“My rose gold engagement ring set the theme and colours for our special day.”
Names: Imelda Quinn & Daragh Conlan
Length of engagement: 9 months
Wedding Date: March 23 rd 2018
Ceremony location: Sacred Heart Church, Laytown
Reception location: The Conyngham Arms, Slane Co. Meath
Photographer: David Maury
We met… online.
Daragh and I met on match.com. We were matched up based on our answers to a personality quiz and
within 3 days of messaging one another we met for our first date in Hogans on South Great George’s
Street in Dublin. Within 2 weeks we had been on 4 great dates. We both had holidays booked shortly
after and it was whilst we were both away that we started to realise how much we liked one another.
We both flew home on the same day and met up that night. That was in March and by August we had
moved in together! We both knew we had found the one.
Our proposal… Dooagh Beach, Achill Island.
Daragh proposed on my birthday. He surprised me with a trip to Westport. We were staying in the
Knockranny House Hotel. On the morning of my birthday I had arranged to have my hair blow-dried and
was a bit disappointed when the weather was awful and Daragh told me we were going for a drive and a
walk. We drove along the Greenway and onto Achill Island before stopping at Dooagh beach. After a
very short walk on the windy beach, Daragh got own on one knee on the sand. He asked me to marry
him and asked would I be his left shoe. He had told me once that his mam had told him that every right
shoe had a left and he just had to keep looking for his match. I literally jumped for joy and hopped
around like an eejit. He had my perfect ring chosen, a rose gold round halo setting diamond ring. Daragh
had thought of everything and had champagne and glasses hidden in the car boot. We sat on the rocks
drinking champagne together before ringing our families to share our news with them. We celebrated
with more champagne in our hotel and had dinner in an Port Mór in Westport town. Celebrating our
engagement was amazing and we dragged out the celebrations for weeks.
Our wedding theme/colours…
My rose gold engagement ring set the theme and colours for our special day. I love flowers and knew I
wanted loads of bright flowers included in our décor too. We chose shades of pink and peach and our
florist chose the perfect flowers to complement the colour scheme. I loved picking up decorations in the
run up to the wedding including rose gold sequin table cloths from Penneys, IKEA candles personalised
with our initials, paper pom poms and personalised paper napkins. We had lots of personal touches
throughout the day like Lily O’Briens chocolates from our home in Newbridge, lobsters on our cake
topper and daffodils in the hotel and the tables at our reception were named after special places we had
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves…
I loved every minute of planning for the wedding. We had the venue and date booked within 6 days of
getting engaged! We knew we wanted a spring wedding and we had a very clear vision about how we
imagined our day would be. I bought most of the decorations and trusted the florist and team at the
Conyngham Arms to display them and decorate the rooms for us. We were not disappointed and I
remember being so overwhelmed when we walked into the Lavender Suite and saw it all set up.
I bought the first dress I tried on. I went shopping with my bridesmaid Cristina to the Bridal Outlet in
Baldoyle. I described my dream dress to Darina and was amazed when she picked out my dress; the
‘Hannah’ from the Margaret Moreland collection. Once I saw it I fell in love and knew it was the one! I
felt like a princess and particularly loved the unusual cream oyster colour. I returned to the shop the
next day with my parents and once they approved and agreed it was my perfect dress I said yes to the
dress. The best advice they gave me when collecting my dress was to enjoy wearing it and I really did. I
loved the full satin skirt and didn’t want to take it off.
I had beautiful Rachel Simpson shoes with rose gold detail to match my engagement ring. I wore my
gold charm bracelet that my parents had bought me for my 21 st. My mum gave me her wedding day
charm for my bracelet as my something old. My toenail polish was my something blue, my veil was
borrowed from my sister in law and my wedding converse were my something new. They were ordered
online and had my new name Mrs. Conlan stitched on them.
