Nestled amidst dramatic landscapes, ragged coastlines and vast seascapes is Lough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa. Situated on the shores of Lough Eske, close to the Blue Stack Mountains and yet only a short distance from Donegal Town, it was the idyllic location for Anna Henry's wedding to Brian McGarvey on the 22nd of July 2022. Photographed by Peter Carvill, this is guaranteed to be one of the dreamiest weddings you will see all year!

How does everyone meet these days? The great online! A few story replies on Instagram led to a date to the North Coast a few months later. We think the pair would both agree that they knew pretty early days that they were meant for each other. 

Anna had been saying for a long time that she would love to go for a nice walk & a picnic but thought Brian was just ignoring her! Then one day he texted her to say he had ordered a picnic box from a local café, and that the pair should go for a nice walk somewhere. "He had already decided that we were going to Binevenagh Mountain and that’s where he got down on one knee as we sat on the mountain edge snacking on our picnic box. It was absolutely perfect in every way."

Leading up to the wedding Anna had a few facials, just to ensure her skin was looking natural and glowing on the big day as she wanted to keep her makeup as natural as possible. Besides the facials and a good skincare routine, she kept everything else pretty simple. "I read once that you should look at your Instagram feed and wear your hair in the same style that you have worn in the majority of your photos, but you want to look slightly different on your wedding day, right? As I always have my hair down and wavy, I opted for a sleek bun, done by my trusty updo hairstylist, and it was a great decision in hindsight as it meant I didn’t have to worry about fixing my hair all day!" As for the hair colour, Anna was blonde up until a few months before the wedding, she woke up one morning and thought, ‘I NEED to go back to my roots for the wedding’ and that was that. Her poor hairdresser almost made her sign a disclaimer to say that if she didn’t like it, there was no way she could get back blonde before the wedding! For the wedding day, Anna wanted a scent that she had never worn before so the smell would always bring her back to the day. She decided to go for Gypsy Water as it's woody and earthy but light and fresh. Brian bought her the perfume and Anna's sister bought her the body cream also for the big day, so it felt extra special. "Even still I only wear it on special occasions to remind me of how wonderful the day was."

Anna actually had a bit of drama with her wedding dress! She had ordered a beautiful dress that she was certain was ‘the one’ until she saw Verona Bridal post a photo on their Instagram of a dress that had just come into their shop. It was fitted with an illusion neckline, the most beautifully delicate beading and 3D flowers and a train that puddles around your feet on the ground. Once she saw the photo Anna knew she needed to try on the beautiful Berta gown. "I fell in love with it as soon as I put it on, and couldn’t say no. It was quite serendipitous getting my wedding dress from Veroan Bridal as I had modelled for them years before." She ended up selling the initial dress online to a lady who was looking for the exact dress Anna was selling but didn’t have time to order it, so it was all meant to be! For Brian’s suit, the couple wanted something that was subtly different. They didn’t want any bold colours or styles so decided just to go for a black tuxedo with a subtle textured blazer tailored by Dee Graham. 

Anna's bridesmaids were her sister, Brian’s sister and Anna's best friend. She knew she wanted the girls in ivory and didn’t want typical bridesmaid dresses so ordered one asymmetric white pearl dress online to see how it looked in real life, and they all loved it. The bridal party wore a one-shouldered MacDuggal dress that was purchased from New York Dresses.  "It suited each of them so beautifully. They also wore their hair up like I did, all three looked perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing!"

The couple had a traditional ceremony with all of their friends and family in a chapel in Donegal, and it was perfect. "It’s hard to pick a favourite moment but I will never forget the drive Brian and I had from the chapel to our venue in my dad's car. We just had a lovely 10 minutes alone to reflect on the ceremony and have a chat between ourselves. The day was so hectic we never really had another time alone."

Anna & Brian wanted a venue that was top-class and not too far for their guests to travel. Lough Eske in Donegal ticked all of the boxes with amazing service, food, rooms and grounds. The venue was completely idyllic, the pair had such a wonderful time walking the grounds for photos, even in heels! The two had always said that if they were lucky enough to get nice weather they would love to have the drinks reception outside and Lough Eske were able to offer this. "Luckily for us, we managed to get one of the best days of the summer and were able to have this. I’ll never forget everyone mingling outside, eating canapes, drinking cocktails, a duet singing and the sun splitting the sky; everything we had dreamed of."

For the ceremony, Anna & Brian opted for a string quartet and two female singers. They decided that they didn’t want the typical band and DJ for the evening time so decided to go for something a little different. They had a band for a few hours but after that, brought out Yeo DJ for an Ibiza-themed DJ & saxophone combo and it was unreal! The dancefloor was full the entire night and there were some sore feet the next day for sure. 

About the best decision, Anna had to say, "Our best decision was to have our ceremony and venue close to each other. It just meant that our crowd was kept together all day and everyone got to make the most of the drinks reception. I can’t say that we have any regrets about our wedding day."

About the worst decision, Anna had to say, "There isn’t one thing that I would change if we were to do it all again."

- Gráinne