the day and the beautiful seaside setting.

“Katie is just a dream to work with and honestly, looking at our photos for the first time was  just the most amazing experience. She captured so many details and moments that we could never possibly have seen in the midst of the busy day that we had.”“She came to the  house, blended in and we genuinely don’t really remember seeing her again till the end of the night, bar the family photos etc…she snuck around, snapping away and what we ended  up with images we will cherish for the rest of our lives… Carol, the second shooter was absolutely fantastic too and you could tell that they both had such a great working relationship. They were as relaxed as can be and so were we, so it was a real pleasure!”

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What really strikes me about this wedding is just how cool and relaxed Eimear and Luke are, and this was something key to their wishes for the day as a whole.

“We wanted a really relaxed, intimate and fun weekend for everyone that was full of love and happiness too! We didn’t want to fuss over loads of details or make people sit for 5 hours listening to speeches… It was about how happy and proud we were to marry each  other and to really share that vibe with everyone. Good food, music and company helped!”

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Eimear and Luke are childhood sweethearts, and I love the story of how they met aged 15, and then, over ten years later became engaged. Luke texted Eimear after spotting her in town and getting her number from Eimear’s friend. Eimear had mentioned to her friend Elaine how she fancied Luke and the rest is history. Luke proposed unexpectedly one morning in March 2016. Eimear went into semi-shock, despite being together over 10 years at this stage, but after about 10 minutes, eventually said yes, of course!

“We went into town to organise the ring and then kept it all a secret for a week. That was fun.  We let friends and family know then the following weekend and we will never forget how genuinely happy they all were when we made the announcement. It meant an awful lot to us. 16 months later, we were married in a fun, relaxed and sunny weekend in July!”  

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On her feet, Eimear wore funky silver sandals from New Look, while earrings and a vintage bracelet were gifts, and her handmade beaded hair slide was purchased from Waterford based Willow and Wild. It adds just the right amount of sparkle to Eimear’s elegantly styled hair, all the work of Willow Hair Boutique in Waterford, who proved themselves to be just the right team to have around on the morning of the wedding.

“The girls were so, so genuinely nice and really interested in getting all of the looks right, for the bridal party. They came to the house the morning of the wedding and were as cool, calm and collected as ever!”

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Eimear is the youngest of five children, and there hadn’t been a family wedding in twelve years, so it was with great excitement that her Dad, Eamon, walked with her down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. She met her groom, Luke beneath a romantic arch decorated with blowsy purple hydrangeas. Graham Barrett from the Spiritualist Union of Ireland was the couple’s celebrant, and they exchanged short, tailored vows.

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Luke’s vows were about the future and what he was committing to in marrying…and the emotion/love associated with that. Eimear’s were a reflection of the relationship and its journey since they were young teenagers and the excitement of what the future held as husband and wife!

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During their vows, they exchanged rings from local jewellers; Eimear choosing a white gold band from John Martin Jewellers, and Luke opting for a simple silver band from Paul Sullivan Goldsmith.

“Our favourite part of the day was during the ceremony where we were getting to the legal bit and the ‘I Dos’. There was a nervous, excited energy in the room and we were very emotional too. You could hear a pin drop when the celebrant began asking Luke the series of questions before saying  ‘I do’.”

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“But Luke in his enthusiasm, managed to loudly blurt out ‘I do’ after the very first part and there was a moment’s silence, before the room (including us) fell apart laughing! It was the perfect moment to break the tension, have a bit of fun, and remember what life and marriage is all about!”

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The bridesmaids all looked lovely in multiway dresses from Cari’s Closet in a gorgeous, fresh shade of sage green. Multiway dresses are such a brilliant, flattering choice for bridesmaids’ gowns, as each maid can personalise their dress in the way they like. Bride Eimear thoughtfully gifted rose gold and diamond chandelier earrings and bracelets to each of her maids, which she bought from Island Lane Jewellers in Waterford.

“The team in Island Lane could not have been any more helpful in sourcing three of everything and helping with other gifts too. Would highly recommend them!”

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The bridal party’s pretty, natural make-up looks were courtesy of Sammy Stacey, who Eimear praises for taking the time to genuinely understand the look she wanted.

“Sammy is so interested in making sure you are happy with the look you want and takes the time to really understand your needs and wants. A total professional and makes you feel totally like you are in safe hands. Our make-up didn’t budge all day and… Sammy came to the house in the morning and just set up, got it all done with loads of time to spare, and left as if she was never there!”  

