Wedding Wednesday- Erin and Brendan's Creative Woodland Wedding

Heather Mills

Posted on September 02 2020

Wedding Wednesday- Erin and Brendan's Creative Woodland Wedding


On this week's blog, we are thrilled to share with you Erin and Brendan's incredible DIY wedding. Erin and Brendan used their love for nature to create the most beautiful autumnal wedding. Using their creativity they made wonderfully unique decor such as wildflower arrangements, woodland creatures and a pretty amazing cake. We feel completely inspired by this wedding and I'm sure you will too!

Tell us a little bit about you as a couple?

We met while studying Architecture in Cork. We quickly became close friends, and towards the end of the final year were spending most of our time together. In April 2014 Brendan finally plucked up the courage to ask me to go out with him. I was initially hesitant but eventually realised that I had already been in love with him for some time, and came to my senses. Five years and exactly 2 months later, we got married! We now live together in Cork with our dog Rosie.

Wedding Wednesday

Tell us about the wedding- theme, location, colours etc.

A celebration of creativity, nature, and our love for one another. Not to mention food!

 Wedding Wednesday

We got married at the Cork County Cricket Club. We initially looked at a few country house style venues, but found them too formal (and expensive), and not altogether us. Brendan had the bright idea of checking out the Cricket Club, as we knew they hired out their function room for events. From the first visit, we both felt totally at home. The chilled out atmosphere and irreverent banter from the brilliant staff made us feel right at home. Also, they pick brilliant wine.

Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue

We wanted it to look great, but without buying lots of stuff we would never use again. . Brendan (who is a joiner) made the table for the ceremony out of solid ash, and it now has pride of place in our dining room.

I made as much as I possibly could, from designing the stationary to making my own accessories, collecting bottles and jars for candles and flowers, making little woodland terrariums, to garlands of origami stars hanging overhead.

Vintage Bottles DIY Wedding Decor

DIY Wedding Decor

The stars were in reference to a very early date we shared, when desperate to get out of the city for a proper look at the sky we drove out to a lake in the early hours of the morning and gazed at a perfect cloudless sea of stars. We both love animals and nature, particularly the Irish countryside having both grown up there. We incorporated a lot of references to the wood (including a woodland first look), woodland animals and Irish wildflowers.

Wedding Decoration

Wildflower Weddings

We didn’t really have a colour scheme but I tried to incorporate a lot of green, gold and autumnal shades. Using what wildflowers were available meant that there was every colour under the sun in the room and it was beautiful.

Wedding Decor

Wedding Flowers

Wedding Wednesday

We had so much help from our friends and family with the setup. My mum made the cake and all the tablecloths and napkins. She also collected wildflowers from West Cork the day before for the florist to use. 

Wedding Table Decor My sister Heather did my makeup and decorated the cake and my sister Hazel created the animal illustrations for the table plan.

Autumnal Wedding Cake

Autumn Wedding Cake

My brother Eoin and his partner Kala performed during the ceremony, as did our friends Mary and Seamus. Our celebrant was a personal friend of ours, and helped us to design the ceremony. It incorporated music performed by family and friends, readings from our Best Man and Woman, speeches written and delivered by our Mums, and a very touching Offeratory ceremony where 6 of our guests brought up something they felt symbolised our relationship, marriage in general, their friendship to us… (we left it up to them). We were blown away by the level of thought, care and effort they put into it, and the range of gifts, from a poem written for us to a lifejacket!

Wedding Speeches

Wedding Speeches

Who was your wedding dress by? Why did you choose it/ makes it special to you?

My dress was originally by Sharon Hoey, and I got it at Barnardos Bridal in Dun Laoghaire as I was living in Dublin at the time. My Mum came to visit and we had a really nice day looking for dresses. The skirt was originally full length with a train and my Mum shortened it so that it would suit the venue better and so that I could dance. I went to Barnardos because I really wanted to wear a pre-worn or ex display dress, and I chose this one (which is actually a two piece) because overall it was simple and contemporary, but the top seemed to nod to the 1930s and the skirt to the ‘50s (or so I imagined) and it blended these elements together seamlessly.

Wedding dress

Wedding Dresses

Wedding Wednesday Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress Bridal Dress

Rachel Simpson Mimosa Forest Green

Which Rachel Simpson shoes did you pick and why?

I wore Mimosa in forest green. I was determined to have coloured shoes and forest green was my personal colour scheme for the day. Having previously been in love with the forest green Olivia shoes (and been devastated when they were discontinued!) The release of Mimosa in this colour was sheer joy! I wanted something with a nod to vintage, in natural materials and that I could dance in, and Mimosa checked every box!

Rachel Simpson Mimosa Forest Green

Rachel Simpson Mimosa Forest Green

Rachel Simpson Mimosa Forest Green

Tell us about the BEST wedding moment, something that will be unforgettable to you.

Our ceremony was really special and involved a lot of input from our loved ones. Aside from that, one of the best moments of the day for us was when we snuck off to the adjoining squash court to practice our first dance in secret to ensure we didn’t embarrass ourselves. It was really lovely to take a minute to just enjoy each other’s company during the day.

First Dance Wedding Wednesday

What was your first dance song?

Emmylou by First Aid Kit. Brendan’s sister Maeve who teaches swing dancing choreographed it for us.

What is your Top Tip for wedding planning, what brought everything together?

Only include the traditions and elements that feel right and resonate with you. Don’t feel that you have to do something a certain way just because of tradition. For example, we decided early on to walk each other down the aisle, to reflect our attitude towards marriage as something we were entering into together.

Wedding Wednesday tip

What would your advice be for future brides?

Don’t feel that you “have” to invite this person or that, invite exactly the people who you want to have there. If there are other people who you feel you can’t afford to or for whatever reason might prefer not to have there, go and visit them, talk to them, spend time with them. Not everybody needs to be at your wedding on your wedding day to be an important part of your life.


Wedding Wednesday

Thanks so much to Erin and Brendan for sharing their day with us. What a beautiful wedding. If you would like to share you're wedding with us please email us at, we always love to see your pictures. 

To shop the full Rachel Simpson collection click here.

Credits below:
Photographer - Kate Bean Photography
Venue - Cork County Cricket Club
Groom’s Suit - Fitzgerald’s Menswear
Groom’s Tie - Frederick Thomas on Etsy
Bride’s Dress – Sharon Hoey via Barnardos Bridal, Dun Laoghaire
Bride’s Shoes – Rachel Simpson via Bella Bleu Bridal, Cork
Groom’s Shoes - Joseph Cheaney & Sons
Wedding Rings & Cufflinks - Rory Donohoe Silver & Goldsmith, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Flowers - Petals Floral Design, Cork
Hair - Leonard Hair and Beauty, Douglas, Cork
Makeup – Heather Barclay
Ceremony/Reception Music - Eoin Barclay & Kala Chung, Mary Nugent & Seamus Hayes
Band/DJ - Riff Raft
Planning/Styling and Decor – Erin Barclay (Nest Décor)
Rentals - Betcon Cater hire
Caterer - Truffle Honey, Kilgarvan, Co. Kerry
Celebrant - Mary Claire Heffernan
Cake décor – Heather Barclay
Stationary - Erin Barclay (Nest Décor)
Animal illustrations – Hazel Barclay

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