“Our photographer Paul really went above and beyond for us – from to pinning my Dad’s buttonhole to closing the buttons on my wedding dress that morning!”
The couple: Ailbhe Colgan & Andrew Sneyd
Length of engagement: 11 months | Wedding date: 28th March 2014
Wedding ceremony: The Church of St Livinus, Killulagh, Co. Westmeath
Wedding venue: Clonabreany House, Crossakiel Co. Meath
Photographer: Paul Andrews Photography
We met… on New Year’s Eve in 2011 in what is affectionately known as a ‘lock in’ in the Mercantile in Dublin. We were both out with friends ringing in the New Year and got chatting later in the night. In the early hours of the morning we exchanged numbers and Andy said he’d ring me and take me out for dinner – which he did! We met up a couple of weeks later for dinner and drinks and I had a feeling that he was the one for me!
Our proposal… was very romantic! We booked a trip to Iceland in April 2013 as we both had always talked about going there and trying to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. We had to wait until very late in the night to go on the trip so that it was completely dark. Of course I fell asleep on the bus there as I had no idea what was about to unfold. When we arrived at the destination we waited patiently for the green shimmer to appear as we had always hoped and there it was – amazing! With that, Andy tried to distract me, telling me his camera wasn’t working and that we would have to move away from the crowd of people on the trip. Then before I knew it, he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring and I was so happy and so shocked! We were both shaking from the cold (it was minus 7 degrees!) and the excitement. Then I called my family to tell them, they were shouting down the phone that they already knew! Andy had called over to my parents’ house and my sister the week before we left for Iceland to ask my Dad and to show my Mam and sister the ring he and his Mam had picked for me. It really meant a lot that he had included them in it too!
My wedding day hair and make-up… were done by Alyson Smyth and Sian Sharkey. The girls are just so talented at what they do and made the whole morning so relaxing. They had done my hair and make-up when I was bridesmaid for one of my best friends and I knew when I got engaged that I really wanted to go with them! I was so happy that they were both available!
Our wedding theme/colours… we had a bit of a vintage theme and our colours were raspberry, charcoal and ivory with a little bit of blush pink. I had seen a beautiful dress in the raspberry colour when we were only just engaged and I couldn’t get the colour out of my head so I searched high and low for dresses in that colour for my bridesmaids!
My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s very hard to pick just one as it was such a fabulous day but I would have to say walking down the aisle to Andy and seeing all the people we love in the one place – that was really special.
Our ceremony… was really special as we had a family friend Fr Damian doing the ceremony for us and he really created a lovely relaxed atmosphere which carried through the day. We got married in a beautiful little church called the Church of St. Livinus, that was only 20 minutes from the venue. Our main priority was to involve family and friends as much as possible. We had Andy’s Uncle Sean singing as I walked down the aisle to Andy and we asked our friends and family to do the readings and our nieces to hold the book as we said our vows which was lovely. We also had a friend singing throughout the ceremony and she was really amazing. We will never forget walking back down the aisle to all of the people we love cheering and ‘You Got The Love’ being sang in the background.
My dress… was a Stephanie Allin Couture dress called Jasmine. I saw it online initially and when I tried it on I fell in love with it. I loved its vintage style and the fact that it was simple but elegant with a little bit of bling too! I borrowed my sister-in-law’s veil and bought my hairpiece and earrings in Knightsbridge boutique with some great advice from the girls there.
We chose our venue because… it ticked all the boxes for us! We were looking for somewhere that was a little bit different and when we found Clonabreany House, it had everything and more! There is a beautiful reception room and bar, a fabulous marquee, accommodation on site and nearby for our guests not to mention a Sibin bar for the late night session. We also had the privilege of having Clonabreany House for the whole weekend so we had a BBQ the next day with a traditional Irish band and a great sing-song – it was our home away from home for the weekend and nobody wanted to leave!
We chose our wedding coordinator because… when we met both Cait and Pauline at our tasting evening in Clonabreany House we were blown away by the food and the service provided by both of them. In the lead up to the wedding, we felt very at ease about the run of the day and no query was too small. Both Cait and Pauline really did more than we imagined and created a wonderful relaxed atmosphere that our guests commented on too.
What our bridal party wore… the bridesmaids wore beautiful Belsoie dresses from Truly Bridal in Naas which has a fantastic selection and luckily they do maternity dresses too as two of my bridesmaids were pregnant. The bridesmaids shoes were nude Miss KG and the little jackets are from Penney’s. The groomsmen wore Red Herring suits from Debenhams with white shirts. The ties were made by Louis Copeland from the same material as the bridesmaids dresses that I provided. Our gorgeous nieces wore flower girl dresses from Littlewoods and shoes from Next. I got their little shrugs from Debenhams.
We chose our photographer because… well initially, because I won a competition on weddingsonline! And when we went to meet Paul Andrews himself and saw all of his fantastic work, we knew straight away that we wanted to go with him. Paul really went above and beyond for us by visiting Clonabreany House in advance of the wedding and just being very laid back on the morning and throughout the day. He got some really amazing natural shots and captured every detail. Paul also had our photos ready for us by the time we got back from our honeymoon which we were really impressed with. He also had a few extra jobs that morning, from closing the buttons on my dress to pinning my Dad’s buttonhole on and my Mam’s corsage!
Continental Tapas Platters (during the speeches which people are still raving about!)
Clonabreany Spring Vegetable Soup
Roast Sirloin of Aged Irish Hereford Beef or Grilled fillet of Atlantic Hake, served with roasted vegetables, mashed potato and potato gratin.
Assiette of Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Profiteroles and Raspberry Sorbet
I have to mention that the food was one of our priorities when we were looking for a venue and when we learned that Clonabreany House allows you to design your own menu with the Executive chef we were delighted. We had fun choosing and tasting everything and we were extremely impressed with the food on the day and all of our guests were too. In fact it has been mentioned a lot since the wedding day!
My piece of advice for other brides… try not to get too stressed! Definitely confirm everything with all suppliers the week before the wedding. Ask for help from family and friends to get all of the DIY stuff out of the way in advance so that you can really enjoy the lead up to the day itself and spend time with relatives that have travelled over for the wedding. Don’t forget to take some time out, just the two of you on the day, to have a little chat and take it all in!! Enjoy it as it really does fly 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.