“We signed the register to James Vincent McMorrow’s ‘Higher love’. After, we had craft beer and seafood canapés, while a local traditional band played lively music in the corner.”
The couple: Nicola Mannion & Niall Fallon
Length of engagement: 1 year | Wedding date: 28th February 2014
Wedding location: Hotel Doolin, Co. Clare
We met… On a summer’s day at The Fisheries Fields in Galway. We were both members in the kayak club in Galway but had never met. On the day we met Niall partnered up with me and my kayak buddies for a practice paddle. I think we’ll both admit it was love at first sight! We didn’t shut up chatting from the minute we hit the water!
Our proposal… We lived in Salthill, Galway for the first couple of years of our relationship. We used to stroll on the beach a lot and had a favorite – ladies beach. On a random sunny Sunday in February we went for a pizza (ironically to the place we had our first date and happened to be seated at the same table). On the way home later that night we decided to go down to ladies beach as it was a gorgeous clear night with a full moon. Niall put his hand in his back pocket, pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him (I made him get down on his knee!). It was very special – perfect in fact. We have since moved away from Salthill and as an engagement/moving in gift, my family had a painting commissioned of us on ladies beach by a local artist. It means so much to us and will always remind us of such special memories.
Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t really go with a specific theme – this baffled some wedding suppliers at the start! I guess it accidentally developed as a rustic spring theme as we both love spring colours and I was making my own bouquet from lavender. It went from there really, Donal at Hotel Doolin just ran with that and we trusted his judgement and he absolutely blew us away with what he did with the place.
My dress… Simple, elegant, understated. It was very important to me that I still looked myself on the day although it is so easy to get carried away with all the wedding marketing and pressure. I did cave in though on the veil which was almost forced on me by my Mam and an eager seamstress. I didn’t see myself as a ‘veil person’ but when I saw the sheer magic that Daniel worked with my veil how could I regret it! I got my dress from Bride 2 Be in Loughrea, Galway. Therese and Martina are genuinely the nicest people I dealt with from any bridal shop. Even if Therese thinks she could sell you a dress worth €10,000, she’d still tell you to take it off if it wasn’t entirely ‘you’!
Our ceremony… Donal completely recreated the restaurant at Hotel Doolin for our civil ceremony. It was beautiful. We decided to play music before the ceremony so people wouldn’t feel it too formal – it was important to us that there were no formalities at any stage during the day. We chose our own music that was played throughout the ceremony. At the start, Teresa personally addressed the people who had travelled from other counties to be there, then during a ring warming ceremony, she spoke about what brought us all to Doolin above anywhere else – why we chose there. Niall’s sister Michelle and my sister Imelda, along with Niall’s niece Shauna and one of my dearest friends Denise beautifully read readings and poems at different stages. We signed the register to James Vincent McMorrow’s ‘Higher love’ and then greeted our guests in the lobby afterwards before they were served craft beer and seafood canapés, while a local traditional band played lively music in the corner.
His suit… Was Louis Copeland, and worth every penny! It was altered to perfection – like my dress.
We chose our photographer because… This was our most researched part of the wedding since we’re both passionate amateur photographers ourselves. We are usually the ones at weddings who take all the great photos when the professionals have long departed so we worried a lot that we wouldn’t have pictures that truly captured every angle and every emotion throughout the day. We didn’t just want romantic photos of ourselves which a lot of photographers seem to do without the rest. I had contacted and looked up many photographers and wasn’t 100% confident until I found Daniel’s website – www.dkphoto.ie – two words: ‘naturally talented’! On further investigation we found out that he’s a gent to spend time with on your special day as well as being mindful of the time you want to spend with your guests. As well as that, we could see that Daniel seemed to capture every raw emotion from every angle – of guests chatting, having a laugh etc. Anyone who wasn’t at our wedding but who saw the photos all said that it looked like a very relaxed day with lots of laughter throughout. Daniel is truly amazing.
We chose our venue because… of the different wedding packages – not the same old thing… function room and basic menu etc. They had a fabulous array of wedding packages that suited our personality. When we went there and tasted the food as well as met the staff – let’s just say it was a done deal immediately!
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Donal could not do enough for us. We felt as though we had a personal weding planner for the whole thing. He made us feel as though we were spending hundreds of thousands on this wedding. He’s an absolute gent and so down to earth. He realised exactly what we wanted from the day – I believe if we asked for a rooftop wedding he’d have tried to accommodate us! Brilliant.
Our menu… The ‘Slow Food Menu’ – which was all locally sourced food. I’ll put it this way – two months on and our guests are still talking about the food!
Goats Cheese Spring Roll | Smoked Chicken & Watermelon Salad | Terrine of Pork with Black Pudding
Rack of Burren Lamb | Sirloin Steak | Grilled Hake with a Crust of Chili & Lime
Berry & Apple Crumble with Local Linalla Ice Cream
Baileys Parfait with Chocolate & Nut Gravel Topping (presented in a mini flower pot!)
Our honeymoon… we had four nights in Paris and are planning to head to California during the summer for two weeks and take a car out!
My favourite part of the wedding day… We had an acoustic band come into the Resident’s Bar after the ‘main band’ – called Easy Peas. They were amazing. Everyone stayed up for them, they really finished off the night with a bang and it was in such a great cosy setting. Our wedding was quite small so we really didn’t feel a DJ was the right way to finish the night.
My piece of advice for other brides… Stick to your guns, trust your instincts, don’t share too much prior to the wedding – everyone likes to have an opinion whether you want to hear it or not. If doing any DIY do it as far in advance as possible. If you’re planning on making your own bouquet, lavender looks great against white and goes with most colours (bridesmaids’ dresses) and doesn’t wither so you can make it weeks in advance if you like and get it out of the way!
The following two tabs change content below.
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.