Tag Archives: Cathedral

Real Life Wedding, Oonagh and Craig

I have an absolutely stunning wedding to share with you today, filled with personal touches, delicious details and a bride and groom that look ridiculously happy throughout! Oonagh and Craig got married in the July of this year in a beautiful ceremony in the Lady Chapel of St. Alban Cathedral near to where they live. A perfect romantic touch is that now when they hear the cathedral bells ringing they are reminded of their wedding day.

The bride and groom look so happy and excited; and this must have been contagious as every guest seems to be having a blast! The occasion has been captured naturally and beautiful by Hannah Mia (of Hannah Mia Photography www.hannamia.com) letting the charm of the day really shine through.

The magic of this wedding seems to be in the incredible attention to detail; from a mixed bouquet incorporating thistles and shamrocks to reflect Scottish ad Irish heritage, to an exciting array of music and a delicious barbecue, this day looked fantastic and the Divine Comedy as a first dance song: perfection.

I also loved the idea of their table plan, each one named after a different type of gin! Definitely something I can appreciate, I urge you to join in, grab a G&T and take a look at this incredible day.


Names: Craig & Oonagh McGill

Wedding Date: 5th July 2013

The vision for the day: We wanted our wedding to be elegant, but relaxed. We wanted our family and friends to enjoy fabulous food and great music, in a beautiful setting.

The Planning Process: We booked the Cathedral and the reception venue about 8 months before the big day…you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to book both on the same day, even that far in advance! We really got going with organizing invitations, caterers, musicians and all the other details in the 4-6 months leading up to the wedding.

9_4869784 The Venue: The ceremony was held at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban, St. Albans. We had a marquee reception in a beautiful orchard setting nearby.

The Dress and Accessories: My dress and veil came were from Angelica Bridal in Islington. It was the first shop I went into and I decided on the dress there and then! My shoes were from Rachel Simpson … I would recommend her shoes to any bride. I must’ve tried 20 pairs of shoes before I found mine. They were beautifully made and were incredibly comfortable, even after hours of dancing!

Grooms Attire:Bespoke 3 piece suit from Mathieson and Brooke Tailors (M&BT), Harpenden – the suit was beautifully made and the service was wonderful.




Beautiful Bridesmaids: They were stunning and the best bridesmaids a girl could ask for! They were Emir (my sister) and Christine (Christine and her husband Andy were bridesmaid and groomsman – they are the mutual friends who first introduced Craig and I).

Music and First Dance: Music was really important to us so we had two bands on the day. We were very lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day for our wedding. We had a champagne reception on the lawn accompanied by an acoustic folk band. In the evening our band played two sets of crowd-pleasing soul and rock n’ Roll from 1960s to current – the dance floor was full all night! Our first dance was ‘Songs of Love’ by ‘The Divine Comedy’ (which some people might recognize as the theme music from Father Ted!) – We both love THE Divine Comedy and this song was an easy choice for us.


The Food: The food was such an important element of the day for us – we wanted it to be fantastic and our caterers didn’t let us down! Everything was barbecued and presented by rolling service to the tables with fresh, brightly coloured salads and warm, home-baked breads. The menu included monkfish, fillet steak, chicken, lamb, and some tasty vegetarian treats for our less carnivorous guests. We served strawberries and cream for pudding, which was perfect for a hot, summer’s day.

The flowers: We wanted the flowers to fit with the country garden setting so we opted for bright, seasonal blooms. We mixed peonies (my favourite) with thistles (to reflect Craig’s Scottish heritage) and shamrock (as I’m from Ireland) together with lots of wild flowers. Two very talented ladies (Craig’s mum, Heather and her friend Marion) created the table centre-pieces for the marquee and the ladies of St. Alban’s Abbey flower guild provided the arrangements for the Cathedral.


The cake: We absolutely loved our wedding cake, which was made for us by Craig’s lovely friend Chrissie Smetham. We had three different tiers comprising lemon sponge, vanilla with fresh raspberries and a cherry-bakewell top layer. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers to match our theme and the final piece was a work of art …almost too good to eat (although we managed a piece or two, and it was delicious!).

Your Photographer: We were also thrilled with our photographer, Hannah Mia, whose documentary style of wedding photography really captured the atmosphere of the day. We didn’t have many posed photos, just natural shots of our family and friends relaxing and enjoying the celebrations.


The Details and Décor: We put a lot of work into the details and décor ourselves but the finishing touches were provided by Cute Maps who designed our table plans, table numbers and Menus and also by The Dream Wedding Company who helped with the table decorations, bunting, and the flowers for the cake. The same company provided the bouquets and buttonholes…each one was original and unique.


The Honeymoon: We spent a wonderful week in a very sunny Cornwall. We were so lucky with the weather and spent most days on the beach.

Memorable Moments: Our favourite part was the ceremony itself – the setting, The Lady Chapel in St Alban’s Cathedral was perfect. Walking down the aisle after the service to the sound of the cathedral bells was very special to us. We live very near the cathedral so we are fortunate to hear the bells every day, which is a lovely reminder of our wedding day.

One of the funniest moments was when I threw my bouquet. My friend Sara came out of nowhere to successfully make the catch, momentarily forgetting that she is already happily married! A good natured wrestle ensued and most of the girls caught the bouquet for at least a moment.

Finally, my favourite part of any wedding is the speeches and on the day my Uncle Johnny (who gave me away), Craig’s brother David (Best man) and of course Craig himself more than rose to occasion. We roared with laughter and most people shed a happy tear or two.

Advice for other couples: When your big day arrives, try to relax and enjoy every moment! It’s true what they say…the day passes so quickly you won’t believe it. It was most definitely the best day of our lives!



Photographer: Hannah Mia
Caterer: Hanson’s, Watford
Flowers and Décor: The Dream Wedding Company, St Albans
Music: John & Caroline Hoare and The Hound Dogs http://www.thehounddogs.co.uk/
Dress: Angelica Bridal, Islington
Shoes: Rachel Simpson http://www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Groom’s Attire: Mathieson & Brooke Tailors – http://www.mandbt.co.uk/ The Cake: ‘There’s always cake’ available at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theres-Always-Cake/165015856955923?ref=profile