A Wedding Inspired by the Coast of Ireland
Simone and Darren
On one of their early dates, Simone Sheils and Darren Mullane climbed to the top of a waterfall in Maui—and jumped. "I was absolutely terrified," says Simone. "It was brilliant." It was a typical outing for the two Dublin college students, who met when they were working at a beachside restaurant on the Hawaiian island in 2007. She noticed that everyone around him was always laughing. And he sensed an immediate connection: "We have similar humor and personalities. It felt very easy," he says.
During hikes through bamboo forests and afternoons of surfing, they discovered they both came from large families in the west of Ireland and shared mutual friends. That September, they moved home and found that they got along just as well in a less-sunny climate. "We went on more traditional dates in Dublin," says Simone, laughing. After college, Darren, an anesthesiologist, traveled around Ireland for work, and Simone, a speech and language pathologist, lived in London for two years. When she returned to Dublin in 2015, they moved in together and planned a December ski trip to Whistler, Canada—and it was there that he proposed, beside a frozen lake.
They knew they would marry in Doonbeg, County Clare, a village on the Atlantic Ocean close to Simone's hometown of Ennis. Growing up, she'd spent summers playing on its sand dunes; Darren, from Newcastle West, County Limerick, often joined her family there over the years, golfing at the club where they would hold their reception. The couple, who now live in Vancouver, envisioned a fun, relaxed wedding inspired by the windswept coast, with décor that incorporated its moody hues. The menu highlighted local seafood; a friend of Simone's father sourced lobsters from nearby Carrigaholt.
Over a long weekend, about 220 guests gathered in Doonbeg to witness Simone and Darren recite Catholic vows on April 29, 2017, then celebrated into the wee hours. The highlight of the night came at around 3 A.M., when a piano player led a sing-along in a fireside bar. With hands in the air and voices in unison, "everyone was in such good form," says Darren. It was a joyful moment for the couple as they leapt off into a new adventure.
The Stationery Suite
Darren and his groomsmen, including his brother Shane (second from right), caught up outside St. Senan's Church before the ceremony. "I was a bit nervous at the start," says Darren. "But once all my friends were there and Simone started walking down the aisle with her dad, it all hit home. I was just overjoyed."
Boutonnières for the Guys
The Bridal Party
Wearing Alexandra Grecco dresses, bridesmaids (including Simone's sister, Audrey, center) and flower girls beamed before the ceremony.
Arriving at the Church
I Thee Wed
The couple wed at 19th-century St. Senan's Church. "The music took everyone's breath away," says Simone.
Dramatic cliffs line the County Clare coastline, high over the churning ocean. "The sea down there is always so wild," Simone says. "We wanted those colors to come through: soft blues, dove grays, and greens." With help from event planner and designer Alise Taggart, the vision was realized.
After the ceremony, Darren and Simone took the "surfer's entrance" down to Doughmore Beach. "There's a beautiful walk through the sand and the grass," says Simone. "It was freezing and very windy—my veil was whipped off my hair."
After the ceremony, guests went to the club's bar for the cocktail reception, which featured a spread of Guinness and oysters.
Please Be Seated
Appleberry Press designed the seating cards, with names digitally printed on cotton-feel paper with a watercolor background.
The Reception Tables
Hand-dyed muslin runners rippled down linen-draped tables topped with vintage brass candlesticks and centerpieces that included roses, hellebores, and lilacs.
Simone and Darren danced to Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" under twinkle lights in the tent. "I loved the styling of the marquee," says Simone. "When it got dark outside, it was gorgeous."
An Inspired Cake
Ceremony location, St. Senan's Church
Event planning and design, Alise Taggart
Flowers, The Informal Florist
Photography, Paula O'Hara
Videography, Story of Eve
Cake, Cloudberry Bakery
Rentals, Gotcha Covered
Hair, Matthew Feeney
Makeup, Aidan Corcoran
Bridesmaids' and flower-girl dresses, Alexandra Grecco
Groom's tuxedo, Canali
Lighting, White Events
Transportation, Diamond Limousine Service
Watercolor artist for invitation, Sarah Simon