Nov 28, 2017
One of our favourite Weddings of 2017, the stuning Wedding of Emma & Paul at Conyngham Arms Hotel, featured recently on the prestigious Wedding site, One Fab Day.
Take a look... credit: One Fab Day.
Sometimes you can know someone for years and years, when all of a sudden you see a spark you never realised was there. Today's real wedding couple Emma & Paul started their story as family friends, and and wrapped up as husband and wife with their wedding at Slane's Conyngham Arms Hotel. With friends and family coming from around the world, and around Ireland, to celebrate with them, and a party into the night (the bride and groom where the last ones standing of course!), this wedding is laden with sweet moments and pretty details - Paula Donnelly Photography was there to capture it all beautifully.
Emma tells us how she and Paul had known each other for many years. "He and my sister Helen have been best friends from they were very young. We have both lived away at varying times over those years; I lived in Dublin for 16 years and Paul lived in Australia and Germany, so while Paul has been a family friend to all of us for a really long time, it wasn’t until my sister Michaela’s wedding in April 2014, that something changed between us… as he says, the penny dropped for both of us!”
Emma says once they realised they had feelings for one another, that was it, “Without sounding like a cliché, we knew then that we would have something really special. We’ve been inseparable ever since and can’t really understand why it took us so long to figure it out! We moved into our home in Monaghan in February 2016 and got engaged a couple of months later.”
Emma loved getting ready so close to the ceremony at Conyngham Arms Hotel, “It was only after we had booked it that we saw some of the rooms which they have in their sister accommodation across the road, Boyne House and they were amazing so we decided to have all the girls get ready in one of those rooms.”
Laura says the excitement was high on the wedding morning, “My brother’s girlfriend Lisa did nails and false tans (and kept us all calm and sane!)”.
Gorgeous bride Emma says it's hard to narrow down her highlights from the day, “There were so many special things about the day! Having all the people we love in the one place was amazing! So many people traveled home for it: my sister Helen, her partner and their daughter Lilah flew from Melbourne. It was extra special for us to have them home to celebrate with us. And Lilah, of course, made a super cute flower girl!” Sidenote: how beautiful is the detailing on Emma's dress!
How gorgeous is Emma's bouquet - that big blousy peony is just fab! Emma really wanted to do her wedding flowers herself, but found someone who understood her vision perfectly, “For me personally, the flowers were also really important. I adore flowers and had initially wanted to do them myself but I knew that it would be too stressful in the run up to the day so it became really important to find someone who understood what I was looking for. As soon as I met Kim Marie, I knew she was definitely that person! She completely understood the style I was looking for and did the most amazing job.”
As Paul is a big Formula 1 fan, the couple extended their holiday in France to take in the Monaco Grand Prix, but Paul had grand plans of his own! “Paul had arranged for a hot air balloon ride, but when we arrived at the venue at 5am, we were told it was too foggy.
So instead we headed off to the beautiful Gorges du Verdon to catch the sunrise. As we were standing looking out over stunning scenery, with beautiful birds of prey flying around, I turned around to say how gorgeous it all was and there he was on one knee with a ring! He completely surprised me and after a few minutes of me asking if he was sure, I of course said yes! We got to do the hot air balloon ride the next morning which was even better as we were both still on cloud nine so got to celebrate in style!” A hot air balloon - what an amazing way to mark your engagement!
Emma said pre-ceremony tipples helped set the tone for their day, “We loved how, on the day itself, our guests were able to arrive early and have a drink with Paul in the bar before the ceremony. That really set the relaxed, laid back vibe for the day.” Emma adds.
Paul & Emma chose their venue pretty quickly, “We went to the Conyngham Arms on our first day of looking and we both pretty much knew straight away that it was what we wanted. It has such a gorgeous boutique “French” feel to it that reminded us of where we got engaged and that made it really special.”
The couple were blown away by all the people who travelled to share their day with them. “Paul’s groomsman Alan and his cousin, Karl also flew home from Sydney for it; we were so overwhelmed by how amazing they were. We had friends travelling from England, Cork, Sligo, Armagh, Monaghan and Dublin and they all made our day so special. We had one friend who was one week overdue her baby and she made the trip to Slane for it and that will always stay with us; her baby was born two days later!”
