Shane and I met in college. We had a couple of mutual friends and so we were introduced through them. The very first day we met we ended up at the same party that night and we have been together ever since.
Shane proposed to me on a long layover in Chicago on our way home to Ireland for Christmas, as we live in Canada. Chicago holds a special place in my heart after spending a summer there, and then Shane and I holidayed there together a couple of years later. I actually booked the flight with the 7 hour layover intentionally so we could head down to the city for a couple of hours. It was absolutely freezing so we ended up opening a couple of pairs of mittens that I had in my hand luggage, which were supposed to be gifts for our families! We went to the Chicago Bean to quickly take some photos before going for lunch and that is when he said he had an early Christmas present for me and dropped down onto one knee. I didn't mind taking the mittens off then! We were going home as a surprise so we kept it to ourselves until we made it home and gave everyone a double shock!
We were married on August 20th, 2016, in the Chapel of Ease, Fahan, followed by a reception in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel.
I really loved it! Shane and I didn't get stressed at all (until the seating plan!) and just enjoyed the whole thing. I loved working on little details along the way, like making our own betting cards for the tables, activity books to keep the kids occupied and having custom napkins made. I put a lot of thought into the decor of the room and loved how it turned out.
My dress was by Sottero and Midgley and was off-the-shoulder and pure lace with an illusion back. It had a full tulle mermaid skirt, which is not at all what I thought I would go for. I absolutely loved it. The material underneath the lace was a light gold colour and this ended up setting the theme for our wedding.
I only went to one shop and I thought I had found 'the one' already, before trying on mine. I really loved it and it was completely different from my dress. I had pinned the dress I ended up choosing, on Pinterest, so I knew I wanted to try it on, as it caught my eye as soon as I entered the shop. I wanted to make sure I made the right choice though so I went away and came back a few days later and just tried on the two again. The waterworks came and so the decision was made. This time I knew 100% that it was the one!
My bridesmaids were my childhood friend, Gillian, and my auntie, Jade. We actually ended up changing dresses a couple of weeks before the wedding! I had bought ones a whole year before, but by the time my wedding rolled around, Jade was going to be 7 months pregnant. The other dresses wouldn't have worked, so I ordered dresses from Dessy in the bridal shop where I purchased my dress. We were able to get Jade an actual maternity bridesmaid dress, which was perfect. They turned out lovely and I loved the blush and gold theme that came together.
My bouquet was very meaningful to me as my granny actually made it. I wanted it to be big and full with pink roses and some greenery. She did it absolutely perfectly and I loved it!
I loved that all the planning was so easy. I worked with Sinead, one of the venue's wedding planners, and from day one she was fantastic. Planning a wedding from the other side of the world has its challenges, but Sinead truly made me feel comfortable. I didn't actually get in to see the venue in person, and it had been renovated since I was last there, but before the wedding she sent me lots of photos and was always on the ball, answering all my mad emails and questions! On the day, everything ran so smoothly and the food was amazing. Everyone kept telling me how impressed they were.
Everything but the weather! Typical Irish wedding, but I swear I never thought it would rain on my wedding day. Don't ask my why! I was putting it out to the universe that the sun would be splitting the rocks. That definitely didn't happen and the rain poured from when I left the house to go to the mass, to when we arrived at the hotel. It worked out in the end though because we got amazing photos and just embraced it.
Everyone told me this and I promised I'd listen but I didn't! Take your time walking down that aisle. We were late arriving at the chapel (blame the priest for once, not the bride!), so by the time I got there I just wanted to go. I feel like we raced up that aisle. So my advice is to take your time, breathe and enjoy the moment.
My mum was actually the person to recommend Catherine to me. She is into photography and I didn't have a clue. I looked at a few photographers' work but once I seen Catherine's relaxed style, I was so happy to go ahead and book her. I am not a fan of super posed photos and I definitely chose the right photographer. I don't know how many photographers would be happy to go out in the pouring rain with all their equipment, but she didn't even think twice. We had a great laugh.
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