Guide to Getting Married in France: The Basics

Getting Married in France - an Irish Girl's Guide!

Isn’t it crazy how time flies? So we got married in France, it will be two years ago on July 11th – which is mad! It was a little stressful but totally worth it in the end, so I thought I would share out pictures, the details of our suppliers and hopefully it might help someone currently planning a wedding abroad!

I’m writing a series on all of the elements of the wedding, from decor, to food and drink, clothing etc, but this is post will have all the basics of what you need to know.

Why France? We got engaged in Versailles and as part of that trip to France spent some time in La Rochelle and Bordeaux, and thought let’s just get married here!

How long did it take to plan? We got married a year and a week after Macken proposed which was a good time line.

Where in France? We were married in at Abbaye Saint-Étienne de Baignes, an 11th century abbey about ten minutes from our reception venue, Chateau de Puyrigaud, located about 20 minutes outside the spa village of Jonzac, 20 minutes from Cognac and an hour from La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Angouleme.  This region is part of Poitou-Charentes or Nouvelle  Aquitaine.


Is it legal? Only French residents, counted as one of the couple having lived in France for at least 40 days, can legally tie the knot in France. We took ourselves off to the registry office a few days before we flew out to get it done legit (bonus – we have two anniversaries!).

Is it religious? We are both Catholic and wanted a Catholic wedding, so we were able to receive the Sacrament of Marriage and essentially be married in the eyes of the Church in France. This was trickier to organise than we thought, so start your preparations as early as possible on this front. Our local parish priest helped us organise the paperwork and a long-time friend who had just become ordained married us which definitely helped in the process.

Didn’t you need a wedding planner? I reeled against this one for two long on the misguided basis that we both speak a little French. However wedding suppliers in rural France are a little more relaxed than an office worker from Dublin so I found the delays in responses and lack of detail a little frustrating. Eventually we got ourselves a wedding planner, and it was absolutely the best decision, one we should have made earlier and wholly worth the expense.  Magali was amazing (and she is also a humanist celebrant!)

Please comment below if you have any questions, I will try to help!

Planning a wedding in France: Wedding centrepieces wooden rounds green and white age of bride and groom

Getting married in France: The Décor

Decor guide for a destination wedding and getting married in FranceAs we were travelling from Ireland to France just a few days before the wedding, we were slightly limited by our décor options, so I had to fly with the décor or get it in rural France. Luckily some guests drove and got the ferry and could bring a small number of items for us!

Our theme was Bohemian Black tie, with a lot of inspiration from the 1920s, natural florals and botanics.

Table Centrepieces:

For our table numbers, I went hunting for pictures of Macken and I at a certain age, so for table one we were babies, table seven we were making our First Holy Communion and for the unlucky guests at table 12, those awful Confirmation and pre-teen pictures.

I would advise taking a few months to do this so you can ask both families for some good pictures. I just scanned them into a Word document and printed onto white card from Dealz. My dad is a forester and provided the wooden round bases, it was lovely to have a little bit of home with us in France! If your dad doesn’t have a forest you can pick up similar centrepieces on Amazon.

For the flowers I asked the florist to keep it really simple – and we also spread some confetti petals on the table. One of my friends brought the date block and we just popped it on the tables on the day.

Instead of a traditional table plan, I got these teeny little envelopes from Etsy, printed with text from a Midsummer’s Night Dream. Outside I wrote everyone’s name and inside – viola, was their table number. They were all hung on ribbon on the bush outside the reception venue.

For each place setting, my stepmom collecting and dried (in a labour of love over a number of months!) over 100 beech tree leaves and sprayed them gold. I attempted calligraphy for each guest’s name!

For our wedding menu, I designed a simple menu and printed on white card from Dealz. You can buy the template for cheap here on Etsy! I popped a few on each table.


Tears of joy: It was about 27C on our wedding day – and with a black tie dress code I’m sure our guests used these hankies to dab off excess sweat more than to wipe tears of joy. Anyway, my amazing bridesmaid Lisa wrapped over a hundred linen napkins I ordered from China with kraft tags, purple ribbons and our initials.

