Your Wedding Day is such a special day and ours did not disappoint. I stayed in Mammy and Daddy’s the night before my wedding. I slept in my own bed and Tara took Nathan in with her so that I could get a sleep. The night before there were a few family and friends in Mam and Dad’s house, a few glasses of champagne and wine were consumed and then Tara and Shauna (my sisters) presented me with my hen memories book, with loads of pictures and messages from all my chicks 😊. It was such a nice gift and something I will cherish forever. Off to bed early as I needed as much sleep as possible before the big day.
Early to bed and early to rise! I was up early and straight into the shower. Our hairdresser, Andrea, from the Hair Gallery in Portlaoise was there to get started. The rollers were put in and then it was under the dryer for me. While I was drying, I was on my phone reading all the well wishes I had received that morning. It was so relaxed. The front sitting room was the hair studio, the living room was for makeup and the kitchen was chaos. There were bodies everywhere. Olive was on the floor with a few of the kids putting the marryoke lyrics into the mass booklets, Nathan was crawling around full of divilment. We had so many visitors that morning. The flowers arrived with my uncle. My cousin was driving Sean and the Groomsmen so he was in the house to collect the flowers for their lapels. My Aunt was there with my beautiful flower girl and her brother, our junior groomsman/usher for the day. Someone went out and got breakfast for everyone there and drinks and laughter were flowing.
Once my hair was done it was off to make-up with Lisa, she did an amazing job. Everyone got their turn at hair and makeup, they even squeezed in a few extras. The photographer and videographer were there taking pictures of us as we got ready. We also filmed some scenes for our marryoke. It was hilarious singing along to the lyrics of Barry White, “My First, My Last, My Everything”. I had to sing it by myself and with my sisters and Mam. Our videographer and photographer were Frame It Weddings (https://www.frameitweddings.com/). Richie and Les were so accomodating and captured amazing memories from the day. After that I was walking around the house enjoying the atmosphere and a sip of champagne. Tara and Shauna my bridesmaid were off getting ready and so was Mammy. They looked amazing. We were all so relaxed that we forgot the time, oops! The car had arrived to bring us to the church and I wasn’t even in my dress. The pressure was on. Into Mam and Dad’s room I went and I was helped into my dress by my sisters. Tara tightened the back and Shauna was underneath fixing the tulle and strapping in my shoes. Dad came in once I was dressed with Nathan in his arms and tears were shed.
Then we were off. Into the car with Daddy and off we went to the church. It was a glorious day and the temperatures reached 26 degrees. I was a bit late for the church so as soon as we arrived it was time to line of for the procession. Dad turned to me and asked what he was to do when we got to the top of the aisle. I started off by saying you can shake Sean’s hand and then lift my …., oh s**t. I forgot my vail. In all the excitement, the vail was hanging the in the wardrobe and it was forgotten about. Panic stations! Tara took over, into bridesmaid mode. My uncle was called for, with whispers going down the church. When he came out him and Tara jumped into the car and sped off towards the house. The priest, Fr. Tommy came out for a chat and the church inside was alive with whispers wondering what was happening.
Tara and my uncle arrived back in no time and the vail was thrown in any which way, who cares, it was here. Down over my face and the String Quartet Vltava began to play. As I walked down the aisle I got so emotional, it was finally happening. I was on my way up the aisle to the love of my life, ready to start a new chapter and commit ourselves to each other in front of all our family, friends, and God. It was a beautiful ceremony, if I say so myself. I prepared the mass with help from Fr. Tommy and tried to get as many involved as possible. All the kids in the family were invited and they all did prayer of the faithful in pairs with their siblings. Sean’s sister did a reading and so did a very close friend of ours.
It was time for the vows and Sean and I had been practising for weeks. He nailed his and I mixed mine up to a different version but no one noticed, till now. Before the priest got to announce us as husband and wife I leaned in and kissed Sean. I got the timing wrong and the priest made a joke and the whole church erupted in laughter. It wasn’t the first time during the ceremony that laughter was heard as Fr. Tommy made a few jokes about how late I was and about my vale. It made the ceremony more personal. I dos were exchanged; another kiss was had and we were married. My sister read a prayer after communion which was very emotional for everyone. We signed the registry and took a few photos and then we danced out of the church to Barry White.
Everyone gathered in the church yard after congratulating us. Champagne was passed out to the immediate families and group photos were taken. It was great to see all the people who could join us on our special day and looking back at it now we were so blessed to have so many. It’s sad to think that a few special characters have passed away since then, but they are always in our thoughts.
