“We wanted a very social and fun wedding so we also had miniature cards with old photographs of everyone on the tables. On the back we asked our guests to snap and Facebook tag or Instagram pictures from our wedding day to create more memories!”
Couple: Michelle Waldron and Alan Durkin
Length of engagement: 19 months | Wedding date: August 31st 2013
Wedding location: Glasson Country House Hotel and Golf Club, Westmeath, Athlone
Photographer: Michelle Kenna, bella&bold Photography
We met… Although we are from the same hometown we didn’t actually really cross paths until I worked in Durkin’s Bar and Restaurant in the summer of 2006 (my uncle Russell suggested I ask for a job there, he didn’t get a thank you in the speeches so I better mention him now!) Our families actually go back a bit, my granddad Gerry Waldron and Alan’s granddad Bill Durkin, both who are unfortunately no longer with us, set up St. Vincent de Paul dinners on Christmas Day over 40 years ago. Alan’s side of the family prepare and cook the meals and my side deliver the dinners to people in need in our local area. So there is a bit of history there! A couple of weeks after I started working in Durkin’s we were both at the Oxegen music festival and this is where we had our first kiss.
Our proposal… Alan had been pushing for us to go on a mini break, but I was really busy with work and he couldn’t pin me down on dates. I did start to think maybe he was pushing for a reason and eventually decided on a week away in Sri Lanka. He proposed on a tiki torch lit beach in Unawatuna, down on one knee with the ring and all. It was all very romantic! Even though I had my suspicions that he was going to propose nothing prepares you for that actual moment. I stood there for what he reckons was an eternity…. speechless, so he asked a second time and I just about managed a yes!
My dress, hair and make-up… I designed my dress myself and it was tailor made by Anne Rashid from the bridal room Dubai. I wanted to go for a very old school Hollywood glamour style dress, simple and elegant. I had a backdrop sapphire necklace made to fit into the back of the dress as well. I’m a professional make-up artist so I did my own make-up (www.michellewaldron.biz). Claire Roddie, one of my good friends, (also a make up artist www.spotlight-makeup.com) did my bridesmaids and mum.
What our bridal party wore… Our bridesmaids wore Monsoon dresses, steel blue diamante Valentino Conte sandals, blue and clear rhinestone headbands from Forever 21. The groomsmen and dad’s wore steel blue suits. The groomsmen and groom all had ‘Facebook’ cufflinks as Alan works for Facebook.
“The groomsmen and groom all had ‘Facebook’ cufflinks as Alan works for Facebook.”
Our wedding theme/colours… I’m obsessed with the colour blue! My engagement ring is a blue sapphire with diamonds so I wanted to stay with blue for our colour palette. My bridesmaid’s dresses were a sapphire blue, my wedding shoes were blue Manolo Blahniks, my bouquet had blue orchids, Alan’s suit was a midnight blue shade. I think you get the picture! We went for a festival theme with our invitations, which were created by Marty McColgan. Everyone commented on how unique they were and we loved them! Our invites can be seen here. Table names were after bands that played at Oxegen in 2006 where we had our first kiss. We wanted a very social and fun wedding so we also had miniature cards done up on our guests tables with old photographs of everyone and on the back asked them to snap and facebook tag or Instagram pictures from our wedding day to create more memories! For our guest book we had a polaroid camera which people loved.
Our ceremony… Our ceremony was in St. Nathy’s Cathedral, Ballaghaderreen. Fr. James McDonagh and Fr. Martin Henry gave a really beautiful ceremony; there was quite a lot of laughter during the ceremony, which was nice! Fr. James also played the flute during reflection.
“There was quite a lot of laughter during the ceremony, which was nice!”
We chose our photographer because… I came across Bella & Bold Photography online and loved Michelle’s style of photography. It had a slight fashion feel to it which I loved as I work on fashion shoots on an almost daily basis. Michelle has a knack for capturing beautiful scenery as well as people and as our venue was so breathtaking I really wanted that captured.
We chose our venue because… When you turn the corner into Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf club it takes your breath away. Once you see that view of Lough Ree you get that ‘Wow’ factor. Even on a rainy day it’s stunning (we had our meal tasting on a wet day in January and it was still as beautiful!) We really wanted a venue with a view and we definitely got it.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Gareth Jones was our go-to man at Glasson, he was so pleasant to deal with and really helpful with last minute bits. Phidelmia, Cathriona, Robin and all the staff were really great.
Our wedding cake… Our cake was made by Karen Farrell of Cakes by Karen. We had a coffee cake layer, a carrot cake layer and a battenburg layer – it was divine!
Our menu… All our guests commented on how good the food and service was.
Champagne, Summer Punch & Canapés
Chicken and mushroom Vol au Vents puff Pastry Bouchee & a Tarragon Infused Chardonnay Cream
Pan Seared Supreme of Corn Fed Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Herb Mousse, Truffle Mash and a Piquante Jus
Paupiettes of Lemon Sole, Smoked Salmon & White Fish Farce, Pomme Purée, Fine Herb & White Wine Cream.
A melody of Apple pie, Baileys Cheesecake and Ice Cream
Tea and Coffee.
“For our favours we had personalised M&Ms with our engagement picture and wedding date printed on them – from mymms.co.uk
My favourite part of the wedding day… Our speeches were all hilarious, we had our guests in stitches of laughter. The best man, groom’s father, the groom, my father and myself all spoke. I personally loved our first dance as well as I had managed to rope Alan into taking dance lessons and it all paid off. We did the Dirty Dancing dance “I’ve had the time of my life”. My bridesmaids and friends joined in for it, they had learnt their part at my hen do. It was so much fun! I wish we could do it all over again; it was such an amazing day.
Our honeymoon… We’ve both always wanted to do a safari so we had a week in Kenya covering Masai Mara National Park, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli park which overlooks Mount Kilimanjaro. We were an arm’s length away from some Lions at one stage – it was absolutely amazing! We also had a week of full-on relaxation in the Hilton Labritz, Silhouette island in the Seychelles.
“I managed to rope Alan into taking dance lessons and it all paid off. We did the Dirty Dancing dance “I’ve had the time of my life”. My bridesmaids and friends joined in for it, they had learnt their part at my hen do.”
My piece of advice for other brides… Delegate! I like planning and organising and because my background is artistic I quite enjoyed doing my own bouquets, hand making the page boys signs, decorating the cathedral, doing my make-up etc. but two days before the wedding it was all hands on deck to get wedding favours and final table plans done. You don’t realise how time-consuming those two things can be! Something will go wrong inevitably – my original church singer had to cancel a couple of days before hand due to unforeseeable reasons but she got me a replacement so there wasn’t any issues. It all falls into place so just stay calm. Remember you may have certain things planned that don’t work out but it’s not the end of the world as you’re the only one who knows how you wanted it, your guests don’t! If you’re comfortable speaking in front of people I think it’s nice for the bride to give a speech.
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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.