The best day ever was an eclectic mix of themes.
From LandRovers, to music, to seashells, Noreen and James wanted their special day to be a true reflection of their relationship with non-stop laughter. The relaxed atmosphere of their big day in Garryvoe Hotel was beautifully shot by Mark O’ Shea Photography.
We have known each other in passing since we were 16 but only started dating when we were just tuning 21. He was in my local on the 7th of August with his cousins, and I was out with my friends celebrating a friend’s birthday when we got chatting and he offered to teach me to drive. Our first date was 2 days later on Jim’s 21 st Birthday, he left a family dinner early to take me to the cinema. I can’t for the life of me remember what we saw but what we do remember is Jim had to push start the car as the battery of the ’91 Corolla wasn’t in great condition! Great start to my driving lessons! It obviously didn’t put me off as 15 years to the day we finally said I do!!
Jim proposed to me on December 27th 2017. We decided we would go for a walk with our 2 dogs Jess and Marley and try to walk off our Christmas dinner. It ended up being quite a long day of walking…. We started at the Vee Pass and enjoyed the lovely winter sun and the views from there were spectacular. Then we drove around by Mount Melleray. There was still no sign of Jim heading home and we were due to be at his parents for Kris Kindle that evening. So as we drove into Kilfinane he pulled his jeep into a smaller wood I’d never been to. We hiked all the way to the top and passed a few fallen trees on the way up. Jim left me go down ahead of him and I happened to sit on one of the logs to take in the views, I turned around to ask him something and found him on one knee with a dog on either side. I nearly knocked him over before he even got the whole question out….. I’m sure I answered him when I stopped crying. He had been carrying the ring around with him all day and according to him everywhere we had been was too busy.
The boys were dressed from Camden Square menswear in the Crescent shopping centre limerick by the wonderful Monika, who has buckets of patience for helping with the boys. Jim is never comfortable in a full suit, so the waistcoat and chinos suited the boy. The different colour in shirt and tie was the obvious way to make Jim stand out from his boys. The bridesmaids 2 pieces were purchased in Folkster Kilkenny, first shop, first one tried on and they were just gorgeous. I’ve always adored Folkster bridesmaid dresses so I was over the moon when they suited so well and the girls were so comfortable.
My own dress was by Hailey Paige from Padanee Bridal, Carrick On Shannon. I walked into the shop with one idea which Patricia took and just ran with. She really knew what suited me and pulled so many fantastic dresses. We got to the one I had originally gone looking for, which I loved and then she asked me to just try one more and she would put me back into it. I’m afraid there was no going back. The ‘one more’ ended up being ‘The One’ and I absolutely adored it from the second I put it on and just didn’t want to take it off.
Mark is just such nice person and was so much fun to have around on our wedding day. Himself and the videographer Jim Liston had us at ease the minute they entered the room. Having gotten the images back you don’t realise that he is taking so many snaps but they are just fantastic. He makes you laugh full belly laughs and when I was starting to feel any bit nervous just made me laugh out loud. He didn’t force any of the shots and just made us feel so comfortable.
Garryvoe Hotel just had everything we wanted to be part of our day. From the first meeting with Aidan, he just got what we looking for as well as the location and the views, there is so much to love about having Garryvoe as our venue. The atmosphere from the minute you walk in the door is relaxed, professional but most of all so friendly. The Bar and how the arrivals are set up to the Ballroom itself and where it is located within the hotel were just a few of the reasons we loved the location so much. Aidan had Jim hooked when he mentioned the Heineken reception! Nothing was too much trouble for them. Choosing Garryvoe as our hotel was hands down one of the easiest decisions of the whole planning process. It also happens to be only a few minutes drive from one of the prettiest churches, Star of the Sea Ballycotton.
The staff are out of this world and that’s not an exaggeration. From the front of house reception, food, beverage and accommodation. They couldn’t do enough for us in all aspects of our day. We wanted a relaxed day for us and a day everyone could enjoy from the youngest to the oldest and we absolutely achieved that goal. That’s without even mentioning the quality of the food the hotel serves which is out of this world. Our guests were blown away by the staff and the quality of the food. The chocolate brownie is still being discussed at great lengths.
There were a few different themes running during the day, we did want it to be an eclectic mixture of our personalities. The main one was music, flowers, Land Rovers and the sea. The table names were a mixture of bands that we listen to; the table plan was displayed on printed versions of vinyl records, with miniature versions on stands on the table. Which also meant our choice of music for the day was very important. Jim organised the cars which were various types of Land Rovers as that is one of his big passions. My love of flowers comes from the most fantastic lady who did our flowers and arranged the table décor Geraldine Foley, she included dried lavender, seashells and used the most fantastically coloured flowers. Our fantastic Chief Bridesmaid Emma organised the favours which were jars filled with sea salt. It all really blended together so well. One stand out from our wedding was that Jim’s nephew Danny who is a very talented chef in his spare time, made our cake. From Kinder Bueno cheesecake, chocolate orange, red velvet, chocolate biscuit cake, carrot cake cupcakes and a fruit cake! Each one tastier than the last he put so much time and effort into them and they were just spectacular. We also had a very special MC on the night in Jims Godson Adam who introduced the bridal party as well as myself and Jim into the ballroom. We thought it would a special touch to have him introduce us as Mr & Mrs for the first time.
The Special Moment
Oh there were so many, from being up on the balcony on the morning when we were getting ready and seeing family and friends arriving, giving Emma the fear of god that I would get caught peeking. The most special was seeing Jim and the boys heading to the jeeps to set off for the church. Going to the church in the fab yellow Mark 2 Escort that Molls husband had arranged as my dad had one in his younger years. He laughed the whole way to the church.
Seeing Jim half way up the aisle made me so emotional I really didn’t expect it but when I got to him and he held my hand so tight. When Jim and his niece Danielle got up to sing after communion that was one of the most emotional parts of the day for me. They sang The Eagles, Love will keep us alive, and Jim followed it solo with his own version of Time after Time, I was very glad when his best man his brother Dan came and sat with me as my poor bridesmaids Emma and Moll were barely holding it together.
The buzz around our group and the guests all day was just something I couldn’t get over. There was laughter coming from every angle, we just didn’t stop smiling and the dancefloor was never empty.
The Final Thought
On the day of the wedding the weather did not co-operate with any plans of getting photographs by the sea, but we couldn’t have been luckier to have the gorgeous hotel and library as the backdrop. Except for a few wind swept photographs you wouldn’t even know the weather had been so bad. We had the best day with our family and friends, we couldn’t have imagined having it anywhere else. We might be biased but it was The Best Day Ever!