“We went with a teal and cowboy theme, as James lives in cowboy boots and the teal colour has always been my wedding colour. The boys all wore jeans, cowboy boots, and cowboy hats. We’d booked donuts, pig on spit, milkshakes and cookies, We may have gone a bit OTT.”
Your Names: Elizabeth & James Curran
Length of engagement: 6 years
Wedding Date: 2020-07-22
Wedding location: The Arklow Bay Hotel
Photographer: Brian from Memory Photography
Elizabeth and James went to school, and even though they never talked back then, they met a couple of years later at a friend’s party. They dated secretly for a month and got engaged a year later.
They planned their wedding for years, on and off. Eventually they decided to book The Arklow Bay Hotel for 22nd July 2020, which was their 7 year anniversary. This was the only venue they had gone to view that left them feeling comfortable and like it genuinely suited them as a couple.
“We went with a teal, cowboy theme, as James lives in cowboy boots and the teal colour has always been my wedding colour. The boys all wore jeans, cowboy boots, and cowboy hats. We’d booked donuts, pig on spit, milkshakes and cookies, We may have gone a bit OTT.”
“It was all postponed due to Covid19. We, like a lot of couples, had to make the horrible decision to postpone our wedding because of the lockdown. As the country started to reopen, we contacted the hotel to see if we could possibly get married, just the two of us with minimal guests. We were allowed 50 guests with some restrictions and our wedding was back on with 5 weeks to go!”
Elizabeth chose a beautiful satin ballgown with a plunging sweetheart neckline into off-the-shoulder straps. This is something she had always dreamed of, because the off-the-shoulder look really shows off her tattoo. “But I didn’t know what I was actually looking for when we went dress shopping. Aine talked to me and asked questions about what I actually wanted. I wanted pockets, to put my diabetes pump. She picked my dress up and said should try it. I thought it was too plain, but when I tried it on, it was amazing and fit like a glove. We added a belt for a bit of bling and a cathedral veil.”
Elizabeth had two pairs of shoes; her heels and white cowboy boots too! She had a beautiful teardrop bouquet with pinks and purples, made by Anne from Floral Affairs in Arklow. Her bridal look was completed by an out of the way updo, a natural makeup look and a light natural tan.
The beautiful bridesmaids wore teal dresses and cowboy boots. Elizabeth wanted everyone to feel comfortable, so she chose the teal colour and allowed the girls to pick their own dresses and hairstyles. “My sister lives in China and couldn’t make it home, so my niece stepped up beside us and we got a cardboard cut out of my sister (S. A. S Candy Cart Hire). My daughter was flower girl and my son was ring security, which was very special.”
Elizabeth and James were meant to get married outside, but the weather wasn’t playing along, so they got married inside instead. “I was late, my Dad walked me up the aisle, I nearly tripped up the aisle, we wrote our own vows, we whispered to each other throughout it was just about us, and nothing else going on in the world mattered, for those few moments.”
“The Arklow Bay was beautiful. We wanted to be married on the lake with a beautiful view behind us, but the weather didn’t allow. The ceremony room was decorated beautifully and we did get our beautiful photos out in the gardens. The staff were amazing, so so helpful even down to Dick the general Manager coming up to the room late the night before the wedding to fix the TV.
Eimear the wedding Coordinator helped us so much, to first postpone everything and then reinstate everything. We weren’t allowed to have a sweet cart due to restrictions, so they put a selection in our bridal suite. The food was amazing. James is a chef and picky at the best of times so they definitely had their work cut out. Even the servers over dinner couldn’t do enough for us and the girls on reception who every time we’ve stayed, have treated us like royalty and made sure we felt welcome and comfortable.”
James’ favourite memory from the day is the first time he got to see his soon to be wife standing in front of him at the altar. “I had a pit in my stomach and my heart was racing. She looked absolutely beautiful and it is a memory I’ll have to cherish for the rest of my days.”
Elizabeth’s favourite memory is from before the wedding when they weren’t allowed to see each other. “I had snuck down for a smoke before hair and makeup. I had told him to stay in his room, but his groomsman had arrived so he came out to meet him and there was a mad dash upstairs so he didn’t see me but I saw him.”
“Just do it! We’ve had so many different times where we started planning and something came up, so we put it off again and again. I don’t think we were ever in a rush because, we knew even without being married we were together for life but this time we weren’t letting anything stop us, not even Covid19. We had an amazing day, it wasn’t exactly what we had planned, people were missing that we wished were there, but in the end, it came down to us not putting it off again. The day was about us getting married to each other and no one else. We’re glad we went with a smaller day, and less of the extravagance, it was very relaxed, and we got to talk to all 37 of our guests.”
Wedding venue: The Arklow Bay | Photographer: Memory Photography | Videographer: East Coast Video Productions | Planner/coordinator: Eimear (The Arklow Bay) | Musician and DJ: WiseGuys | Hair: Shelly Styles Hairstylist | Makeup: Lorraine, Hollywood Beauty | Dress: La Bella Sposa | Suits: Protocol in Swords Plaza | Bridesmaids dresses: JJs House | Cake: Alanas Cake Company | Celebrant: Roaseanna Howell | Jewellery: Jules Bridal Jewellery | Flowers: Floral Affairs Arklow
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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.