Your Names: Ciara Mc Ginn and Ray Darcy
Length of engagement: 15 months
Wedding Date: 2018-07-06
Wedding location: The Hardiman
Photographer: Ken Byrne Photography
How did you meet and get engaged?
Ray and I met in St. Paul’s Secondary School in Oughterard where we were in the same year. We got to know each other better through a weekend job in a local shop and the rest, as they say, is history! Ray surprised me with a ring on Castle Hill in Nice in 2017, such an exciting moment!
Describe your wedding:
We wanted a traditional Galway celebration taking in all of the elements of this town that we love the most. Our theme was very much influenced by our venue; classic and timeless with gold accents and an art deco feel to the invitations, stationery and table plan. I had a bit more fun with the flowers opting for a mix of peonies, roses, spiraea and daisies in white and blush pink to reflect the time of year and tie in with the bridesmaids.
Tell us about your bridal look:
I always had a hunch that I would end up opting for a ball gown, but it was really about finding the right one. I wanted something that felt grown-up and structured with all the romance and drama of a full skirt. I eventually chose ‘Elegance’ by Suzanne Neville in Kadee Bride, Athlone. My long hair was styled fairly naturally, swept to one side with a slight wave. The wonderful Ann-Marie Fahy did my make up. As with most brides I wanted it to look similar to what I might have done myself for a special occasion. We went with quite a glam ‘full make-up’ look; smokey browns on the eyes, liner, lashes, the works!
What did your bridesmaids wear?
The three girls (my sisters and cousin) are stunning and luckily quite similar in stature so this was an easy one. We ordered three of the ‘Milla’ gown in Mauve online from Folkster and they only needed to be shortened – perfect! Great value too. I bought three pretty diamante and gold belts on Etsy to add some shape to the waist and then opted for a similar one for my own dress to tie it all together.
What was your ceremony like?
We had our ceremony at Christ the King Church, near where we live in Salthill. Fr. Jennings could not have been more helpful or accommodating in the lead up to and on the day itself. The building itself is so bright, open and inviting, our florists Go Dutch really only had to add little accents here and there to reflect our colours and theme. Our ceremony music was provided by Lucy Kavanagh who sang and played piano. We had a combination of hymns and songs that mean something to us, and she was kind enough to learn some beautiful covers, such as ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry and ‘I Will Wait’ by Mumford and Sons, which I actually walked up the aisle to. It made the ceremony feel very personal. We included as many of our nearest and dearest as we could in the mass, but a highlight was my Nana Mary who read a reflection and garnered a well-earned applause! She did so well and it meant a lot to us. We were fortunate to have had our wedding on a gloriously warm and sunny day and so the ice cream van waiting outside for our guests after the mass was well-received!
Tell us about your wedding venue:
The Hardiman Hotel (then called the Meyrick) is such an iconic Galway Hotel. Initially, we were reluctant to consider it as Ray’s sister and brother-in-law had had their wedding there only 4 years prior. But after a few other visits and a quick after-work meeting with the team there, we knew we were crazy to discount it. The interior is so timeless and elegant, the packages were competitive and the service was unparalleled. The meal was delicious and we could not have been happier with our choice and how they looked after us and our guests.
What is your favourite memory from your wedding day?
I think arriving back to the venue after the ceremony and the majority of the photographs had been taken was exciting. We walked into the lobby, hand-in-hand, and all of our friends and family moved towards us clapping and cheering. I was just so excited to see and speak to everyone finally, relax into the evening and enjoy the second part of what was an unforgettable day!
Have you got any advice for other couples?
Hire a photographer AND a videographer, and choose well! After the day is over and everyone has gone home, it’s how your memories will live on and to us, that was so important.
Do it your way. This goes for guest-list, flowers, food, everything! You won’t please everyone so don’t lose sleep over outside opinions (easier said than done!)
Wedding venue: The Hardiman | Photographer: Ken Byrne Photography | Musician: Lucy Kavanagh and Electric Lemon | DJ: Aidan Kenny | Makeup: Ann-Marie Fahy | Dress: Kadee Bridal, Athlone | Suits: Martin Feeney Formalwear | Bridesmaids dresses: Folkster | Cake: Goya’s Bakery | Celebrant: Fr. Gerry Jennings | Stationery: Siobhan Gibbons | Jewellery: Etsy | Flowers: Go Dutch