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Real Weddings: Joanne and Frank’s striking wedding at The Abbey, Co Kildare

Real Weddings: Joanne and Frank’s striking wedding at The Abbey, Co Kildare


by Shayna Sappington
27th Nov 2022

Wedding planner and bride Joanne recently tied the knot in Kildare's The Abbey. With the help of her team at Maria Reidy Events, she pulled out all the stops, from drama-flared tablescapes to exquisite catering.

THE COUPLE
Joanne, wedding and event planner, and Frank, accountant.

THEY LIVE
Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

THE VENUE
The Abbey, Athy, Co Kildare.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Peter Carvill.

THEY MET
In their hometown of Mullingar.

THE PROPOSAL
We got engaged in April 2019 in Cappadocia, Turkey. Catching the sunrise while riding a hot air balloon was on my bucket list for a very long time. Frank got it so right; he couldn’t have picked a more magical spot for our proposal.

Frank proposed with a token gift, allowing me to pick my own engagement ring. I found my perfect ring the following weekend in Courtville in Powerscourt Town Centre – an art deco, sapphire and diamond ring. I swoon over it every single day!

THE DRESS AND THE SUIT
My dress was from Justin Alexander. I loved the simplicity and elegance of it, especially when paired with my sleek bun and long veil. I wore a tulle over skirt which I removed after dinner. We also went for a classic look for Frank to match – a navy tuxedo with a black lapel and a navy velvet bow tie, which we purchased from Galvin For Men in Mullingar.

THE CEREMONY
Covid played havoc with our plans! Our wedding changed from a destination wedding in Portugal to a winter wedding in Ireland. After all the postponements and changes, we opted to have our ceremony on-site at The Abbey. We decided on a humanist ceremony, with the lovely Amy Browne.

We were lucky that The Abbey had the most gorgeous chapel featuring beautiful stained glass windows. During the ceremony, we had some of our favourite songs played, along with three gorgeous love poems.

THE RECEPTION
Our full wedding celebrations took place at The Abbey. We viewed the venue in the summer of 2021 and we knew straight away that it was the right fit for us. We got married that November.

Maria Reidy Events designed and managed everything for us on the day – everything was perfect. I was so lucky to have Maria, Joan and the girls look after every last detail for us on the day. The Abbey was transformed into our personal wedding venue.

Sally Ann Luykx catered the day, and our wedding menu was exquisite and so, so tasty. We continue to receive compliments on the fillet mignon and chocolate fondant.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
We kept it classic for the ceremony. I adore strings, so we decided on a Trio String. Cannon in D was the entrance song choice – it makes me well up every time I hear it. Bow Musique continued to entertain our guests during the drinks reception (Bridgerton was my inspiration for the reception).

We had the Abbey exclusive to us on our wedding day, so the chapel was transformed into a dancing space while we enjoyed our wedding meal. Our guests were so surprised – the room was totally transformed with mood-uplighting, black velvet cocktail tables and a dance floor. We had the phenomenal Jo Petit and the Dream Band entertain our guests. The dance floor was full all night!

THE DECOR
It was all about the decor and styling for me! Everything from the flowers and stationery, to the bridesmaid dresses and tabletop details was deeply considered. We decided on an all-black look for our dining room. Everything was black – the candles, candle holders, plates, velvet napkin and table linen.

Sylvia from Bella Botanica designed the most opulent, modern floral arrangements. Each design was filled with my favourite rose – cafe latte.

THEIR TOP TIPS
1. Trust your suppliers. They are 100% there for you on your wedding day. And remember, they are experts at what they do.
2. Don’t stress the small stuff.
3. Delegate, delegate, delegate.

THEY WISH THEY HAD
Nothing… it really was the perfect day for both of us. 

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
Meeting each other at the top of the aisle – we both nearly cried! And we both enjoyed our wedding meal and seeing all our loved ones around us.

The night before our wedding was really special for us both too. Frank spent it with his family and I spent it with my family and bridal party. I checked into Kilkea Castle and spent the afternoon at the spa. It was so chilled – just what I wanted for the eve of my wedding.  

THE FIRST DANCE SONG
All Of Me by John Legend.

THE CREW
Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander. Bride’s Earrings: One Dame Lane. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ASOS. Groom’s Suit: Galvin For Men. Rings: Mathew Weldons, Courtville. Make-Up Artist: Aoife CallaghanHair Stylist: Catherine Redican. Wedding Planner & Stylist: Maria Reidy Events. Florist: Bella Botanica. Stationery: Adam McKiernan. Celebrant: Amy Browne. Rentals: Signature Rentals, Select Hire & Total Event. Food: Sally Ann Luykx & Event Waiter. Band: Jo Petit and the Dream Band. Trio Strings: Bow Musique. Videographer: Irish Eye Wedding Videos.

See more photographs from Joanne and Frank’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography and Videography by Peter Carvill.

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