A Fairytale Match - Maria & Ray in Markree Castle

This Markree wedding was like a fairytale for the bride and groom.

From a first date in Dublin to the surprise proposal in Peru, Maria & Ray have had their fair share of magic moments over the years, and their wedding day was no exception.

The bride and groom beamed their way through their sunny June wedding at the magical Markree Castle in Sligo. With an ultra-relaxed vibe and a touch of elegance, it looked like everyone was enjoying the festivities to celebrate these two love birds tieing the knot. Fall in love with all the happy details captured by IG Studio Photography below…

The Beginning

We met the old fashioned way…on the internet. It was pre Tinder days so we met on Plenty Of Fish in the Summer of 2013. Ray was living in Kilkenny and I was in Dublin, we were messaging for six weeks before we finally met in Dublin. For our first date, we did a pub crawl and hit it off right away. At the end of the night we had a kiss and Ray said he would leave it up to me to organise the next meet up, so I asked him to meet me the next day. We sat all day on the grass in Stephen’s Green chatting and eating breakfast rolls. A few months later he moved up to Dublin and the rest is history.

The Proposal

We were in Peru trekking the Inca Trail on the last day of a 4 day trek. It was pissing rain, I was tired, sore and hadn’t showered in days. When we got to the Sun Gate, where you first see Machu Picchu at sunrise, we couldn’t see two feet in front of us with the fog. I was so disappointed and wrecked, I wanted to cry. We had trekked for 4 days for this?? We sat down on the ground, ate some chocolate and slowly the mist started to lift and we could see Machu Picchu. Ray asked our guide to take a photo of us, then he went down on one knee and opened a box with a beautiful token ring. Naturally, I bawled and thought maybe I had dreamt it, altitude can do that to you. Altitude also made my fingers swell up so the ring didn’t fit but it does now and I wear it all the time.

The Attire

I got my dress in Folkster, Kilkenny. It’s a Theia Couture ‘Nava’ dress by Don O’Neill. My veil cape was hand made by Anna O Alterations in Dublin and she did an amazing job! It was just what I wanted to compliment the dress and was so comfortable. My stunning shoes were Ted Baker, but not so comfortable and came off after the first dance. All the bridesmaids (and mini bridemaid) dresses were from Folkster also. The handsome gents got their suits from EJ’s menswear in Sligo

The Venue 

We had no idea what we wanted and thought about going abroad but when we saw Markree we just knew. You could travel the world and struggle to find a place as beautiful. The atmosphere, the décor, we felt like we were in a big, beautiful castle but also felt at home. My parish church is just 40 minutes away and we couldn’t believe that such a gem was so close by. When we viewed Markree it was the first time I had seen it since the renovations. We were stunned, it’s a fairytale venue and we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to have had our wedding there.

The Wow Factor

Where do I start? The food, the service, the dining room, the dungeon disco downstairs, the speeches on the beautiful staircase, there is so much to choose from! But I think when we saw the cosy little kitchen serving tea, coffee and tayto sandwiches all night next to the function room, we just thought ‘wow, this place has everything and more’. Also our baby, Mango the cat was able to come along for the day.

We got pretty crafty, Ray designed and printed all the invites, booklets and menus. I made our sweet stand and our photo booth myself. But the Tayto sandwich station was the absolute winner on the night.

The Photographer

I found IG Studio Photography on Instagram and fell in love with his work. Greg was an absolute dream to work with, he has a great eye for an amazing photo and caught so many gorgeous pictures when I didn’t even know he was there. He was quick and efficient but still managed to capture the day perfectly. He’s an absolute pro and I still get teary every time I look at the photos, it’s a cliché thing that people say to you all the time before the wedding but it really is the best day of your lives.

The Special Moment

I sing in a 6 piece vocal ensemble named ‘Alchemy’ and was lucky enough to have all of them there and perform at the wedding ceremony and the reception drinks. They were absolutely amazing and the guests loved the entertainment. I got to sing one of my favourites ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ from A Star Is Born and had most of the room in tears, that was a very special moment for me.

The Last Word

Can I do it all again?


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