Lisa & Ben’s Humanist Wedding in Ireland full of Suzanne Neville Elegance

Weddings in the autumn are always so exuberant and vibrant with their natural colour palette of burnt oranges, reds and greens.

This celebration saw the fusion of a formal do with a soft and colourful autumn theme. Virginia Park Lodge, County Cavan, Ireland offered an exquisite backdrop for the humanist wedding of solicitor Lisa and accountant Ben, who are based in London. Drawn to its beautiful, natural grounds and cosy interiors, the couple dressed it with leaves, autumnal foliage, candles and fairy lights in celebration of the couple’s favourite season.

Photography Dasha Caffrey Photography

The bride’s gorgeous blonde hair was styled into a romantic, wavy down-do by Shauna Lawlor Hair and Paula Callan Artistry applied her flawless make-up.

The bride looked classically beautiful in her full-skirted Suzanne Neville gown, featuring a beautiful lace bodice over a fitted corset.

Andrea Hawkes

“I bought my dress in Suzanne Neville’s Knightsbridge boutique in London. Suzanne Neville offer a seamless service to their brides.”

“They were helpful in finding a dress that met what I was looking for, made alterations to the dress in line with my personal style (I asked for both the front neck and back to be brought up higher, and for the back to be lined with buttons), and they were very organised with all my fittings.”

“I wanted something elegant and timeless, and Suzanne Neville’s designs are beautiful. The button detail on the dress was very special.”

Lisa’s long veil, worn for the ceremony, was also a Suzanne Neville piece and she slipped on an exquisite pair of Manolo Blahnik Hangisi velvet blue pumps.

Freya Rose London

“I wore blue diamond drop earrings from my mum and Le Labo Another 13.”

“We chose the venue as we thought the beautiful grounds and cosy interior would be perfect for an autumn wedding.”

“We also liked the idea of all of our guests being able to stay in the venue with us.”

“Autumn is our favourite time of year, with the warm colours and crisp days.”

“We really wanted to incorporate warm autumnal colours and flowers into our wedding, coupled with the rustic and cosy ambience that Virginia Park Lodge has with its crackling fires and surrounding woodland.”

Although they are based in London, the couple chose Lisa’s native Ireland for their wedding.

“We met in a pub in London in October 2017 and Ben had his first experience of an Irish Christmas with my big family in December 2017.”

“In July 2019, Ben proposed outside the Chateau de Fines Roches in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region of France. We got married 825 days later.”

“Our original invites were from Strawberry Sorbet. Our Order of the Day and table name cards were from Paper Fudge.”

“Our wooden welcome wedding sign was from HarpersHomeDecors via Etsy and our table plan and menus were done by Virginia Park Lodge.”

“We gave each of our guests wedding tote bags.”

Originally planned for October 2020, Lisa and Ben postponed due to the pandemic so that Ben’s Australian family could attend.

“Unfortunately, they still couldn’t attend our 2021 wedding due to travel restrictions but we are looking forward to celebrating with them in Australia in 2022.”

“To ensure that Ben’s Australian family could feel part of the day, we organised for a professional to stream our humanist ceremony in Ireland to those watching from Australia.”

“We did our speeches straight after the ceremony so that they could also be live-streamed (given the ten-hour time difference between Ireland and Sydney/Melbourne).”

Ben selected a sharp navy blue suit with black lapels from Suit Supply in London with black boots from R.M. Williams.

“Ben wore sterling silver cufflinks from ESL Jewellery in Dublin, engraved with his initials and our wedding date.”

Lisa and Ben had a civil wedding at Islington Town Hall in London the week before their Irish wedding, and celebrated after with a small group of friends in a local pub.

Their Virginia Park Lodge wedding was a humanist ceremony, led by celebrant Niamh Davis.

“We really liked that we were already married on our Irish wedding day as it took the pressure off and allowed our Irish wedding to have a more relaxed and less formal feel.”

