Love Stories: Fiona & James: Wine Box Wedding Ceremony

 Today’s love story starts with our groom, James, who had been plotting something, while his soon-to-be bride Fiona had no idea.  Six months earlier James had bought a ring, but it needed the right location and moment, so on Suomenlinna Island, in Helsinki, on a roasting hot day, on a ferry full of people, and the ring burning a hole in his pocket, convinced that she had seen the box shape, James was sweating and acting a bit weird and romantic all at the same time.

The couple told us that a leisurely walk turned into a trek around the island, while James complained about the crowds and ran up and down hills, clearly looking for the perfect spot. Fiona was growing suspicious, but didn’t get her hopes up. Then finally they found a secluded spot. James told her some sweet things, and reached into his pocket.

There on the hot stones by the sea he said: ‘Fiona Ellis, will you marry me?’While Fiona babbled: ‘Is this happening?’ and ‘Squeeeee.’ Her ‘Yes’ was washed down with a refreshing glass of champagne.

The day finally arrived in September, Dunmore’s Haven Hotel provided the perfect venue. Fiona and James created their own bespoke ceremony with Marry Me Ireland and Liam McCarthy was the celebrant who performed it on the day. The couple explained, “We loved having Liam as our celebrant and would highly recommend him. He is a credit to your company, he was professional at all times, well prepared and he made us feel like we were in good hands. He was able to answer any questions we had and even took the trouble to meet us the week before the wedding.”


The ceremony was outdoor under a Rose Arch and contained a very modern ritual known as The Wine-Box ceremony. Wine box ceremonies are where a time-capsule is placed in the ceremony containing where  a letter the couple wrote to one another other. They then seal it with a good bottle of wine in a locked box to be opened at a time when they need it or on an anniversary. It is thought that if the couple should ever need to return to their wedding day and reflect on the feelings they had then, the letters can read and the memories and emotions triggered once more. This is the perfect ritual for wine-lovers but you can also use a honey mead or whiskey should you prefer. 

Fiona’s hair was beautiful thanks to ‘Vow 2 Wow Bridal Hair. Her make-up artist was by the multi-talented Kate Rose Crean and their photographer was excellent and captured the memories perfectly, her name is Caroline McNally.

The party was topped off by the outstanding DJ Nik Kiely who raised the roof. Thanks so much to our couple today for sharing their ceremony story with us and to our celebrant at Marry Me Ireland Liam Mc Carthy and to Caroline McNally Photography for her stunning images.


Venue The Haven Hotel

Photographer Caroline McNally Photography

Hair: Vow 2 Wow Bridal Hair.

Make-up Kate-Rose Crean

DJ Nik Kiely

Looking for more inspiration for your wedding ceremony? check out some of our Love Stories filled with different ways to celebrate your big day.