From meeting at a wake to a gorgeous day by the Lake! Carina Monteith attends the beautiful wedding of Leona Gallen and Paschal Carvill.

Now more than ever I think brides are under enormous pressure when it comes to their wedding dress, with the social media age the expectations are high. So, imagine being a fashion buyer for a leading department store that just happens to have an award-winning bridal department at your disposal. This was the dilemma that Leona Gallen from McElhinneys Department Store faced when she announced her engagement – the pressure was on to find the perfect dress for this fashionable fairy!

Leona met the very handsome Paschal at his Granda’s wake (yes really!) a few years ago and the smooth-talking Armagh man stole the Donegal beauty’s heart. With a Tiffany ring, he popped the question and the date was set for June 3rd 2017.

The morning of the wedding I was met by a very calm Leona and an equally calm bridal party. If you know the four Gallen sisters then you will be as surprised to hear this as I was to see it!

Leona’s three sisters and her best friends were busy getting beautified by the fabulous Toni Kelly & team and my only job was to keep the bride calm and get her into her amazing dress!

Leona had a very set idea about the type of dress she wanted and from the very beginning a long train was at the top of her must have list! Leona looked absolutely stunning in a custom designed Julie Vino dress from McElhinneys Bridal Rooms.

The one-off dress featured a 3-metre train and was adorned with oyster pearls and fabulous hand beading. This dress was nothing short of WOW and a stunning Pronovias veil completed the look.

The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in customised coral fishtail dresses and the men didn’t scrub up too badly in modern three piece blue suits.

After the showers cleared we arrived at St Mary’s Stranorlar to have the heads blown of us with the wind! After the customary photos from the majorly talented Yez Lifestyle Photography, I set her amazing train and veil and Leona walked up the aisle to Paschal with lots of gasps and smiles from their family and friends.

Following the ceremony, we headed to the breath-taking venue of Solis Lough Eske Castle in Donegal Town where we enjoyed a Prosecco reception while sitting in the sun and everyone joined the happy couple on the steps for Little Films Movie Drone!

Everything about the day was magical but my favourite moment was the excitement on Leona’s face when she put on her dress. I love to see a bride who just cannot wait to wear her dress and she wore it so well, like it was made for her.

Thank you Leona & Paschal for letting me share your special day

All the Wedding Best

Carina xxx

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