Event Manager Angela Frawley exchanged vows with bar and restaurant owner Robert Mahon at the picturesque Chateau de La Napoule.
Photography: Alban Pichon
It was Easter Monday at Fairyhouse racecourse, Robert was home from London for the Grand National with his family and Angela was at the races with some friends. Despite knowing a lot of each other’s friends, the couple had never met before until being introduced through a mutual friend. Angela remembers going back to her apartment that night and gushing to her housemate about this dreamy guy she had met. Soon after, the couple started chatting on Facebook, which then grew into long nightly phone calls and in no time, they were back and forth across the Irish sea every other weekend to see each other. It was on one of these very early weekend dates that Rob convinced Angela flights to Dublin were too expensive, but he had found cheap ones to France so off they went, and this was where their love story with France began.
The couple were living together in New York, it was almost four years to the day since they took their first trip to France where they had joked that they would marry in this beautiful little quintessential French village of Mougins. After dinner, the couple were walking around the village when Rob gave Angela some coins to throw into the fountain and make a wish. After flying them high and making her wishes, Angela turned for home as they had an early flight back to Dublin the next morning. Robert called her back saying he had one more wish, it was then he dropped to one knee and through the shock and disbelief she, of course, said yes.
"The dress was the most difficult decision of the entire wedding and I was still unsure about it up until only three weeks before the big day. I had first tried the dress fresh off the runway after New York Bridal Fashion Week show and loved it, but I wasn’t fully convinced. It was January and coming to crunch time to order so my Mom flew over to help me make the decision. As soon as she saw it, she fell in love with it too. I wanted something elegant and timeless and felt this Marchesa gown fitted the bill. I called upon the renowned Madamme Paulette to do the alterations. The team were incredible and transformed the dress into exactly how I wanted it, creating the most perfect fit. I was thrilled."
The next step was the veil. Angela always knew she wanted a dramatic veil and couldn’t find anything in the bridal boutiques, so ordered extra material from the lace underlining of her dress and went to Sposabella Lace in New York’s garment district to create something custom.
From the outset, the couple knew that they wanted something different and for a time were torn between celebrating the wedding in Ireland or France. After long discussions, it was settled that Angela and Robert wanted their friends and family all together in the sunshine, so back to France they went.
"Bringing our nearest and dearest to where we fell in love and got engaged was so important to us and we wanted to continue our love story here so the church in the magical Mougins was an obvious choice for us. It was from there that I called on Wedding Planner Danielle Wing who is based in the area. We found Chateau de La Napoule online, a historic Chateau which was now home to an art museum. We instantly loved it and dreamed of celebrating our wedding there in late summer."
For the ceremony, they had a mix of classical music. As the couple arrived at the reception, a good friend from New York played his guitar and sang songs for the cocktail hour. During dinner, they had the incredible Lizzy and the Gentlemen perform some music right up until the bride and groom took to the dance floor for their first dance. The first dance song was Glen Hansard’s “Star, Star”,
"it was an obvious choice for us and became “our song” back on one of the first holidays to France. It was just perfect surrounded by our guests with beaming smiles and glowing sparklers in hand, the energy was magnetic, and I will cherish that moment forever."
Later in the night, they had to move the music inside and had the DJ accompanied by live sax to turn the party up.
Angela chose five of her closest friends, two based in London, two in Ireland and one in New York.
"I was spoiled with two amazing hen parties both sides of the Atlantic, one in Powerscourt Hotel and Glendalough, and another in Montauk for my New York group of friends, they will be memories to treasure for a lifetime."
For their dresses, Angela wanted something they all loved and felt fabulous in. They chose their own style, a gorgeous wrap dress which would also accommodate her bridesmaid Jodie who had a baby on board for the celebrations.
Angela used a strict regime of Skinceuticals products combined with regular hydra facials. She also paid a visit to facialist Nichola Joss who has a residency in New York, following her facial massage techniques really helped with plumping and lifting the skin to ensure a fresh-faced bridal look despite the amount of celebrating they did the week of the wedding.
For her hair, Angela returned to her natural dark brown colour as she wanted a classic look. For the wedding, the couple flew over Angela's friend and longtime hairdresser Matthew Feeney. He created a sturdy up-style for the ceremony to support the lengthy veil and then restyled a looser wave for the reception.
"I went for one of my tried and tested Prada scents. It’s crisp yet fresh and I love that I now have that special sent to wear which will always remind me of that magical day."
“Choosing an abroad wedding was one of the best decisions, having all our friends and family away put everybody into relaxed, holiday mode. This also meant the celebrations did not stop from the minute we landed, we had a full week reuniting with all our favourite people, enjoying nights out in Cannes and wild lunches on the islands along with chilling by the pool, catching up with family. This continued after the wedding when what was supposed to be our mini-moon well and truly turned into a buddy-moon, we ended up spending every night out with friends who had stayed on a few days after the wedding for a holiday. “
“Planning a wedding from abroad was difficult with the obvious language barrier and a seven-hour time difference from New York to France. Looking back, I wouldn’t have taken on as much myself as it became quite overwhelming at times. We booked the venue without visiting it and didn’t get to travel to see it in person until eight weeks before the wedding. It was a big challenge booking a bare venue and being an art museum, Chateau de La Napoule has nothing in-house so we had to source everything including catering, furniture, lighting and sound from external vendors.”