April 22, 2017- Church of the Purification & Ballyseede Castle
Fiona O’Connor met Monaghan man Gary Connolly “on a student typical teacher night out in Copper Face Jacks in Dublin in November 2008.” Fiona had recently moved to Dublin and was out with her friends and Gary was on a weekend out with his friends the same night. “We bumped into each other on the dancefloor, exchanged numbers and went on our first date the following weekend,” the Ballylongford bride recalls.
Things soon got serious with the couple and they decided to move to Australia together, where Fiona stayed till June 2014. However, Gary had to stay an extra few months due to work commitments and they decided to meet in Bali to spend Christmas together. Little did Fiona know what her gift would be. “This was our first time apart since becoming a couple. I was not expecting it all! We got engaged on a beach during an evening stroll,” the bride fondly remembers.
A wedding date was set for April 22, 2017 with a stunning ceremony at the Church of the Purification followed by a reception at Ballyseede Castle. Joining the bride and groom to be in their wedding planning and at the alter were bridesmaids Elaine and Geraldine O’Connor, Ann Marie Moran and flower girl Charley Madigan. The grooms gang included John Harrison, Brian Connolly, Eoghan O’Keeffe and Nathan McAree.
A cake made with a lot of love
The wedding cake was a joint effort by the bride’s closest family and friends. Fiona’s godmother Maureen Healy made the fruit cake and a close friend Shauna Foster made the chocolate biscuit cake. Fiona’s cousin Tracy Corps coordinated the whole operation organising the look of Fiona’s dreams with rustic handmade cake stands and wildflowers. Karen Costello, from Glin, Co Limerick made the lemon drizzle cake and ice all the cakes for the perfect look.
For Gary it was the moment he met Fiona at the top of the aisle that he cherishes the most. “Hearing the whispers of the congregation. There was just an energy about it all!” For Fiona it was their first look. “Our fab photographers Tara and Dave organised it before the ceremony. As our bridal party was there, it was so fun and exciting! It instantly relaxed me. They also organised a surprise slideshow for the reception which was so special,” the bride said.
The bride guide on taking a step back on the day
“Trust the vendors, they are the experts! We gave vendor telephone numbers to our best man and chief bridesmaid the day before the wedding. This meant we completely relaxed and enjoyed the day before the wedding and the morning of the wedding. Everything ran so smoothly. Also, stay true to what you imagine your wedding to be, it is your day after all!”