MY DIY WEDDING…
Over the last year I have had so many people asking me how I DIY’d my own wedding and generally when I answer, I never know where to start. After increased peer pressure I have agreed to share our DIY story with you all.
(Pictures are in the gallery below!)
A lot of you would have seen our actual wedding day pictures but what you didn’t see is how we got there and what it started like.
Eoin proposed to me in April 2013 but at least a year before he had proposed I had a little idea in my head. We were together 7 years and knew that we would get engaged at some point so I was allowed dream about our big day! Eoin has the most amazing family and in particular a super granny who is a well known legend at this stage. She’s 97 years old and has lived in Banagher all of her life. She lives in a house on the main street but behind the house is this magical area that I couldn’t ignore.
Our 1st Time in the Hall
There is a dance hall in her garden, which was built by her father and back in its time it was THE place to go for an oul dance and see the best show bands. Ev (Eoin’s granny) also got married there! The hall was in rack and ruin but still functional. In the yard there were out houses full of turf and general junk. The ground was covered in moss and overgrown weeds and to be fair, when you were walking through, you were pretty much taking your life in your own hands!
When you got down to the end of the yard and went through this little door, you were welcomed to the most unusual secret walled garden. WhenI first walked in, the grass was up to my hip and the apples had fallen off the apple trees. It was completely overgrown and not useable.
So the brain wave started to become a bit of a ‘good idea’ to myself and Eoin. We pitched the idea to the parents and of course they thought we had lost our minds. We then told some of the extended family and again, the look of horror on their faces was apparent! My parents couldn’t stop laughing. Finally after they realised we weren’t winding them up, they also began to see what it could be.
Straight away it was all hands on deck with strategy planning. There was in depth analysis on how to get the moss and crap out of the place along with best tactics to take down the amazon rain forest in the garden. By October we were starting our excavations! Now this was no easy task!
We went through 2 skips to get all of the waste out and then had to dig all of the ground up and replace with gravel. I keep re-reading that sentence as if it was easy. This was horrendous and we had a lot of help from friends and family. We had a slight little set back……The digger fell backwards in to a septic tank. There was about 10 of us standing around without a single clue on how to get the digger out. At one stage someone suggested getting the local priest down to say a bit of mass! Again, with amazing help from neighbours, the digger was pulled out and put back to work. Our friends came down and helped us lay down all of the new gravel and all of a sudden it was a new place. One might say…..functional!
While all of that work was going on, Eoin’s cousin David (green fingers) was chipping away at the amazon rainforest AKA the garden. He managed to bring all of the grass down to size and started laying out beds to take the bedding plants. It was probably the most amazing transformation of it all. With his work we were blessed with this indescribable garden that you would only find in a painting or movie.
On top of the exterior work that had to be done, the hall was in dire need of some help. We struck gold as the local boxing club were using the hall for practise and wanted to improve it as well as us. They repainted the whole thing, added in a proper bar and spruced up everything!
By the time the week of the wedding came around, we had everything we needed in place and then all we needed to do was dress it up!
Gorilla Design came down and draped the hall. We went for red and white to match our vintage circus theme. We added in uplighters and a lighty uppy dance floor. We laid out all of the tables, chairs and table settings. It was gruelling and in hindsight a lot to take on a few days before walking down the aisle!
Each of the outhouses had to be transformed. The first shed was a replica of the tailoring shop that Eoin’s granny used to have in her house. We found all of the original fixtures from the shop plus some bits and bobs in the attack. The second was a turf shed using the old style cuttings from the local bog. The final shed was a replica of Ev’s living room. She very kindly let us take out the sofa’s, coffee table, wireless and portraits of her parents. We created a living room just like your grannies which guests loved on the day. There was also a DIY candy station on the dresser.
As you walked around the yard, there was bunting everywhere. All of which i made myself on my mothers sewing machine. She had to give me a crash course in sewing! I made curtains to cover some of the windows. It was actually a lot easier than i thought it would be.
When we were clearing out the sheds, i found a load of old jam jars which you you pay a small fortune for today. I scrubbed them and turned them in to candle holders for the yard during the night. The jars were covered in lace and material matching the bunting.
There was so many little bits and bobs that we we made but i wont bore you with all of it!
Overall, if you were thinking about going down the DIY route, just be prepared to write off the few days before your wedding. It really is all hands on deck BUT it was so enjoyable. We both got to know each others families so much better and we realised that we have the best friends in the world. Every single one was so willing to help us and they did!
If you have any questions on any of the DIY side of things, send me and email.
Take a look through the evolution of Quigley’s Hall & Gardens below.
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