My hair and make up…
When I was a bridesmaid for my friend I had met with some members of the Powder Room girls and
loved how they did our hair and makeup so I knew I trusted them for my day. I met with Adrienne and
Dolly a few weeks before for a trial and they made me feel like a model. They did an amazing job
transforming me into a bride on the day. They were so professional and arrived at the hotel at 7 am. We
only had a small room and lots of women coming and going but they set a calm atmosphere and tone
in the room. I felt so at ease and relaxed and loved watching them work on myself and my bridesmaids
I met John from Best Menswear at the Wedding and Honeymoon Show in the RDS and was really
impressed with how friendly and enthusiastic he was. Daragh and I visited their Liffey Valley store. We
knew we had a small bridal party and wanted to buy the suits. The suits were fantastic value and the
staff in Bests gave us loads of time to help choose all the suits. John was so patient and made the whole
experience so easy and enjoyable. We chose matching suits for the groom and best man and our fathers
wore different suits.
What our bridal party wore…
My bridesmaids were my two close friends Cristina and Eimear. Cristina was pregnant so we knew we
needed a maternity dress for her. A local dressmaker and designer Freda Mc Cormack made the girls
dresses. She guided us in choosing the most flattering crepe fabric in a gorgeous dusky pink shade. The
dresses were so elegant and flattering with a lace overlay top and long flowing skirt. She made the
dresses so quickly too and both girls looked stunning.
Before we even got engaged we knew we wanted a spring wedding in the Sacred Heart Church in
Laytown. It is such a special place to both of us, particularly me as I taught in the school next door for
years and the parish priest was a colleague and friend.
As a primary school teacher I had organised and been part of so many special masses and ceremonies in
the church and had always dreamed about walking down the aisle there one day. I used to joke that if I
ever got married the school choir would have to sing for me…. and they did! The Scoil an Spiorad
Naoimh choir of over 100 children sang so beautifully and they were outstanding. They added to the
relaxed and intimate ceremony we both wanted. Daragh and I had been to lots of weddings together so
we had very clear ideas about what was important to us. Our 14 nieces and nephews along with our
siblings participated in the ceremony; reading prayers, poems and singing hymns.
The church was decorated by our florist Caroline Halpin and it looked amazing. We also had huge
balloons to decorate the church lobby and hotel. They added to the relaxed fun feeling on the day.
We chose our photographer because…
I stumbled across David’s work by chance during an online search. I then saw he was listed on weddings
online and arranged a meeting with him. We knew as soon as we met him, we would feel comfortable
with him photographing our special day. I adore hanging and displaying photos in our home and once I saw samples of David’s work I trusted that he would be able to follow our brief. He was so discreet on the
day but also lots of fun and felt like part of our family. So many of our guests and all of our families
commented on how friendly and at ease he was. We have the perfect relaxed photos of our day with a
few of the traditional family portraits too. We loved our engagement shoot with David too in the Botanic
Gardens. It was a fab way to get to know one another and once I saw those photos I had even more
confidence in him. Our package included 3 albums and they are all unique and treasured.
We chose our venue because… From the moment we met Louise in The Conyngham Arms we trusted her. She pre-empted every question or concern we had and reassured us along the way. Just like our ceremony we wanted a very relaxed and family orientated day and every member of staff in the hotel ensured this.
We hosted a meal for our families in the library the night before the wedding. It was a fantastic start to
the celebrations and the staff particularly Louise and Casey made us feel so welcome and looked after.
All of our nieces and nephews were staying in the hotel and they were so kind to the kids and our
siblings kept commenting on how helpful and thoughtful the staff were ensuring their stay was perfect.
Louise ensured our day ran smoothly and on time, every little detail was perfect. I didn’t feel that
anything was too much trouble for her or her team.
When we had our menu tasting a month before the wedding we stayed overnight and they made us feel
like royalty! The food was all local and so tasty. Our guests complimented the food and bedrooms and
praised the service at dinner and in the bar.
The Conyngham Arms will always be special to us. We went back for our first anniversary with our
newborn son and once again the staff made us feel so special. It’s a very special hidden gem in Slane.
