“We both wanted a very natural theme with lots of colour. We like DIY projects also so early on we decided that anything that could be made we would do ourselves.”
Names: Fiona Comer and Liam Kelly
Length of engagement: 1 year 8months
Wedding Date: 17.08.19
Wedding location: Dunmore church followed by Claregalway Hotel
Photographer: Liam Kidney Photography
We met… in university almost 9 years ago. We both started studying veterinary medicine in UCD in 2010 and by the end of October we had eyes for each other. There was a lot of messaging back and forth before we actually met up. Liam invited me to go to the cinema with a group of friends, but when I arrived at the cinema none of the other friends had shown up. Turns out nobody else had ever been invited. This was the first of many dates and the beginning of our story. We have been side by side ever since!
Our proposal…it was a raining Saturday 2 days before Christmas! I had just finished a long day at work and was quiet tired but Liam insisted we bring our puppy bailey for a walk. It was raining and quickly getting dark but it was unusual that we would both be free together so we wrapped up warm and headed to renvyle. As we got to the end of the walk at the waterfront I was looking across the bay toward Galway city and when I turned around Liam was on one knee. It was very emotional moment and after bursting into tears I managed to get a yes out. He had designed the ring he gave me and it was a real surprise. He had travelled to Applebys in Dublin earlier in the month to have it designed. It was the perfect proposal, just us and our dog in a beautiful scenic area.
Our wedding theme/colours… I am a little unconventional in that I love all colours, my favourite being yellow. Liam was happy to let me take the reigns on this (within reason). We both wanted a very natural theme with lots of colour. We like DIY projects also so early on we decided that anything that could be made we would do ourselves. One evening I was dreaming of our wedding invites and did a rough sketch of some wildflowers. We both loved it and it became a running theme through all our wedding, from invites to mass booklets. We also love animals, and so whenever we could we incorporated our own pets into the theme.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… if we could make it then we did it ourselves. Every sign we had was homemade. The easels they stood on were home made. I designed the wedding invites and had them printed. I also made my own hair piece for the day. Probably our biggest project was the large Light up LOVE letters which stood in front of our top table. We made these out of old pallets we found around Liams farm. We both loved these projects and they kept us sane during the build up to the big days. I think doing all these bits ourselves gave the whole wedding a personal touch.
My dress… I knew exactly what I wanted in a dress before I even looked – a princess style l, strapless with a veil to match. Turns out it was not as easy as I thought to pick just one. After trying on a few different styles suggested by some lovely shop assistants I knew that nothing would beat the idea I had in my head. One day in March 2018 myself and my mum went to Sligo for lunch. We spotted a bridal shop and went in for a quick look. The owner was so lovely and had 2 dresses in the style I wanted picked out in minutes. Both were beautiful but as soon as I tried on my dress I knew it was the one. My mum immediately said “that’s the dress” and I was sold. We then had a small panic when we realised it was not longer being made and so this was the only one that I could have – after having a discussion I knew I couldn’t leave it behind and despite needing a large amount of alterations I bought it there and then. I purchased earrings and a necklace from the newbridge range and a bracelet from love joules in Dublin. I got my shoes in Macy’s in New York. They were exactly what I wanted and so comfortable for the whole day
My hair and make up… I spent quite a while deciding on who would do my hair and makeup. I wanted to look natural and not the typical bride. I wanted curly hair with plaits and after much searching I found Louise from Bliss bridal hair. She knew exactly what I wanted and did it perfectly. She also incorporated my handmade hair piece perfectly and helped me decide how to wear my veil. For my makeup I was quite concerned about looking different from my normal self but Fiona Coyne put me at ease and made me feel more beautiful than ever.
His suit…Liam was quite particular about his look. He tried on more suits than I tried dresses! But after much searching he found the perfect suit in Hanley’s menswear in galway. It was a petrol blue colour with a lovely ivory waistcoat which made him stand out from the groomsmen. It was the only suit that gave him the “getting married” feeling.
What our bridal party wore… all the bridesmaids and groomsmen live all over the world so getting them together was not an easy task. For the bridesmaids I knew I wanted a light blue colour dress but really struggled to find something that would suit everyone. I knew I would have to order it online and just hope for the best. In the end I found a gorgeous light blue flowy dress on chichi London. I asked the girls to get one ordered to each of their homes and if they weren’t happy then we would return the lot. Thankfully it suited everyone and they all loved both the colour and style. It was a win win. I also gave their girls little daisy earrings and an alex and ani bracelet to match the dress. The groomsmen all got the same suit as Liam with a matching waistcoat. Liam also bought them all different coloured socks for the day! One of them even had to be fitted in the week before the wedding and so it was cutting it a little fine for time but it all got sorted in the end!
