A 300-acre country estate overlooking Kenmare Bay, Sheen Falls Lodge is one of Ireland's most magnificent five-star hotels. Encircled by the Caha Mountains, with sweeping views over the bay, this beautiful venue was home for Nikita & Erfan's exquisite early summer wedding. Photographed by Wonder and Magic and featured in the Spring issue of SOCIAL & PERSONAL WEDDINGS, we're sure you'll be blown away by this intimate affair!

The pair met on plenty of fish. "We went for a coffee date, I thought he was handsome but he seemed reserved and serious so I felt we didn’t click and we didn't speak again after that." A year later Nikita was at a bodybuilding competition and laid eyes on a handsome guy on the stage, she thought he looked familiar but thought nothing of it. A few days later on Facebook, the competition posted the winners and she realised that she had gone on a date with him a year earlier and also that he had deleted her from his Facebook! "He told me after that he waited a few days thinking I would message him to congratulate him but I didn’t because I felt the ball was in his court. So he messaged me and we started chatting and then organised a training session together. The gym was a more comfortable environment for him so he was able to come out of his shell and show me who he was and the rest is history."

The day the pair got the keys to their new house, they were doing a walkthrough to check for damages. Nikita was focused on checking if the paint on the walls had been updated and didn't even realise she was being proposed to! "He asked me “Are you happy with it?” and I said yes while still staring at the wall looking for any imperfections. He said “Would this make you happier?”, so I turned around to see what he was talking about and he was down on one knee with a ring box open in his hand! I got emotional and jumped into his arms, and then realised he hadn't asked me to marry him! It was simple but it was special because it was in our first home and very unexpected."

Nikita did a course of laser skin renewal, microneedling and red light therapy in the Ailsbury clinic. "I have always been a fan of Doctor Denis Grossman's peel pads as I am prone to breakouts and these help keep the spots at bay." She also used Reform Vitamin C daily, retinol every 3rd day, La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 (great for hydrating and plumping your skin) and Kiehl's moisturiser for her regular skincare routine. "I made a plan for my hair with my hairdresser in the Craft in Dundrum once I had started wedding preparations so my hair would be full and healthy for the day and they did an amazing job of maintaining my hair's health while colouring it throughout that time." For her wedding perfume, Nikita wore Jo Malone Silk Blossom, it’s floral and fresh, which felt fitting with the style of wedding she was envisioning. Erfan wore Creeds Irish Tweed, it’s woody and fresh with some citrus. It was the perfect match for the venue! 

Once the pair decided to get married they gave themselves a short timeline as the initial plan was to elope. This meant that Nikita only had a seven-month timeline to organise everything! She went to MK Bridal thinking she would be visiting a few dress shops and trying on quite a few dresses, "I also didn't want people swaying my decision on a dress if I liked it." On the of her appointment day, Nikita tried on dress after dress but kept coming back to the same one. "It made me feel emotional when I saw myself in it, it was a beautiful floral appliqued dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline and a huge skirt." She promptly video-called her daughter to get an opinion and when she saw it she started crying, which made Nikita cry so she knew there and then it was the dress.

Erfan buys the majority of his suits, trousers etc from Louise Copeland in Dundrum, because he used to be a bodybuilder he needs to have his clothes tailored. "We went in with a few ideas, they went through some materials with us, confirmed the style then had it made a few weeks later. The fit was perfect."

Because it was a small wedding, Nikita opted not to have bridesmaids. She did have her dog Bella as the ring bearer who walked down the aisle with the couple's daughter Jessica. Jess found her dress, a two-piece, from Folkster in Dundrum. "I originally wanted her to wear baby blue or blush but when we went shopping she was not happy with any of the styles I liked, we eventually settled on this two-piece which was navy as it was beautiful on her because she had huge blue eyes and alabaster skin. The style was also something we knew she would be comfortable wearing for the full day."

The ceremony was extremely intimate, funny and emotional in one. The celebrant, Edel O’Flynn, spent a few months going back and forth between the couple building ‘Our Love Story’ as she calls it. They held the usual candle-lighting ceremony and readings from family and the pair wrote their own vows. In a fun twist on a traditional ceremony, they had everyone take a tequila shot (except Bella of course!). "Walking down the aisle with my dad meant the world to me. My mum had passed away two weeks before the wedding and this made me appreciate having the opportunity to do this with him." 

The couple are both outdoors people so knew that they wanted to get married somewhere scenic. "It was also a priority that we would be allowed to have our cockapoo Bella a part of the day and because it was a micro wedding we needed somewhere that would also cater to this." Nikita found Sheen Falls and it ticked all the boxes. It has a beautiful boat house with an amazing view overlooking the Kenmare Bay. "As soon as I saw the boat house I had a vision in my head of how I wanted the ceremony to look and everything clicked into place."

Nikita & Erfan decided to do a wedding weekend to make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone attending. "The day before the wedding we organised archery which was great fun, we then went for dinner in Mulcahys in Kenmare which is a very cute spot with great food. The morning of the wedding I organised clay pigeon shooting for the men with a whiskey tasting session after. This was a great way to help keep the nerves at bay and the men entertained while the women got ready." For the ceremony, the couple had Lynda Sloan Cusack Music playing the guitar, this was perfect for such an intimate ceremony. On the night of the wedding, they hired Andy James - Wedding magic. "We went with him because it is not just magic, he is also very funny and we love comedy. With it being a small group he was able to perform a show for us."

Regarding the best decision, Nikita had to say, "Having a timeline for the whole weekend! I always want everything to run smoothly and having a timeline which was broken down into 30-minute slots made everything run perfectly. I made one for myself via very in-depth Excel, then made a beautiful one on Canva which was a part of our wedding E invites. I also had a QR code as part of it where everyone could share the pictures/videos they had taken over the weekend."

Regarding the worst decision, Nikita had to say, "Not having a speaker towards the back of the boat for the musician, as it slightly put me off my timing for my entrance because I couldn't hear the music and I had envisioned that moment in my head so many times and the entrance music was a big part of it. I would recommend sound checks before which I didn't do!"

- Gráinne