Tracy McSweeney and Declan Cronin were married on the most romantic day of the year, February 14th 2015. The couple chose the magnificent Dromhall Hotel, Kerry wedding venue for their special day.
“My older sister used to work in a shop and Dec’s mom would shop there and my sister got to know Dec that way. My sister got a car when she was 17 and she would give Dec a lift up town after school because he had a broken leg. That would have been my first encounter. I live in the country and Dec used to drive tractors and machinery around the roads near my house and we became friends. I took Dec to my debs two years before we started going out. We both went off to college in different places and our paths crossed again and we got together around the time of my 21st.”
“We got engaged on my birthday on the 17th July 2013. At the time I worked in Cork City. Dec told me that he had to take his friend to the dentist and we would meet for lunch after, I was a bit suspicious. Dec called to my office and told me he didn’t bring his friend to the dentist, and he said “I’m here to get you a ring”. Then, we made our way over to Michel Jewellers and I got to pick out my very own engagement ring. I didn’t tell my co-workers that day, as I wanted to share the big news with my Mom first, so I kept sneaking a peek at my ring in my handbag for the rest of the afternoon!”
“We had been to a few weddings at the Dromhall Hotel before and it left a good impression with us. Also, the year I took Dec to my debs he invited me to be his guest to a wedding, the reception was at the Dromhall and we had our first kiss that night.”
“The quality of the food and the service really makes the Dromhall stand out. The team of people who helped us along the way were fantastic. We really felt like we were the only wedding they had that year. You don’t have to do much with the hotel until the last few weeks when the pressure is really supposed to be on, but Sue and Michael were great, they were so accommodating with everything.”
“Bobby Kelly Photography did our wedding photography. He was recommended to us by a friend, who got married the year before us, Bobby’s father was also the photographer for Dec’s parents wedding!”
“We were planning for about 18 months. The first thing we booked was the Dromhall. I had a bit of a relaxed approach to planning, Dec booked the photographer, the videographer, the band and the church decorator. We enjoyed the planning and the research we had to do for bands and cake tastings and the pre marriage course was good fun. The build up was stressful, as there were some things that we probably should have done earlier on, but we didn’t realise how quickly the time would fly by in the run up!”
“There really is 101 things you cant do until the final few weeks and trying to keep things moving, while continuing to work full time, was difficult. But the hotel were great in facilitating us by meeting us later in the evenings, because I was coming from Cork city and Dec was coming from Millstreet we wouldn’t have made it to Killarney until after 6pm.”
“The one thing we were certain of was that we wanted the hotel to serve seconds after the main course and that is something the Dromhall are noted for doing. We had a welcome reception with drinks and biscuits for when our guests arrived. We had two choices for the starter. There was a choice of three for the main which the hotel advised us on, normally you get two mains but the hotel had no difficulty allowing us to have three mains for our guests. We had a choice of two desserts – warm apple pie and warm sticky toffee pudding and the wedding cake was served with the evening buffet around 11pm.”
“Being Valentines Day we did try to keep a romantic theme which is the typical theme of any wedding. We had roses for the ladies at the church, chocolate roses and rose petals on the wedding cake, the bridesmaids wore pink and the invites were like Valentines cards. The new emerging trend I see on Pinterest and other sites is having your bridesmaids wear different shades of a colour and we did this, each bridesmaid had a different shade of pink and the corresponding groomsman’s tie matched. I also wanted a keepsake of a bouquet and with it being Valentines the prospect of getting fresh flowers was unrealistic. Our bouquets were made of foam and you could not tell the difference! I went as far as Wicklow to see a sample and it was well worth the journey.”
“For my wedding dress I visited a few shops but hadn’t found anything I loved. I was shopping with my mom one Saturday when we called in to Sharon Gregory Design Studio for a look. I tried on about 10 dresses that day and I think it was the third or fourth dress that I kept coming back to, Sharon gave me the details of it and said to ring in a few weeks as the price might be reduced. When I rang a few weeks later, Sharon told me the price was reduced by 50%, so I went down that weekend to pay the deposit. It had a short train and fit perfectly when I tried it on, the only adjustments I had done were the straps and the hem line. It had a sweetheart neckline with a lace top, and ruching down the front. There were buttons all the way down the back of the dress and along the train.”
“Our first dance song was Ed Sheeran’s Thinking out Loud. It was only released on the radio when we started thinking about our song and we thought it was perfect.”
“If I had to give advice to other couples, it would be, don’t stress the small things too early, the guest list will change daily. Don’t feel like you “have to” invite such and such and don’t be afraid to draw the line. Take everyone’s ideas into consideration but don’t forget what you really want your day to be like. Get your wedding bands as soon as possible after getting engaged. I learned this the hard way, because I have a curved engagement ring I had to have a curved wedding band which can take 6 months, I ordered my ring 8 weeks before the wedding. However Michel Jewellers came through and my ring is perfect.”
“The Dromhall organised a picnic for me and Dec for our trip after the church, this was a real treat and it was our first chance to catch up with each other after getting married. The efficiency of the hotel in serving the meal was brilliant, which allowed us plenty time to talk to guests before the dancing started. Everyone had nothing but praise for the Dromhall.”
“If I could one part of the wedding day it would be the drive from my house to the church. We took the scenic route which took a bit longer, about 20 minutes in total. The excitement was racing through me, but I never felt nervous, I just could not wait to get the day started after all the planning we put into it, it was time to enjoy ourselves.”
Thanks so much to Tracy and Declan for sharing their special day with us! Check out the Dromhall Hotel, Kerry wedding venue for your special day. Thanks to Bobby Kelly, who was the photographer in charge of capturing this wonderful wedding day.