Our Wedding Day - Hotel Doolin - May 2016

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comprometida Posts: 143
Hi all Finally getting around to posting this wedding day report. I loved reading other people's when I was planning our big day so hopefully someone will find this useful too!! We got married on a Saturday and had a lot of guests travelling down on the Friday to make the most of the weekend. So we arranged to gather in McGanns for a kick-off to the weekend. It was lovely meeting everyone as they landed in Doolin and the excitement was really building. McGanns don't do platters or reserve areas bur we got there quite early and had no trouble getting a few tables and as more people arrived they were able to pull up chairs too. The food in there is great so people just ordered their own as and when they were hungry and it worked out perfectly. Of course the main draw is the music and there was a session as there always is in McGanns so there was no need to organise any entertainment of our own. The weather unfortunately was absolutely awful all day Friday - a brides worst nightmare! It rained non-stop all day! So we were grateful to be in a cosy pub having the craic and listening to some lovely trad. The bridesmaids and I headed home (my parents have a holiday home about 30 minutes from Doolin) around 10pm before there was any risk of a hangover! It was hard to leave the fun but I was so excited for the day ahead. My biggest fear was that H2B would get caught up the excitement and be out till all hours!! But in the end he went home to bed in Hotel Doolin not long after me. The rain hammered on the roof all night but when I woke (at about 6am!) the sun was shining as it rose and the sky was clear! Total miracle! The weather forecast had changed completely and there was now to be sunshine all day - I couldn't believe it! Big tip for brides getting married on the west coast - ignore the weather forecasts in the run up! They haven't a clue! First thing I did when I woke up was read my letter from H2B, it was such a gorgeous moment thinking about our wedding day ahead! I took some time to write my cards to the bridesmaids and my parents, and put them together with their gifts ready to bring downstairs. It was a lovely calm before the storm. By about 7 the girls were waking up and it was time to start the day. I had gotten us all matching robes so we threw those on and downstairs to start some breakfast - although I had no interest in eating it!! The morning just flew in, before I knew it the girls were arriving to do our hair and make up. I had five bridesmaids so they arrived in plenty of time to make sure everyone was sorted! We sipped champagne with strawberries, listened to the playlist I had put together and just enjoyed every moment. Before long photographer and videographer had arrived too. The first we heard of the videographer was when someone shouted "There's a drone over the house" :o0 It was a surprise for everyone that he had a drone so we had great craic over that! I asked a few of my close friends to the house in the morning too so they could share the fun. Was delighted I had when the lads took on the job of ironing the bridesmaids dresses that we had left until the last minute :duh: Lifesavers! Once everyone was finished with hair and make up I gave the girls and my parents their gifts and cards - it was lovely to see their reactions and feel all the love in the room! :heartbeat: I think I made all of them cry too so there were make up touch ups to be had after! Then it was time for the veil and the dress to go on! It all felt so sudden! Our photographer was great for keeping an eye on the time for us and basically making sure we were on schedule. I hadn't looked at a clock for hours! Dress on and I came downstairs for the big reveal, my Dad had wanted to hear nothing about the dress so it would be a surprise on the day so that was a gorgeous moment. And then like a flash we were off to our first look! My lovely friend who was driving us to the venue had arranged a little hamper in the car for us with prosecco and fruit and sweets and some really thoughtful gifts - so unexpected! Little things like that really make the day so special. Myself and H2B had arranged to meet halfway between Doolin and my parents house for a first look before the ceremony. If you're thinking about doing this I can't recommend it enough. It was so exciting to get to see him and have him see the dress without the huge audience. His face is something I will never forget and it was all the more special without a crowd watching mine too! We took photos and kissed and laughed and smiled till our faces hurt and then it was time to head on to the ceremony. At this stage the day starts to really become such a blur! I heard this from so many other brides and so I tried to hold on to every moment but it's all just so overwhelming! All i can say is try to take a moment for the two of you whenever you can and just stop and take a deep breath and take it all in. We did this a few times throughout the day (after ceremony, photos, before dinner, first dance) and it really helped! We had our ceremony in the marquee at the Hotel and Louise from Grace Events did a fantastic job of decorating it. It looked absolutely gorgeous. We had a spiritualist ceremony with a sand ceremony, hand fastening and candle lighting. Every part of it felt beautiful and personal for us. Our friends did the readings and sang for us. I can't wait to see the video so I can enjoy those bits again cos for the life of me I can't remember them now! :o0 Afterward, the sun was shining and everyone was out in the garden. We had mojitos and craft beers, a seafood buffet and Burren tapas - everyone raved about the food. It went down an absolute storm! Unfortunately myself and himself had very little of it! We took photos with the bridal party on the bridge just across from