“…a dog came out of nowhere chasing a ball or a squirrel and I cycled straight into him!”
The couple: Sharon (McGuire) Cronin and Tadhg Cronin
Length of engagement: 15.5 months | Wedding date: 11th September 2015
Wedding ceremony: Holy Cross Church Tramore Co. Waterford
Wedding venue: Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny
Photographer: Tanya Colclough, Eden Photography
We met… We think we very first met when we were altar servers in the Holy Cross Church (the church where we got married) when we were about nine. We next met in secondary school when we were about 14. The boys school and girls school were opposite each other in Tramore and we used to all meet up and go for lunch in Tramore House. We became friends as part of a core group of five – Me (Sharon), Tadhg, Sheelagh Cullinan (Bridesmaid), Alan Burke (Groomsman), Brian Cox (Reflection reader).
Tadhg went to University of Limerick and I went to University College of Dublin but Tadhg’s course placement was in Dublin so between that time and both working together behind the bar in the Sands Hotel Tramore at the weekends part time, we became very good friends. After college Tadhg moved to Dublin to work and convinced me to move in with him and another girl. His side of the story was that he knew if he got me to live with him then he would be able to “trick me” into falling in love with him. We lived together in two different houses for over the course of two and half years and became best friends until finally after a bit too much alcohol we realized we were more than just friends. We thought it would be a big shock to our friends and family as we had been “just friends” for so long but apparently everyone else, apart from us, saw it coming for a very long time!
Our proposal… Tadhg had very carefully planned a proposal to me on my 30th birthday. We had decided we would spend the day mountain biking and he had planned to propose to me at a spot overlooking Lough Tay. Unfortunately, after months of planning the whole idea had to be thrown out. A week before my 30th I had been completing a time trial on my bike in Phoenix Park, a dog came out of nowhere chasing a ball or a squirrel and I cycled straight into him. The dog was fine but I wasn’t! I went flying over the bars landing on my head and elbow. The end result was a severe concussion, some temporary memory loss, a week off work, and being banned from being on a bicycle for a few weeks… bye bye mountain bike proposal.
Tadhg, had to rearrange all his plans at the last minute. Feeling pretty sorry for myself at this point, Tadhg convinced me to go for a walk/hike in Glendalough on the morning of my birthday instead. I agreed and off we went. It was a miserable wet day but Tadhg seemed so enthusiastic and I felt he was trying so hard to cheer me up that I went along with it, stuck on the waterproof gear and managed to not complain when we got lost. He was very insistent that we found a certain trail and boy am I glad he was. We eventually found it and it brought us out to a beautiful lookout overlooking the Glendalough lakes. As soon as I stopped trying to take a selfie, Tadhg managed to shut me up for long enough so that he could get down on one knee and propose.
His suit… was a dark blue Italian wool Rossellini suit from My Personal Tailor, a business run by fellow triathlete Mark Swan.
My hair and makeup… My hair was done by Sinead McGoldrick. She is a miracle worker. I have quite long thick hair that is usually quite difficult to put up and stay up. I knew I definitely wanted to have my hair up for the day so I didn’t have to worry about it and that I wanted it to be soft looking. I had no photos of what I wanted just an idea in my head of what I wanted it to be like. Sinead understood straight away and did an amazing job with my hair and had no difficulty at all putting it up. On the day the hair was even better than trial.
My make-up was done by Anita Conroy from The Powder Room Makeup Studio Gorey. Again I was really unsure of what I wanted but knew I wanted to look like myself and not too over done. Anita was fabulous and nailed it. Both Anita and Sinead made me, my mum and bridesmaids all feel like a million bucks on the day!
My dress… was a Mori Lee dress in light gold with an ivory lace overlay and was bought in Embrace Bridal in Gorey. It was the first dress that made my Mam and Dad both go “wow” so I went with it!
Our honeymoon… We went to Cascais in Portugal for a few days after the wedding to unwind and organised our full honeymoon for a few months later. In January we went to the Maldives as our honeymoon and booked it through Sarah McCarthy in the Travel Counsellors. Sarah got us the best deal by far for the Kuramathi Island resort. We could not recommend this holiday more highly. It was actually like paradise. As we are both triathletes we weren’t sure if we would like a beach holiday and originally thought of doing an adventure holiday but we are so glad now that we went with the Maldives. It was the most relaxing holiday we have ever had and we hope that some day we will be able to return there!
Our ceremony… was in Holy Cross Church Tramore, which is our parish church and also where we met for the very first time.
What our bridal party wore… The men wore suits from Fitzgerald’s Menswear in Waterford. Mark in Fitzgerald’s helped the lads get the suits just perfect on the day. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
The bridesmaids were given the option to get any dress they liked in any colour and style but they both ended up choosing these beautiful jade green Dessy dresses. They were one shoulder and had a diamante detail on the shoulder.
