“We had a purple and pink theme throughout our wedding. As it was a summer wedding, we wanted to incorporate bright colours.”
Names: Elaine Kelly and Ciarán Doyle
Length of engagement: 15 months
Wedding Date: 16 June 2018
Wedding location: Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Trim, Co. Meath
Photographer: Denlo Photography
We met… Online through the Plenty of Fish (POF) dating app! Our first date was for coffee in the Kilkenny shop on Nassau Street in Dublin. We got on so well that we ended up chatting for almost 2 hours. Our second date was a week later, and the rest is history!
Our proposal… Ciarán proposed to me in the rose garden of Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare. Ciarán grew up in Limerick. During visits to Ciarán’s family, we would sometimes go to Dromoland for walks and for a bite to eat. The proposal was very romantic. I cried with happiness when Ciarán went down on one knee and popped the question! Ciarán proposed to me with a beautiful eternity ring that was owned by his grandmother. We picked my engagement ring a few weeks later, but I still wear the eternity ring too as it’s so sentimental.
Our wedding theme/colours… We had a purple and pink theme throughout our wedding. As it was a summer wedding, we wanted to incorporate bright colours. My bouquet was primarily made of purple and pink. The bridesmaids’ dresses were lilac and my mum bought a bicycle which she painted pink and decorated with bright-coloured flowers, which was placed outside the church. Our wedding invitations and Mass booklets incorporated pink, purple, blue and yellow. Also, part of our wedding cake was decorated purple and our candy cart was pink.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… Some of our family and friends are very creative. They helped out a lot in this respect! My mum bought a bicycle which she painted pink and decorated with bright-coloured flowers. The bicycle was placed outside the church. In addition, my mum bought a memory tree and designed lots of beautiful personalised decorations for the tree. We had the memory tree at our drinks reception. Also, my friend Orla, who is a very talented artist, designed the table name cards for our dinner reception.
My dress… was a Margarett dress bought from The White Room in Mullingar. The dress was the last of about 10 dresses that I tried on during my visit to The White Room. As soon as I tried on the dress and looked in the mirror, I knew it was “The One”! It had a mixture of satin and lace, which was what I wanted. The train was just the right length, and the detailed lace design on the back was stunning.
My hair and make up… was done by two extremely talented ladies. Denise Bray Hairstylist and Anne Marie Doherty Make Up. Both girls are amazing at their jobs and are also two of the nicest and most fun people to have around during the morning bridal preparations. Both Denise and Anne Marie made me feel so at ease and my nerves were almost forgotten about.
His suit… was grey with an ivory waistcoat and tie, which worked well with the bridesmaid dress colours. The suit was rented from McElhinney’s For Men, Athboy, Co. Meath.
What our bridal party wore… My bridesmaids were my two sisters Deirdre and Sarah. They wore beautiful lilac dresses which were bought from Belle Mariée Bridal, Athboy, Co. Meath. The best man and groomsman were two good friends of Ciarán’s. They wore grey suits with purple ties to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Our ceremony… was in St. Dympna’s Church, Kildalkey, Co. Meath. It is 3 miles from where I grew up in Athboy. Kildalkey is my paternal grandparents’ parish. Both of my paternal grandparents have passed away, so I wanted to have them part of the wedding in some way. The church was also the perfect size for our number of guests. We picked songs for the ceremony that were special to us, and our church singer Laura did an amazing job. The church décor, including flowers, pew bows and candle arrangement, were made and set up by an aunt of my brother in law’s and her friends who arrange flowers as a hobby. The flowers were better than some professional flowers I’ve seen, so it shows how talented these ladies are!
We chose our photographer because… we wanted to have two photographers to capture our day, including both bride and groom preparations. When we met with Denis and Lorraine from Denlo Photography, we instantly clicked with them (excuse the pun!). We are so happy with our beautiful photos, as they capture the day so well.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Mary Troy, who is the wedding coordinator in the Knightsbrook. She was so helpful, organised and took a great interest in making our day special. No ask was ever too small for Mary and her team, and it was the reason that everything went so smoothly on the day.
