Jenine Married Shaun in Waterford Castle.

Jenine Married Shaun in Waterford Castle.

Our story started not too long ago, on a normal South African winter’s evening, not knowing that our lives would change forever after the 9th of August 2013. We had our very first glance at each other that night, sneaking shy glances and smiles at each other. Now, I am not a person believing in love at first sight and it is not something I ever promoted, but suddenly I cannot think of any other explanation for that feeling. We did not meet or speak at all that first night but only exchanged numbers via a mutual friend. Our first formal date and encounter took place the following day.  With a more relaxed atmosphere, we took time just getting to know each other and trying to understand how much our lives had changed in that moment but embracing every single detail.

We got engaged a few months later. Shaun used our first date as inspiration and re-enacted the events of our first date.  As the night ended, just as the one on the 10th of August, he asked me to be his wife.

During our engagement, we had the exciting task of starting to plan our dream wedding. After much consideration, we decided to “elope”. Our choices ranged a bit but our main purpose was to find a castle setting, as I love the vintage feeling that it creates and Shaun always wanted to get married in a castle. Our search took us to a few places, from Scotland to Ireland and we travelled through the internet exploring each option in detail. We then came across a castle set on its own island. Waterford Castle. Without taking too much time to think for too long, we knew this was exactly what we wanted and we set off to start planning our special day via email more than 10,000km away.

Mirka was the amazing lady keeping us at ease and helping us plan our wedding. We also had help from a few lovely suppliers from Ireland like Fiona Fitzgerald whom helped with my hair, Una McSweeney who was our lovely Harpist for that day and Sherise Reed who helped with my make-up. Our Celebrant for our wedding was Romy McAuley.

We also decided to bring a few elements from South Africa, such as my bouquet. The centre of my bouquet was a wooden “protea” (South Africa’s national flower) surrounded by handmade material flowers. My wedding dress was made by a South African designer Joss Bridal wear and I decided on the lace sleeves and detail. Due to my love of “vintage”, Joss was also the lady assisting me with my headpiece and hand bracelet. My wedding ring was designed by Marion Rehwinkel Jewelry in South Africa and consists of a pearl surrounded by small diamonds in a rose gold setting. Extra detail items, like the brooches, were made by Bakgat ontwerp. Shaun remained with his roots and as his grandfather is from Scotland he decided to get married in an antique McEwan tartan kilt made by Rob Roy also situated in South Africa. His ring was locally made by “Chateau D’Or” and consists of yellow and white gold in a Celtic knot design. As a picture speaks a thousand words and live forever, we flew our photographer in from South Africa – RDK Photography.

The wedding itself was set in Waterford Castle and we incorporated both the exchange of wedding bands and the traditional hand binding ritual that is used in South Africa. Waterford set us a lovely table afterwards in a romantic set room and served us with the most exquisite food. Our photos were taken in and around Waterford castle and in Waterford city.

We loved everything about this wonderful country and city but most of all, all the people around us going out of their way to make our day more special than we could ever have imagined. My heart harks back to this wonderful place, which most people who are reading this call home. We will most certainly be visiting Ireland again soon.

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