Ring bearer: My sister-in-law literally found this box in the Chateau we were staying in – it was something I totally overlooked and forgot! How about this for an arty pic!

Simple signage: In hindsight, I think most people are pretty good at finding the bathroom, dancefloor, etc. They do it on any night out or other occasion, so these wedding signs I could have done without. I got them from Amazon and they didn’t break the bank so that’s ok. Talking Tables Blossom & Brogues Wedding Venue Signs for a Wedding Reception, Multicolor (6 Pack)

Credits: Pictures by Kieran Harnett Photography

A Stylish Afternoon Tea Update: Shopping Village and Prizes announced

Eep, I can’t believe it’s just one week until A Stylish Afternoon takes place! When I first started planning the event in February it seemed so far into the distant future. I’m delighted that it is shaping up to be a great day, and today we’re announcing the details of our shopping village and the prizes that will be available on the day.

Remember if you’re interested in coming along, tickets are only on sale until Tuesday 9th May, and unfortunately won’t be available on the door!

A Stylish Afternoon Tea Shopping Village

Guests attending the event, and  members of the public (entry to the shopping village doesn’t require a ticket :))

A Stylish Afternoon Tea: Hummingbird Boutique

Hummingbird Boutique ProfileTwo weeks and counting until A Stylish Afternoon tea in the Newgrange Hotel on May 14th! Let’s take a look at another of our fabulous boutiques, Hummingbird Boutique on Trimgate Street in Navan.

Hummingbird was set up in 2012 by Annemarie Greene , with a love for fashion and an opportunity she couldn’t refuse! The store caters for the style-conscious lady, stocking both occasion wear and smart casual weekend and workwear.

“We stock renowned labels such as Inwear Part Two Marie Mero, Divas Es,Caroline Kilkenny, Daisy May, ilse Jacobsen raincoats  and up and coming newer labels such as Italian label Silvian Heach and Pieszak jeans. Getting to know its customers tastes and style and providing super personal service is what makes Hummingbird Boutique special,” said Annemarie.

Annemarie will showcase a number of looks from Hummingbird Boutique at A Stylish Afternoon Tea. Tickets are available in store and online from Eventbrite (please note tickets will not be available on the door).

28  Trimgate Street, Navan, Co. Meath


A Stylish Afternoon Tea: Expert Profile Mise

A Stylish Afternoon Tea: Mise Beauty Navan store

MISE – Irish for me, is an Irish owned and staffed salon and retail centre. Purely by accident, all the therapists have very Irish names.

With just over two weeks to go until A Stylish Afternoon Tea, we are continuing our series taking a look at the boutiques and experts who will be showcasing their amazing local talents on the day. Today we are taking a look at beauty emporium Mise, based on Trimgate Street in Navan. Skincare pro Aoife Kellett will be treating guests to the latest industry information and tips on how to keep our skin in tip top condition, and make up oracle John Paul will be demonstrating flattering looks that we can all manage.

Grainne (the baby and wisest of the girls – renowned for her brow skills), John Paul (make up artist extraordinaire who is making women beautiful since he was 16!) and Aoife (manager – who is obsessed with nails and skin)in our Navan store and then Ciara (the lash wizard, we swear she does magic not just mink).

Another Aoife (well known for her makeup and skin care) and Aoibhin ( the embrowdery specialist who does the most wonderfully perfect brows seen) it’s a skin and make up junkies haven of loveliness! If we don’t have it its not worth having!

Brands stocked: The Ordinary, Ren, Caudalie, Dr. Dennis Gross, Embroylisse, Kevyn Aucoin, Ilia, Hot Make-up, Bellamianta, Trilogy, Collen Rothchild, Margaret Dabbs, HolikaHolika, Pestle And Mortar, Recipe.

For Men, Waxperts, Proraso, Bioessence, Teen Skin, Resurface, NIOD, Oskia, Laidbare, Suti, Escentric Molecules, Juliette Has A Gun, Bella Freud, Trussardi, Beauty Blender, The Balm, Kardashian, Davines, Rahua, Mamio, Love Boo, James Read, Cocoa Brown, Tan Eraser, Real Techniques, amazing cosmethics,Colab, Violet Voss.

