Say hello to Kim and John, a stunning couple who were engaged for a whopping 24 years! They got engaged in December 1998, and after having two lovely daughters, they finally celebrated their love with a gorgeous wedding. We love that they wanted the focus to be on their love and their family, and throughout the wedding planning process they chose elements they didn’t think they’d want (like a long wedding dress and a professional photographer and videographer). They’re so glad they made those choices!
Couple: Kim & John McMorrow
Engagement length: 24 years
Wedding date: 2022-05-06
Wedding location: The Hamlet Court Hotel
Photographer: Jon Waters Photography
Videographer: Bill McDonough
John and Kim met in December 1982, when Kim was 15 and John was 16. They lived around the corner from each other and were inseparable for years, then decided to part as they were too young to settle down. But despite this, their first love bond was always there! Kim moved to London in 1988 for work but would go home for the holidays a few times each year, and they would always reconnect for the entire holiday. In 1998, Kim decided that she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life wondering “What if?” so she moved back home to be with John. Just a few months later, they got engaged on 17th December 1998 on the anniversary of their first date!
Having two kids, being engaged for 24 years and never wanting to get married, much to everyone’s amazement, they set a date last year for 6th May 2022!
Kim says, “The original plan was myself and John, our two girls going to the registry office, dinner and a party that night. Small and simple… then I found the Hamlet Court and everything changed.”
Kim imagined wearing a short dress, nothing too fancy. That was until she tried on “The One” in Wed2b. Her daughters convinced her to try on a long dress, so she did! The minute she walked out in her dress, she knew it was The One and they were all in tears. For someone who only wanted a short, simple dress, she ended up with a full gown, train, veil – the whole shebang! Her hair was done by Aoife Priest McCormack and her makeup was done by GC. Kim says that Aoife was an absolute pleasure to work with, and Grain is a miracle-worker to make her feel like she was 21!
Kim’s bridesmaids – her lovely daughters – both wore royal blue for the debs, so they wanted a completely different colour. They found the perfect dresses in a beautiful shade of red at Wed2b! The style complimented both of their figures. The boys work dark blue suits with red tires, which perfectly matched the girls.
They had a civil ceremony at their hotel, officiated by Rev Barbara Allen. Here’s what John and Kim say about it:
“With a civil ceremony it is so personal to you and your story. We did the rose ceremony which Barbara had never performed before. I wanted it as it is a beautiful way of involving family and friends. My father passed in 2003 so I had his favourite song, “Wind beneath my wings”, playing as I walked up the aisle with my brother. To say it was emotional is an understatement. The ceremony was probably one of the least things, if I’m honest, that I was looking forward to, as we’re not really into all that, as I thought, but now it it one of my favourite parts of the day.”
They chose The Hamlet Court because they had been to a wedding there years ago and it had always stayed in their minds.
“Their reputation for good food and service is renowned around here, but they exceeded even my highest expectations on the day. They were faultless and made myself and John feel like we were the most important people in the world on our wedding day. I can never thank them enough.”
Kim originally didn’t want a photographer and having to pose for photos, but after speaking with Jon Waters, whom she found on HIGM, she decided to go ahead! They booked his four hour package which worked out brilliantly. He arrived just as Kim was ready, took photos of her and the girls in the room, then popped into take photos of John, the ceremony and the family photos after.
Videography is another item Kim originally didn’t want, but then she realised she didn’t want to wake up the morning after with regrets, so she booked a videographer! She found Bill McDonagh on HIGM as well and went with the whole package. She is so glad she hired him, because he’s so funny yet unobtrusive and she can’t recommend him highly enough!
They chose to have a DJ, so they picked Gary, someone they’ve known for years! He was brilliant and had everyone up dancing all night. For favours, they did little candles and chocolate bars with “Kim and Yorick” on them (a nod to John’s lifelong nickname and the name everyone from their hometown calls him).
Kim and John have some fabulous memories of their Big Day:
“The whole day was entirely magical, beyond my wildest dreams and I’m so glad I took the plunge. My favourite memory and one that will stay with me forever is the very last song of the night, when they played ” you’ll never walk alone ” and the whole room got up, held hands , sang their heart out and myself and John in the middle , looking at each other with pure love in our eyes , thinking this 40 year romance was well worth the wait and now we are actually husband and wife.
We got some brilliant wedding day advice from John and Kim:
“Don’t think about should I, would I, if you want something just get it or do it. Don’t wake up the next morning thinking I wish I’d done that. I was so scared that I would look like mutton dressed as lamb on the day of my wedding being 55, but when I saw the final result with hair, makeup, dress, bouquet, I felt like a million dollars. It’s you and your partner’s day. If people don’t turn up, that’s their loss, not yours. Only invite positive people, you don’t need any negativity on your wedding day. And finally, go out there and give it socks, the memories you create on your wedding day will stay with you for a lifetime.”
Ceremony and reception venue: The Hamlet Court Hotel | Planner/coordinator: Sharon McCabe | Photographer: Jon Waters Photography | Videographer: Bill McDonough | DJ: Gary Mckeown | Hair: Hair by Aoife | Makeup: Makeup by GC | Couple’s outfits: WED2B and Dublin Formal Wear | Wedding party outfits: Wed2B | Cake: Joanna Branagan | Celebrant/solemniser: Rev Barbara Allen | Flowers: Sumflowers
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.