“So I found myself being laced into a wedding dress that our photographer Ros had, by my husband-to-be in Ros’s front room, it was definitely a surreal moment!”
The couple: Sharon Murray & Donal McNulty
Length of engagement: 10 months | Wedding date: 5th July 2014
Wedding ceremony: Skryne Church | Wedding venue: Tankardstown House
Photographer: Ros Byrne from Couple Photography
We met… 15 years ago working in a hotel – Donal started working as a chef and I was working in the accounts department during the day and as a waitress in the bar/restaurant at night. Although he did scald me with a tray of boiling hot consommé one night and we had an awkward first date, we eventually hit it off and never looked back.
Our proposal… Never happened! It’s very unromantic but we just came to a mutual agreement that getting married was the next step. We did announce our engagement on my parent’s anniversary so there was some significance to the date.
My look on the day… We were all (seven of us) looked after by the ladies in Fusion Hair & Beauty in City West. It was so convenient to have everything done in the one place and it would have been too chaotic at home. Anna, one of the owners, has been doing my hair for years and I had a trial with Catriona who had lots of suggestions and took lots of photos. Ashling has also done my make-up before so I had every confidence in the girls and everything worked out perfectly. They even opened the salon an hour early to accommodate us so there was no delay, it was a great start to the day. My best friend and bridesmaid Marie also works in the salon and had decorated it with balloons for the big day.
Our ceremony… Was so enjoyable and relaxed. Our priest Fr. Billy was a friend of the family and made everyone feel at ease. The parish priest in Skryne was very accommodating, letting us bring in trees to display hearts with the names of our loved ones who are no longer with us. Our church music was provided by Laura O’Neill and we were delighted with her amazing voice.
My dress… Was the third dress I tried on but of course I didn’t want to buy a dress in the first shop so I proceeded to try on at least 80 more dresses just to be sure. But that one stuck in my head so I brought my Mam to see it and she was not that impressed with it when she saw it on the hanger but when I tried it on she was positive it was the one. It was a strapless dress originally which didn’t particularly suit me so I was able to have it altered and have the neckline changed. The alterations were done by All Alterations in the White Swan Business Centre just off South Circular Road. They came recommended to me and I would not hesitate to recommend them to other brides.
We chose our venue because… While researching venues for a friend’s wedding a few years ago I came across Tankardstown House. At the time they hosted small weddings in the house and larger ones in a marquee on the grounds. When we decided to get married ourselves I discovered they had added an orangery and could accommodate a larger number in the house itself. Tankardstown ticked all the boxes for us, I have some family in Meath and my Granny is 87 so I did not want her to have to travel too far. It was also an exclusive use venue and we liked the idea of it being just us as it was more intimate. The style of the venue suited us exactly. The staff were so professional and friendly, we could not find fault with the service we experienced from the coordinators to Fran and his team in the orangery.
We chose our photographer because… Ros from Couple Photography was recommended by our videographer Emma from Edithouse. We looked at her website and then met up with Ros and found her to be so relaxed and fun. We also had an opportunity to work with Ros before our wedding as she took the photo that we used for our wedding invitation which included our dog. This was no easy task. We have a small obsession with our little pug Lola and wanted to feature her in some part of the wedding without being too OTT. Once we put the idea to Ros she organised everything. So I found myself being laced into a wedding dress that Ros had by my husband-to-be in Ros’s front room, it was definitely a surreal moment! Ros had already researched locations to take the photo so we then marched around UCD campus while she clicked away. Neither of us are extroverts so we were embarrassed but when we saw the finished product we knew it was worth it. It was probably the best day of Lola’s life as she was fed a lot of treats by a very patient Ros.
What our bridal party wore… The girls wore pink one shoulder dresses with a ruffle detail. One of the girls was pregnant at the time so I wanted to pick a dress that suited everyone and was comfortable. I was delighted with the colour and thought it suited all of the girls, my beautiful pink ladies! My little niece wore a pretty cream dress form Debenhams.
Our menu… We literally rolled home from our tasting in Tankardstown! We made some decisions when we read the menu options and then changed our minds on some dishes having tasted them. Being in the hospitality industry ourselves, we hoped to have some input into the menu and we were so delighted the chef agreed to allow us provide our own Caesar salad dressing that Donal has being making for years; it really meant a lot to us. We also had a dessert table with a variety of desserts so that guests could help themselves, this was mostly provided by Slane bake.
My favourite part of the wedding day… I had two favourite parts really. Firstly I really enjoyed the whole experience in the church, that was the most important part for me and is what ‘getting married’ is all about. Before and during dinner my uncle had organised for the three piece band Tropical Storm to play. They were absolutely amazing and really got the party started from the moment we arrived at Tankardstown. So my other favourite part of the wedding was during a photo with all the girls under a tree dancing away to Tropical Storm and then doing an impromptu conga line as you do at about 5pm at a wedding!
My piece of advice for other brides… Get as much planning done as early as you can so the week of the wedding you are not roping your cousin who just got off the plane from Australia into putting your order of service together! Try and have some time to relax before the big day. On the day itself just take a deep breath and think you are never going to get this day back again so you want to take your time and enjoy each moment, not rushing into the next stage. Just relax as much as you can and savour it because this day will be one of your most important lifetime memories.
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.