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There are wonderful bursts of summer colour in the neat, vintage-inspired bouquets carried by Eimear and her bridesmaids, providing an especially striking contrast with the simplicity of Eimear’s gown. I particularly love the bright pink roses ringed by a halo of gypsophila, and Eimear is full of praise for florist Ray, of Flowers by Ray.

“Ray was fantastic to work with…He went through…what would be good at the time of year, what would go with the style of my dress…We met with him a couple of times before settling on some vintage style bouquets with purple as the accent colour (Blue Moon rose) and some Baby’s Breath too. They turned out stunning and really simple, just what we wanted!”

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Luke and his groomsmen wore incredibly smart matching three-piece suits and patterned ties from Fitzgerald Menswear.

“They looked fantastic at the top of the aisle and as can be seen in the photos too. Studs!”

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Following the ceremony, Eimear, Luke and their family and friends enjoyed drinks and canapes, all while looking out at the amazing coastal views at The Haven Hotel. The team at The Haven also undertook the elegant, summery venue styling, with table centrepiece vases of purple and blue hydrangea flowers and twinkling tea lights.

“We wanted to keep it simple and  ‘less is more’ so that the tables weren’t cluttered but there was still a sense of style on the tables. We went for a vintage-y, rustic style…We had hessian runners that gave a natural feel with some delicate cream lace overlay. The table numbers were done by the Haven too and were just kept clear and simple.”  

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The father-of-the-bride hand painted the couple’s wedding invitations, which were then transformed into printed versions by Eimear’s brother, Niall. I think it’s also wonderful that lots of Eimear and Luke’s family were involved in the design and making of the table plan. Eimear’s dad, Eamon, handmade the wooden frame painted to match the beautiful sage green of the bridesmaids’ gowns, while Luke’s mum Carmen (of AnnieDesign) crocheted brightly coloured flowers, which were then glued alongside reeds and leaves. Eimear’s brother Colm and his girlfriend Katie took care of name placards and lists.

“It was a real highlight and again, so many guests commented on it and how unique and lovely it was to have both families involved in its creation.”

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Following the drinks reception, everyone sat down to a wonderful meal prepared by The Haven Hotel, with seafood chowder and smoked bacon caesar salad, followed by hake and rib of beef, and meringue with fresh berries and cream, and brownies for dessert (anyone else feeling hungry after reading that?!). The wedding cake was another family creation, with the bride’s sister Orla baking a delicious, classic three-tiered Victoria sponge cake with fresh fruit and cream.

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Later on, the happy couple danced to their chosen first dance song, the joyful ‘How Sweet it is to be Loved by You’ by Marvin Gaye.

“We both love soul music, we loved the lyrics and felt they represented us to a  tee! We couldn’t dance to save our lives and didn’t get any lessons or anything like that, so that all added to the fun and experience once it came time to go for our first dance!”

“We had Brass & Co. play…and they supplied the DJ too. They were absolutely brilliant and the dance floor was quite literally full half way through the first song! Could not recommend them enough. They even had surprise conga lines going through the marquee out to the hotel and back, to get more people on board! Great  fun and so professional. The DJ was brilliant too and really understood the crowd and what style of songs they wanted. Again, the dance floor was continually jammed!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“To not focus on the meaningless things like are all the chairs equidistant, worrying about your hairpiece being exactly 5cm from your ear,  and whether your Great Aunt Maggie will eat the roast potatoes. We really focused on each other, grabbing a few minutes whenever we could to take in everything and to laugh about how surreal it was that we were now married.”

“Definitely don’t worry about trying to get the perfect photo too  – there is no such thing. In fact, a lot of our favourite photos are ones that we didn’t even know were being taken! They tell the true story and really reflect the essence of the day. Oh, and invest in a quality photographer – at the end of the day, once it’s all done and dusted, the only thing you have to look back on are those photos capturing your day so make sure you choose wisely. We certainly did.”

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What wise, witty words of wisdom. Thank you so much, Eimear and Luke, for allowing us to share in the infectious joy and warmth of your day, and to Katie Kavanagh, whose stunning work captured so many details and so much emotion.

With love,


Credits & Thanks

Laura Callan

Laura Callan View all Laura's articles

Laura is a freelance writer and content creator who loves telling stories. She has keen eye for photography and art, and lives with her husband, cats, and huge amounts of books.

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