The num­ber of peo­ple choos­ing to have a win­ter wed­ding is on the rise, writes Deirdre McQuil­lan

The num­ber of peo­ple choos­ing the chilly months for their big day is on the rise, writes Deirdre McQuil­lan

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE -

Though July may be the most favoured month for Ir­ish nup­tials, Novem­ber and De­cem­ber are when win­ter wed­dings come into their own. “They have re­ally grown in num­ber in the last five or six years” notes photographer Fionn McCann. “Peo­ple liv­ing abroad in Aus­tralia, Canada or Dubai plan to come home and get mar­ried at Christ­mas when friends and fam­ily will all be there – New Year’s Eve is in such de­mand now [ for wed­dings] that pho­tog­ra­phers have to be booked two years in ad­vance.”

Top wed­ding plan­ner Tara Fay has 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence. “Win­ter wed­dings in Ire­land are won­der­ful be­cause there are now so many venues with stun­ning in­te­ri­ors and whether new or old, they look so much bet­ter with big fires, can­dle­light, abun­dance of fo­liage and dark greens and reds. On a crisp win­ter day, there is noth­ing nicer than a roar­ing fire and hot whiskeys – Ir­ish venues re­ally lend them­selves to win­ter wed­dings,” she says.

In Ire­land there are about 22,000 wed­dings a year with the av­er­age age of 35 for the groom and 33 for the bride. Ir­ish cou­ples, ac­cord­ing to a wed­ding­son­line sur­vey in Jan­uary, spend on av­er­age ¤ 25,000 on their big day, helped by sav­ings, loans, par­ents and fi­nan­cial do­na­tions from guests. Ac­cord­ing to Fay, Ire­land also at­tracts cou­ples in­ter­na­tion­ally be­cause of ease of ac­cess, cur­rency and bank­ing fa­cil­i­ties, be­cause the lan­guage is English and a great venue is within two hours of an air­port.

“Weather for them is never a de­ter­rent or the de­cid­ing fac­tor. It is the peo­ple, the

Weather is never a de­ter­rent or the de­cid­ing fac­tor. It is the peo­ple, the venues and the sup­pli­ers

venues and the sup­pli­ers.”

When it comes to wed­dings, everybody has trig­ger points, ac­cord­ing to Fay. “Brides of­ten stress about their brides­maids’ hair and make up. It is so im­por­tant that your brides­maids are a beau­ti­ful frame around your por­trait,” she says.

A new Ir­ish team of­fer­ing a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in this area is the Beauty Agency, a part­ner­ship be­tween well- known make- up artist Leonard Daly and master hair­styl­ist Ly­dia O’Car­roll who has spent the past 20 years in the US work­ing with top stylists in New York and styling hair for the Os­cars in Los An­ge­les. Her client list has in­cluded su­per­mod­els and celebri­ties such as Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, and Daly has a wealth of edi­to­rial ex­pe­ri­ence at home and abroad and pri­vate clients that in­clude royal fam­i­lies in the Mid­dle East.

“Bridal hair is re­ally red car­pet hair and I al­ways say that a bride’s wed­ding day is her red car­pet day. What we both bring is a great fin­ish and styling that is cen­tred on the per­son and their life­style rather than trends. I have a lot of tricks and can hide im­per­fec­tions in a very sub­tle way. You would not know when I do ex­ten­sions and that is su­per im­por­tant be­cause they can look quite tacky,” says O’Car­roll.

Daly points out that win­ter light be­ing lower means that brides can be a bit more dar­ing with make up than in sum­mer – berry lips for ex­am­ple – or more play­ful with flow­ers. “What we try to show is that you don’t have to wear a lot of make up or have very in­tri­cate up­styles to look beau­ti­ful. Our whole ethos is to make you the best ver­sion of your­self.”

In this shoot, Daly and O’Car­roll cre­ate dif­fer­ent looks for dif­fer­ent dresses – hair more ca­sual, bouncy and youth­ful or more for­mal, scraped back and grown up with make up to match the mood.

Left: “You can be a lit­tle more dar­ing with flow­ers in win­ter,” says Leonard Daly of the Beauty Agency. Clock­wise from right: ivory lace silk- lined gown with scal­loped neck­line and pud­dle train; ivory silk gown with Swarovski en­crusted neck­line and deep V back de­tail and pud­dle train; fine lace ivory gown with beaded sheer up­per basque neck­line; Swarovski en­crusted 1930s style silk ge­or­gette gown; all gowns by Louise Kennedy

All gowns by Louise Kennedy; for ap­point­ments at 56 Mer­rion Square, Dublin 2, phone 01- 6620056 or on­line at louisekennedy. com. Rose gold sling- back shoes ¤ 47 at River Is­land, white Con­verse sneak­ers ¤ 49.99 at Of­fice. All jew­ellery stylist’s own. Styling: Cather­ine Con­dell; Hair and make up: The Beauty Agency ( the­beautya­gency. ie); Flow­ers: Mark Gre­han in the Gar­den Shop, Pow­er­scourt.

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