Your Big Day

Real wedding: An Irish designer's seriously stylish wedding day at the magnificent Marlfield House

Aleana O'Shea, chief designer and owner of occasionwear hire and bespoke bridal boutique Covet in Powerscourt Centre Dublin tied the knot with her long time love Niall Caffrey in a day filled with love, laughter - and a serious amount of style

Aleana O’Shea from Clontarf and Niall Caffrey from Loughshinny first met in Hogan’s Pub in Dublin while Aleana was out with her best pal Laura.

They quickly became inseparable, and Naill eventually popped the question in the garden of Aleana's parent's house in Riverchapel, Wexford - a place Aleana dubs 'the edge of Ireand' (on their wedding day the happy couple managed to return to the same spot where Niall proposed, and the photos are stunning!)

As owner and chief designer at Dublin occasionwear and designer wedding dress hire boutique Covet, based in Dublin's fashion haven Powerscourt Centre, you might think Aleana knew exactly what she wanted when it came to her wedding and bridesmaid's dresses - but you'd be mistaken!

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"Covet is my baby," explains Aleana, "I spend my days dressing bewildered brides looking for something a little different. [But] when it came to dressing myself I was so indecisive and no different to all my brides when they first came to me! I had every intention of making my own dress but I had several custom brides who I was designing for [at the time] and when it came down to me I was designing with everyone else in mind.

"My brides are so cool and edgy," she says, "and I’m not that cool!"

In 'true Covet fashion' however, Aleana eventually found what she needed, which she explains more about below (let's just say there were pockets!)

For the wedding itself, the couple were keen for the big day to be about friends and family - a 'chilled' celebration that allowed everyone to relax and have fun. "We wanted a small intimate wedding with our closest pals and family," says Aleana, "a ‘house party’ was pretty much the theme with good food, great music and even better company. We really didn’t get caught up in the small stuff so the planning was stress free, to be honest we knew it would all come together."

The couple exchanged vows on June 22nd in the Star of the Sea church in Riverchapel, presided over by Fr. Tom Dalton, before a reception in Marlfield House, Co. Wexford.

Their photos are by Louise Scott.

The Dresses

Given that Aleana is around designer wedding dresses all day every day, one would assume she'd have an idea of what to wear for her own wedding. Of course that wasn't the case at all, and after her mother and sister suggested they peruse one or two stores outside Cover, Aleana eventually found what she was looking for.

"To my surprise I actually needed more of traditional shape," Aleana says, "so my goal was to mix a traditional shape that was light and had texture and this little number from Jesus Peiro hit the nail on the head with this metallic gold silver brocade fabric. In true Covet style I scoured the 'net and found the dress brand new and then altered it in-house to fit my needs - adding pockets and pleats. Ironically enough my dress has had some rentals since my wedding and I just love to see it get other outings.

Aleana custom made her sister and sister in law's bridesmaids dresses for the day. They wore trapeze shape dresses in ivory silk wool. - "Only the best!" jokes Aleana. The groomsmen wore suits from Love Suits ("Joey and Daniel were so helpful") and it was Louis Copeland "for the groomzilla", Aleana adds.

The Venue

The couple exchanged vows in the Star of the Sea church in Riverchapel, Wexford, before they headed to the magnificent Marlfield House for their reception. "Marlfield House has been a place I have visited since I was a child close to my parent's holiday home so it just felt right [for the wedding]" says Aleana, "the interiors, good food and the beautiful gardens... When we arrived we had a Champagne reception - Niall’s office Murex kindly sent down a few bottles of Bolinger and it was a total treat. And anyone who didn’t fancy champers could have a gin and tonic served with Wexford strawberries - or a beer!"

The Stand-out Moments

For the couple the speeches were definitely a stand out moment of the day - "Everyone went to such effort preparing their speeches. They were just so special and thoughtful not to mention witty," Aleana recalls. Their First Dance was another special moment - it was Mumford and Sons' There Will Be Time - "such a good laugh" says the bride.

The Advice

"Enjoy the celebration with your guests and don’t sweat the small stuff. I honestly wouldn’t [change a thing]," says Aleana. "I feel like we were so jammy as it was with the weather everything - I would actually be afraid that if I changed one bit it wouldn’t be as good!"

The Honeymoon

Aleana and Niall went to Bali, Lombak and Dubai for their honeymoon which they describe as the 'trip of a lifetime'. "It was super chilled," says Aleana, "we both read five books each! Murder mysteries are our secret shared love!"