The couple sum of the feel of their wedding as love and laughter, "We tried to make the whole day have a very relaxed, easy-going vibe. From the venue to the meal to the band and to the singing in the resident’s bar into the wee hours, it was just a really happy day, where we felt loved and we hope our friends and family felt loved. The most important thing for us though was for the day to be a true reflection of us and we feel that it was. We loved the whole day from start to finish.”
Get this for a cute moment, “Our flower girl Lilah is really special to us. She’s our first niece and came over from Melbourne to be with us. She is a real character and is picking up everything; after we had said our vows during the ceremony, she pottered up to us to “high five” us both! Such a lovely moment for Paula to have captured for us.” Emma tells us.
Having a familiar face behind the camera was made the portrait session more fun for Emma & Paul, "Paula, our photographer was so amazing! I’ve known Paula since I was a child and it was really special for all of us to have her there capturing all of the moments so beautifully,” Emma tells us.
The couple's advice for other couples? “Just breathe and trust! Trust your suppliers – they are the professionals and they all know exactly what they are doing, so let them take some of the stress off you. Try not to do everything yourself; ask for help when you need it, people really are so happy to be asked to help. Everything works out okay in the end so try to limit the nights of planning and worrying! Do what is right for you both as a couple and trust your decisions. On the day itself, take a deep breath and relax. All your favourite people are there together with you and they have nothing but love for you so enjoy it!”
After the high of their big day, Emma & Paul went to Sri Lanka for their honeymoon, "It was a wonderful mixture of jungle camping, elephant safaris, cultural cities, beautiful east coach beaches, amazing food and lovely people.” Says Paul of their honeymoon.
Paul & Emma were able to avail of he gardens at Conyngham Arms Hotel, “We both love gardening and the garden on their grounds was so beautiful. We were lucky that on the day, the sun was out and everyone got to relax outside and enjoy the surroundings.”
Emma loved that she and Paul were able to give their guest a great day out, “Our friends and family are so important to us so we really wanted to give them a fun, happy day with good food, good music and plenty of laughs!”
The catering at the Conyngham Arms Hotel was another big selling point of the venue, "Food was really important to us as we are both big foodies! We couldn’t have asked for better with the food in the Conyngham Arms Hotel. Once we met Louise, the wedding coordinator and tasted Killian the Chef’s food, we were totally sold!"
Emma, along with Paul's mam, still got to flex her floristry muscles with the reception decor, “Paul’s mother did the candle arrangements and flowers for the dinner tables for us and I got to do some of the other flowers for the table plan, lanterns etc. so I was happy with that!”
Continuing with the DIY elements, Emma and Paul's day was made all the more special with the help of some amazing friends. “Our friends and family did so many things for us for the day; Our bridesmaid, my sister Michaela, made our wedding cake. That was so special for us. She’s a fantastic baker and did an amazing job. The cake tasted and looked beautiful!”
Of course, there's nothing like music to add a personal touch to any event. And for this one in particular, Emma and Paul didn't have to look too far to find some musicians. “Both our families are quite musical and Paul’s Mum and her sisters sang for a while outside on the garden patio, which was beautiful. My dad and uncle sang a few songs during the reception, which always gets the dancing and craic going. And my brother and sister sang us into the morning hours in the resident’s bar.” Emma recalls, “Music was also really important to us. Our singer for the ceremony, Annie, was amazing and really made the ceremony feel special. And everyone loved the band, The Liberals, and the dance floor was full for the night thanks to them!”
The couple say there were a lot of great moments throughout their day, but one was particularly special, “One that stands out for us is after the resident’s bar, when we had said goodnight to the last guests heading off to bed. Paul and I were the last people to leave the hotel as we were staying across the road in Boyne House. We got to close the door on the hotel as the sun was coming up and the birds were singing and take a moment to look back at the hotel and at what was for us the most wonderful day.” Now that sounds pretty perfect!
Huge thanks to Paula Donnelly for sharing this with us! We wish Emma and Paul all the very best for the future.