We chose our venue because… Knightsbrook Hotel is a stunning venue with fabulous grounds. We knew it would look amazing in our photos. They have a fantastic package which ticked all the boxes, and the wedding team were so helpful when we went to view the hotel that it was instantly our favourite.
Our menu… included a 5-course menu of chicken salad and vegetable soup. The main course choice of turkey & ham, beef or salmon. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding and tea/coffee. We thoroughly enjoyed our menu tasting in the Knightsbrook. Although choosing the final menu was difficult, as all of the options we tasted were delicious!
Our honeymoon… was two weeks in Oman and Dubai. We flew out 3 days after the wedding and spent the first 7 nights in the Shangri-La Al Husn Resort, which is just outside Muscat in Oman. The resort was fabulous and we mostly relaxed by the pool and beach for the entire week! After this, we stayed in Muscat city centre for 2 nights. One of the days involved doing a guided tour to towns and villages outside of Muscat, which involved visiting castles, forts, as well as sampling delicious Omani food and seeing the beautiful mountainous scenery.
We then flew to Dubai and spent 5 nights there. Our time in Dubai was jam-packed but lots of fun. It included lots of shopping, dinner in the rooftop bar of the Burj Khalifa, afternoon tea in the 7-star Burj Al Arab, a day in Aquaventure Waterpark, a desert safari (which consisted of quad biking, dune bashing and camel rides) and me completing the world’s longest urban zipline!
My favourite part of the wedding day… was walking back down the aisle as a married couple after tying the knot, and seeing all of our friends and family smiling back at us. It made us feel so special and lucky to have all of our favourite people in the same place with us to celebrate our day.
My piece of advice for other couples… The day goes by so fast, so enjoy every moment and take time to step back and take everything in. If things don’t go exactly to plan on the day, don’t even think about it. Your guests will be having too much fun to even notice!
Some of our friends and family travelled far and wide to celebrate our day with us, including two of my friends who travelled from Dubai and Ciarán’s uncle who came from Ohio, USA. What was particularly special was that my Australian friend Kathryn and her husband travelled all the way from Hunter Valley in Australia for our big day. Kathryn and I became penpals when we were 13 years old, and have kept in contact ever since. We had met face-to-face on two previous occasions (once in Australia and once in Ireland). Needless to say, Ciarán and I were honoured that they travelled over 10,000 miles to celebrate with us!
Our speeches were also a little different. Both my mum and Ciarán’s mum made speeches, breaking away from the normal tradition of father of the bride and father of the groom. Ciarán, his best man and myself also said a few words.
Ciarán and I love to travel and have been to 16 countries together. We wanted to incorporate our love of travel into the day, so our table name cards were names of cities/countries that we’ve visited together.
Our band, The Eden Wedding Band, also made our day extra special. They were hugely entertaining and interacted so well with everyone, which included the lead singer Kevin coming out on the dancefloor to sing and mingle with our guests! The band also did a Mr and Mrs quiz with Ciarán and I before our first dance, which was a complete surprise to us, but was so much fun. I had brought flat shoes to change into when the band started, but I was having so much fun dancing that I hardly left the dancefloor all night, and ended up staying in my heels!
Wedding venue: Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Trim. Co. Meath | Photographer: Denlo Photography | Planner/coordinator: Mary Troy, the wedding coordinator in the Knightsbrook Hotel | Videographer: Bill McDonough Wedding Films | Church music: Laura Colgan and Theresa Duignan | Band: The Eden Wedding Band | DJ: The Eden Wedding Band | Hair: Denise Bray Hairstylist | Makeup: Anne Marie Doherty Make-Up | Stationery: Splash Graphics Wedding Stationery | Wedding Rings: The Wedding Band Shop, Dublin | Dress: The White Room, Mullingar | Suit: McElhinneys For Men, Athboy, Co. Meath | Bridesmaids dresses: Belle Mariée Bridal, Athboy, Co. Meath | Groomsmen outfits: McElhinneys For Men, Athboy, Co. Meath | Caterer: Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Trim. Co. Meath. We also hired a sweet cart and sweets from Candy Couture Sweet Boutique | Cake: Bernadette Kennelly Wedding Cakes | Celebrant: Fr. Warren Collier
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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.