“We were lucky enough to celebrate our happy day at the very place we met ; The Hamlet Court Hotel in Johnstownbridge. Upon arrival we were greeted by Champagne and strawberries – they announced our arrival as if we were Hollywood A-listers!”
The couple: Orla Gannon and John Ryan
Length of engagement: 18 months | Wedding Date: 4th May 2012
Wedding venue: The Hamlet Court Hotel, Johnstownbridge, Kildare
Photographer: Michelle Prunty Photography
We met… I was nearly 21 years old, working in a local shop in my hometown of Johnstownbridge Co. Kildare when I set eyes on John – a very strapping gentleman from Clonmel. John was the head electrician on the development of the Hamlet Court Hotel at the time. The attraction was instantaneous. John’s weekends journeys back to his home in Clonmel began to dwindle as he became a permanent fixture in my Mam’s house for Sunday roasts!
Our proposal… It was in our 8th year together, on a hazy sun-drenched marina in Malta, that I turned around to find my best friend down on one knee.
My dress… I think for the bride the dress is the pinnacle of the wedding plans. I went dress shopping armed with my two younger sisters (who flew back for the wedding from London and Melbourne to be my bridesmaids), and our first port of call was the White Room in Mullingar. At the risk of sounding like a cliché it was the first dress I tried on and it was love at first sight. It was by Pronovias.
My hair and make up… I think my hair and make-up artists both did amazing jobs. My make-up was by Derrick Carberry, and hair was by Yvonne in Yvonne’s Hair Loft in Derrinturn.
His suit… The men’s suits were hired in Richie Whelanen in Naas.
What our bridal party wore... As my younger sister was moving to Australia 8 months prior to the wedding the urgency to find the bridesmaids’ dresses was paramount! We were lucky to find two simple mint green knee-length dresses in Ophelia in Dundalk. John’s two friends were groomsmen and we dressed his four nephews in the same attire.
“One of the highlights for me was walking up the aisle with my father to Chris de Burgh’s ‘In a Country Church Yard’ to my John, my husband, my future.”
Our ceremony… We got married in the local church in Johnstown Bridge, the same church I wore my communion dress in all those years ago! We had a simple, intimate and elegant service. One of the highlights for me was walking up the aisle with my father to Chris de Burgh’s ‘In a country church yard’ to my John, my husband, my future.
We chose our photographer because… Michelle (Prunty) captured moments throughout the day without us even noticing her presence. Her demeanor made us feel relaxed and comfortable and this undoubtedly is reflected in our beautiful photographs. I couldn’t recommend Michelle strongly enough.
We chose our venue because… We were lucky enough to celebrate our happy day at the very place we met ; The Hamlet Court Hotel, in Johnstownbridge. Upon arrival we were greeted by champagne and strawberries. Trish Gill then announced our arrival as if we were Hollywood A-listers. There was nothing left unturned; lanterns flickered in the hallways, and Champagne flutes clinked. From my own attendance at weddings at the Hamlet Court I knew their performance was second to none but as a bride I was overwhelmed by how they managed to create such a perfect atmosphere. If I could describe the experience the Hamlet Court gave myself and John and our guests it would be relaxing comfortable elegance, and I think that’s why myself and John knew the Hamlet Court was always going to be the venue for us. The Hamlet Court don’t just serve the food and go through the rituals, they treat you like their family and give you the very best and are genuine in doing so. They really do want you to have the best day of your life and it was. A perfect day!
“I was overwhelmed by how they managed to create such a perfect atmosphere. They don’t just go through the rituals… they treat you like their family. They really do want you to have the best day of your life and it was.” – Bride Orla on The Hamlet Court Hotel
My favourite part of the wedding day… My favourite parts were walking into the hotel with my husband seeing all my friends and family so relaxed and in joyous form, and having my two sisters by my side. As my two sisters are living abroad my wedding day was the last day we were all together.
My piece of advice for other brides… Brides put so much effort into every tiny detail before the big day, leave everything in the hotel hands on your day… Remember if guests see a relaxed bride and groom they will be relaxed and have a fantastic day and night.
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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.