Deirdre and Jim met on a night out. Deirdre was only 16 and trying to get into a nightclub for the first time. Her friend Aoife asked Jim, who was 19 at the time, if he would walk in with Deirdre. She got in and the rest is history! The couple got engaged in Portugal and got married at the Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny.
We got engaged in Faro and it was a complete surprise! So much so that I didn’t even give him an answer! My birthday was in June and I didn’t want anything at the time so I asked Jim to plan a night or 2 away in October, while I was on midterm holidays. I really wasn’t expecting to go abroad until 2 days before we went when he told me to get him my passport! We went to Portugal for 5 days and on day 3, he proposed. We were having a lovely day; we had stopped off for crepes and Nutella and watched a soccer match in the beer garden of a local pub. Jim insisted that I book into the spa in the hotel to get my nails done that evening, so we made our way back to the hotel and off I went. He told me to make sure I brought my key card in case he wasn’t there when I got back. I thought nothing of it. When I came back to the room there were candles everywhere, A Thousand Years from Twilight was playing in the background and Jim was down on one knee on the balcony. There and then, he asked me to marry him. He had stolen my ring that my friends had bought me for my birthday and used that to propose. I was in complete shock. I actually had to sit down and he poured me a glass of vodka!! We were both sitting on the balcony then and he said, “you never actually answered me!” He then had a Michelin Star Restaurant booked for our dinner and we went and drank cocktails for the night! We didn’t tell anybody for nearly 3 weeks. We loved keeping it our secret for a while. Plus, I had to wait for the ring!
We had our wedding at Lyrath Estate Hotel. Honestly, we chose it because we fell in love with it the minute we walked in there. They say you’ll really get a feel for your venue when it’s the right one and I can’t explain it but that’s exactly what happened. My mam grew up in Kilkenny also and apparently she had said to my nana years ago, “I would love if Deirdre could get married here but what are the chances when she’s so far away.” I live in Co. Cork and so does my husband. My nana didn’t tell me this until after I had booked it so I suppose it was all fate really! Plus, I had my choice of dates for July, which rarely happens! The team were fantastic to deal with throughout, especially Gillian and Alan.
Deirdre: There are so, so many I find it really hard to narrow it down. I had my closest friends come to my room for 45mins on the morning of the wedding to have Champagne. The buzz and excitement were crazy! We got our picture taken in our pjs with our hair and makeup done and it was just fab! I loved arriving at the church, seeing my flowers and having my baby girl handed to me. I also loved walking down the aisle. I thought I would be petrified but all my friends were at the edge of nearly all the seats so they calmed me down! I loved my ‘surprise’; when the priest called on the musicians and the singer started singing All You Need Is Love, I got really confused because I hadn’t picked that song and there was a lot of mumbling. I was actually kind of annoyed because the flow of the day was interrupted! Then Jenny, our photographer, told us to stand up and walk to the middle and there was a trumpet player and a sax player in the aisle! I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe he had pulled it off behind my back. It was amazing. I just loved every aspect of the day because it all went so smoothly. We were really lucky.
Jim: My favourite parts of the day were turning around and seeing Dee walk down the aisle and when the speeches were over and Dee surprised us all with the fire breathers! I had no clue. She kept most of the day secret really!
I’m a bit OCD with presentation and the finer details so I loved the décor side of things, finding all the little bits and figuring out what part they would play in the wedding. Everything had to link together, be coordinated and suit the overall look of the wedding. I was really happy with the way things turned out and I really enjoyed that part of the planning, even if it stressed me out at times!!
Remember to relax! Do not have anything to do with your suppliers on the day of the wedding. Make all necessary payments before the day if possible and, if not, have it organised and delegated for someone else to do. I also didn’t have my phone from 9 o clock that morning until about 2 days later, so if there was a problem I knew nothing about it! Have a glass of Champagne and have fun with your bridal party.
Maruta Burtniece is the in-house florist for Lyrath Estate. I asked her to do my church flowers, my bouquets and my centrepieces. I am so glad I did. She understood my vision straight away and got everything perfect.
I got my jewellery from Gollum’s Precious in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin. They provided an absolutely fantastic service! They didn’t have exactly what I was looking for on the day I visited them but they went out and got it for me. They are extremely accommodating and have fabulous pieces to suit every budget.
If you want a non-intrusive videographer, Colm Russell is your man. I barely noticed Colm throughout the day and most of my guests didn’t even realise we had a videographer! He is also fantastic when it comes to editing your final video and is more than happy to try and accommodate you when it comes to special requests. The finished product is fantastic!
Last but not least, the amazing Jenny! She made our day so relaxed. She is so funny and we didn’t have any of those awkward poses or cringe moments. I really wanted some photos with my baby girl and we all know 7 month old babies don’t cooperate but she got them all! She was so, so fast and we actually got to enjoy our wedding and be with our guests! I found it extremely hard to narrow down the photos for my album. I loved them all!