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Real Weddings: Natalie and Paul’s sunny ceremony in Co Cork
Image / Style / Weddings

Irina Duane Photography

Real Weddings: Natalie and Paul’s sunny ceremony in Co Cork


by Shayna Sappington
10th Sep 2023

After a longer-than-expected engagement, Natalie had second thoughts about her dress. She decided to transform her original puffy-sleeved dress into a more classic silhouette, which perfectly suited their elegant style and hotel venue.

THE COUPLE
Natalie, general operator, and Paul, factory contractor.

THEY LIVE
in Blackpool, Cork.

THE VENUE
Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Little Island, Cork.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Irina Duane Photography.

THEY MET
We met in the summer of 2015 at a mutual friend’s birthday night out in Deep South, a pub in Cork City.

THE PROPOSAL
In 2018, we moved into our house in August, we got a dog in September and Paul proposed on New Year’s Eve morning – it was a busy few months. We were at Garryvoe Beach, wrapped up against the cold and walking the dogs before getting ready to host an NYE party later that night when Paul went down on one knee.

It completely threw me for a loop; we’d already done so much that year it was the last thing I’d expected. He’d asked my dad over the Christmas holidays. Little did I know I’d actually walked in on their ‘talk’ and not realised. He was paranoid that I had him sussed!

THE DRESS AND THE SUIT
The dress was ‘Turner’ by Pronovias, which was purchased in Say I Do in Midleton, Co Cork. Because of the Covid delay to the wedding, I was having second thoughts about my dress. I had bought it over two years in advance of the day by the time it came around.

My amazing seamstress, Elaine’s Sewing in Ballincollig, helped me transform my dress. The dress originally had big poofy sleeves and a mesh neckline, but I wanted a more classic silhouette, so we remade the sleeves so they were slim and fitted. We also changed the neckline a bit, replacing the mesh with slim straps over the bust.

The suit was Remus Uomo, purchased in Red Church in Cork City. Paul wanted a classic tuxedo; it was a three-piece with black buttons and black velvet bow tie. He also wore patent black shoes.

THE CEREMONY
Kathryn Cashman was our celebrant, and she was so lovely and calming. We visited her at her home in Conna to get to know each other and discuss how to plan our ceremony. It was a glorious day (thanks to my mother’s Child of Prague statue!) so we were able to have it in the gardens of the Radisson.

My godfather read a poem and we had some words of wisdom written by both our mothers and Paul’s grandmother – we got them to keep it a secret so that we were surprised on the day by what they said, which was so special. Our ceremony music was performed by Lynda Cusack. She played a stunning version of Simply The Best as I walked down the aisle that I had loved since first seeing it on an episode of Schitt’s Creek.

THE RECEPTION
Our reception followed the ceremony outdoors. In the September sunshine, we served mojitos, margaritas, prosecco and beer to our guests along with a gorgeous selection of food and a charcuterie board. The Radisson’s jazz band played us through the afternoon, and everyone was able to sit out and enjoy the weather until it was time for the meal.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
Our entertainment for the night was a band called Bedrock fronted by the incredible Jenny O’Keefe. We had first seen the band performing in bars around Cork and went whenever they played. We went to a gig and asked them to play our wedding around a month after we got engaged.

They were followed by Pat Ahern as our DJ who did a phenomenal job keeping everyone dancing until the end of the night. He played mostly classic nineties dance tracks which made sure the dancefloor was always busy.

THE DECOR
We wanted a classic, fresh vibe, with plenty of eucalyptus and baby’s breath. We had no flowers at the guests’ tables just loads of candles while the top table had flowers. Our wedding cake was made by Funky Cakes by Architect. It was a simple two-tier cake, decorated with cake versions of our two dogs and dressed with baby’s breath.

THEIR TOP TIPS

  • Make the effort to get around to all the tables and chat with the guests properly.
  • Have a strong drink before the first dance!

THEY WISH THEY HAD…
Actually eaten the late-night food – we had Tayto sandwiches organised and by the time we remembered they were being served, there were only crumbs left.

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
Going through the gardens for photos. It was about an hour after the ceremony had finished and it was so nice to be by ourselves for a bit in the sun. We also had an absolute blast for our first dance – once the nerves had passed.

THE FIRST DANCE SONG
Dreams by The Cranberries.

THE CREW
Celebrant: Kathryn Cashman. Wedding Dress: Pronovias from Say I Do. Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall. Bride’s Headpiece: Azure Jewellery. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Karen Millen. Groom’s Suit: Remus Uomo from Red Church. Groomsmen’s Suits: Benetti Menswear. Make-Up: Megan Coade. Cake: Funky Cakes by Architect. Florist: Flower Power. Invitations: The Aisle. Rings: Michel Jewellers. Ceremony Music: Lynda Cusack. Band: Bedrock. DJ: Pat Ahern. Videography & Video/Photobooth: Anthony Fleming.

See more photographs from Natalie and Paul’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography by Irina Duane Photography.

Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.

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