“It was also quite special to be able to celebrate our legal wedding with a small group of close friends.”

Lisa walked solo down the aisle with her five bridesmaids ahead of her, to an acoustic version of ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars, played live by members of their band, Bentley Boys.

“As part of our humanist ceremony, we had a handfasting ceremony. It was good fun and a nice way for some of our wedding party to be involved in our ceremony.”

“We had ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton at our civil ceremony in London.”

“We also asked our Humanist Celebrant to incorporate it into our Irish wedding as we liked how this piece describes love; as something that is natural that grows with and can withstand the realities of life.”

“We also had ‘Love Is Friendship Caught Fire’ by Ann Landers and ‘I Want To Grow Old With You’ from ‘The Wedding Singer’.”

The couple exchanged rings from Blue Nile before being declared husband and wife, and having the wedding speeches, streamed live to their guests abroad,

Mirroring the bride’s long-sleeved gown were the bridesmaids in their deep navy gowns from ASOS. They added shoes from Nine West, Astrid & Miyu necklaces and Katie Loxton bags.

The girls each carried an opulent bouquet of bright, autumnal flowers, created by Virginia Park Lodge’s in-house florist, Hilary.

“Hilary was amazing. She shared my love of autumn flowers and décor so she understood exactly what we were looking for. Hilary was incredibly creative and her ideas worked out great.”

The newly-weds enjoyed the October sunshine for their portrait shots before heading back indoors for the wedding dinner.

Dasha Caffrey Photography captured the beautiful colours of the season with her joyful photography. I adore the light-filled shots outside in the woodland.

“We chose Dasha Caffrey because of her natural style of photos and because she knew the venue well.”

“We really enjoyed working with Dasha on the day and a number of our guests commented on how professional but friendly she was when taking photos.”

“We love our photos and have a great mix of romantic shots and more natural fun shots.”

The wedding stationery and decor all followed the autumnal theme and the banqueting hall looked magnificent with the fairy-lights and swathes of foliage.

Blue Sky Flowers

“Hilary, the florist at Virginia Park Lodge, created an amazing autumn harvest-type theme for our wedding décor, using autumn flowers, foliage, candles, pumpkins and mini squash.”

The couple cut their wedding cake, a cheese cake from Sheridans Cheesemongers, before taking to the dance-floor.

Bentley Boys provided the evening music and there was a first dance to ‘Paradise’ by George Ezra.

“We liked the track and wanted something upbeat that would get all our guests up dancing with us on the dance floor.”


“Our favourite part of the day was being able to laugh, dance and celebrate with our friends.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Make sure you relax on the day, have fun and soak up every minute – it goes so quickly.”

“We would recommend that couples identify what is important for them in terms of their wedding. For us, it was to try and get as many of our family and friends there to celebrate with us and so we postponed in 2020.”

“However, we downscaled our wedding after we postponed by not having a day two.”

Thirsk Lodge Barns

“We thought it would be a lot to ask from people and we felt lucky enough to be able to have everyone there with us for one day.”

“Ultimately, there were lots of highs and lows associated with wedding planning during the pandemic but you have to take the small wins, even if your wedding doesn’t work out as originally planned. We felt incredibly lucky that we could go ahead with our Irish wedding in October 2021 with a 100-person limit and an 11:30 pm curfew. We had the best time!”

I’m in love with every detail of your day, Lisa and Ben. Congratulations on your wedding and thank you so much for sharing it with us.

It’s been such a pleasure sharing your work once again, Dasha Caffrey, so thank you to you too. Lisa wore a sublime Suzanne Neville gown, and we have more brides in her pieces right here to give you inspiration.

Ele xx

Credits & Thanks

Eleanor Crossland

Eleanor Crossland View all Eleanor's articles

Ele lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, close to the beautiful coast. A qualified Pilates teacher, she loves fitness, yoga, Pilates and has a healthy addiction to baking, writing and travel.