Jessica and Richie’s Real Wedding shot by Dermot Byrne

Jessica and Richie were Married in Trim with the wedding shot by Professional Wedding Photographer Dermot Byrne

Date: 29th February 2020

Venue: The Knightsbrook Hotel

We both met on a night out with mutual friends. It was our first time being introduced and instantly there was a connection between us, things just went from there really!

11 years, a house and 3 babies later Richie decided it was time to ask the important question!

It was summer 2017 when Richie was touring Europe, he plays guitar in a band called Status Quo. I was due to meet up with him for a few days while he was on the road! He had been planning the proposal for a few weeks beforehand to make sure it all went to plan…from the ring, the location and doing the old fashioned tradition of asking my dad for my hand in marriage.

The day finally came. We were in a place called Freidrichshafen, Germany. It’s a beautiful little town located on Lake Constance, a lake which shares it borders with Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We rented out a boat for a few hours and he popped the big question out there on the lake. I had absolutely no idea, it was the best surprise. It was really the most perfect day with the most amazing setting.

After a few months we decided it was time to get planning the big day. When it came to choosing our venue we found that it was quite an easy decision to make. We knew we wanted something that was a little out of Dublin but not too far away to travel to. I happened to be social media one day and a post just popped up from The Knightsbrook Hotel. Straight away I just loved the look of it, so we decided to head to their wedding showcase day a few weeks later.

From the moment we walked into the hotel reception we were sold. We loved the big open reception, the big twisting staircase and massive sparkling chandelier, it was stunning. When we walked into the reception room we both looked at each other and said, yep this is definitely the place! We just loved everything about it!

Choosing the bridal party was easy too. For the beautiful bridesmaids we had my cousin Emma, and my (now) sister in law Susanne! And the handsome groomsmen were Richies close friends John and Davie. We couldn’t have chosen better, each and every one of them were such a big help in the run up to the big day.

The one big thing that I didn’t include the bridesmaids in was the dress shopping. I kind of thought that by having more people there on the day there would be too many opinions when it came to the dress and that! So I decided one morning to take a trip to a bridal shop in Dublin called Wed2Be, just bringing my mam along with me! I went with only the intention to look at some dresses and try on a few different styles! I tried 2 dresses and I knew straight away on the 2nd dress that this one was “the one”. I fell in love with it straight away and couldn’t leave the shop without it! Also being able to take the dress home with me on the day was a big thing that I had always wanted to do, I suppose it was the comfort of knowing that my dress was in safe hands somewhere and I didn’t have to worry about it! I decided later on to have extra bits added on to my dress. I booked in with the amazing Anna O, from Anna O Alterations, who did an absolutely fantastic job on it! She did exactly what I had imagined it to be.

I was quite surprised with how we were leading up to the big day, we were both very calm and very relaxed about it all. I suppose it’s a good way to be as I don’t think we would have enjoyed the whole build up as much if we were stressed.

6 months before the wedding we found ourselves not really doing much with the wedding as we had pretty much everything organized! But 4-5 weeks before, it was all systems go! Between hair and makeup trials, dress and suit fittings, shopping for last minute bits and Richie squeezing in rehearsals with his band as he was also playing during the evening reception.

The big day eventually arrived…and what a day it was! Our day started very early but it was worth every minute. Everything went so smoothly and right on time from the off.

Richie has said how amazing it was to meet and greet all the guests from early on in the hotel reception.  Meeting friends and family that we’ve not seen in years in some cases.

The ceremony was magical. From the layout of the room by Ger’s Covers, the ceremony music by Chris O Sullivan, charismatic Celebrant Vinnie Whelan, seeing our girls walking down the aisle and not a dry eye in the room. It truly was everything we had wished for.

It’s incredible how quick the hours pass by on your wedding day. Before we knew it, it was time to be taken off by our photographer Dermot Byrne. He made it such a fun part of the day considering what a hard task it is to round up over 200 friends and family for a series of specific photos we wanted. Needless to say he went above and beyond from start to finish.

By the time we finished our meal it was time to continue the evening with an array of great live music played by a lineup of amazing musicians.

Richie’s favourite Dublin band Dead Ringer reformed just for this night. Richie’s old band RAID also reformed and were joined on stage by local legend Don Baker on harmonica. And to top it off there was a very special appearance by none other than Status Quo. The guests were in heaven, and so were we.

Before we knew it it was time to leave the residents bar and retreat to the magnificent bridal suite.

What an absolutely magical day this was for us and all of our guests. From Dermot our photographer, Mary Troy in the Knightsbrook, all the vendors and musicians. They all went above and beyond for us on a day we’ll never forget.

We had massive help from the bridal party, they were awesome! Each and every one of them helped in whatever way they could, they were the best.

Another really important person to us on the day was the hotel wedding coordinator, Mary!! She was absolutely incredible, not just on the day itself, but for the whole journey. She made our journey throughout all this a very easy one, with little or no stress. She is amazing at what she does, and does it all with a big smile!

Our plans of a honeymoon have been put on hold with all that’s going on at the moment!

We do hope to book something for ourselves for maybe January/February next year! We’ve been to Mexico before and loved everything about it, the weather, the culture, the beaches! So getting back there is something we both can’t wait to do. When things finally start to look up, we will plan a little family trip around Ireland for a week. The kids are loving the idea of a camper van so it might be an idea to do that. It will keep us going until we can get to Mexico at least!

My advice to any couples planning their big day is to enjoy it all! Enjoy the planning and enjoy the build up. Don’t stress over the little things, in fact don’t stress or worry about anything. Everything will all fall into place on the day. And enjoy the day itself. The day will go by so quick. Take time out with your partner, even if it’s just for a few minutes, sit back from it all and have a little drink together! Watch everyone who’s come together to celebrate in your special day.

Just enjoy every minute of it!

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