Sarah O'Connell, 35, married Alex Walker-Sage, 34 at Ballyvolane House, Cork, Ireland, on 5th December 2015. She says:

We booked Ballyvolane House before we'd even seen it in the flesh upon recommendation from a good friend who had been to a fabulous wedding there - it was the first thing we decided on. My dad is from Cork and I spent family holidays there so there was a special connection.

Our vision was simple - we wanted to celebrate our love with a massive party for all our friends and family. It was really important to structure the day in a way that gave our guests time to relax and enjoy themselves - having a flexible venue with a late license allowed us to celebrate in the way we wanted without too many restrictions. 

We wanted our wedding to feel warm, welcoming and magical so we used an abundance of candles and fairy lights. Getting married in December, our colour palette included rusty burnt orange, plum, gold and natural greens to reflect the season. It was a particularly stormy day but that just made the whole atmosphere more special.

Our humanist ceremony was the most special part of our day; neither of us are religious so this felt just right for us. It felt like time stood still and it was just our words filling the room, until the end when the wedding party all rang bells to celebrate the union.

My top tip: Take the time to sit down and agree the most important elements for you both right from the start. It will help you focus your planning and not lose track.

Photography by www.nazarin.com

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