Our ceremony… was a religious ceremony held in my local parish church in Dunmore. The priest who married us was the parish priest way back when I made my communion and I used to serve mass for him as a child. It was perfect in every way. The music was done by my brother and Liams cousin. My brother played guitar and sang while Liams cousin sang with him. we also had a pianist accompanying theme We had lots of members of the family participate in the ceremony but by far the most special moment was when Liam surprised me by singing after communion. He sang bright blue rose to me while my brother played guitar and there wasn’t a dry eye in the church after.
We chose our photographer because… we wanted someone fun, easy to get on with and someone who wasn’t going to make us pose throughout the day for staged looking photos. We met up with Liam after getting a recommendation from a friend. He was an animal lover which immediately won us over. We had an engagement shoot and we were both thrilled with the photos he took so it was a no brainer to have him on the day. We laughed and joked through the whole day and he made a special effort to get our dog Bailey into some pictures with us.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… We didn’t hire a coordinator but Nora from the Claregalway hotel was as good as! No matter what I asked she could always get me an answer and was so helpful in keeping us on track all the way up to the big day. She was amazing at her job and made our wedding into a day we would remember forever.
We chose our venue because…of location, size and quality. We had only ever heard good things about the hotel and as soon as we walked through the doors to reception we knew it was the place for us. Nora was so welcoming and after a quick tour of the function room and a discussion about our wants and needs they really were the only choice.
Our menu…food was an important part of our day and the last thing we wanted was people saying they didn’t have enough or the choices were not good. We chose to have 5 courses and excluded the sorbet! We had chicken Caesar salad or chicken volevant for starter and there was a vegetarian and Vegan option. This was followed by a soup course. We then had sea bass or medallion of beef for main course which went down a treat with everyone. The hotel came round with seconds and thirds for those who were extra hungry! Everyone had clean plates after! We then had a medley of desserts followed by tea and coffee.
Our honeymoon… we have not gone on our official honeymoon yet. Straight after the wedding we went on a mini moon to Sneem in co. Kerry with our dog. We had a relaxing few days as a family visiting the local beaches and walking. We are going on our real honeymoon in November to New Zealand, Fiji and Los Angeles.
My favourite part of the wedding day… it has to be outside, having our photos taken in the local golf course. We were surrounded by friends and family and I have never felt happier. We were dancing and laughing and just having a great time. It’s nice to have a few minutes together just to gather your thoughts and take in the day – this was that time for us!
My piece of advice for other couples… don’t take anything too seriously, if something doesn’t go the way you wanted it just remember that nobody else knows that it isn’t right! Enjoy the day and do it the way you want to, not the way other people suggest. You want your day to reflect you as a couple. For us it was all the imperfections that made the day perfect for us.
What is it that makes your wedding unique?
Our wedding was completely designed by us. We didn’t want to be generic and in our own weird way we wanted the day to reflect us. Our dog made it to the church for photos and our cats were on our invites. Our dog even had some photo training with a friend of ours so she would pose well for photos in all the excitement of the day! Everything we did was “us”. We wanted colour, so we picked all the colours we could for our flowers. We are a young couple so we didn’t want to follow the tradition rules. We had a fast first dance (you make my dreams, by hall and Oates) and our music for the ceremony was very different to the usual choices you hear from weddings. Every song has meaning to us. We also made some Dingbat quizzes for the tables so people would chat during dinner. It definitely got tables talking and people really got into the challenge of it all. It’s hard to say how our wedding was unique but I know nobody else’s day will ever be the same as ours. It was devised by us, for our families, friends and pets to celebrate and nobody will ever manage to replicate it.
Wedding venue: Claregalway Hotel | Photographer: Liam Kidney Photography | Planner/coordinator: Nora Gill, Claregalway Hotel | Videographer: Lovestruck Films | Musician: Rory Comer and Rebecca Ward | DJ: Bennen Tierney | Hair: Bliss Bridal | Makeup: Fiona Coyne, C Beauty | Dress: Graceful Occasions Sligo | Suits: Hanley’s Menswear | Bridesmaids dresses: Chi Chi London | Cake: Bridie Glynn | Celebrant: fr Michael Farragher
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.