Love Island | Modern Love Stories, Maria & Chris | Chupi
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Love Island | Modern Love Stories, Maria & Chris


Love Island | Modern Love Stories, Maria & Chris

By Nathalie Marquez Courtney,
Thu, May 12, 2022

Tags: Modern Love Stories Wedding

Be inspired by stories of love and magic, as we share some of our favourite ways Chupi pieces have helped you celebrate your most special moments.

From a castle proposal to a West Cork island wedding, Maria’s and Chris’ dreamy nuptials were the last word in loveliness.

On the best-laid proposal plans

Chris and I have been dating since 2010, and met in University College Cork through mutual friends. After college, we spent a few years travelling and working abroad in the UK and Vancouver. When we returned to Ireland, we used to take it in turns to plan a surprise weekend away for the other person.

In 2019, it was Chris’ turn and he planned a romantic weekend away in Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara. The evening we arrived, we went for a walk along the grounds – Chris had picked a perfect spot to propose but it had been flooded the night before!

On the ring that made it magic

In the end, Chris proposed in the castle, with a Chupi You, Me & Magic ring. It was so different, I loved it.

Chris had introduced me to Chupi jewellery a few years before with the gold leaf necklace and earrings. Knowing I loved Chupi jewellery, he chose the engagement ring online and worked with the Chupi jewellery team to pick out the diamond and band type (after careful consultation with his sister in law!).

I love the style and ethos of Chupi, and it being a female-owned Irish business – it was the perfect place to get my engagement ring.

On finding the perfect wedding location

We spent a few months finding a venue, and wanted to have a day that had our own twist on it. We visited Inish Beg Estate in Baltimore early on, and absolutely fell in love with the island. Even though we went to see other places, we knew that Inish Beg was special and so we booked it for September 2020.

Due to the pandemic, we ended up postponing by a year, to September 2021. In Inish Beg, you have the freedom to customise the day to what suits you and we really enjoyed working with local suppliers to ensure the day was what we both wanted. Everyone was so helpful, from vendors to friends and family, and it really made the weekend so special.

On wedding ring shopping

For the wedding rings, we visited the Chupi store in Dublin and had a really enjoyable experience picking out Hawthorn Twig and Hawthorn Bark wedding bands. The jewellery really suits us and we love the idea of it being passed on.

On a weekend of “laughter and love”

As we wanted an outdoor ceremony, we planned for different weather outcomes. However, the evening before, the sun came out and stayed for the weekend!

We had the ceremony in the garden outside the house, and it was so relaxed and personal – our celebrant Antoinette Coleman Kelly had worked with us in the weeks leading up to the wedding to ensure we could include as many of our friends and family as possible in the ceremony.

As the sun was shining, we had a drinks reception in the walled garden, then strolled down to the marquee by the water for a delicious meal before dancing the night away. It meant so much to us, to have our friends and family with us to celebrate the day, many of whom we hadn’t seen in months due to the pandemic.

It was a weekend of laughter and love. Looking back, the moments that meant the most were having everyone together to celebrate – it was really special.

On a musical guest appearance

My uncle John Spillane is a musician, so he performed some of his music for the ceremony, and also joined the band later on that night!

On advice for wedding planning

One piece of advice we'd share with couples planning their wedding is to relax and not get caught up in all the details. Having to postpone our initial date due to the pandemic really showed us this – the most important thing was celebrating our marriage with friends and family.

Venue: Inish Beg Estate
Hair: Aishlings Hair Studio, Skibbereen
Make-Up: Beauty & Tanning at The Mill, Drinagh
Dress: Bella Bleu
Flowers: Ruth Fortune Flowers
Photography: Ayna O’Driscoll