“The getting married part was probably the best, if not, the most important!”
The couple: Bronwyn Murphy White & Pádraig Cooney
Length of engagement: 14 Months | Wedding date: November 12th 2016
Wedding venue: Clonabreany House, Meath
Photographer: Louise Scott Photography
We met… We met through mutual friends, we are both musicians and our bands played gigs together. We would be at the same parties and gigs and just got to know each other that way. Turned out we actually lived a few minutes away from each other too, so that was handy for dates. Then we found out that our parents’ knew each other when they were children and grew up on the same road, so obviously it was meant to be!
Our proposal… Pádraig proposed to me at Château Comtal in Carcassonne, France. We were staying there for a couple of days before heading to our friends’ wedding, so we kept our engagement a secret until we got home. He proposed with a plastic ring and let me choose a real ring when we got home, which I thought was very sweet. I didn’t realise it was plastic for about two hours though, so he nearly saved himself a few quid.
My hair and makeup… Emma Farrell was the makeup artist for myself and the bridesmaids and Lorraine Browne was our hairdresser. My original hairdresser, Michelle O’Halloran was very unwell on the day so she kindly organised for Lorraine to step in at the last minute and she did a lovely job. Both myself and the bridesmaids were fairly laid back about what we wanted, I think the general consensus for hair and makeup was just to look like a nicer versions of ourselves and we were really happy with what they did. Both girls were lovely, we had a nice chilled out morning getting ready.
My dress… I got my dress in Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage in Derry. I spent a weekend there with my parents shortly after Pádraig and I got engaged and we decided to begin the dress hunt then, as I had seen a dress I liked and they had it there. I ended up not getting the one I went to see, but got a beautiful Essence of Australia gown. It was the first and only place I went to but Ciara has a fantastic range of dresses, so I tried on loads and absolutely loved the one I chose. I managed to track down a ‘pink’ veil in The White Room, Mullingar to match my dress.
What our bridal party wore… My four bridesmaids wore a two tone dress from Coast. It was fairly risky getting a dress in Coast as there was potential for guests to wear the same dress, but luckily that didn’t happen. We had gone to try on some more traditional looking bridesmaid dresses previously and they were nice but when myself and three of the bridesmaids went to Coast and they tried the dress on it was unanimous, they looked beautiful in them and not a single alteration was needed, which was handy! The top half was black with t-shirt style sleeves and the skirt was a beautiful pleated satin in a shade of champagne nearly identical to my wedding dress.
His suit… Pádraig got his suit from Michael Barrie on Duke Street. He chose a charcoal grey three-piece with a burgundy tie and pocket square and wore burgundy shoes to match. The night before the wedding I gave him my great grandfather’s pocket watch to wear on the day. He looked very handsome. His groomsmen wore the same suit but with grey ties and pocket squares and they all wore beautiful floral boutonnieres.
Our ceremony… We chose to have a Humanist ceremony and our celebrant was Pat Coyle from the Humanist Society of Ireland. The ceremony was really special for us as we had asked some of our friends and family to perform songs we love and read special poems and prose. We lit a unity candle and performed handfasting to symbolise our marriage, it was lovely.
We chose our venue because… We wanted to have our wedding ceremony and reception in one place and we also wanted somewhere private, just for us for the weekend, which could accommodate a large number of guests. Very specific requests, but Clonabreany House had all of it and is such a beautiful venue in a gorgeous setting! On top of that, their staff were so friendly and incredibly professional, they were so kind and contributed hugely to the success of our wedding.
Our menu… The food at Clonabreany was delicious, they served it like a military operation and there was so much of it! We had chicken milles feuilles to start, then mushroom soup. For the main course, there was beef or hake with about six different types of potatoes and Eton Mess to finish. The second day we had a barbecue (in November!) There were burgers and sausages and loads of lovely salads. We had our wedding cake for dessert, which was a three tier chocolate biscuit and space bar cake made by Una at 2210 Patisserie, it was delicious and looked incredible.
We chose our photographer because… We had seen Louise (Louise Scott Photo) at a wedding expo and just loved her style so we contacted her and luckily she was available on the day. Her photos are absolutely gorgeous, we’re delighted with them; she really captured the atmosphere of the whole day. Apart from the official photos, we barely noticed her taking pictures, she was so discreet.
Our honeymoon… We decided to save our honeymoon for the first week of January, we are going to Thailand for just under three weeks. We’ll be taking in Bangkok, Chang Mai, Chang Rai and Krabi. We can’t wait.
My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s impossible to say which part was our favourite, we loved all of it, but the getting married part was probably the best, if not, the most important! It was amazing to see so many of our friends and family together in one place, it was overwhelming actually and really weird in a lovely sort of way. The most fun part was the reception when the band started playing. We hired The Beat Club, they were absolutely brilliant; the dance floor was full the entire night. Everyone dancing together, someone may have even done The Worm at some point. When the band finished our DJ, Ian Barrett, seamlessly continued the party.
Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t really plan to have a colour scheme but we sort of ended up with one. I suppose, naturally, when you start choosing things you try to make them match. After I designed the invitations, I went on to design all the printed ephemera for the day including menus, table numbers and seating chart, the ceremony pamphlet and an order of events poster for the weekend, so that became the visual theme.
My dress had a bit of a pink/champagne tint to it and the bridesmaids dresses were a similar colour with black on the top, so I asked Pádraig to choose his groomsmen suits with this in mind. For the house flowers, we chose neutral shades to complement the colour of my dress, our rose gold rings and Pádraig’s burgundy tie and pocket square. For the bridal party flowers, we mentioned the champagne and burgundy shades to be included but left the design up to florist Olivier who made the most incredible bouquets and boutonnieres in gorgeous Autumn shades. As it was going to be dark by the time we were eating, we chose candelabras and flowers for the dining tables, for a cosy atmosphere, so the theme for decoration was flowers and candles.
My piece of advice for other brides… Start planning early, get your main things booked as soon as you can. Things like venues, celebrants, bands and photographers can actually be booked out a year in advance, so don’t delay on that. Once you have those sorted you can then take your time to focus on the details. Get a great band and/or DJ and put on a really good party.
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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.