Meet the latest couple in The Chupi Wedding Series: Shauna and Leon. Shauna tells us about her proposal in New York City and their beautiful wedding day set in Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath.
Not many people know this but Leon and I met on tinder. We were texting back and forth for a week until Leon asked me to go on our first date in Galway. We just ‘clicked’ instantly. The rest is history!
Leon proposed in New York six months after meeting. It was our last night in NYC and as girls at work had put a bet on that we’d come back engaged, the thought was always at the back of my mind. Earlier in the trip, Leon insisted that we should go outside in the snow (and -5 temperatures) at the top of the Rockefeller centre and when he asked me to move away from a group of tourists, I thought that the time had finally come! He didn’t propose then and I was starting to give up hope but.. On our last night after a fab sushi dinner, Leon popped the question! He was very relaxed – I was the blubbering mess!
Although Leon knew that I always wanted a Chupi Engagement Ring, Leon knew that picking my actual forever piece was something that I wanted us both to be involved in. Once the excitement settled, we went to Atrium for a consultation and I picked my forever heirloom.
The standard is so high at Ballymagarvey so we knew we could trust them to deliver the day that we wanted – every little detail is planned to perfection.
We got married on July 12th 2019 at Rathfeigh Church, Meath with the reception at Ballymagarvey Village after. I saw Ballymagarvey Village on Pinterest and we fell in love with it straight away. We found a quant church nearby online so it seemed perfect for our wedding. I phoned to check availability at Ballymagarvey for the year following our engagement and with only one summer date left, we booked it over the phone there and then (without seeing the venue in reality!).
When we saw it in reality, it surpassed our expectations totally! We loved the beauty of the Manor House and the rustic banquet room, the back drop of the lake and gardens, it’s intimacy, their emphasis on good food and indeed the incredible staff. We loved also that our wedding party would have exclusive use of the entire venue. The standard is so high at Ballymagarvey so we knew we could trust them to deliver the day that we wanted – every little detail is planned to perfection.
I got ready at the bridal preparation room at Ballymagarvey where Prosecco, fun and laughter flowed all morning! The church that we chose for the ceremony was just down the road from the venue so my Dad and I drove to the church in our convertible vintage Porsche with lots of trucks and cars beeping to wish me luck – such a fun memory!
Our florist had designed the most beautiful floral arch in wild flowers to match our bouquets so the little church looked even more magnificent than usual on arrival! The ceremony was fun and relaxed with lots of laughs throughout. Afterwards, guests were greeted with Prosecco, beer and cocktails at Ballymagarvey along with canapés and sweet treats baked in thr kitchen of the Manor House in front of guests to give a homely feel.
Some guests chose to bask in the sun outside whilst some stayed in the conservatory to enjoy the pianist and accompanying musicians. The dinner was held under fairy lights in the banquet hall – my favourite room at Ballymagarvey. In lieu of traditional wedding favours on the tables, we chose to buy food for malnourished children for three months at a clinic in Zambia where I’ve previously volunteered.
Post dinner, the Bentley Boys ensured a full floor all night. The Vintage Photo Company organised a vintage themed photo booth and Sheridans cheesemongers provided cheese boards for guests. Just before midnight, guests enjoyed fish and chip cones and pizza standing under a sky of filled with fireworks complimented by fire pits throughout the Ballymagarvey grounds.
The highlight of the day for me was the twenty minutes spent with Leon (away from the madness of the wedding) prior to our entrance at the banquet hall. There’s a tiny secret snug bar at Ballymagarvey and we sat there chatting about the day, eating our favourite snacks that Ballymagarvey had kindly saved for us and Leon had a well deserved pint of Guinness.
My dress was by Gemy Maalouf – a designer based in Beirut. I bought the dress in Lilac Rose in Limerick on my first visit to a bridal shop. I only tried on two wedding dresses in my life and this dress was the second one. I just knew when I tried it on that I loved it. It was unusual- I had never seen anything like it. I knew that it would fit in with our rustic theme and I loved how comfortable it was to wear!
I chose the Chupi You, Me & Magic grey diamond engagement ring to represent the magic that we had found that first night in Galway and my commitment to Leon forever.
We wanted our guests to have fun and to enjoy the day! Looking back at our photos and videos, they all seem to be smiling and having a good time so we’re happy!
I chose the Chupi You, Me & Magic grey diamond engagement ring to represent the magic that we had found that first night in Galway and my commitment to Leon forever. I chose grey diamonds over classic diamonds as it’s like staring into the galaxy when I look into my engagement ring – I just get lost in its beauty. For my wedding band, I chose the Crown of Love band as it’s tiny grey diamonds complement my engagement ring beautifully. Leon chose the Love is An Ocean band as it’s driftwood design reminds him of walks on the beach together with our rescue dog Annie.
We visited the Atrium to pick both my engagement ring and our wedding bands. I love the uniqueness of Chupi pieces created in Ireland. I also love that diamonds are ethically sourced – nobody should have to suffer for our jewellery.
My Chupi rings remind me that, just like my grey diamond, Leon really is one in a million. Leon’s continuous circular wedding band reminds him that true love is never ending. Chupi will always be incredibly important to us as a couple as our pieces represent some of our happiest moments and will continue to do so forever.
If a Chupi piece was a part of your big day – whether it was in the form of engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings or a beautiful necklace, we’d love to hear from you and feature you on the Chupi Journal. Find more details on the Chupi Wedding Series here.
Photography: The Fennells