One Year Later: Carmel & Philip’s Darver Castle wedding

Carmel and Philip were married on 17th April 2017, during a ceremony at Church of the Immaculate Conception Tullysaran, before hosting their reception at Darver Castle, Ardee. One year since they said their “I dos”, I caught up with Carmel who shares the vision they had in mind for their stunning Darver Castle wedding day.

Carmel, how did you both meet?

We first met when we were 16 at a teenage disco at the Met Arena Club in Armagh. Philip was my first kiss, but we parted ways after that night and lost touch until we met again in November 2013 when we started to chat online. The rest is history, as they say.

Tell us about married life.

Honestly, married life is much the same as it was before only for me my surname has changed. That is still taking a bit of getting used to and I’m still trying to get my name changed in places. The paperwork is definitely the least fun thing about getting married.

What is your favourite memory of your wedding day?

I haven’t any one favourite memory as it was just the most amazing day from start to finish. It really was a dream come true, even if that does sound cheesy. If I had to choose just one moment, it would be my maid of honour’s speech as I wasn’t expecting it at all.

What 3 words would you use to describe your wedding?

Perfect, awesome, relaxed.

What was the overall vibe for your day?

A focus on happiness, love and family. I never stopped smiling all day.

Tell us about the search for your dream dress

My search for my dream dress started out just after we got engaged, mainly so I could get an idea of how much I needed to save. So off we went to a local bridal store where I tried on a number of dresses. In my head I thought I had found ‘the’ dress and style for me but decided to wait another year as it would mean the shops would have the new dresses for 2017 weddings.

In January 2016 I went back to the first dress shop during their new release weekend and the girl only gave me 3 dresses to choose from, which I had tried on the previous year. At this, I decided to leave the shop feeling deflated and unsure if I was going to find my dream dress.

The following week I then went to Perfect Day in Lurgan. From the second I entered that shop I was made to feel like I was the only girl to ever get married. The girls in the shop couldn’t do enough for me. They had me try on every shape, colour and style of dress possible. And then it happened… The last dress I tried on had everyone in tears and I knew that was the dress for me.

Darver Castle wedding

And the bridesmaid dresses?

I found choosing bridesmaid dresses way harder than choosing my own, mainly as my three bridesmaids were so different in body shape and personality and finding a dress to suit everyone was a bit of a task. But the girls in Perfect Day made it so easy. They had the girls try on every style of dress and advised what they thought would be best. When we decided on the style, we ordered the dress in three different colours.

Where did you honeymoon?

For our honeymoon we went to a five star spa resort in Lanzarote as we just wanted somewhere to chill out for a week after the craziness of wedding planning.

Darver Castle wedding

What 5 tips would you offer anyone currently planning their wedding?

  1. When you set your date, book as much as you can straight away. This helps you secure that year’s prices and it gives you a better idea of your budget and what you need to save.
  2. Remember, this is not your mum’s or dad’s day. It’s your day and so you should do exactly what you want.
  3. If you want to add your own touch to the hotel/reception, hire someone. It’s less stressful and in the long run it works out less expensive.
  4. Pay someone to make your invites. Or, if you do decide to do it yourself, make sure you have stocked up on plenty of wine or gin and give yourself enough time to make them.
  5. Aim to have everything completed two weeks before the wedding so that you can chill out and enjoy the run up to the wedding, time with your visitors etc.
  6. Have your cake person deliver the cake to the reception. Don’t leave it to your better half because your cake might not arrive in one piece!

Darver Castle wedding

What do you love the most about your wedding album?

The thing I love the most about our wedding album is that our wedding day story has been told to perfection from the start of the album to the end. It includes all the most important people in our life and our most precious memories. We honestly can’t thank Donal and Tom enough for doing such an amazing job.



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