Your Big Day

'Guests kept clapping to disguise the hammering!' - Irish tipi tent wedding weathers the storm

Anna’s best friend is married to Matt’s brother, which meant the pair met many times over the years at different social gatherings.

That same friend invited her to Portnoo in Donegal to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2012 and Matt was there too.

“I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight but we were definitely always interested in each other and started our relationship from then.”

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Matt lived in Dublin and Anna was living in Spain at the time so their first date was in Barcelona.

Matt proposed after two years together.

The couple tied the knot in March last year in Portnoo, and had their reception in a tipi at the peak of Storm Katie. Guests clapped to drown out the sound while Ed from Magnakata hammered down the material.

Their photos were by Paul of Moat Hill Photography.

The Day

"It was pouring rain until five minutes before the ceremony and then sun broke through." recalls Anna. "The rain stayed off for our photos and most of the drinks reception. Storm Katie hit during the speeches which wasn’t ideal in a tipi wedding but it made for some great atmosphere and stories."

The Dress

Anna tried on five dresses before finding 'the one' - an Amanda Wakeley gown with a stunning statement embllishment on the neckline. "I knew it  was the one as soon as I put it on," she says. "Mum and I cancelled all the other dress appointments we had that day and went for lunch instead!"

The Details

The couple used a illustration of Portnoo Harbour drawn by a friend of theirs on their stationery and on coffee cups. The invites, orders of service, table plans, place names and wooden signs were made by Matt, Anna and Anna's mother.

The Venue

"We chose to get married in Portnoo as it holds a lot of fond memories for us," said the bride. "I was also keen for my Scottish family and friends to see Portnoo as it is such a beautiful place and very special to us.

"We chose Carnaween House because we have always loved staying there, the food is amazing and the views are absolutely gorgeous. At the peak of Storm Katie, the wind was howling and Ed from Magnakata Tipis did a fantastic job of hammering in the pegs to stop the material flapping. Lots of the guests kept clapping to disguise the hammering sound – or used the sound as a drinking game!"

The Photographer

As photos were very important to the couple, they actually secured Paul at Moat Hill Photographer even before deciding on a venie. "He was absolutely amazing and we are so happy with the photos!"

The Stand-out Moment

For the bride it was getting ready in the morning with her mum and bridesmaids. And the groom "Matt is always happy when he’s in the sea and so enjoyed his morning swim and whiskey with his best men and groomsmen." Anna also added that they both loved the ceremony.

The Stress

Like many DIY couples, some projects left til the last minute did cause a little concern on the run up to the big day. "We left too many of the finer details until the last minute so the last few days before the wedding weren’t as relaxed as we would have liked."

The First Dance

The couple's first dance was to Crazy Love by Van Morrison.

The Honeymoon

For their honeymoon, Matt and Anna enjoyed a week in Rome at Residenza Torre Colonna.

The Vendors

Photographer Moat Hill Photography | Dress shop Rachel Scott Couture, Edinburgh rachelscottcouture.co.uk Bridesmaids' dresses: Coast| Flower girl dresses: Monsoon | Grooms wear: Magee | Venue: Carnaween House, Portnoo, Co Donegal; T: 074 954 5122| Flowers: Love Blooms

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