Roaring fires and hot whiskeys: the growing appeal of winter weddings
Fashion: the number of people choosing the chilly months for their big day is on the rise
“You can be a little more daring with flowers in winter,” says Leonard Daly of the Beauty Agency
Though July may be the most favoured month for Irish nuptials, November and December are when winter weddings come into their own. “They have really grown in number in the last five or six years,” notes photographer Fionn McCann. “People living abroad in Australia, Canada or Dubai plan to come home and get married at Christmas when friends and family will all be there – New Year’s Eve is in such demand now [for weddings] that photographers have to be booked two years in advance.”
Top wedding planner Tara Fay has 20 years’ experience. “Winter weddings in Ireland are wonderful because there are now so many venues with stunning interiors and whether new or old, they look so much better with big fires, candlelight, abundance of foliage and dark greens and reds. On a crisp winter day, there is nothing nicer than a roaring fire and hot whiskeys – Irish venues really lend themselves to winter weddings,” she says.
In Ireland there are about 22,000 weddings a year with the average age of 35 for the groom and 33 for the bride. Irish couples, according to a weddingsonline survey in January, spend on average €25,000 on their big day, helped by savings, loans, parents and financial donations from guests. According to Fay, Ireland also attracts couples internationally because of ease of access, currency and banking facilities, because the language is English and a great venue is within two hours of an airport. “Weather for them is never a deterrent or the deciding factor. It is the people, the venues and the suppliers.”
Red carpet hair
When it comes to weddings, everybody has trigger points, according to Fay. “Brides often stress about their bridesmaids’ hair and make up. It is so important that your bridesmaids are a beautiful frame around your portrait,” she says. A new Irish team offering a wealth of experience in this area is the Beauty Agency, a partnership between well-known make-up artist Leonard Daly and master hairstylist Lydia O’Carroll who has spent the past 20 years in the US working with top stylists in New York and styling hair for the Oscars in Los Angeles. Her client list has included supermodels and celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, and Daly has a wealth of editorial experience at home and abroad and private clients that include royal families in the Middle East.
“Bridal hair is really red carpet hair and I always say that a bride’s wedding day is her red carpet day. What we both bring is a great finish and styling that is centred on the person and their lifestyle rather than trends. I have a lot of tricks and can hide imperfections in a very subtle way. You would not know when I do extensions and that is super important because they can look quite tacky,” says O’Carroll.
Daly points out that winter light being lower means that brides can be a bit more daring with make up than in summer – berry lips for example – or more playful with flowers. “What we try to show is that you don’t have to wear a lot of make up or have very intricate upstyles to look beautiful. Our whole ethos is to make you the best version of yourself”.
In this shoot, Daly and O’Carroll create different looks for different dresses – hair more casual, bouncy and youthful or more formal, scraped back and grown up with make up to match the mood.
All gowns by Louise Kennedy; for appointments at 56 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, phone 01-6620056 or online at louisekennedy.com. Rose gold sling-back shoes €47 at River Island, white Converse sneakers €49.99 at Office. All jewellery stylist’s own. Styling Catherine Condell. Hair and make up by the Beauty Agency (thebeautyagency.ie) Flowers by Mark Grehan in the Garden Shop, Powerscourt.