Address: 13 Trimgate St Navan And 75 Park St, Dundalk

Phone: 046-9051820

Website / Facebook:

Owner: Treasa Ni Conmidhe. Treasa is self confessed skincare junkie who loves researching the newest and best skin care about to hit the market! When you see her skin it’s evidence that good skin care and treatments work!

When opened: 2008 in Dundalk, 2015 Navan

A Stylish Afternoon Tea Boutique Profile: MK Bridal

A Stylish Afternoon Tea: Mairead Kennedy MK Bridal Boutique Profile Navan CO Meath

The latest addition to the Navan fashion scene and set to be a long-term feature in the town, is MK Bridal, opened last month by Mairead Kennedy. The bridal boutique stocks the latest bridal labels from the classic Enzoani to Blush by Hayley Paige; Paloma Blanca, Sweetheart; Lou Lou, Sorella Vita and St Patrick White One.
“MK Bridal is a unique boutique which offers the ultimate bridal experience to each one of our beautiful brides that enter our store. Greeted with a glass prosecco, we have created a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for you to enjoy and pick your dream dress,” said Mairead.
Mairead Kennedy has been in the retail industry now for eleven years as part of a very successful family business. Having sold one business last year, Mairead felt it was now time to embark on her own business journey. Mairead saw an opening in the market and decided that Navan and indeed the country needed a bridal boutique with a difference.
Situated in the former ACC Bank Offices on Railway Street, this boutique exudes class and style from the dresses to the interior. MK Bridal is a must-visit for any bride to be looking for the ultimate bridal experience.
MK Bridal will be showcasing a number of looks at A Stylish Afternoon Tea on Sunday May 14th 2017 in the Newgrange Hotel. Tickets cost €50 and are available in store or at
MK Bridal
Address: 32-33 Railway Street, Navan, Co Meath
snapchat: mkbridal1
instagram: mkbridal
Pinterest: MK Bridal

A Stylish Afternoon Tea Boutique profile: Geoghegans, Navan, Meath

With just over a month to go before A Stylish Afternoon Tea, the fabulous style summit taking place in Navan on May 14th, we’re taking a look at some of the market town’s leading suppliers.
First up is Geoghegan’s, the style stalwart. This family-owned and run department store has been the heart of Navan’s shopping district since opening in 1959, constantly innovating its offering to customers across Meath and Leinster.
Geoghegans Boutique Profile
logoGeoghegans is a family owned business run by Larry, Siobhan and Derbhil Geoghegan. “Our customer is fashion aware but conscience of quality. She is always searching for something a little different from the high street brands and a few unique pieces to complement their own wardrobe from smart casual to occasion,” said Siobhan Geoghegan.
“Geoghegans prides itself on providing a unique experience to our customers. Geoghegans has built a reputation on creating an environment where shoppers can relax and browse. With over 10000 square feet Geoghegans prides itself on being a one-stop shop,” Siobhan continued.
“We have a beautiful lingerie department with an array of shapewear and lingerie to compliment every outfit. Stocking brands such as Wacoal, Fantasie, Chantelle, Charnos, Triumph to name a few. With professional fitter available to aid your choice.”
Geoghegans has a large Salsa jean bar with a wide selection of skinny, slim and bootcut jeans. Not to mention the addition of some new eye popping colours this season in blue, grey and white.
The store carries the very latest in ladies fashion and menswear; a beautiful lingerie department and an extensive interiors department.
Labels stocked: White Stuff, Masai, Salsa, Sandwich, Oui, Betty Barclay, Seasalt, Basler, Badoo, Derhy and many more
Geoghegans  will be showcasing a number of looks at A Stylish Afternoon Tea on Sunday May 14th 2017 in the Newgrange Hotel. Tickets are available until May 8th, cost €50 and are available in store or at
23 Trimgate Street, Navan, Co. Meath
046 90 21722

Five Things To Do In Dublin On St Valentine’s Day

14-02-2017St Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Tuesday, much to the chagrin of restaurants and bars around the capital. It’s hard to really relish every drop of that expensive Pomerol with an early conference call lurking in the back of your mind. Unless you relocate your celebrations to the weekend, here are some romantic ways to celebrate the occasion.


