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Real Weddings: Nnenna and Gary tie the knot at the gorgeous Glenlo Abbey in Co Galway

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by Shayna Sappington
01st Oct 2023

Nnenna and Gary had not one, but two weddings – a traditional Igbo Nigerian wedding in London and a nature-inspired celebration in Galway's Glenlo Abbey.

THE COUPLE
Nnenna Maduekwe, tech sales coordinator, and Gary Daly, regional sales manager.

THEY LIVE
in Salthill, Galway.

THE VENUE
Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate, Co Galway.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Kathy Silke.

THEY MET
We met through an online dating app eight years ago in London and really hit it off. I had a list of characteristics and traits of what I wanted in a man, and I swear that my dream man was coming from Australia and that he was a twin. Both things were true (Gary had recently relocated there from Australia) but he was Irish. He took me out on the town in London and the date finished up on London Bridge. The rest, as they say, is history.

THE PROPOSAL
Gary and I both moved to Galway, and during the height of the pandemic on August 15, 2020, Gary decided to make an honest woman out of me (those were his actual words). He proposed to me in a forest in Oranmore because of my love for nature and greenery.

He gave me the most beautiful ring that he designed himself. I was really pleased that he had listened and was aware of my taste in jewellery. I said yes! You know what they say – when you know, you know.

THE DRESS AND THE SUIT
I purchased my dress in Tracy Bridal, Galway – it was perfect! My shoes were from ASOS and my jewellery was from Fallers in Galway. Gary’s suit was made by Benetti and he bought it at Hanley & Co in Galway. He paired it with an Eterna shirt and John White shoes. His wedding tie was purchased in Moss Bros in London, to build the London link into his wedding attire.

THE CEREMONY & RECEPTION
We had two weddings. That’s right, two! In June 2022, we flew to London for a traditional Igbo Nigerian wedding. It was a kaleidoscope of colours and a cacophony of sounds! And then we had the most amazing weather in July 2022 for our Irish wedding.

We had a spiritualist ceremony by Minister Eileen Morris of the Spiritualist Union of Ireland with about 70 family members and friends there to soak it all in. Afterwards, while we got our photos taken on the beautiful estate gardens and grounds, our guests enjoyed prosecco, bottled beer, canapes, and homemade cookies with tea and coffee.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
The ceremony music was performed by harpist Reidun Schlesinger, and the reception entertainment was from the amazing Blacktye Wedding Band. Blacktye is Ireland’s premier function band.

They perform a wide range of musical styles including pop, soul, rock, modern and nineties dance tunes, jazz and even a quick Ceili and waltz. Their repertoire is constantly expanding and they added a ukulele bass to give the sound a bit more kick. We chose a package which included the drinks reception, evening band and DJ, and we had such a great time!

THE DECOR
Wedding Flowers Galway provided beautiful flowers for the ceremony and reception, and the wedding arch and signage were provided by the talented Silk and Bloom. Cakes by Maria Kostina provided an amazing, three-tier wedding cake. The top layer was pistachio, the middle was chocolate and the bottom layer was red velvet – delicious!

THEIR TOP TIPS

  • Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It really helped to have a wedding planner journal and to set time aside every weekend to check on the list of items that needed to be completed. Working as a team with your partner is key and asking for help from other couples who went through the same process really helps.
  • Having a budget and tracking it all on excel kept us prepared for upcoming expenses.
  • Instagram and Pinterest are great for ideas (the wedding arch idea came from here).
  • Enjoy the journey as well as the destination. There will be some stressful moments and everything won’t go perfectly but once the ceremony starts, you can relax and enjoy the moment because it is all worth it in the end.
  • A few quiet drinks the night before will help settle the nerves!

 

THEY WISH THEY HAD
We genuinely couldn’t have wished for any more!

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
1) Our guests made the wedding so special. We had guests travel from the USA, India, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Wales and even Cork! It was really special to see them all mingle together throughout the day and night.
2) The weather in Galway on the day of the wedding was over 30 degrees. It was like a Spanish wedding. Our guests all had sunglasses on and the atmosphere was amazing (some even enjoyed the All Ireland Hurling final during the reception).
3) The music from Blacktye was amazing! The dancefloor was packed and the DJ had a lovely mix of African and Latino music….with a few classics (like Bohemian Rhapsody) to finish with.

THE FIRST DANCE SONG
After the wedding speeches, we wanted everyone to hit the dance floor together, so we decided to skip the first dance. I (Gary) was delighted by this because I have two left feet. Nnenna, on the other hand, is an amazing dancer, so I didn’t want to make her look bad.

THE CREW
Bride’s Dress: Tracy BridalGroom’s Suit: Benetti. Florists: Wedding Flowers Galway and Silk and Bloom. Cake: Cakes by Maria Kostina. Hair: Dani DalyMake-Up: Patrycja. Manicure: Shannon’s Beauty Suites. Band: Blacktye Wedding Band.

See more photographs from Nnenna and Gary’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography by Kathy Silke.

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