“Our wedding theme/colours were based around our love of music and our chosen colours were blush pink and burgundy.”
Names: Katrina Sheeran & Tadhg Maher
Length of engagement: 18 months
Wedding Date: 30th June 2018
Wedding location: Mount Wolseley Hotel & Spa, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Photographer: Patrick Ryan Photography
We met randomly on a night out. When we started chatting we realised we had so much in common and had previously crossed paths through our interests in music and dance. We are both secondary school teachers also so it seemed too good to be true. We exchanged numbers and our first official date was in Bobs Bar in Durrow just over 4 years ago.
Our proposal happened on 30th December 2016 in front of the Christmas tree and ice skating at the Rockefeller Centre in New York. I had always wanted to go to New York at Christmas so we had booked this trip months in advance but the proposal was a total surprise. Tadhg had been carrying around the ring from the moment we landed and it took him 3 days to pop the question. He was so focused on the proposal that he had my pink flowery backpack on his back when he got down on one knee and forgot to take it off. We still have a great laugh at the pictures. While we were there we also bought the wedding rings.
Our wedding theme/colours were based around our love of music and our chosen colours were blush pink and burgundy. Our theme featured on our invitations, road signs, welcome signs, mass booklets, table plan and menus. I love rich colours so burgundy was a runner from day one but because it was a summer wedding we added in some blush to make it brighter. We then had a stave of music running through the flowers with our initials K & T in a heart.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves. I am an avid fan of Father Ted so our first example of DIY was our road signs. Each sign featured the saying ‘K & T, Wedding, Go on, go on, go on’. Our signs in the church included ‘Choose a seat not a side, you are loved by both the groom and bride’, Mr & Mrs Ferrero Rocher chocolates, an arch of hurls outside the church door and our beloved Bernese mountain dog ‘Alfie’ greeted us at the church door. We were conscious that the hotel was an hours’ drive from the church so we put together a playlist of popular songs together for our guests and had our usher hand out the CDs when leaving the ceremony. The next thing we did was personalise our favours for the reception. We opted for chocolate bars so wrapped each bar individually with a message saying ‘Thank you for sharing our special day’. Each table was named after well-known songs that meant something to us both. Our guests signed 4 Records and a bodhran as a memento that we got framed for our new home.
My dress was custom made by Kathy de Stafford. Although our wedding was in June, I always loved the idea of a long sleeved dress. We visited the boutique in Nenagh about 12 months in advance of the wedding and I paid my deposit a year to the day of our wedding. I met Kathy on numerous occasions where we discussed my style and the dress had beautiful laced sleeves with a scalloped v neck and a fishtail flick at the end. I loved it!
My hair and make up was by the beautiful and talented June Strong from Bankz Hair Salon in Portlaoise. She has been doing my hair for years so it was a bonus to have her as part of my wedding morning. My stunning make up was by Karen Maher. She is such a kind and bubbly person and made everyone feel so relaxed and pampered during a busy and fun-filled morning.
His suit was from Hennessy’s Suits in Kilkenny.
What our bridal party: My bridesmaids wore a burgundy v neck dresses with lace detail that matched my dress. The groomsmen wore a dark navy suit and burgundy tie to compliment the bridesmaids.
Our ceremony was very personal. We spent quite a lot of time organising the booklet to ensure that every word and prayer spoken was meaningful to us. We also wrote our own ‘newly married couple’ prayer. The music was extremely important to us and chosen very carefully. We were blessed to have great friends who provided beautiful instrumentals with uileann pipes, fiddles, flutes and guitar. We also had my brother sing and play piano. On top of that, my dear husband stood up after communion and approached the mic to perform Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’. I wont lie, I nearly killed him! Our celebrant Fr. Eamonn O’Gorman is also a musician and had known us both before we knew each other and our concelebrant was Fr. Lorcan Kenny, who is the chaplain in Tadhg’s school and a very dear friend to us both. We were so fortunate to have so many people who mean the world to us involved in our mass.