The wedding party made their way to Emo Court for pictures. It is such a special place for us and it was fitting to have our pictures taken there. We got all the group shots out of the way and then everyone left, leaving Sean and I and the photographer for some more intimate shots. It was so hot in Emo that poor Sean got burnt on his head. Once the photos were taken the videographer got some scenes of Sean and I singing and dancing around a tree for the marryoke. Sean was so embarrassed which made me laugh more. It was hilarious. Richie and Les from Frame It Weddings were there encouraging us – more Sean and me to embrace it and just enjoy it. The photos and footage would be worth it.
On our way to the reception we were so overwhelmed with the ceremony and everyone’s love and well wishes. We took that time to relax and have a cuddle and a chat before the exciting celebrations ahead. We arrived at a red carpet leading us inside the Heritage in Portlaoise. I am so glad that we went with this venue, they were amazing and so accommodating. We had originally booked the Heritage in Killenard and it was only going to be a small wedding with a large afters. We booked the day of the wedding fair and the next day they called us back to cancel our booking as the meal was only for 30+ people and it was too small. I was heartbroken, but in hindsight it worked out for the best. A few weeks later the wedding fair was on in Portlaoise, again we booked for a small meal and a large afters. They were happy to take the booking and helped with all our questions. The next day after discussions with my parents the guest list went from 30+ to 200. Portlaoise was the perfect venue, they provided us with loads of choices and accommodated us with everything we wanted and needed. It was an amazing day from start to finish.
There was a champagne reception with canapes and music playing in the background. We were able to enjoy a chat with a few of the guests before being called for dinner. We decided to have the speeches before dinner, Sean was so nervous that he said he wouldn’t be able to eat knowing he had to speak. Sean’s brother was the best man and he was the MC, introducing us as husband and wife and handing the mike over to my Daddy. His speech was so heart felt and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Actually, looking back all the speeches were tear jerkers and everyone was crying. My sister Tara said a few words, Sean and I spoke and Conleth, Sean’s brother and his Mam also spoke. Then it was down to the meal.
The day flew by and it was a whirlwind of excitement. The band that played were called Epic, they have since reformed as The Electrix. Damien Carroll the lead singer was brilliant and they got everyone on the floor after the first dance, which was “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. This song is so special to us and has been our anthem for years. It was amazing that when we went to get Nathan’s 3D scan that this song was playing in the background and was used as the music on the DVD of the scan we took away with us. The second song was one of my Dad’s favourites, “Simply The Best”. Him and I had such a good dance that at some stage he spun me and I landed on my bum. He got too excited. I was up as quick as I went down and not many people noticed.
The cake was made by Bernie Gorman of House of Cakes. She called in to my house for a consultation and everything we discussed was brought to life on the cake. It was a castle of course, because I secretly I wished I was a princess. There were icing cut outs of the wedding party going up the stairs of the cake with Sean and I at the castle doors. There were also 3D butterflies going up the cake. The theme for the tables was different breeds of butterflies and the invitations and mass booklets all had butterflies on them too.
The videographer (Les) had set up in the lobby outside the function room and had loads of different groups singing along to Barry White. It was such a good addition to the day as everyone embraced it and the DVD turned out great. The afters came around so quick and when the band took a break Sean and I decided to disappear for a few minutes. I had bought a lighter wedding dress from Monsoon in Kildare Village so that I could change into it later in the night. I was never so glad to get out of my wedding dress. I bought my dress in Berketex Brides upstairs in the Jervis Centre, it was my dream dress and I fell in love with it. Mam came with me to pick it and it was so nice to have that moment together. Afterwards we went to St Mary’s Chapel for dome champagne and dinner.
As I said earlier the day was very hot and with all the too-ing and fro-ing I was roasting under all the tulle. I put my hair into a shower cap and had a cool shower. I felt so refreshed we were able to go back down to the party and appreciate it more after taking those few minutes to ourselves.
The dancing went on all night and last few stragglers hit the residents bar. There was great laughter and reminiscing done when the crowd thinned out and we even had a performance of Braveheart from my cousin dedicated to Daddy. Tears of laughter flowed from everyone’s eyes. I only watched the video recently of the performance and it was so funny. The bar staff brought out some sandwiches to soak up the drink and Sean and I left around 3am. It was the perfect day from start to finish and I cherish the memories deeply in my heart. We are so lucky to have such amazing families and friends and they all got to share our special day with us.