When Ciara McGreer headed out to find her perfect wedding dress – she not only opted for a designer she hadn’t thought of before – but also had a second dress made to surprise her husband Robbie!
The couple met in 2013, as Tinder started to become a ‘thing’, but they only managed to go on one date – with each other. And the happy couple tied the knot in May 2018.
“We actually met on Tinder in 2013 when it first came out and we decided to see what the fuss was about. I think it was fate, we never looked back.” While building their dream home, Robbie waited for an opportune moment to pop the question, with only the weather holding him back! “The proposal was on 1st June, 2016 in the shell of our first home together whilst it was being built; Robbie had planned a few attempts but, as the house didn’t have a roof, was rained off a few times! “On the night of the proposal he asked me to meet him at the house to measure things. I was totally surprised to find a candle lit floor in our, now living room, with a story book of photos documenting our time together.
“He appeared from behind a wall and got down on one knee. The ring was a classic solitaire from Murray & Co – exactly what I wanted – my perhaps not so subtle hints clearly worked!”
The hunt was then on for that elusive dress.
“I chose my dress at my first bridal appointment. I had booked to attend a trunk show in Forever Bridal, Belfast and tried on a few dresses from the designer but they weren’t quite right. Judging by my reaction to these dresses, Leondra picked out a dress from a different designer for me to try at the end of my appointment. “As soon as I tried it on, I knew It was the one. It was a dress by Riki Dalal; an ivory, mermaid style gown. Its fitted top had a soft lace finish and a plunging neckline with subtle sequins so that it sparkled in the light. The soft tulle skirt fell beautifully and the illusion back with the lace applique was my favourite part of the dress. “I finished the look with a simple two tier chapel length veil which fell softly into the tulle skirt of the dress.” But not content with one stunning, jaw-dropping look, Ciara went to see Belfast designer Una Rodden for an evening gown that Robbie had no idea about.
“I had a second dress, designed and made by Una Rodden for the evening reception. I had seen dresses made by Una before and I just loved the idea of a simple silk backless gown akin to THAT yellow dress on Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10days. I always pictured myself in a very simplistic wedding dress but my Riki Dalal gown was a lot more detailed. I loved being able to wear both looks.” And for Robbie, it was a highlight of the day.
“Seeing Ciara in dress number two, was a total surprise and she looked incredible.”
The second dress also extenuated Ciara’s simple and elegant feel which was also reflected in her classic choice of wedding flowers – white peonies with green and white accents. However, for her bridesmaids she decided to again place her trust in Una Rodden, and the result was a pale lilac trio of dresses which draped and fell beautifully on her three bridesmaids – resulting in a quirky but impactful look. “I wanted my bridesmaids’ dresses to be simple and elegant with that little something edgy. I went to see Una Rodden and she totally nailed it! I had a vague idea that I wanted dresses with a V-back and perhaps some asymmetry. “Una is incredible at what she does, I honestly cannot praise her enough. She produced something that ticked all my boxes (even when I didn’t have a clear idea of what these boxes were) and more. She just gets it!”
The couple also can’t praise Cabra Castle enough.
“We loved every trip to Cabra Castle througjout our planning – we love it even more each time we go. The staff are fabulous and so welcoming, plus we love to see the resident dogs!” But before their reception there Mr and Mrs McGreer were married at ? Saint Mary’s Chapel, Magheral. (near Rathfriland Co. Down).
Following the service, they had the Fancy Fox at the chapel “who provided great tea, coffees and hot chocolate for the guests. To accompany this, a close family friend kindly made us shortbread and flakemeal biscuits. (along with cupcakes and traybakes for the reception).”
Stopping off at Corbett Lough for photographs produced some stunning images – and it allowed the couple’s cockapoo, Ruby, to joined them in the wedding car for the short journey before she had to depart. That said, Ciara notes, “Time is so precious on the day. Looking back, I don’t know if we would stop for a picture at Corbett Lough as there are more than enough beautiful opportunities for shots at Cabra Castle.”
She also reflects with some poignant advice.
“To try not to stress over little details. My mother was unwell and admitted to hospital the week prior to the wedding. I was very lucky to have her present at the wedding – I know that other people are not so lucky. It really put everything into perspective! “Also, don’t second guess your decisions – go with your instinct and everything will be perfect.
“My highlight was having everyone I love in one room, all there with well wishes for us! At one point during the meal I took a minute to appreciate this and felt so lucky.”
At the time of talking to Getting Married In Northern Ireland the pair had only been married for three weeks – “We’ve been married for 3 weeks now – two of which we spent in paradise – so it’s been pretty great so far! We went to Bali for our honeymoon – staying in three different areas – Nusa Dua, Ubud and Seminyak.
“The best thing we did when we were there was trek Mount Batur, an extinct volcano, for sunrise. We were picked up from our hotel at 2.30am, started the climb around 4am and reached the peak for 5.30am to watch the incredible sunrise.”
What a way to start married life!
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Reception location: Cabra Castle
Wedding dress: Forever Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses: Una Rodden Couture
Groomswear: Focus Menswear
Make-up: Fiona Murphy Makeup
Hair: Gifted Hair
Flowers: David McConkey
Room décor by: SBD Events
Rings: Murray & Co
Cake: Cupcakes by K
Stationery: Ebony Letterpress
Transport: Groom Formal Hire
Photography: Sam McDermott Wedding Photographer
Videography: NUVU Photography
Entertainment: The Nooks
Tea and Coffee reception at church: The Fancy Fox
Headpiece: Lori Muldoon Millinery
Mother of Bride: Una Rodden Couture