  1. Do: Tuesday is named after Týr, the Norse god of war and law and the equivalent of the firey Roman god of war, Mars, so capture some of that energy and climb the roof of Croke Park with the Etihad Skyline’s Dusk Valentine’s Day tour. From €25 per person.
  2.  Watch: Let life imitate art and spend the evening at the Abbey’s production of ‘Arlington’, a strange and tender love story set in the midst of a bleak and terrifying world, by Enda Walsh. Buy your tickets here.
  3. Drink: If you must drown your sorrows, do it in style with bottomless bubbles in Beeftro (Balfe Street and Dundrum) for €15 per person (main course must be purchased).
  4. Eat: Keep it simple with a neighbourhood Early Bird and a drink in your local; avoid the hangover AND keep some of that mojo for a big date night. Chances are your local bistro is encouraging diners with some special deals. For example the Intercontinental Hotel has a special four course menu from €65 per person.
  5. Netflix and Chill. It’s a Tuesday night after all, so no need to feel guilty about enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Although you didn’t need me to tell you that! Fancy a takeaway? Here’s €5 off your first Deliveroo:

First Dollar Ever Minted Is Coming to the RDS!

The Dublin Mint Office, just announced The Flowing Hair Coin; the first dollar ever minted in the United States, will arrive in Dublin amongst heavy security to go on show to the public in the RDS, Dublin next weekend.

The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is believed to be the first dollar coin ever to be struck by the US mint, and is the most expensive coin in the world, after it sold for over $10m at auction in 2013 to a private buyer; American businessman Bruce Morelan. The coin, which is believed to have been inspected and approved by George Washington, is one of the most highly regarded coins in the coin-collecting world.

It will be accompanied by an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed in Boston in July 1776 which is worth approximately $4million.


 Pictured at the RDS for the launch of the coin were Clara McCormack aged 8 from Ballsbridge, Jessie Miller 8, from Rathmines and Amelia Rose Burke 8, from Grand Canal Street. Picture Colm Mahady / Fennells 

Exhibition Details:
Venue: Royal Dublin Showgrounds, Dublin
Dates: Saturday, 11th March 10am-5pm
Sunday, 12th March 10am-5pm
Admission: Free

This is the first time the coin has been exhibited in Europe, and is part of a European tour that takes in seven countries. The tour has been arranged by the Samlerhuset Group, parent company of the Dublin Mint Office.

Mr Morelan has stated that he would be open to selling the coin, subject to reasonable offers. At the current value price of $10m, those interested in purchasing the coin could also consider the following purchases:

What $10million dollars can buy you….

  • 3,636,363 – Grande Starbucks Coffees
  • 1,544 Classic Shoulder Chanel Handbags
  • 2,666 Vintage Rolex Watches
  • 909 trips on the Orient Express
  • 100 seconds of Superbowl Advertising
  • 43 Ferrari 485s
  • Fly 40 people into space on the commercial space travel liner ‘Virgin Galactic’. A seat costs €250,000.
  • 8 Harry Winston Holly Wreath Necklaces
  • No 1 Sorrento Terrace Dalkey (sold for €10.5 in 2013)
  • 1 Flowing Hair Dollar Coin

Owner of the coin, Bruce Morelan explains why he has lent the coin to the Dublin Mint Office for exhibition; “I have collected coins since I was a small child. Collecting coins, and owning items of such rarity gives me enormous pleasure. I always dreamt about owning this particular coin from the moment I saw its image in print. I longed to own it but it was locked away in a world-class collection for many decades. When it finally came on the market after a few years, I figured out a way to acquire it and purchased it to be the centrepiece of my early dollar collection. The Flowing Hair Coin is such a special coin and has so much history attached to it. I am privileged to be in a position to work with the Dublin Mint Office to exhibit the coin to other collectors and coin enthusiasts.”

Baggot Street

By Fiona Sherlock

Did Paddy Kavanagh ever write a poem on a Monday?

My grandaunt told of how filthy his collar was,

Propped up the bar in the Hibernian Club,

There but for the grace of his lines.

A crème de menth for a quote,

A pint of stout for a story

A currency lost

For a tip from Nama

Or a pointer from Seany