Bride and groom: Aileen Holland, accountant and Eoghan Grant, builder
Length of engagement: 11 months | Wedding date: March 31, 2012
Ceremony: Holy Cross, Kenmare | Reception: Sheen Falls Lodge
Planning a wedding from abroad can be a tricky task for some, but not Aileen and Eoghan who said the main tools they used were the internet, our family and friends, and a lot of patience. Aileen isn’t surprised that more and more couples are now coming home to get married because, “The Irish hospitality and wedding industry is extremely helpful and becoming more adaptive to requests from wedding couples from abroad,” she said,
Only 10 days after Eoghan proposed on The Great Wall of China, Aileen found her dress – a beautiful lace gown with intricate beading from Essense of Australia. She had the trail of her dress made into a veil – an idea she got from the WeddingOnline.ie Forums. Their wedding colours were royal blue and their ‘tying the knot’ theme came from the inscriptions on their wedding invitations, which was also engraved on their wedding rings.
How we met… We met at a house party in my house, Coogee, Sydney. Eoghan came to the party with a work colleague of his. The story goes – according to Eoghan – I introduced myself to him… twice!
First impressions of Eoghan… I thought he was a bit of a hottie and was great craic.
First impressions of Aileen… I thought Aileen was pretty and great fun.
Our proposal… We went on a holiday to Beijing China and on day three of our trip we went to explore the great wall. Eoghan took me to a quieter, unrestored section of the wall, which I thought was very dangerous and I wanted to head back. We decided to stop for a break and little did I think when I turned around from taking in the spectacular view, Eoghan would be there in front of me with a ring!
We planned our wedding from abroad… The main tools we used were the internet, our family and friends and a lot of patience. More and more couples are coming home to get married due to the economic climate. The Irish hospitality and wedding industry is extremely helpful and becoming more adaptive to requests from wedding couples from abroad. The assistance and support from Sheen Falls Lodge was amazing and we booked many other vendors based on their recommendations.
I was addicted to wedding forums (see the WeddingsOnline.ie Forums). They were my nightly read and were so helpful especially for reviews of different vendors. I was fortunate to be home last July so I could see things in person, meet our priest and organise men’s suits, bridesmaids dresses etc. I judged a lot of vendors on their response times to my email queries. The majority were very prompt and I was delighted that all our suppliers were most helpful even though we were in Oz.
Wedding photographer… Patricia Fitzpatrick of Insight Photography captured our day! Saying that Trish was just the photographer isn’t doing her service any justice. The minute we both met her we felt that she was fantastic and was more of a wedding planner, giving us loads of little tips for the day, which were such a great help! Trish made our day so special!
Our ceremony… Fr Lovell made us and our guests feel very welcome to the Holy Cross Church. His touching and warm ceremony set the tempo for the day. I soaked up every minute of the Rite of Marriage and was the happiest I’ve ever been becoming Eoghan’s wife.
My dress… Essense of Australia, which I bought 10 days after we got engaged. It was a little bit mad, but I had an idea of what I wanted and went for a look on my lunch hour and saw the dress, tried it on and loved it. We didn’t even have a date set. The lady in the store thought I was a bit mad and so did Eoghan, but when you know, you know. The veil was initially a trail on my dress but I had it made into a veil to match my dress – an idea I got from the WeddingOnline.ie Forums.
Our wedding colours and theme… We fell in love with blue bridesmaid dresses and so they became our wedding colours. We had pinks in the bouquets and eucalyptus plants too. We had blue and cream coloured cupcakes in our drinks reception. The theme came from the inscriptions on our wedding invitations – ‘tying the knot’, which was also engraved on our wedding rings.
We chose our venue because… Of its fantastic location by Sheen Falls Lodge, with a small intimate feel to hold our 110 guests. The professionalism of Sheen Falls and their helpfulness and approach during our venue selection was outstanding!
Our wedding party… Our chief bridesmaid was Pamela Walsh and our bridesmaids were Roisin Sherlock and Claire Flynn. Our best man was Donal Grant and our groomsmen were Tom McDonald and Harry White.
Our first dance song… Powderfinger – Burn Your Name.
Our favourite wedding photo… The image of the two of us in the car.
My advice to other brides… When organising a wedding from abroad you need to be patient, search forums and speak to other brides. Also, on the day everyone will want a piece of you, but try to get some alone time with your hubby, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Reception: Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare Kerry.
Photographer: Patricia Fitzpatrick of Insight Photography
Bridesmaid dresses: Angel Brides Middleton, Cork
Bride’s Shoes: Panache, Sydney
Hair: Colette’s in Kenmare
Make up: Marianne Wiley
Headpiece: Swarovski Crystal – my something borrowed
Flowers: Kenmare Flower Shop and my cousin Geraldine Wymberry
Suits: Morleys Menswear Cork – the same place as Dad got his 32 years ago
Cake: Mam and Granny
Cupcakes & Ferrero Rocher Tree: The Village Greengrocer, Castlemartyr, Cork
Church and reception music: Jim Kiely and Stella Randell, Kenmare.
Band: Pink Champagne
Wedding Video: Video Cork, Macroom, Co. Cork.
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