Marie Quinn and Brendan Duffy
Length of engagement: 14 months | Wedding Date: 28 September 2012
Wedding location: Clonabreany House, Co Meath
Photographer: Michelle Prunty Photography
We met… Through Marie’s cousin, also a Brendan. They went to college and lived together in Galway and we mixed in the same circles on occasion.
Our proposal… The proposal didn’t go exactly as planned but contingency plans had been put in place. I took Marie away for a weekend in south of Ireland as every trip abroad prior to that had bets on we would get engaged… at this stage we were 8 years together… A trip to Waterford and Kerry certainly didn’t arouse any suspicions. In gale force wind a rain we set out for our trip on Friday morning Waterford with our first night spent in Lismore. Marie has a love of Waterfalls and plan A was to propose with a picnic at Mahon Falls, due to the weather we spent the evening watching Wimbledon!
Saturday we made the trip to Mahon falls but the weather was still not in our favour. We drove to Gap of Dunloe in Kerry and went mountain biking for the morning, and later checked into Dunloe Castle (now Dunloe House Hotel!) We had a wonderful meal and Plan B was in motion, there was a lovely walk around the grounds of the hotel down by the river however when I suggested this to Marie at 11pm she informed me she was exhausted from the day’s activities… so onto Plan C (contingency). Marie returned to the room and I shortly followed with this been my last chance of the night, I arranged for the hotel staff to deliver champagne to the room just leaving me enough time to whisk her out to the balcony overlooking the Gap of Dunloe under the stars at the stroke of Midnight… not sure what happened next but I think I got a yes and 14 months later we are husband and wife.
My dress… this part was much easier than expected, first shop, 4th dress… The dress was by Ellis, a UK designer purchased in Thistles Bridal boutique under the wonderful guidance of Owen. I fell in love with the dress from the first twirl and many more twirls followed. It was the perfect princess dress. I incorporated the black theme into my hair accessory and bouquet. I also sewed a little piece of my mum’s wedding dress in the underskirt as my something old!!
We chose our photographer because… I met Michelle Prunty at the City West wedding fair with my sister in January 2012. We both have little knowledge of photography but I loved Michelle’s profile shots of previous brides, the storybook style album very much appealed to me and it documented the whole day in a very natural style. Michelle was very professional, approachable and friendly on the day and I felt we would work well together, another item ticked off the list… evident in the truly beautiful photos of our day and her style and professionalism was commended by many guests. Michelle made everyone feel completely at ease and we both enjoyed the shoot throughout the day.
“I loved Michelle’s profile shots of previous brides, the storybook style album very much appealed to me and it documented the whole day in a very natural style.”
Our ceremony… Held in Kilskyre Church which was within close proximity of the venue. The facade of the church is beautiful stonework set in the country side. We had simple flowers and lanterns decorating the aisle.
We chose our venue because… We knew it had to be something special to get our West of Ireland family and friends to travel to the East… We wanted something a little different , not just for us but our family and friends, a venue and a day to remember forever. We viewed Clonabreaney in July 2011, our first venue to see, and looked no further. If you could dream up a wedding venue, Clonabreaney has it all, beautiful country chic location, perfect backdrops for photos, with amazing team and very accessible for all guests. I don’t ever recall getting “no we can’t do that”, everything we asked for and more was catered for.
My favourite part of the wedding day… the day finally arriving, waking up together in the stunning bridal suite like it was Christmas morning, before banishing Brendan to the cottages across the road at 730am to get ready… and then marrying my bestest friend. I always said it is the one day having all our family and friends together and seeing their happiness for us was so special, looking down the church at everyone especially the happiness in my mammy and daddy’s eyes, how proud they were their baby girl getting married. Brendan – seeing Marie coming up the aisle to me was very special knowing the day was finally here and all our planning and preparation had come together perfectly.
“If you could dream up a wedding venue, Clonabreaney has it all, beautiful country chic location, perfect backdrops for photos, with amazing team and very accessible for all guests.”
Our wedding theme/colours… We started out with many colour themes and different twists, black/white/purple/sparkle/butterflies/bows.., this was getting out of control. Eventually we settled with a classic theme of black and white (inspired by the dance floor in Clonabreany’s Marquee.) This was added to with butterflies and a bit of sparkle. We also had surf inspired photos for the table numbers to show our love for the outdoors.
My piece of advice for other brides and grooms-to-be… wait for the priest to say “you may now kiss the bride”… evidence in our wedding video Marie was a little too eager. Enjoy all the planning and don’t stress if you don’t get “the band” or “the photographer” that everyone else gets….. Make it your day. Just enjoy every part of the day, delegate as much as possible in planning/preparation, friends and family offer to help, so let them and it makes them feel part of your day… and who cares if it rains…
• Do as much DIY as you can.
• We got family to make wedding signs which was just plywood painted black and made stencils for white lettering.
• Headpiece – DIY from Rubenesque in Powerscourt Dublin, I got my dressmaker to sew it all together
• Do your last dress fitting day or two before wedding to make sure dress fits you perfectly, most importantly enjoy your dress cause I certainly did.
• Make a list of the photos you want for your photographer and appoint someone to gather friends family together on the day for various photos.
• Remember what it’s like to be a guest, you don’t want your guests to go hungry so ensure all your suppliers and venue are aware of timelines and speeches etc..
• Don’t forget to feed your videographer and photographer, also let them know timing of speeches etc so they have time to set up.
• Make sure you have accounted for all bridal party and family especially parents travelling to and from the church so no one is forgotten.
• We got one dance-lesson and forgot to practice.. made for interesting first dance..so practice or just twirl away the night..
• Lastly, make time for each other during the day as it goes by so fast, don’t stress if little things don’t go to plan or if it rains… Enjoy it all, and the true meaning of what brought you to this day…
Hair by Laura Higgins
Makeup by Ailbhe Lynch
Flowers by Connaught Wedding Flowers (Crossmolina, Mayo)
Band & DJ – Pomp (JEA Productions)
Cake by Bake my Cake (Booterstown)
Candy bar by The Sweet Treat Company
Videographer by Lukas of Diga Productions
Jewellery – cufflinks and tie-pin (gift from Marie), Rhinestones in Dublin. Earrings (gift from Brendan) Rhinestones in Dublin
Seamstress for wedding dress – Margaret at CM Bridalwear (highly recommend)
Bridesmaid Dresses by Dessy
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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.