We chose our photographer because... After doing endless research on wedding photographers, Eden Photography was the one I kept coming back to. Tanya’s photos of all her couples were just stunning. I loved how she uses natural light and most importantly for me, I loved how all the couples looked like they were fully relaxed, not over posing and just having fun. I wanted a photographer that could capture all the magic moments naturally rather than over posed photos. I wanted to look back at our photos and remember exactly how I felt on that day. Tanya achieved all this and more. Tanya was like part of the family on the day putting us all at ease. All my family members commented on how nice she was and how quick she was in taking the photos so none of us felt like we were missing the day. I was afraid that doing the couples photos on the day would feel awkward and like a chore as I have heard many other couples describe it like that, but it was amazing. The time spent doing the couples photos allowed myself and my husband to relax, hold hands, take a breath, look into each others eyes, and feel all the excitement together of how we had just gotten married. It felt like we were the only people on the planet, and yet in the background Tanya was snapping away and the end result were some beautiful photos we will treasure forever. Tanya takes great pride in her work and has incredible attention to detail, it can be seen throughout her photographs, and even in the pretty package she sent out to us after the wedding. I would have no problem recommending Tanya to anyone else who was getting married and would encourage them to do so!
We chose our venue… because it ticked all our boxes. Having attended a lot of weddings ourselves over the last few years we knew we wanted a hotel that could accommodate all our friends and family to stay the night and also have other nearby accommodation options at every price point. The Newpark Hotel ticked this box and also had the best food, terrific customer service from the events team to the receptionist to the waiters and bar staff. It was also excellent for dietary requirements – I (the bride) am gluten free so we really didn’t want to take the risk of being sick on the day. Not only that but we also wanted to make sure that even though my food was gluten free that it didn’t lack in taste! They were able to make an amazing gluten free brownie that I still dream about!
Our wedding theme/colours… We went with quite a neutral theme with twine on the invitations, twine on the flowers, and brown Kraft envelopes. Then added touches of gold to glam it up and to bring in the decor of the Newpark function room which is primarily gold. So all the edges of the invites and the Kraft striped envelopes were lined with gold foil (by hand!) and the return address labels were gold. On the day we had gold photo frames of old family photos and our initials in 3D gold lettering scattered around the hotel, as well as gold masks as part of the party props on the dancefloor later that night. We also used the larger gold frames for signage for the fingerprint tree and asked people to use WedPics. Finally the bridesmaid dresses were jade green so we incorporated that subtly by using the exact same colour in the font of the invitations and in our mass booklets.
We followed this theme through to our wedding website which had a Kraft background with gold foil edges and the jade green font and illustration we used on invitations. We were very lucky to have a good friend of ours who is a graphic designer (and goes under the name McDoodler) make up the design and illustration of the invitations for us. I must have driven her insane by being very particular about what I wanted but if it bothered her then she didn’t let it show and it was one of my favourite things of the wedding!
Our amazing Gluten free wedding cake was red velvet and lemon drizzle with buttercream icing made by Maria’s Cakes in Kilkenny.
My favourite part of the wedding day… was the ceremony. I was just so overwhelmed by all the feeling of love from everyone in the church and was so happy to be standing there holding Tadhg’s hand and ready to become husband and wife.
After that then when the band (The Suite) were playing, they had the dancefloor full for the night and at that point we could totally relax and just have fun!
My piece of advice for other brides… my favourite motto for the time planning the wedding was “I don’t HAVE to do anything!” Lots of people give you advice which is great but then you hear a lot of “you have to do this” or “you have to do that” and I disagree, it’s you and your partner’s wedding, do what you like. If you are not into cakes then don’t get a cake, if you don’t want to wear a wedding dress then don’t wear a wedding dress! It is too important a day to have regrets so don’t have any!
Then when it comes to the day itself, don’t panic or stress. Try to sit back and enjoy the ride, there is nothing more you can do at this stage. The professionals will do their jobs so just let them at it! If anything does go wrong then it will just be that funny story that you tell after the wedding, as long as you and your loved one are there and get married, that’s all that matters.
Wedding dress: Mori Lee, Embrace Bridal | Groom’s suit: Mark Swan, My Personal Tailor | Bridesmaid dresses: Dessy | Venue: Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny | Band & DJ: The Suite | Graphic design for stationery: McDoodler.com | Bride’s hairpiece and mother of bride’s headpiece: Willow and Wild By Bonzie | Bride’s engagement & wedding ring: Diamant | Groom’s ring: Paul Brereton | Photographer: Eden Photography | Wedding cake: Maria’s Cakes
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.