Five years ago they moved to Australia and settled in Melbourne, but they come home to Ireland every summer to visit friends and family.
It was on one of these visits home that Paul popped the question to Jen - at the end of the pier in Dun Laoghaire, one of her favourite places in Dublin. It was pouring rain that day, so they had the whole pier to themselves, "it was perfect" says Jen.
The couple had a very relaxed approach to planning the wedding, however as they were planning from abroad, it wasn't without its challenges. They arranged to exchange vows in the Orangery in Killruddery House & Gardens, before heading to the nearby Fern House Cafe for their reception.
"We picked venues that were gorgeous as they were so didn't need too much additional work," says Jen. "We wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun - a party with great music and good food. The Orangery in Killruddery House is stunning and as soon as we saw it, we knew that we wanted to have our ceremony there. We didn't have to do anything to the room, it's breathtaking as it is."
Their photos are by Memento Photography.
Jen and Paul's wedding ceremony wasn't scheduled until 3.30pm so they had plenty of time to relax and enjoy themselves. Paul and his groomsmen went for a swim in the 40 Foot in Sandycove before having a big breakfast at his parents' house, while Jen spent the morning getting ready with her bridesmaids in a completely chilled out atmosphere. "We were all so excited, it was just really good fun so there was no time for any nerves," she says. The girls' hair was done by stylist Michelle O'Halloran, while Ashley O'Rourke took care of their make up. "They were both so lovely to work with, they knew exactly what style of hair and make up we wanted and made all of us feel really relaxed. We were all so happy with how we looked and loved hanging out with them for the morning of the wedding!"
Planning the wedding from abroad was a challenge, and one Jen and Paul say they wouldn't have been able to do had it not been for their helpful families. "There's only so much you can do over email," says Jen, "so for anyone planning a wedding from overseas, I'd definitely recommend having someone at home to help."
For their suppliers, the couple used Paperless Post to send their save the dates and Etsy for their invitations, signs, ceremony programmes and menus ("there's so much choice, so I'd recommend having a good idea of what you want or you'll spend hours online!" warns Jen). With the beautiful venue of Killruddery already providing the perfect backdrop, the couple felt they didn't need a huge amount of decorations. The went with the Fussy Peacock for their flowers ("Melanie was so great to work with," says Jen, "her flower arrangements were gorgeous!") They also used lanterns, candles and flowers in The Fern House Cafe.
The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
Jen really wanted her bridesmaids to love their dresses, and to be comfortable on the day. Their dresses were from Aussie label Lover: "The colour is neutral but still quite feminine, and the girls looked so beautiful in them!" Paul's suit was custom made in Melbourne the groomsmen's suits were from Peter Jackson and their shoes were from Aquila, both in Australia.
The Dress (and Veil!)
Jen bought her Theia Couture wedding dress and stunning statement veil in Melbourne. She went shopping with her mum and sisters in Dublin initially, however she soon realised that it made more sense for her to buy the dress in Melbourne so that alterations could be finalised before she made the journey home. "It was the first dress that I tried on and was so comfortable to wear so it was an easy decision!" Jen says. "My dress was very simple, so I wanted my veil to make a statement. It's called the 'petal veil' and I absolutely loved wearing it!"
The Stand-out Moments
Jen and Paul have a couple of moments in the day that really stand out for them. They loved getting ready with their mates on the morning, and another favourite was few quiet minutes they spent together away from it all: "When the guests were leaving Kilruddery, our photographer, Derek from Memento Photography, recommended that we take a few minutes to ourselves when everyone had left," explains Jen. "We went back into the Orangery where we'd had the ceremony and had a drink together... It was so surreal sitting in the same spot where we'd got married a few hours before, but it was just so nice taking in the venue and having a couple of minutes to ourselves."
The couple also enjoyed their short photo session with their photographer, and especially liked that it didn't eat up too much of the drinks reception time. "We had so much fun getting our photos taken too. Derek made it a really quick process, which is what we asked for because we didn't want to miss out on the party! We had about twenty minutes for photos with family and the bridal party and then twenty minutes of photos by ourselves. Derek's style was perfect for us, he was fun and he made us feel so comfortable and the photos completely surpassed our expectations!"
Jen and Paul tied the knot in the Orangery in Killruddery House & Gardens, before heading to the nearby Fern House Cafe for their reception. They had their drinks reception in the gardens of Killruddery after the ceremony. Luckily the weather was lovely, so guests could enjoy music and canapés on the lawn of the house.
Fern House Cafe in Avoca is a five minute drive from Killruddery, so was the perfect option for their reception. The couple arranged buses to ferry their guests right to the door. "We love to go there for lunch when we're home
so we knew that the food would be great, and we weren't disappointed. The dining room in the Fern House is gorgeous, it's bright and airy but also has a really intimate atmosphere, which makes it very special."
"We loved the reception," says Jen, "not only was the meal delicious, but the staff in Fern House were so friendly and accommodating. I'd recommend it for any type of special occasion, particularly because they were so lovely to deal with. Everyone complimented the meals, especially the main courses! The stand out from the reception was the dancing. We had The Bentley Boys as our band and from the second they started until they finished, the dance floor was completely full!"
"Ask for help when you need it," advises Jen, "it's a lot of work planning a wedding, and it's easy to get caught up in the stress, so delegate jobs for friends and family to help with. We were really luck that we had so many people that were willing to help."
Jen and Paul went to Positano in Italy for a couple of days after the wedding, and then went to New Zealand at Easter for their honeymoon.