'A beautiful colour and culture clash!'
By KAREN LOUISE
Allayne & Shem's truly unique and creative wedding was a vibrant celebration of love, colour, and all things 80s and 90s! Held at The Millhouse in Co. Meath, these lovebirds were determined to break free from convention and create an unforgettable party. They wanted to treat their guests to a day full of fun & love, with lots of gorgeous colours and Caribbean flair, so chose colour-pop florals, sweet pastel tones, and disco balls, as well as a retro dance machine to create their perfect day! Get ready to step into their epic colourful celebration captured perfectly by Gareth at Lima Conlon Photography.
Shem is originally from Buckinghamshire in the UK and Allayne is from Dublin. The pair met on a dating app that Shem apparently hated. Allayne matched and contacted her and Shem asked if she liked her by mistake! From there, chats turned into dates, and dates turned into a proposal!
Shem proposed in The Phoenix Park to a very stunned Allayne who Shem says, "didn’t say anything for ages." Shem panicked thinking she had misjudged the entire thing, but Shem laughs, "it was just Allayne being surprised and forgetting how to use words. We then got stuck in a giant traffic jam for an hour trying to leave the park because a marathon was on at the time. Total romance!"
One of their key considerations when planning the day was that they "wanted to be represented in the most authentic way."
Another big thing for Allayne & Shem was to not get sucked into tradition or what they ‘should’ do for their day. The pair wanted to make the day all about them and their story. The goal was to entirely do it on their own terms, to have fun and to make sure their guests did too!
The pair opted to do a first look before their ceremony. A sweet new wedding tradition we love to help curb any nerves before the big moment.
Love this 'No Sides, Just Good Vibes' ceremony seating signage!
And the perfect venue to gather their 80 nearest and dearest for their spring celebration? The wonderful exclusive hire venue The Millhouse in Slane who the speak very fondly of. When asked what made it “the one”, they say, "the fact that it was awesome, but mostly because they spoke to us without assumptions and stereotypes. They recognised us as two women rather than assigning us heteronormative bride and groom personas like other venues did."
When asked what inspired their colourful wedding aesthetic the pair say, "we wanted colour and disco balls! It had to be bold and bright (and a little ridiculous!)."
"The decor was super important and that’s why we got H&G involved who styled the entire day from initial consultation, and lookbook to epic execution. We just wanted to have a fun party celebrating with our nearest and dearest."
The pair aptly describe the look and feel of their day as "a beautiful colour and culture clash!" which embraced Allayne's love of all things vintage and unique Japanese details, and Shem's love of loud colours and her Caribbean roots. This, combined with their shared love for 80s and 90s pop culture and bright colours, the pair found their inspiration in the energetic and nostalgic vibes of the eras.
The ceremony space, held in the dramatic Old Mill and dressed with a bespoke vintage Japanese fabric backdrop, disco balls, pineapples and colourful flowers, was an undeniably personal affair.
The ceremony itself was a joyful and tear-filled moment.
The brides wowed us with their incredible wedding looks. Each one individually perfect for their personalities, and together beautifully complementing one another. We particualy love their matching blue nail polish!
Allayne's fabulous vintage-inspired dress is by Bianco Evento which she sourced at Dirty Fabulous. She completed her bridal look with a sweet lace cape and vintage birdcage veil headpiece which she also picked up at Dirty Fabulous. Her fun 'Something Blue' heels and the matching fan came from Saint Savoy.
Shem's bubblegum pink suit was a bespoke creation by Paul Henry Tailoring which she paired with colourful graffiti-print brogues from Pepe Milan.
Their fabulous bridal squad who are rocking the pastel rainbow trend all wore dresses and suits from various shops.
When asked about their favourite part of the wedding, the pair tell us it was both "the speeches, and the weather! We managed to get a glorious sunny day in March which is unheard of in Ireland so we held our speeches outside. It was lovely to see our friends and family chilling and drinking… and laughing so hard!"
After the sunny speeches, the couple and their guests headed indoors to The Millhouse's light-filled, Pavilion reception room, which was choc-full of colourful decor and personal details.
Allayne & Shem's unique VHS table plan idea featured the couple's favourite nostalgic movies!
Reflecting on their wedding planning experience, Allayne & Shem have valuable advice for other engaged couples. "Be prepared that not everything will run exactly how you want it to on the day. But understand that most people won’t notice and you’ll still have a great time."
As a nod to Shem's Caribbean roots, Allayne & Shem made their own Jerk seasoning wedding favour treats for their guests, a wedding planning memory they remeber fondly, 'DIY-ing our wedding favours by stinking out our kitchen with Caribbean jerk seasoning, and creating a free labour production line with Allayne’s bridesmaids!'
Shortly after the celebrations, the couple jetted off on honeymoon for some R&R. They tell us, "we went to the Maldives (it was supposed to be Japan but… Covid) and yes it was amazing! A decadent escape to paradise that you can only justify because it’s your honeymoon."
The couple's fun 80s and 90s-inspired cakey creation, complete with Pac-Man details was by the talened Jenny Gleeson at Sweetie Pie.
As the reception kicked off, the couple wanted to ensure a joyful and lively atmosphere. Dancing became a centrepiece of the celebration, with lively music that got everyone moving.
In a complete break from tradition, instead of a first dance, the pair danced it out together to Junior Senior's Move Your Feet on a retro arcade dance machine!
Between the epic dance machine battles and Dermot Kelly of Velvet DJs keeping the dance floor full all night long, we sure wish we were on Allayne & Shem's guestlist!
A huge thank you to Allayne & Shem for sharing their colourful lovefest with us, and to Gareth at Lima Conlon Photography for providing the beautiful imagery!