“The poem was a synopsis of our time together and I don’t remember it word for word, however I do remember the last two lines were “A future Mrs de Jong I hope you will be when you answer the question – will you marry me?”
The couple: Sean & Claire de Jong
Length of engagement: 10 months | Wedding date: 11th October 2014
Wedding location: Druids Glen Resort, Co. Wicklow
Photographer: Couple Photography
We met… In September 2003 when we had both just turned 18 (our birthdays are 7 days apart) and had just started studying Commerce in UCD. There was definitely a spark between us when we were introduced but I think both of us realised that we were very young and were looking forward to enjoying college life and so neither of us pursued a relationship. In second year, Sean moved to Singapore to undertake an Erasmus so it was not until third year that our paths crossed again. In early 2006, we began spending a lot of time talking solely to each other on college nights out and eventually we decided to go on a date. But the date was unexpectedly put on ice when Sean underwent emergency knee surgery. At this stage we were due to complete our final exams in about 8 weeks so I didn’t believe the date would actually happen. Until one day, 5 weeks later I was sitting in a lecture when an MSN message popped up on my laptop screen from Sean asking me out on a date (again). My lecturer chose this exact moment to direct a question at me in front of the whole class – perhaps he noticed the smile on my face and determined it had nothing to do with his class. A week later we went out for a drink and have been dating ever since April 2006.
Our proposal… On 21st December 2013, Sean and I were lying on the couch in our apartment in Dublin watching Elf. When it was finished Sean announced that he was going to Tesco to get some groceries for lunch. Two minutes later he returned telling me that he had checked the post box downstairs and there was a letter addressed to me. Then he left and went to Tesco. I quickly discovered the writing on the envelope was Sean’s writing. Basically it was a note telling me to pack an overnight bag and he would return to collect me in an hour. An hour later he collected me and blindfolded me and drove me to the Powerscourt Hotel in Co. Wicklow while we listened to Christmas FM on the radio. Within minutes we were up in a beautiful suite he had reserved and Sean was reading me a poem he had written. The poem was a synopsis of our time together and I don’t remember it word for word (although I kept a copy of it). However I do remember the last two lines were “A future Mrs de Jong I hope you will be when you answer the question – will you marry me?” And then he produced a ring…
My dress… My dress was by La Sposa (called Idde). I remember seeing it in a bridal magazine before I ever tried on a dress and once I saw it in a shop I knew that was my dress. I purchased it in BCouture in Arklow, Co. Wicklow. This shop is a gem for brides-to-be. I have since recommended it to two friends and both chose dresses there.
His suit… was a navy three piece suit hired from Suits You, Liffey Street in Dublin 1.
Our ceremony… Our ceremony was held in St. Patrick’s Church in Kilquade Co. Wicklow. Our priest who officiated the ceremony is a friend of Sean’s family and considering Sean is half Dutch we were delighted he could perform the ceremony on the day.
My hair and makeup… Luckily enough we have a very talented hairdresser in my family so my hair was done by my cousin, Alison Keogh who flew in from Dubai for the occasion. My makeup was by Aoife Callaghan who is based in Temple Bar, Dublin.
We chose our venue because… We both grew up in Wicklow and could not think of a more beautiful part of the country to get married in. The grounds surrounding Druids Glen Resort are just perfect for wedding pictures but we also knew if the weather failed us on the day, there was ample opportunity for beautiful photos inside. Wedding parties typically have use of a full wing of the hotel so we had no concerns regarding privacy but at the same time it was important to us that our guests could stay overnight in the hotel and didn’t have to worry about getting home or to B&Bs (especially because we had lots of guests who travelled to Ireland for our wedding). Another bonus was that the price we were quoted at the initial consultation was the final price – there were no additional costs for room decorations, candelabras, flowers, reception drinks, canapés etc.
We chose our photographer because… We first met Ros from Couple Photography at the Bride of the Year Expo in the RDS in January 2014. We loved her style of photography and beautiful albums and decided to contact her afterwards for more details. When we met her face-to-face she immediately put us at ease which we think is so important for your wedding photographer and we knew we could trust her 100% to get the right pictures on the day. Nothing was too much trouble for Ros. Anna, the second photographer went to Sean’s family home prior to the ceremony so we have some fabulous pictures of his family and the Best Man/Groomsmen getting ready the morning of the wedding that some people miss out on. She was so much fun to work with and we are so delighted with our wedding photos.
Our wedding theme/colours… We (well I) struggled so much with a colour scheme. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest etc. and literally went through every colour in the chart. Eventually we settled for plum and gold. Given that it was an autumn wedding we needed to inject as much colour as possible in case the weather turned out to be a dull October day. In reality, it turned out to be the most beautiful autumnal day – we were very lucky!
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Our wedding coordinator was Nessa Kearney from Druids Glen Resort. She is extremely organised, accurate and responded immediately to all of our queries. It was an absolute pleasure to deal with her and we cannot recommend her highly enough.
The food in Druids Glen was fantastic and plentiful. We enjoyed:
Leek and Potato Soup
Sirloin of Beef – cooked to order for all tables
Passion Fruit Mousse
What our bridal party wore… the men wore navy three piece suits hired from Suits You, Liffey Street in Dublin 1. The Bridesmaids wore dresses by Dessy also purchased and fitted in BCouture in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.
Our honeymoon… Sean and I decided to take an extended honeymoon or “maximoon” and travelled around South America for four months from 15th October 2014 to 15th February 2015. There may not be a five star hotel in sight but we cannot think of a more exciting way to begin our married life.
My favourite part of the wedding day… seeing Sean’s face when I reached him at the altar.
My piece of advice for other brides… I am normally the most decisive person in the world but with your wedding there is a tendency to second guess all the decisions you have made as the big day approaches because it’s such an important event. In the end I couldn’t make the simplest decision without ringing Sean, my bridemaids or my parents. I think the most important thing is to make your decisions and move on. Yes, the details are important but the day will be amazing and it’s probably the only time in your whole life that everyone in the room is rooting for you. Afterwards you will laugh about the things you worried about.
The following two tabs change content below.
Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.