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A Perfect Day at Parknasilla

“I must have tried on 50 dresses!”

The couple: Adam Paul & Sarah Sweetnam
Length of engagement: 17 Months | Wedding date: 12th September 2014
Wedding location: Parknasilla Resort & Spa, Sneem, Co. Kerry

Photographer: Andrew O’Dwyer Photography






We met… We actually kinda met through my brother – Adam and my brother Simon had been friends for a while and there came a time that Adam was hanging around our house quite a lot (even when Simon wasn’t there!) We eventually got together on a night out, the rest is history as they say…


Our proposal… was very special. We were going to Schull in West Cork for the weekend. On the Friday Adam collected me from work and was in a huge rush to get to Schull – I couldn’t understand what was going on. Once we arrived in Schull, Adam suggested we go for a walk up to ‘Sailors Hill’ – one of our favourite places by his house. Once up there I was busy looking at the view and taking pictures and when I turned around, Adam was on one knee with the ring… At first I didn’t know what to think and asked “are you serious?”, followed by lots of yeses. Schull has always been a special place to both our families, so it was lovely that Adam chose there to propose.

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My dress… Was a difficult one – I must have tried on 50 dresses but once I tried on my Justin Alexander dress I knew it was the one for me. I couldn’t stop smiling and I really felt like a bride in it. I later decided to change the back to give it a lower, open back which I loved and it made it unique to me.

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What our bridal party wore… The bridesmaids wore full length raspberry LQ Dresses and the groomsmen wore navy Lapel 1865 suits – with raspberry and navy bow ties.

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Our ceremony… Our ceremony was in St Patrick’s Church in Kenmare and we were lucky enough that my rector from our Parish in Douglas was able to conduct the service. Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson has known our family for years and it made the day extra special that he was able to travel to Kenmare and join us in Parknasilla. Our service was beautiful and one of our favourite parts of the day.


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His suit… [Adam] I always wanted navy suits, but I knew I wanted something a bit different. I ended up going for a dark blue tailored suit with brown shoes. We got the suits in Lapel 1865 in Cork – we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. [Sarah] Pat was fantastic and worked with Adam to tailor the suit to what he wanted (and he reassured me when I was a little unsure of the colour!)

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We chose our photographer because… Andrew (Andrew O’Dwyer Photography – had been recommended to us by a friend and once we looked at his website and met with him we knew he was the right photographer. I love pictures (Adam not so much) and Andrew had a very relaxed approach which we loved. Our photos are a lovely mix of the normal formal family ones and lots of informal natural ones. Some of my favourite pictures are the ones we didn’t even realise he was taking.



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Our honeymoon… We spent three weeks in Bali and Hong Kong. We had been to Thailand a couple of years ago and loved Asia, so Bali was next on our list. We split our time between Bali, Lombok and spent a couple of days in Hong Kong on the way home. We loved it and had a ball.

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We chose our venue because… [Sarah] Parknasilla Resort & Spa has always been a special place for me – my parents have been going to Parknasilla for years and ever since Adam and I first got together it has been our favourite ‘go to’ hotel. We love Parknasilla because of its wonderful views and surroundings, the staff are fantastic and the food is amazing – it’s like a hidden oasis. Once we started looking at venues we knew in our hearts nothing could compare to Parknasilla for us. We couldn’t praise all the staff there enough, they were fantastic, and everyone commented on how wonderful the food was.



Our menu…

Crispy barbecued Duck with a Fresh Mango, Chili Salsa & Sweet Chili Sauce

Carrot & Parsnip Soup

Main course
Rack of Sneem Lamb or Pan-fried Turbot

Lemon Posset, Lemon Tart & Lime Ice-cream

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My favourite part of the wedding day… [Sarah] The whole day – I really wish we could do it all over again! I loved walking up the aisle and seeing all of our family and friends… the church service… I loved the drinks reception mingling with everyone and the speeches especially my dad’s and Adam’s, they both had told me that their speeches would be short and sweet but they were fabulous. [Adam] All of it… I loved seeing Sarah walk up the aisle and walking back down the aisle as Mr & Mrs. The drinks reception was brilliant… spending time with our friends and family.

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My piece of advice for other brides… Get a videographer – there are so many little details you will forget but it’s great to be able to watch it all back on DVD and in years to come it will be so precious. Make sure you give your photographer a detailed list of all the pictures you want, even obvious ones that you might assume will be taken, maybe nominate someone in different groups to organise the various shots to make sure you capture all of the pictures you want. Make your drinks reception as long as possible – I loved that relaxed time mingling with everyone and getting to catch up with friends… Enjoy the run up to the day and savour that special time. I know every bride says it but really enjoy every single minute, the day flies by.

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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.


  1. Avatar Rionach says:

    Any idea where her wedding ring was gotten?

  2. Avatar Elaine says:

    Where can I find those bridesmaid dresses?

  3. Avatar Michelle Boland says:

    I absolutely love these rasberry bridesmaid dresses. What shop did you get them in or would you be willing to sell them?

  4. Avatar Frances Campbell says:

    We’re can I get theses bridesmaid dresses please

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