Real Weddings: Inside Paula and Patrick’s picturesque castle wedding in Louth
27th Feb 2023
After nearly a decade together, these secondary school sweethearts finally tied the knot at Bellingham Castle. Their fun and colourful wedding included a ceremony at their local church, DIY flower decor and a special, vintage ride.
Paula Rice, teacher, and Patrick Briody, electrician.
in Virginia, Co Cavan.
Bellingham Castle, Co Louth.
Pawel Bebenca Photography.
in secondary school. Paula went to a girls’ school and Patrick went to a boys’ school across the road. They always had eyes for each other and eventually got to know one another through friends on nights out. They went to each other’s debs, went their separate ways for college and reconnected a few years later. They have been together ever since, almost ten years!
Patrick had a full, three-day trip away planned in December 2020, but lockdown hit again. So, when Paula was out for the day he prepared the house with rose petals, champagne and photos of them together and put the engagement ring in Paula’s Christmas stocking, saying her belated Christmas present was waiting for her. He then got down on one knee while Paula was still in shock!
The ceremony took place in Paula’s local church, St Peter and Paul’s Church in Clonmellon, Co Westmeath next door to the primary school she teaches in.
After the ceremony, Paula and Patrick hopped in a Nissan Figaro that was lovingly restored by Paula’s dad Michael and borrowed from her sister Lynda. (It was her something old, borrowed and blue!). They drove to their reception which took place at Bellingham Castle in Co Louth.
They had two musical performances on the big day: Jenny O’Donovan, who performed at the church and was the pre-reception singer, accompanied by guitar and Arthur Band during the reception. The band also included a DJ and they played the sax for late-night entertainment.
Paula and Patrick have always been creative and love to take on DIY projects, so they made the flower arch and arranged it around the church door as well as the flower arrangement on the back of the Nissan Figaro. Bouquets and alter flowers were arranged by Flower Innovations in Kells, Co Meath, who followed the brief perfectly – summery, youthful and colourful.
THEIR TOP TIPS
1. Don’t get consumed by the little things; anything you’ve forgotten to do when the day comes around is obviously not too important.
2. Enjoy the preparation; it can be easy to get caught up in the party planning but remember this day is for you and your partner to celebrate your love, so take it all in and enjoy it!
3. Spend the day before just the two of you if you can. The wedding day goes so quickly, so it’s a really nice day to be together and enjoy the lead-up to it just the two of you.
THEY WISH THEY HAD
Not gotten stressed over the silly little things. The week before is a whirlwind and it’s easy to get lost in it all. Everything was more than perfect in the end and it really was
the best day of our lives. The little things that can throw you off whack in the final lead-up really don’t matter!
THEIR BEST MOMENTS
– The rehearsal and drinks afterwards with our families and bridal party made it a really special evening.
– Meeting at the top of the aisle.
– Laughing and chatting with everyone on the terrace of Bellingham Castle while the sun shone and music played.
– The ten minutes we had together just the two of us to take it all in while the guests were seated for dinner.
– The moment it all sunk in: we did it! We’re married!
– Paula’s niece Ava arrived two days after the wedding (allowing her mammy Emma to party the weekend away before!)
FIRST DANCE SONG
The One I Love by David Gray.
Bride’s Dress: OTADUY. Bride’s Headpiece: Deborah K Design. Bride’s Jewellery: Momuse. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Karen Millen. Groom’s Tux: Remus Uomo. Groomsmen & Fathers’ Suits: Tom Birmingham Menswear, Mullingar. Bouquets and Altar Flowers: Flower Innovations. Cake: Sweet Tuite Cakes by Edel Tuite. Hair: Denise Bray. Make-up: Anne Marie Doherty. Videographer: Sean Curtis.
See more photographs from Paula and Patrick’s wedding in the gallery below.
Photography by Pawel Bebenca Photography..
Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.
This article was originally published in August 2022.