“After many tears, and questions as to whether he was serious or not, I said YES!”
The couple: Anne & Julian O’Keeffe
Length of engagement: 16 months | Wedding date: 3rd August 2017
Wedding venue: Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Tullow, Carlow
Photographer: Denlo Photography
We met… Back in 2006 when we were just 16! We were both working part time in Superquinn in Market Cross, Kilkenny. Julian used to walk me home from work and and we’d stay talking for hours. A few walks home later, we had our first kiss and it continued from there.
Our proposal… was on the Butterslip Lane in Kilkenny on March 24th 2016. We went for dinner to celebrate Julian’s completion of a course in work to his favourite restaurant in Kilkenny, Ripleys. Julian didn’t touch his dinner and I just thought he was very hungover! He had actually planned to do it during the meal but the restaurant kept getting busier so the nerves got to him and he waited until we left. After many tears, and questions as to whether he was serious or not, I said YES! He was so eager to get the visiting to the parents and grandparents started but I wanted to go for a walk and sit down and talk about it with him. So we chatted for awhile but then, much to Julian’s delight, we moved on and called to my parents first. I remember walking into my parents’ kitchen and being greeted by them with big smiles and all of us in tears. All of a sudden, the living room doors open and in pour his parents, grandparents and family and the tears and hugs continued. As I was hugging his family, I felt a little tug on my jumper and when I turned around I saw my nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters all home from London! I immediately fell to the floor and hugged my niece Emma and nephew Andrew. They had been hiding in the den and living room for about twenty minutes waiting for us to come home. Julian had arranged with my siblings to fly home for the celebrations from the Christmas time before!
My hair and makeup… Leanne Nolan from VOW 2 WOW did my hair. Leanne was great and she was very patient with me as I made some changes right up until the last minute. I loved how she managed to include a plait, like I asked, but didn’t let it take over the hairstyle. Karen Maher did our makeup on the morning and it was flawless. Right from the trial, she was full of tips and advice for me in the run up to the wedding. Karen and Leanne ensured the morning ran smoothly and everyone was cared for in a timely manner.
My dress… I found my dress in the first shop on the first day of shopping in Jeutonic in Kilkenny. I was tagging dresses to try on, unsure of what style I wanted, so I picked different shapes and styles to try on. Meanwhile, my mum pointed out a dress that was in the window display and I mentioned I wasn’t mad about it so we moved on. Long story short, after trying on a few dresses, Maeve also suggested the dress in the window so I gave it a try. That was the dress and I didn’t look back! I was hesitant to say yes there and then so we continued with our appointments but my mind was drawn back to that dress every time. I never thought I’d go for such a heavily laced dress but I decided to break it with a jewel and pearl belt, also from Jeutonic. I loved the back of the dress so much I didn’t want to cover it with a heavy veil so I chose quite a sheer veil with no detail also from Jeutonic. Caroline and the team are amazing there!
His suit… Julian wore his army uniform for the ceremony. We both said from the start of our engagement that this was something we’d like to incorporate. Julian’s twin brother is also in the army so they both wore their army uniform which was a special touch. We had so many people mention what a lovely touch it was. After the church, they both changed into their suits to match the groomsmen.
Our ceremony… We got married in St. Patrick’s Church by Fr. Roderick Whearty, a friend of both families. We are both from St. Patrick’s Parish, so this was an easy decision for us as we also made our Communion together in the same church.
We chose our photographer because… A week after our engagement my mum, my sister Fiona and I went to the Punchestown Wedding Fair. We were completely open minded taking it all in. We actually met Denis and Lorraine’s daughter as they were working a wedding that day. I immediately loved their work (Denlo Photography) and when I made contact with them, they were so accommodating and met us in Mount Wolseley at a later date to show us their work. We chatted for ages and we left knowing we wanted them as our photographers. The photographer and videographer was a big deal for us as we knew the pictures and videos would be something we’d have for life. I always wanted two photographers to capture every aspect of the wedding including the preparations at both parent’s houses. The finished products from both Denlo and Star Systems we received, were amazing.
Our wedding theme/colours… We chose the mint colour simply because we loved it and it was different to what we had seen before. I asked my sister, Kate, to organise a few games during the meal which got the guests involved and gave everyone a great laugh and brought that fun element to it. It wasn’t until picking the invites that we decided to include a basketball theme into some aspects of the day. Julian is a massive basketball player and it is a huge part of our lives. I drew out the design for a basketball ticket as the invites and we sent this to E.M Designs and she made them up based on my design. I also made the table plan myself by making jerseys with the guests’ names printed onto the jersey. Then we had Maria from Maria’s Cakes make us a personalised topper and cupcakes that reflected this.
Our menu… We tailored our menu to only have three courses instead of four. We know from being at weddings ourselves, we’re always very full after the meal and because we put on canapés and made up Tayto sandwich bags for the evening buffet we felt this would be sufficient. We had soup or Vol au Vents for starters, Roast Sirloin of Beef or Cod for main course, followed by an assiette of desserts and lastly tea and coffee.
We chose our venue because… I wanted to get married in a hotel outside of Kilkenny for something different. Having worked in a few hotels in town and my dad being a retired hotel manager of a Kilkenny hotel, I really wanted somewhere new for us. Mount Wolseley was first on our list and as soon as we walked in and looked around, we were in love with it. We visited other hotels in the area but our mind kept being drawn back to Mount Wolseley. We loved the grounds, the private drinks reception area for your wedding guests and the beautiful ballroom. Mount Wolseley has various different packages and we tweaked a few elements between packages to suit us. Gill Long was amazing in helping us achieve everything we had pictured. On the day Mount Wolseley went above and beyond the call of duty and pulled out all the stops for us. We ordered canapés for our guests and tailored a drinks reception to include bottled beer, cocktails, Prosecco and mojitos and so many guests commented on how amazing it was and they’d never seen such a selection.
My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s very hard to pinpoint one moment. Having spent so long planning each element of the day, we were always going to love every part. We both loved the speeches, the ceremony, music and the preparations at home. However, for me I think the most special moment was seeing Julian at the top of the aisle. He was very emotional and I wasn’t expecting it at all.
My piece of advice for other couples… Don’t sweat the small stuff. Trust that all the organisation and planning you have done over the course of the engagement will go as planned. It’s why we pay the professionals. They know what they’re doing so relax, enjoy it and most importantly have fun! If something doesn’t go as planned, chances are no one will even notice anyway except you!
Venue: Mount Wolseley Hotel, Carlow | Photographer: Denlo Photography | Videographer: Star Systems | Bride’s Dress, Belt, Veil: Jeutonic, Kilkenny | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jeutonic, Kilkenny | Hair: VOW 2 WOW | Makeup: Karen Maher | Men’s Suits: Debenhams | Rings: Murphy’s Jewellers, Kilkenny | Band: The Troubadours | DJ: Paul Kavanagh | Cake: Maria’s Cakes | Invites: E.M. Designs | Flowers: Flowers by Lucy | Favours: Make-A-Wish Ireland
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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.