Our big day started as most do, with coffee! But this time, we were in our special room, surrounded by lavish furnishings, beautifully decorated. We sat, drank coffee, and talked about how incredibly fortunate we were, to be with our nearest and dearest friends and family, in a country we love, in a town we adore, and in the exact place we dreamt about eighteen months earlier: Fitzpatrick Castle!
In this modern age of meeting and dating, we met like a lot of folks do, online. John was in Spain showing a friend the dating website he was trying, and John discovered that I’d sent him a note, from Arizona! We began chatting and got to know each other while John was living in Spain. Months passed, and we finally met when John returned to Arizona. As trite as it may sound, it really was love at first sight, and since then, four years later, we continue to enjoy each other’s company as much if not more than when we first met.
We chose the Prince Regent Suite to hold both the ceremony and the reception. The castle staff were nothing short of incredible in their set-up for the ceremony which took place in one half of the room, while separated by a floor to ceiling drape, the other side was set up for the reception with 65 guests. The ceremony area looked beautiful, with rows of white covered chairs each appointed with a satin red sash. The room was lit low from above, and up lit from the floor in warm shades of red.
After our guests were seated, our wedding attendants were led in by the gentle and resonant sounds coming from our wonderful harpist. Finally, both John and I were led in by the sharp and majestic sounds being played by our fantastic bagpiper! The setting was just as we imagined – the room felt warm and special, the music was perfect, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with how each detail was attended to by the ever helpful staff of the castle.
Our Wedding Coordinator, Sarah, was simply wonderful, an absolute joy to work with. From the very beginning, Sarah proved to be more than just helpful in answering questions, she offered suggestions or alternatives, and was incredibly accommodating with our many requests and changes. Her positivity and enthusiasm for our wedding was infectious and felt very genuine. It is Sarah with whom we had absolute trust and confidence that our wedding would happen in just the way we hoped and discussed. A word must be included for ALL of the staff of the castle. From our arrival day until after our wedding celebration, the staff we all encountered were very polite, kind, and helpful. Sarah also pointed us towards other vendors who were as equally wonderful in helping coordinate flowers, music, and photography services.
As our wedding date was close to the Christmas holidays, we chose traditional colors of the season: black, white and red for the men, accented by silver gowns worn by our female attendants.
John and I wore traditional black suits, with white vests and white short collar button up shirts, adorned with a medium dark red satin ascot, accented by red satin pocket squares, red Calla Lilies on our lapels, and silver pocket watches hung from our vests. We also wore black socks with green shamrocks on them for good luck!
With respect to the day-of personal preparations, we opted for the best Ireland has to offer. For the music, we met with and were very happy to have Mrs. Finoula Monks play her harp beautifully before and throughout our ceremony. The castle bagpiper played us down the aisle and into the reception. The after-dinner dance music was provided by Dave Morrison of Pro PRO DJs/Uplighters.ie. Dave and his team also brilliantly up-lit the walls for both the ceremony and the reception, which made a huge difference in the ambiance and feel of the room.
We visited several suit hire stores but ultimately chose Aston Formal Wear in Temple Bar for their professionalism and personal attention to every detail of our request. For flowers, we went with Sanctuary Flowers in South Dublin. Frida was our contact and she beautified our already stunning-looking wedding party with large, long stem red and white Calla Lillies held by the ladies, and small white Calla Lillies for the men in the party, and two small red Calla Lillies for John and I. Lastly, our photos were fantastically shot by Mr. Dermot Byrne.