We travelled to South Africa for our once in a lifetime honeymoon. We chose a really luxurious hotel on
the waterfront in Cape Town to start with named The One & Only. Freya in Trailfinders, Dublin planned
our whole trip and it was fantastic to have the app that we could check every day to see what we had
planned. All day trips, car hire and accommodation were included and it was so relaxing. We drove along
the Garden route stopping in Franschoek for the Wine Tram tour and Plettenburg Bay for breakfast with
elephants before finishing with a safari in Amakhala Reserve. We were incredibly lucky to see all of the
big 5 animals during our trip. We would recommend afternoon tea in the Belmond Mount Nelson and
the trip to Robben Island when in Cape Town. Knysna Elephant sanctuary was an incredible experience to
be so close to elephants. Hogs Hollow Hotel in Plettenberg Bay was superb, we watched and listened to
monkeys climbing on the roof of our chalet every night. An unforgettable experience!
My favourite part of the wedding day…
I would relive the day over and over again if I could. I have so many moments that I loved; twirling in my
dress on the dance floor with Daragh surrounded by our families, looking down at the church full of our
family and friends whilst lighting our marriage candle together, sitting at the fountain in the hotel
gardens on our own, walking into the Lavender Suite for our wedding meal to Stevie Wonders Signed
Sealed Delivered are just some of my favourites. But the absolute best part of the day was our first look
on the beach in Mornington Co. Meath. My family and friends thought we were mad going to a very
windy beach before the ceremony but we were determined to make it work and it did! My brother was
our driver for the day and I remember leaving the hotel that morning and being so excited to see
Daragh, begging him to hurry up and get me there on time! .Once we arrived at the beach I hopped out
of the car so fast my veil blew away. My brother had to run to the dunes to catch it. I didn’t care once I
could see Daragh standing with his back to me looking out to the sea at the top of the sand dunes. I
don’t remember seeing our photographer or videographer being there at all. It was really private and a
lovely way to start our day. It meant that we had no nerves and were so relaxed when we arrived at the
church. A few guests and our priest commented that they had never seen a more excited bride ready to
run down the aisle. I would recommend everyone to do a first look. It helped us remember what the day
was all about, just us making our promises to one another. These few moments alone were perfect. And
walking down the aisle with my dad was still a really special moment.
My piece of advice for other couples…
Take some moments to look around and take it all in not just on the day but in the months and weeks
leading up to it. We planned our wedding in a short time and regularly reminded ourselves that if it
couldn’t be done or something wasn’t available in our short time frame then it wasn’t meant to be.
Planning a wedding can be fun, it doesn’t have to be stressful. We embraced every bit of the adventure
and counted down every day to it.
Trust the professionals whether it’s make up artists, florist, celebrants or the band; they’ve done this a
hundred times before so take their advice and follow their lead.
Lastly chose a photographer you click with and trust. They have such a valuable important role in
capturing all the details you might miss.
What is it that makes your wedding unique?
My favourite flowers are daffodils and although I knew they wouldn’t work in my bridal bouquet I was
determined to have them included somewhere in our big day. Our florist even planted planters full of
daffodils for outside the church. I was delighted to discover that our wedding day was the annual Irish
Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day. We bought daffodil pins for our table favours. Our wedding date felt like it
was perfect for us and meant to be!
Wedding venue: Sacred Heart Church Laytown, Co. Meath & The Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane, Co.
Meath | Photographer: David Maury | Planner/coordinator: Louise O’Reilly, Conyngham Arms | Videographer: Michael Conlan | Musician: Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh School Choir | DJ: Sway Social Band | Hair: Adrienne from Powder Room Girls | Makeup: Dolly Buckley, Powder Room Girls | Dress: The Hannah dress from the Margaret Moreland collection from The Bridal Outlet in Baldoyle, Co. Dublin | Suits: Best Menswear, Liffey Valley | Bridesmaids dresses: bespoke dresses made by Freda Mc Cormack |
Cake: Marks & Spencers for our traditional cake and a cheese cake from Super Valu, Newbridge, and Co.
Kildare | Celebrant: Fr. Denis Mc Nulty | Balloons: Confetti Balloons | Florist: Caroline Halpin floristry, Malahide | Brides Shoes: Rachel Simpson | Wedding rings: Commins & Co Jewellers, Powerscourt Centre, Dublin | Wedding Stationery and invites: Amore Invites, Donegal | Wedding signs / page boy signs: River Lane Memories, Drogheda | Wedding candles: weddingcandles.ie , Co.Kildare | Cake Topper: Shindigs
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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.