They got engaged on Tara Hill, the day after they'd attended a friends' nuptials. It was a huge surprise for their friends and family, Conor having managed to plan the proposal without breathing a word to anyone, and the couple celebrated with prosecco in Bellinter House.
For their big day they chose to tie the knot in Clonabreany House in Meath, having fallen in love with the statement black and white dancefloor in the marquee, and the atmospheric and cosy sibin located down by the guests' courtyard.
The bride wore Charlie Brear, rocking an incredible two-piece crop top and skirt fully embellished with beautiful 3D floral appliqué. She kept her hair in a simple chic low ponytail, perfect for her modern day princess bride look, and accessorised with Vince Camuto pumps and jewellery from Scribble & Stone and Momuse.
The couple planned a a classic winter wedding, getting married in January (2018) but added plenty of modern touches. "I really wanted a black tie wedding in a marquee," says Caroline, "with a big band, and then a DJ and sax to dance the night away."
It also happened to be Caroline's birthday that day, which her family and friends managed to mark in the hustle and bustle of the morning with a birthday cake! "It was such a special moment - everyone singing happy birthday and blowing out my candles on my birthday cake, just before the lads split for the church. Best birthday ever springs to mind."
Their photos are by Julie Cummins.
Caroline wore a two-piece by Charlie Brear, which she found in Dublin bridal boutique The Suite. "I totally unexpectedly found it in the first bridal shop I had an appointment with in Drury Street" she said. "I loved coming here for all my appointments, the staff were so wonderful and really just so accommodating. I visited two other bridal shops, but they just didn’t compare," Caroline changed her look for the evening's celebrations, wearing a Dawn Fitzgerald silk top for less restrictive dancing!
"From the start we decided not to fall into unnecessary stress of planning a wedding," says Caroline. "We booked all of our suppliers quite early, as anyone we really wanted we just approached straightaway. We were also lucky with all the suppliers we picked, from the photographer to the make up artist (Paula Callan and Dean Monks, Callan & Co ), and stationary supplier to the venue, each one was just outstanding at what they do, so it really put us at ease."
The First Look
Caroline and Conor decided to do a 'first look' before the ceremony, which photographer Julie Cummins was on-hand to capture. Conor arrived to the house with his best man and groomsman just as Caroline was ready and the boys had a sneaky whiskey in the front room. The bridesmaids, family and groomsmen all stayed inside, laughing and giggling while Conor waited along the avenue for Caroline to come out to him, and saw her in that stunning gown for the first time.
The Stand-out Moments
"Walking up the aisle was really special," said the bride, "I just couldn’t stop smiling!"
"If I had to pick my really memorable moment however it was after the ceremony. Conor hired a Land Rover Defender and we drove ourselves from the Church to Clonabreany. We were listening to The Rolling Stones, just laughing and beeping at everyone who passed us! The winter sun was just flooding in the jeep windows, and it just felt like I was in a dream, it was absolutely magic!"
The couple chose Clonabreany House as their reception venue. "It had a most wonderful marquee, the older house with the large fireplace, the black & white dance floor, the stunning views around the venue and the amazing friendly staff. Also all the accommodation was on site, and each room was just so warm and perfect."
For the meal Clonabreany served a four course meal which had the bride's favourite fish dishes of monkfish as one of the options. The couple went for a light smoked salmon and wasabi mustard starter, pumpkin and garlic soup, daube of beef and monkfish, and a crème brulee and sticky toffee pudding (it was mouthwatering delicious!) For the drinks reception they served mulled wine and prosecco. "I love the smell of mulled wine on a freezing cold winters day!" says the bride. For evening snacks they served up fish and chip cones.
"Don’t worry about a thing, just enjoy every bit of the planning as it’s the only time you will ever do it! If there are any hiccups on the day, you won’t even notice as you will be in a total bubble of happiness and love. Also take some time out from talking about the wedding with friends and family, just for a bit of sanity."
Conor and Caroline went to Bellinter House, where they had celebrated their engagement months before for two nights after the wedding, "just to completely chill out!" They then went to Switzerland for five days. "We are also going on our main honeymoon to California this summer. The plan is we are renting a RV and just go on a roadtrip for two weeks along the west coast."