“My family own Trim Castle Hotel, I work in the Hotel and although the idea of going away to get married did play on my mind, I could not pass on the opportunity to welcome all our family and friends to our wonderful hotel that I am very proud of.”
The couple: Jillian O’Brien & Michael Darby
Length of engagement: 9 months | Wedding date: 12thOctober 2013
Wedding venue: Trim Castle Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath
Photographer: David Moore Photography
We met… We were good friends for many many years. One night we were out with a group of friends and out of the blue Michael said to me ‘I would love to ask you out but I know you will say no’ to which I replied ‘You never know until you ask’. We went on our first date a few days later and as they say the rest is history…
Our proposal… 13.12.12. Our proposal happened in The Shelbourne Hotel and it was just magical! We had arranged to go and stay in Dublin for a couple of nights, do a little shopping, we were meeting friends to go to the Corona’s Concert in the O2 and really just wanted to take in the wonderful Christmas atmosphere of Dublin City Centre. When we arrived, I went to get my hair done and Michael checked in. We had agreed to meet on Grafton Street afterwards and when I rang him, he said that he had all his shopping done already and to meet him back at the room. I was annoyed (typical man having all his shopping done in an hour) but headed back to the hotel. I knocked on the bedroom door, no response!! Knocked again… no response and eventually the door opened and Michael put his hands over my eyes saying ‘I have a surprise for you’. When I opened my eyes, he was on one knee… I could not believe it, it was a complete surprise! The room was surrounded by candles, he had a big bunch of flowers, bottle of champers and most importantly he had the lamps covered in towels!!!! When I questioned this, he just laughed and said that he had seen it on ‘Brides of Franc’ the week before….. trust me, he is not a ‘Brides of Franc’ sort of guy!! He had not been to Grafton Street at all but had put so much thought and effort into the proposal that I was just blown away.
What our bridal party wore… Our bridesmaids wore ‘Two-Birds’ dresses with Julie’s being altered by a local dressmaker to make it a little more appropriate for her age. The shoes were Jenny Packham. Our beautiful flower-girl Laura was kitted out in a lovely ivory dress from Dunnes Stores. The Groomsmen and Dads, like Michael wore simple black suits, white shirts and dusky pink ties which matched the bridesmaids.
My hair and make-up… was by Hair Design at Home by Denise and my make-up was by Michelle Kinsella. I have known Denise for a long time and she can literally do anything with hair. I met Michelle through Denise and together the girls make a really good team. Both are so so talented, were great on the morning and lotsa fun!
Our ceremony… took place in St. Patrick’s Church, Trim. It was everything we hoped it would be and more… Joan Fagan our florist did the most wonderful job of decorating the church and the music and ambience added so much. St. Patrick’s Church has been our family church for years and it is so special to get married somewhere that holds so many memories.
We chose our venue because… My family own Trim Castle Hotel, I work in the hotel and although the idea of going away to get married did play on my mind, I could not pass on the opportunity to welcome all our family and friends to our wonderful hotel that I am very proud of. As most of our guests had been to a number of weddings and events in the hotel before, we changed a few things around on the day, simple things like moving the bands position, draping the room and having an oval top table raised in the middle of the Great Hall, none of these things had ever been done before and they had a huge impact. The hotel looked amazing and the team really pulled out all the stops on the day. Michael and I will be forever grateful to them all for making our day so wonderful.
My dress… was Kathy de Stafford. Kathy and her team were amazing. It was the first shop that my Mum and I went to and after trying a few, the last one that we went back to. The dress was Kathy de Stafford’s own design. Kathy’s attention to detail throughout all the fittings is a true testament to her business. The dress felt amazing on the day and fitted like a glove and I think looked great (slightly biased!!!)
His suit… Michael’s suit was Louis Copeland. Neither of us were into traditional morning suits, tops and tails etc. so we opted for a classic black suit with cream tie. It was a great investment and he has got lots of wear out of it since and as my little sister Julie rightly pointed out to me on the day ‘he looked very handsome’!!
Our menu… Our Head Chef Sean McDonald has been with us since the hotel opened. It was relatively easy to pick our menu as we left most of it to his great judgement. The food was a huge part of our day and again we didn’t want the traditional 5 course dinner. On arrival, we served a wonderful selection of canapés and treats. Once guests were seated for dinner, they were treated to homemade breads with pestos, hummus and a Celeriac Veloute followed by a refreshing sorbet. The main course was Irish Rack of Lamb and Fillet of Black Sole and then to finish A Tasting of Belgian Chocolate. The meal was delicious and a credit to the kitchen.
Our wedding theme/colours… I work with weddings all the time and my biggest thing with our wedding was that I wanted it to be different to all the other weddings that I saw. Simple but elegant… vintage but with a modern twist! We opted for Black-Tie and it really was the best decision we made. All of our guests looked amazing. The time of year was October but the soft colour of the dusky pink with the black suits worked really well.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… it was ME!!! Along with a lot of help from all my great colleagues, I was my very own Wedding Co-ordinator. I have been co-ordinating weddings now for almost 8 years and just love it. I planned every part of our wedding day just the way we wanted it. There were a few tough decisions as I work with so many great suppliers and I did want our day to be different yet traditional (a difficult thing to be achieved) and most importantly a great party. Michael and I both had the best day ever and everything thank-goodness went according to plan!!!
We chose our photographer because… David Moore of David Moore Photography is just great. I have worked with David for many years and nothing is ever too much of a problem. David is so dedicated to his photography and his humour and good nature certainly gave us all a good laugh on the day. I have heard over the years that David comes prepared for everything but when the photographer is the only person on the day that can actually tie your dress that certainly says something…
Our honeymoon… We booked our Honeymoon to South Africa through Padraic Keogh Travel. It was a trip of a lifetime with the Safari on the last few days being the ultimate highlight.
My favourite part of the wedding day… Ohh I have so many favourite parts… waking up at home to my very excited little sister, Mum giving me a beautiful present, dancing the night away with my friends and family but I think the most cherished moment is the back doors of the church opening and waking down the aisle with my Dad, with my husband-to-be waiting at the top…
My piece of advice for other brides… Get dressed on time! Although I have worked with numerous weddings, I did not leave enough time on the day to get into my dress, it took much longer than I had anticipated and as a result I missed out on lots of pictures at home and was half an hour late arriving at the church.
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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.