Length of engagement: Two and a half years | Wedding date: November 8th, 2012
Wedding location: Castle Durrow, Durrow, County Laois
Photographer: Aileen Kennedy Photography
We met…In a pub in Dublin in 2006, not one that either of us would usually be in, but must have been meant to be!
My dress… My friend had got her dress in Tamem Michael, so they came highly recommended. It was the first shop I visited and I saw two dresses I loved. I did go to some other bridal shops, but to be honest I think I always knew that I would go back to Tamem Michael! They make the dresses there themselves so in the end I had a mix of two dresses – the top of one and the fitted skirt of the other. All in a beautiful lace and completely made to measure, I loved the dress and every second I was in it!
Melissa’s first impressions of Ollie… I thought Ollie was a bit of a cheeky chappy, had a lovely smile and made me laugh. But I was a bit weary, and didn’t give much away – he had to work very hard to break me!
Ollie’s first impressions of Melissa… I thought Melissa was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen and I decided that before the end of the night I’d approach her and talk to her. I did, she wasn’t as forthcoming as I thought she’d be but she eventually thawed out a bit and look at us now!
Our proposal… We got engaged in April 2010 in Coolbawn Quay on Lough Derg. We had headed down for the Easter weekend, and after spending the day in Galway, Ollie sent me to reception to organise a taxi to take us to the nearest pub. I was not impressed as I was tired but when I returned, Ollie, down on one knee, surprised me with a mini engagement ring charm for my Links charm bracelet and a proposal! I was in such shock I didn’t know what was going on, but gathered my thoughts enough to say ‘YES’.
Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t really have any ideas in mind, but Ollie did know that he wanted a bright blue suit! The bridesmaids came next and midnight blue seemed like a good winter colour and suited each of the girls. With the groomsmen in French navy, we all fitted together well and quite by accident!
Our ceremony… We both knew that we wanted a full mass for our wedding, and we had a very special priest to celebrate it for us. No need for a rehearsal, Fr Joe, had it all in hand. He met me at the door of the church and said he would take it from there. He put us at our ease and he had us laughing our heads off before long! The guests were still talking about the wonderful ceremony and priest. We had some traditional Irish music during the mass by a wonderful Cork bank Arundo – highly recommended!
“To my surprise I loved walking up the aisle! It was the start of a really wonderful day and I enjoyed it must more than I had anticipated.”
– One of Melissa’s favourite parts of the day
“When I finally realised that Melissa had arrived at the back door of the church and my wait
(which seemed like it lasted forever) was over!”
– Ollie recalling one of his favourite parts of the day!
My favourite part of the wedding day… Melissa: To my surprise I loved walking up the aisle! It was the start of a really wonderful day and I enjoyed it must more than I had anticipated. When the guests were called to dinner, myself and Ollie were whisked away to a quiet room in Castle Durrow to catch our breath and enjoy a glass of champagne together as a married couple! Ollie: When I finally realised that Melissa had arrived at the back door of the church and my wait (which seemed like it lasted forever) was over! And also, I’d agree with Melissa, when the bride and groom are brought to a room on their own prior to heading to the reception dinner was a lovely touch, gives you a chance to take it all in.
Our photographer… We chose Aileen Kennedy for a number of reasons, the chief one being her relaxed yet professional approach. Aileen put us at ease from the first time we met to discuss the wedding to when she wished us the best of luck prior to us entering the function room. Nothing was ever too much trouble and spending time in her company, prior to the day and on it was always a pleasure. As you can see from our wonderful photos Aileen has a real eye for detail, colour and for capturing moments but her greatest attribute is her manner – always approachable, always friendly, always up for a laugh but always doing her job brilliantly at the same time. If a helicopter had landed in the middle of Aileen taking our wedding photographs it wouldn’t have phased her, that’s how stress free she makes the whole occasion. Luckily, we got rid of our helicopter years ago!
“Aileen has a real eye for detail, colour and for capturing moments but her greatest attribute is her manner – she’s always approachable, always friendly, always up for a laugh but always doing her job brilliantly at the same time. If a helicopter had landed in the middle of Aileen taking our wedding photographs it wouldn’t have phased her!”
– Melissa, on photographer Aileen Kennedy
“When the guests were called to dinner, myself and Ollie were whisked away to a quiet room in Castle Durrow to catch our breath and enjoy a glass of champagne together as a married couple!“ – Melissa
“It was a lovely touch, it really gives you a chance to take it all in.“ – Ollie
My piece of advice for other brides… Don’t drive yourself mad looking at too many of anything! If you see something you like, be it dress/invite or band, trust your instincts and go for it. That way you can enjoy the run up to your wedding without being super stressed. It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with people who are easy to deal with!
|Photographer: Aileen Kennedy Photography
Dress – Tamem Michael, Ballymount, Dublin,
Shoes – LK Bennett
Headpiece & Veil – Tamem Michael, Ballymount, Dublin
Groom’s suit – Strellson, Executive Menswear, Thurles (also available at McElhinney’s Menswear)
Socks – Happy Socks
Groomsmen’s suits – Strellson (available at McElhinney’s Menswear)
Groom’s shoes – Roland Cartier, House of Fraser
Bridesmaid’s dresses – Coast
|Invites & Mass booklet covers – As You Wish, www.asyouwish.ie
Flowers – Lawlors, Durrow
Hair & Makeup – Beautiful Faces
Menus & Table Numbers – He Saw Sparks on www.etsy.com
Cake – Bessy’s Bakery
Church Music – Arundo
Cars – Munster Chauffeurs,
Chair Bows – Finesse Weddings
Vintage Love Heart Pegs – The Last Detail, www.thelastdetail.co.uk
By Karen Birney
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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.