Our couple today, MaryJo and Max, are originally from Ireland and France. A truly cosmopolitan couple, they met in Belgium and planned their wedding in Ireland from Germany and France. They were delighted they chose Ballymagarvey Village as their venue for its charm and homeliness, and their beautiful celebration there was captured so well by Grace Photography. MaryJo has some really excellent advice for those planning a wedding, so be sure to check out their story below, and don’t miss their touching video by the ever-amazing Story of Eve!

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“I am Irish (from Newry, Co. Down) and Max is from Marseille, although he had left France many years ago.  After moving to Dublin he fell in love with the Irish culture and people… and finally me! We actually met in Liege in Belgium whilst working together: I had travelled from Belfast and Max from Dublin. On returning to Ireland after our time in Belgium we began our courtship, travelling to see each other in Dublin and Belfast on our days off.  The year after we met I transferred to Dublin and we set up our first home together in Dundrum.

In November 2010 we moved abroad to work in Germany; then in late 2013 moved to France so we ended up planning our wedding from there.  We came home to Ireland for our big day in August 2014, honeymooned in Saint Lucia afterwards, and have since remained in Ireland where we are enjoying our first months as a married couple.


We fell in love with Ballymagarvey Village for its homeliness and vintage charm. We had guests coming from France and other countries and wanted to make sure they all felt a really warm welcome. For us the location was perfect as well with close proximity to Dublin airport.  We loved how tranquil and calm Ballymagarvey was in comparison to a large hotel setting.  I cried when I first visited as it was just so perfect! I still am shocked by how few people are aware of Ballymagarvey, but I love how it’s like a hidden gem that I found.


A definite challenge we faced was planning the wedding from abroad- it wasn’t easy to meet with the different vendors. We had to spend any time at home in Ireland being quite productive and meeting up with people.  We were lucky to have the assistance of my parents there who were able to finalise lots of details for us.


We did all the planning ourselves without the help of a planner, however the service at Ballymagarvey means that once you choose your package a lot of the decisions are made.  Our contact at Ballymagarvey was Niamh Cassidy and she was very helpful- they offer as little or as much support as you require.  We would say to other brides and grooms: be true to yourselves as a couple and discuss what you both want, then make sure that it’s in line with your agreed budget.  We both have no regrets and are over the moon with how our day turned out.


All along we had a joint vision of our day, we are both romantics who spend a lot of our time together travelling.  We wanted a vintage-inspired, relaxed but quite traditional wedding. Max definitely did not want the standard three piece black or navy suit, as at the time he was wearing a suit every day to his work.


The best decision we made was choosing Ballymagarvey- we believe for what we got: the ambiance, setting, tranquility, main house, courtyard, separate dining room, private accommodation and first class service, it was well worth the price tag.

We were also delighted we chose to have a videographer. This probably is the only day in your lives when you will both have all of the people who mean the most to you in the one room for such a happy occasion and to have someone there to capture it for you and be able to watch it again is great.  It’s not really realistic or desirable for you or others to sit and watch ten hours of unedited footage from your wedding day.  Using a cinematographer to create a film is a lovely way to show others the highlights in the creative way.  The joy we have watching back our wedding video is unbelievable.  We have our wedding preview and video and are still showing our guests to this day when we meet up.  Make sure to invest in a good videographer, and Story of Eve were amazing!


There are two most memorable moments: the overwhelming feeling as I entered the chapel for the wedding ceremony, and the joyous moment as we entered the banqueting hall and were introduced as the new Mr and Mrs to all of our friends and family.


On the morning of the wedding I was pretty calm and collected, however there was a rush towards the end where I wasn’t able to get some pictures I wanted as the finishing touches on the hair weren’t complete and we had to leave for the chapel. Moral of the story- make sure you allow enough time for the morning preparations, otherwise there can be a little bit of stress!

We would also advice couples to choose a band that reflects themselves- we didn’t want the usual gimmicky wedding band and after many internet searches we met up with Aisling Connolly and ‘All Talk’ and decided they were the band for us. We were not disappointed.

On reflection we both felt that we missed some quality time in the afternoon with our guests at our drinks reception as we had gone for our couple shots with Grace our photographer.  We had such an enjoyable time away that we sort of lost track of time.  I think it is a good idea to have a set time agreed for the couple shots and have someone who is nearby to remind you of the time so you can enjoy all of the parts of your day with all of your guests.

Even though lots of people said it to us before our wedding, we still didn’t realise just how quickly the day really does go by, so make sure you enjoy every little detail- all of the preparations and parts that you spend so much time planning.  This is probably the only day in your lives when you will both have all the people who mean the most to you in one room for such a happy occasion: enjoy it, embrace it and get a videographer- make sure someone is there to capture it for you!”

Photographer: Grace Photography | Videography: Story of Eve | Venue: Ballymagarvey | Wedding Celebrant: Fr Richard Naughton | Flowers: Freda’s Florist | Cake: Fay’s Fancys | Stationery: Angel & Anchor | Bride’s Dress: “Yolan Cris Couture” from The White Gallery | Groom’s Suit: Vintage Ralph Lauren | Bridesmaids: Maids to Measure | Groomsmen: Louis Boyd Dress Hire | Bride’s Shoe: “Ginger” by Rachel Simpson | Wedding Rings: Bennetts Jewellers | Bride’s Earrings: Jack Murphy Jewellers | Car Hire: Vintage Wedding Cars | Hair Stylist: Valerie Patterson of Cowboys & Angels | Makeup: Amy from Make Up For Ever | Sweet Cart: Sweet Memories

3 Responses

  1. Story of Eve

    Soooo good seeing MaryJo and Max’s wedding featured! I enjoyed filming every moment of their wedding and hanging out with them – they are literally the coolest, most relaxed couple you’ll meet. Loved working alongside Grace and Adam of Grace Photography, who captured these moments beautifully. Great work guys.


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