Photographer: Artwood Film
Do you believe in fate? We do, and this couple is proof of it. Pauric, the Irishman and Danni, the South African, met on the other side of the globe on a bus in Boca Raton, Florida which is around 70km from Miami. Danni says that Pauric mentioned he was Irish, and she said, “I’ve been to Ireland “and they started talking and haven’t stopped since!!
Pauric vaguely remember Danni mentioning on the bus one day that her most favourite place on earth was in fact in Ireland in the wet West, at the Cliffs of Moher. So Danni whisked her away for a Valentines weekend to Dromoland Castle and even though he didn’t have a ring yet, he asked anyway, and she squeaked with excitement, which he took as a “yes”.
Ireland was the obvious choice, to say their “I do’s” and this is how they found Tankardstown House. Set in an 18th-century manor house, this country hotel is in Slane, Ireland. The former Manor house fuelled their imaginations and they loved the idea of being lord and lady of the Manor for their wedding day. The contemporary classic style of the House suited them both and they also loved that it was exclusive as well as the opulent surroundings.
When asked to describe their relationship, Danni says they have many similarities as well as many differences. Pauric, has politics in his blood, and Danni, loves entertainment. However, Dannie confesses to having to be on schedule in life, and Pauric takes the ‘laissez-faire’ (let people do as they choose) approach to time. Their relationship works as they both have the same outlook to life. She says they are great companions, and as they say in Ireland they have great ‘craic’ (great fun, entertainment, enjoyable conversation) together.
In keeping with the luxurious, palatial, opulent and stylish 18th century manor house, they gave their guests a peek into what could be expected on their special day by their choice of invitations. A beautiful black box was created with gold, personalised tags. The goal was for their guests to feel special when they opened the boxes; to feel that a special announcement, to an extraordinary day had been made!!
Their vision for the day was to have a “Downton Abbey meets Hollywood Classic” wedding, a black tie affair, where an 18th century manor, Ireland, meets modern day classic, Hollywood. As the house itself is a stunning blend of contemporary and classic, not much else was needed in terms of décor. Danni and Pauric personalised the house by strategically placing photos of different previous family weddings over the years; their parents, siblings, cousins and other family members and friends.
What was most important to them is how they made their guests feel, and nothing gets emotions and feelings going more than music, so their choice of a contemporary mix of Jazz and a Big Swing Band, really got the groove on!! They hired a red Alpha Romeo Spider for their something old, which added a little vintage to their day. Chanel No.5 perfumes in the restrooms added that something, elegantly special. Unique flower arrangements were created from all Danni’s perfume bottles.
Mothers know best they say, and when Danni’s mom suggested a gown from a website, she thought it wasn’t a style she would wear, however, when she tried the gown on, she says the feeling she got was indescribable and she knew it was “the one”. It had all the fine details I love in dresses and it was silky soft. “I had minimal accessories as I felt that the dress was detailed enough,” beams Danni. The hair style she chose was natural, almost as she wears it daily, with a little added bounce and curl, and for her make-up she chose a smokey eye which is something Pauric loves on her.
Their table names were inspired by unique moments in their lives. The only numbered table was table number one. This table had pictures of the two of them when they both turned 1 year old. The other tables were randomly named after special events in their lives, like the coordinates of where they met, and the Staten Island Ferry ‘which was their first trip together as well as, places, songs and moments. One of the tables was named after their first dance song.
We asked Danni, what were the surprises and highlights of her wedding day? “My Bridesmaids burned my veil but I wore it anyway. Waking up in the morning, overlooking an Irish Castle, and thinking, hooray, it’s not raining! A spritz of mom’s Carolina Herrera, ‘Good Girl’, perfume. Opening the personalised character book of our love story Pauric had made for her, and, Bernie, the sacristan, queueing the music… Athair Ar Neamh (Father in Heaven), here we go.” was Danni’s response.
Something they thought was really unique on their day was a large picture frame with their ancestral history. They had DNA tests done to see how Irish or how South African they were, and this was on display, alongside their bespoke glove card holders.
Regarding unique wedding ideas and advice to future couples, Danni says, ‘small details tell big stories.’ They both agree that having the priority of their guests at heart, created an experience like no other. Personalizing the venue to tell their own love story made it very special. Small touches such as photo frames, table names or globe card holders, creates conversation. Danni loves perfume and it was lovely to incorporate this into her personal style at the venue, in the restrooms and as part of the table arrangements. “Give much thought to placing the right personalities at the right tables” says Danni. The biggest compliment they received was their choice of music. Their best advice is not to underestimate the ambience set by music, the language of love.