“There was even a few jigs before the meal!”
The couple: Paul Kirwan & Valerie Walsh
Length of engagement: 11 months | Wedding date: 16th March 2015
Wedding venue: Druid’s Glen Resort, Wicklow
Photographer: Patricia Fitzpatrick, Insight Photography
We met… in Brady’s bar in Maynooth 2006. We went ice-skating in Smithfield on our first date. Paul wasn’t the most graceful on the ice but we had a great laugh and it definitely broke the ice! The rest is history as they say.
Our proposal… Paul is into cycling and frequently does cycle routes around Wicklow. We were on our way to Kilkenny to stay in the Lyrath Hotel for a couple of nights over the Easter holidays last year. Paul did a bit of a de-tour to show me the stunning sights along his usual cycle route. We ended up at a spot overlooking the Powerscourt Waterfall which was pretty spectacular. He popped the question there. We were thrilled and had a great few days celebrating in the Lyrath Hotel drinking champagne for breakfast lunch and dinner!
Our wedding theme/colours… My engagement ring is rose gold so we went for a rose gold ivory theme with soft pinks and berry for the bridesmaids.
My hair and make-up… My hairstylist Catherine is from a salon in Lucan and I’ve had my hair done by Catherine lots of times. She knows exactly what I like. She kept the hair simple and natural. I loved it. My make-up was done by Olive who has her own business at home in Lucan. She did all our treatments on the lead up to the wedding and did the make-up on the morning. We had our make-up and hair done at home so it was a lovely and relaxed atmosphere.
My dress… was Paloma Blanca from Truly Bridal Naas. I knew the minute I put it on it was what I had pictured wearing. I went for an off the shoulder sculpted lace bodice with subtle crystal/pearl detail with a fit and flare silk skirt. I got a detachable train which was cathedral length and a floor length veil with pearl/crystal embellishment.
His suit… Paul went for a blue Louis Copeland three piece suit. It was the first suit he tried on – he did well!
My favourite part of the wedding day… was exchanging our vows in Our Lady’s church and listening to our beautiful church music together. We loved having all our family and friends in the same place. That was pretty special. The whole day from start to finish was breathtaking. We were smiling non stop.
Our ceremony… took place in Our Lady’s Nativity Church Leixlip. It’s a beautiful church in the village I grew up in. We had my friend – who is the priest from the school I work in – do our ceremony which was a real honour. He made the ceremony very personal to both of us. The church was beautifully decorated on the day, thanks to Eileen Fagan from sunflower designs. Our church singer Barbara Galvin Sheridan was amazing and really captured the emotion of the day.
What our bridal party wore… I love berry colours so my bridesmaids wore a beautifully elegant dress by Biba from House of Fraser. The berry shade was stunning on their skin tone and hair colour – they both looked stunning. We went with a berry tie for both fathers and groomsmen. Our flower girl Mai wore a beautiful dress from Paul Costello in Dunnes Stores.
We chose our photographer because… Trish from Insight Photography was the photographer at my cousin’s wedding three years ago and we were really impressed with the excellent quality of photos and her friendly and professional demeanour. She has the ability to really capture the moment. We were delighted with our choice as Trish was great fun and was full of smiles and encouragement on the day. We got some beautiful shots of the whole day as well as some lovely portraits. We were very impressed with our slideshow that Trish did on our wedding night. It was amazing to watch all the special moments she captured. We would recommend her to anyone looking for an amazing photographer for their big day.
Our entertainment… We had the Trad/Irish Music group Curragh playing for our guests on arrival. They really got people into the St. Patrick’s day party spirit. There was even a few jigs before the meal. After our meal we had the Bentley boys as our wedding band. They kept the dance floor full all night and they were loved by all ages at the wedding.
We chose our venue because… of Druid’s Glen’s beautiful setting and top class service. At every corner there was always a member of staff with a smile. We thought the wedding room was a lovely size and we liked that the dance floor was in the middle of the room and the bar was beside it which kept everyone together. Also our drinks reception was right outside the dinner room which was very convenient for our guests. The wedding area was conveniently located not too far from the entrance but it was in a private part of the hotel for our guests to relax and enjoy.
Our honeymoon… was a trip of a lifetime to the Philippines. We spent 16 days in total there. We flew to Manila and stayed with a friend for two nights and then we flew internally to Borocay. We stayed in a fab hotel on the beach. Borocay was nice and lively with plenty of choices of restaurants and bars. We enjoyed paddle boarding during the day and did sun set sailing in the evening. After that we internally flew to Cebu and took a two hour ferry to Panglao Island. We spent five nights there near Alona beach. We stayed in a secluded resort with a private beach. We spent our days chilling by the pool and got a few spa treatments. Our final three days were spent in the beautiful Shangri La resort in Cebu. It was an amazing place with a beautiful beach and I (Valerie) celebrated my birthday there which was extra special.
Our menu was….
Prosecco and a selection of hot and cold canapés
Ice Cream decorated with a mini Irish flag
Baked Goats Cheese and Plum tomato tartlet with basil pesto
Salmon with chorizo Compote and Lemon Butter Sauce
Sirloin of beef (cooked to temperature) w/ Cognac Jus
Sticky toffee pudding with Vanilla ice cream and Toffee Sauce
Tea/Coffee and a selection of Chocolates and Truffles
In the evening we served our wedding cake which was made by friend Sinead Hargadon. She created a beautiful cake with three different layers; Carrot Cake, Chocolate biscuit and Madeira. She’s very talented at what she does.
My piece of advice for other brides… get as much done as you can on the lead up to your Big Day. Make sure to have the week before your wedding free so you can just chill out and enjoy the build up with your hubby-to-be, family and bridal party. Don’t get too caught up in the little details. Get loads of sleep, keep smiling and drink a glass of Champagne at every opportunity.
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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.