We chose our photographer because Patrick Ryan is extremely talented, cool, calm and professional. Patrick had photographed all three of my bridesmaid’s weddings so by the time it was our turn it felt like we knew him for decades. We couldn’t recommend him enough as he made us feel so at ease and he dedicated so much time in ensuring we were happy and enjoyed the day. We didn’t stop smiling all day and he captured so many special moments throughout the day. His attention to detail was mindblowing and we have so many beautiful photos to choose for our album.
We chose our venue because we had attended numerous weddings over the years and it never failed to give us butterfies. From the location, beautiful grounds and golf course, the décor of the hotel itself and the scrumptious food we booked Mount Wolseley in a matter of days being engaged. We had massive numbers attending our wedding and they did their utmost to accommodate everyone and ensure they had the best of everything.
Our menu was our priority, food is one of the main things that guests talk about and remember. We had our menu tasting 3 months before the big day and the selection of food on the menu was endless. For our 4 course meal we chose vol au vents, soup, salmon and delicious 24 hour braised beef that the majority of our guests opted for. Our desserts were apple crumble, baileys cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding. There was even seconds for those with a big appetite.
Our honeymoon was amazing! We went to South Africa for 10 days and we experienced so much culture in Cape Town visiting historical sites such as Robben Island, Table Mountain, Camps Bay and of course a wine tour in Stellenbosch. We then moved beyond Port Elizabeth and did a safari in Pumba Lodge. It was so luxurious and the sunrise and sunset drives were out of this world. We stopped in Dubai for 5 nights on the way home. Again, complete luxury and relaxation, and plenty of shopping!
My favourite part of the wedding day was the moment we reached the top table of our reception. I’ve never had all my family and close friends together in one room and to look down and see everyone smiling and enjoying themselves in helping us celebrate our wedding day was just incredible. It felt like a dream and I was overwhelmed with gratitude to have so many special people in our lives.
My piece of advice for other couples is to enjoy it all! We had so many celebrations during our 18 months engaged. From sorting the venue to buying the dress, designing invitations and booklets, deciding our theme and putting the music together. We looked forward to all the milestones and the final countdown. You only get one chance to organise the wedding of your dreams so don’t sweat the small stuff. Cherish the special moments with family and friends. Make sure you have asked guests to take plenty of pictures and to send them on. The day goes so fast that it’s nice to look back on other people’s experience of the day.
Our Wedding was on Saturday the 30th June 2018 – quite possibly the hottest day of the year! We had one of our close friends handing out bottles of water in the church and I’ve never seen booklets as popular at a wedding – mainly because they acted as fans! About 30 traditional musicians played us down the aisle with haste to the wedding! We also had ice cream outside to keep people cool. We had photos after the church in Bobs Bar where we first met and photos in Heywood gardens where I went to school. Paddy and Mick Buckley, our great friends along with many more musicians played in the foyer of Mount Wolseley around the grand piano for our reception. The atmosphere was electric by the time we got to the hotel. The piano was again used for music and songs much later in the night and morning!! We had sparklers and photos down by the lakeside in Mount Wolseley after the meal that made it even more like a fairytale.
Wedding venue: Mount Wolseley Hotel & Spa, Tullow, Co. Carlow | Photographer: Patrick Ryan Photography, Portlaoise | Planner/coordinator: Amy Masterson / Steve Rochford of Mount Wolseley Hotel | Videographer: Brophy Videography, Portlaoise | Band/DJ: The Best Men | Hair: June Strong, Bankz Hair Salon Portlaoise | Makeup: Karen Maher | Rings: Dalia Diamonds, New York | Stationery: The Print Factory, Birr, Co. Offaly | Dress: Kathy de Stafford, Nenagh | Suit: Hennessy’s Suits, Kilkenny | Bridesmaids dresses: My Fair Lady, Tullamore | Groomsmen outfits: Hennessy’s Suits, Kilkenny | Caterer: Mount Wolseley Hotel & Spa | Cake: Our dedicated friend Dympna Haugh | Celebrant: Fr. Eamonn O’Gorman and Fr. Lorcan Kenny