“We started seeing each other and made it official on the 10th March, so our wedding day was our 12 year anniversary.”
The couple: Thomas Bates & Jessie Doyle
Length of engagement: Almost 2 years | Wedding date: 10th March 2018
Wedding venue: Wells House & Gardens, Wexford
Photographer: Sineád Firman
We met… 12 years ago when I was only 19 and Tom was 21. We met through friends and indulged in some casual flirting over the course of a few months before I made the first move and bought Tom a drink one night. We started seeing each other and made it official on the 10th March, so our wedding day was our 12 year anniversary.
Our proposal… Tom took me back to the place where we first said ‘I love you’ to each other, it’s a beach in rural Wexford, we were walking along the back of the beach with our dog, Harley, and chatting about all those years ago when out of nowhere he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was shocked (it took me awhile to actually answer) because even though I wanted to get married, I just never knew how he might propose, and it was perfect, the ring, the place, everything.
My dress… was like a fairy tale, it was a corseted bodice with sewn in silver detail and the skirt flowed out into a beautiful train. I felt like a princess especially while I had my veil, which was a two tiered cathedral length beauty. I got my dress in Barnardos Bridal in Wexford town and it was an absolute steal. I was dreading dress shopping and finding something that I loved but would be way out of my price range but Jackie in Barnardos was brilliant and I was able to find the perfect dress with her.
My hair and make up… Sarah Jane Murphy from the Little Salon did my hair and my four bridesmaids. Mine was all up in many intricate and old worldy swirls, which matched my dress perfectly. And our make up was done by Niamh Williams who is a fantastic make-up artist in Wexford. I didn’t want my foundation too heavy… I told Niamh I wanted to look like myself but better and that is exactly what she delivered, haha. Both Sarah and Niamh did an amazing job of making me and my girls look our best.
His suit… Tom had been picking up bits and bobs for his suit more or less since we got engaged, he just kept his eyes peeled for things he liked and that would go together, it started with his shoes, which are fairly amazing and then he got a blue velvet jacket which is so cool. The whole outfit actually worked really well with my dress and with Wells House. I think in the end he got most of his outfit from TK Maxx.
Our ceremony… We decided we wanted to do something a little different for our ceremony so we actually did the legal part of our ceremony on a different day and on our wedding day we got a friend to do a short ceremony that included some traditions and readings that we liked. We included a tying the knot tradition which was kind of different and fun and we had family members who weren’t already part of the wedding do readings of poems and excerpts that we liked. We only had 45 people at our wedding in total and our beautiful and intimate ceremony was perfect for that amount.
What our bridal party wore… My girls wore multiway lilac dresses from Cari’s Closet, they were really beautiful on the day, the girls all looked smashing in them because they were able to adjust them in a way that would suit them all individually. The three groomsmen all chose their own suits to wear as did my Dad and they all looked brilliant and comfortable in what they had. My two baby brothers were ring bearers and they wore matching outfits and looked so cute. Our Usher was probably the most dapper of all the boys, he looked really good in his three-piece.
Our wedding theme/colours… we didn’t do an official theme but we kind of went with the vibe of Wells House, well it just kind of happened that way, quite traditional and romantic. Our colours were purples and blues for the most part but we weren’t too fussy, the groomsmen weren’t matching each other so everybody just brought their own natural style to the event, it worked out really nicely.
We chose our photographer because… Sineád is a friend and I had been following her on Social Media and I really liked her style. She has a real fly on the wall style of photography and I really loved that because she is also able to capture beautiful moments while she does it. Our photos have come back absolutely stunning and we can’t get over how much she was able to capture as one person.
We chose our venue because… Initially we went out to Wells House & Gardens just to see if it was possible to do a wedding there, I knew Niamh and thought it might be nice. I had never actually been to Wells before the initial meeting with Niamh though and as soon as we started the drive up the long driveway and I spotted the house, I knew that no matter what I had to get married here. It was my dream venue without me consciously realising it until that moment. I cannot explain the magic that resides in Wells for me, it was absolutely perfect. We chose to do a small ceremony and meal in Wells for the day and then we invited loads of people to a big after party in The Talbot Hotel Wexford. We chose The Talbot because they were so helpful and their function room and bridal suite are beautiful. We had a few bands play, including Tom’s band that hadn’t played together in 7 years, and it was amazing to see them back together again.
Our menu… Oh my God the food in Wells House was just amazing, there was so much choice and it all tasted soooooo good. We had slow cooked beef blade, confit pork collier neck, tossed prawns and mussels and Tournafulla black pudding apple fritters, the salads were gorgeous as were the desserts, and they did up amazing options for our vegetarian and vegan guests. We also had some finger food at the Talbot which went down a treat especially for the guests who weren’t at Wells house for the day.
My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s so hard to pick a favourite part but the bits that stand out for me are the ceremony, especially when Tom said his vows to me, the amazing food, and the music in the Talbot later that night.
My piece of advice for other couples… Before the wedding I had so many married friends tell me to just enjoy the day, and make it for me and Tom and not to worry about everyone else. This was good advice (and easier said than done) but what I would say is the day is going to pass so quickly and in a massive blur, I don’t know if there’s a way to stop that from happening, but try to take in what you can and try and get some time with your new husband, maybe even plan it in advance. Also I would not have gotten through it all without my amazing bridesmaids so choose wisely because you don’t want to regret it on the day.
Wedding Ceremony & Reception: Wells House & Gardens, Wexford | Afters: Talbot Hotel Wexford | Photographer: Sineád Firman | Wedding Dress: Barnardos Bridal, Wexford | Hair: Sarah Jane Murphy – The Little Salon | Makeup: Niamh Williams Make-up | Bridesmaid Dresses: Cari’s Closet | Ceremony Music: Giovanni Agostini
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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.