A Simply Elegant Wedding After A 10 Year Engagement

Articles, Real Weddings

Say hello to Donna and Joseph! After a 10 year engagement, they tied the knot in a beautiful wedding at Clanard Court Hotel. Instead of a theme, they leaned into the venue’s elegant feel. We love that they went all out on wedding entertainment and their guests had the best time!


Couple: Donna & Joseph
Engagement length: 10 years
Wedding date: 23-06-14
Wedding location: Clanard Court Hotel
Photo and video: Fireworks Wedding Films



Donna and Joseph met through a mutual friend. They had met briefly while on nights out but always claimed to never like each other. She thought he was annoying and she thought he was snobby.

Fast forward to their beautiful engagement, best told from Donna’s perspective:

“We always spoke about getting engaged but I think he secretly wanted me be the one to do it. Our engagement was so chilled, I’d got in from work to a candlelit dinner with Joseph and the kids. Of course I said yes!”



Donna says, “It took us 8 years to finally agree on an Irish wedding. We both knew flying wasn’t an option for some family members and we wanted all of our nearest and dearest to be there. 2 years after and it was the best day of our lives!”



Donna describes their wedding as ‘elegant’. There was no specific theme, so they were led by the look of their venue, Clanard Court Hotel. They loved the setup of the venue and really leaned into its elegant feel.

“We were insisting on an outdoor wedding in the grounds of the hotel, which needed no decor. When they brought the Little White Chapel, it was a game changer.”



From the very beginning, Donna knew she wanted the bridesmaids in champagne, with white roses and baby’s breath, with the boys in tuxedos (even if they didn’t agree).

Donna had her heart set on a fitted dress with no sleeves. After trying on 10 dresses, she tried on ‘the one’ and she knew she’d picked the best! Flower-wise, she opted for long stem white roses.


“Pat Clarke-Browne gave us the most amazing tailored humanist ceremony. From our readings to our choice of songs, it was perfect. We even took a shot of mead before we ‘tied the knot’.



Their wedding venue was Clanard Court Hotel, which they describe as ‘simply amazing’.

“We had seen a few venues before the Clanard but nothing ever gave us “the feels”. Nothing compared to the welcoming and kind nature from all the staff, we booked straight away. Emma and John (wedding coordinator and operations manager) had the day run unbelievably smoothly. Honestly couldn’t have asked for a better team. Food was beautiful, we’re still getting comments about it (5 weeks later). We knew from the moment we sat for our meal tasting that our guests would be well fed. Hotel decor is STUNNING, so modern and stylish.”


Everything was beautifully captured by Ian from Fireworks Wedding Films!

“This was a last minute booking as we had a cancellation, but Ian knew exactly what we wanted. He was so professional and has delivered us an absolutely amazing video. He even included still shots. Cannot recommend Ian enough.”



Donna and Joseph really went all out with their wedding entertainment!

They had Colin Fahy (wedding singer of the year) for the outdoor drinks reception. Then Martin from Scruffy Entertainment had the place on wheels during the dinner intervals. They say he was brilliant and kept the guests going! Their band was Long Time Coming (band of the year) and they had everyone on the dance floor. Erin Doran, a friend of Joseph’s was the DJ and he continued after the band until the early hours of the morning. The guests loved the bathroom flip flops – there were a lot of sore feet the next day, but all for the right reasons.


Their favourite memory from the Big Day was their unplanned First Dance:

“We had said from day 1 we weren’t doing it. We decided in memory of Christy Dignam who passed away the night before to get the band to do “crazy world”. This was a last minute choice, but they pulled a blinder and the entire dance floor was full around us.”



We love asking newlyweds for their best wedding advice for other couples. This is what Donna and Joseph said:

“Easy to say, but don’t stress it. Enjoy the build up and everything in between. Take 5 / 10 minutes for each other at some stage to have a moment to soak it all in together. We left immediately after our ceremony, took 5 minutes to have a drink and few moments together then rejoined our reception. It was one of the best pieces of advice I was given from a previous bride. Enjoy each and every minute. Don’t blink.”



Recommended Suppliers

Venue: Clanard Court Hotel

Photo and Video: Fireworks Wedding Films

Planner/coordinator: Emma Ferris from Clanard Court Hotel

Entertainer: Scruffy Entertainment

Singer: Colin Fahy

Band: Long Time Coming Wedding Band

Cake: GBC Cakes

Celebrant: Pat Clarke-Browne


Other Suppliers

DJ: Eric Doran | Hair: Ashleigh, Mane Aesthetics | Makeup: Robyn Byrne | Male grooming: Platinum Barbers, Swords | Dress: La Bella Sposa | Suit: Love Suits | Wedding party outfits: Oh Hello Clothing | Stationery: Optimal Print | Jewellery/rings: Fields Jewellers | Flowers: Cora’s Flowers