the hotel. We were joined by a little donkey who made the pics! And nibbled through some of my bouquet! Then myself & H2B along with best man, photographer and videographer headed off to the cliffs for some more pics. We went to the Liscannor end for any of you that know it, by Hags Head and the farmer there was kind enough to open the gates so we could drive right up beside the cliffs - so no walking in the dress. The weather was just perfect and we had such a laugh with the lads. It is one of our favourite memories from the day. I thought we would be dying to get back to the wedding but really we enjoyed every second of the time together away from the crowd. Then back for some hair and make up recovery, thanks to my lovely bridesmaids - the wind at the cliffs took a toll! Then dinner - which was amazing, absolutely delicious, every bite. We had the burren trio to start which gave some variety when you can only have one starter option, then red pepper, gubeen chorizo soup, the trio of fish or the lamb (the lamb in particular was hugely popular), then the afternoon tea style mix of desserts. It was SO much food everyone was delighted with it. There was an ice-cream cart rolled out at dessert which was a total surprise to us and a massive hit! We also had the three piece jazz band playing during dinner who everyone loved. Speeches were fantastic. I wasn't sure if I would make one but my Dad's was so perfect, and I'd said everything I wanted to in the cards I gave that morning that in the end I decided not to put myself under pressure and to leave it. Dancing, our band were fantastic - ready to go when we were, played our first dance beautifully, they kept the floor full, and we have epic photos of the dance moves everyone was pulling! Our photographer and videographer were like ninjas on the day :o0 - noone noticed them at all and they managed to get some absolutely brilliant shots as a result. Can't recommend them enough. Midnight snacks were pizza and fish & chips. The next day we went on a trip to Inis Oirr with some of the crew from the wedding that were able for a boat with a hangover! Others that weren't went for a cliff walk or just relaxed. Then we had a pig on a spit in the marquee - again incredible food and tons of it. Lots of salads, etc too for those that didn't eat meat. Exhausted just going over it all now! It was without a doubt the best day of my life. I loved every second of it. My biggest tip for brides to be would be to remember the big picture on the day - don't let any little problems get in the way - things will go wrong, or be different to what you expected, just remember to relax, any madness just adds to the memories! Go with the flow and take time to look at your new husband and all your guests and enjoy the love! If anyone wants more info on suppliers or pics of bridesmaids dresses or robes etc just DM, happy to help and recommend where I can! Highlights for us: The food: massive compliments to the chef at Hotel Doolin, he went above and beyond looking after H2B's diabetic nephew who was sad to be left out when the ice cream came out. Just unbelievable service. O:o) The venue: the marquee looked fantastic, the garden was gorgeous, the entire set up was just what we wanted. There were so many little extras in the decor that we were just bowled over. The sunshine definitely helped too :lvs The photographer: We had Pawel Bebenca and he was just incredible. He is worth every penny. Such a calming influence, such good craic, and a total professional. As I mentioned earlier he kept me on schedule in the morning in such a calm way. He captured every moment of our day, even so many that we would have missed. We are absolutely thrilled with the quality and quantity of photos we received. And to top it off we got them within three weeks of the wedding day! So so fast! I honestly can't recommend Pawel enough. :heartbeat: The videographer: Like many other couples we were very much on the fence about a videographer, especially as the budget was getting stretched as the wedding got closer. But we are absolutely delighted that we decided to go for it. We went with Richard Speedie from Big Day and he was just fantastic. Again, so professional, so discreet, one of his camera's looks more like for photos than videos so people didn't realise they were being filmed even IF they did spot him! Not only this but he sent us a "teaser" within three days of the actual wedding with some highlights of the day already edited and set to our music from the day! Just incredible and really capturing the feel of the day in a way only a video can! Like i said it's so hard to take the whole day in and I can't remember now the details of the ceremony, the speeches so I know we will absolutely treasuring having this on video. Our suppliers: Venue: Hotel Doolin Decor: Louise @ Grace Events Photographer: Pawel Bebenca Videographer: Richard @ Big Day Band & DJ: The Poor Boys Flowers: West Clare Flowers Hair: Lousie Byrne Hairdressing, Mobile from Ennis Make up: Deirdre @ Body Treats, Ennistymon Dress: Novia D'art, Ciara Bridal Powerscourt Bridesmaid dresses: Daintyard, Etsy Robes: Noviame, Etsy Jewellery: Mashugana, Etsy Shoes: Dune Suits: Protocol, Dublin [attachment=0:28l848m4]0273.jpg[/attachment:28l848m4]
Buzzelle Posts: 65
Congratulations Comprometida, you made a very beautiful bride. Your wedding day sounds so perfect, I'm glad all the hard work in organising it paid off :)
CasualBride Posts: 574
Lovely!!! Really enjoyed reading this, it sounded absolutely fantastic!! Congratulations!!
Smallensmall Posts: 139
Awww this made me all teary and so excited for my wedding !! Sounds like an amazing day. Hotel Doolin is fantastic and you looked absolutely beautiful ! :heartbeat:
PixieH Posts: 80
Comprometida, your report is amazing!! It sounds like ye had the most fantastic day ever. Thanks so much for such a detailed, lovely report. :lvs