25th Jun 2023
Dreaming of an elegant, rustic wedding, Patrice and Paul found the perfect venue at Rock Farm Slane. Elevated decor along with quaint touches like a drinks reception caravan struck an ideal balance for the happy couple's unique style.
Patrice Sheridan, AML analyst, and Paul Hosford, political correspondent.
Rock Farm Slane, Co Meath.
Officially through mutual friends in Merrion Square for the International Street performance event in 2009. Although, they only lived five minutes up the road from each other, so their paths had crossed previously.
For Paul’s 30th birthday, we took a trip to Chicago and Nashville. The morning after we arrived in Chicago, the jetlag had knocked us for six so we started exploring at 7am on a Sunday (when most things were closed). We got donuts and strolled up to Navy Pier, taking in the sites and making plans of where to go next.
I commented on the view and Paul said he would ask someone to take our picture. He grabbed a random guy, handed him his phone and told him he was going to propose (which, thankfully I didn’t hear). When he got down on one knee, I tried to pull him back up, thinking he was messing and used some colourful language, followed by “is this for real?”. The pictures show my complete shock. We rang home, where everyone was in the know and waiting for the news. We then celebrated by going to an aquarium and having a big fancy steak dinner that night.
We were legally married in August 2019, but we had to postpone the original wedding date due to an illness in the family. We planned a vow renewal with all the family in good health again the following September. Unfortunately, Covid happened so it wasn’t until May 2022 that we could proceed with our plans.
We did a vow renewal with Paul’s father officiating it for us, which made it more personal. Given the last few years for both families, we wanted everyone involved somehow. My dad walked me down the aisle, my sister was my maid of honour, and Pauls’s brother was his best man. We included all our nieces and nephews along with our 2-year-old son Tom, who couldn’t have cared less, as all he wanted was to run in the muddy fields.
We had our mams help us complete a ribbon-tying ceremony after the vow renewal, using a scarf Paul gave me and some of Tom’s old baby blankets, representing our past and our future. Our friends played the ceremony music for us, and Paul’s sisters read two poems we both felt were “us”.
The ceremony space at Rock Farm is under a stretch tent on their camping site overlooking Slane Castle. Though we did have to contend with the weather, which had been lovely all week, it turned wet and grey on the day of the wedding, so the walk down to the ceremony for guests and ourselves was a bit mucky. But to be honest, I think that added to it.
The reception was in the barn at Rock Farm, and we also had use of the Lime House on-site for the drinks reception. Due to the bad weather, the drinks reception was moved to a more sheltered space of the house, and thankfully it cleared up as the day went on, not that anyone minded. The barn was lit with fairy lights for dinner and the dancefloor was ready to be filled once it was finished.
We enlisted the help of Paul’s uncle who used to DJ to provide the PA equipment, and I created a Spotify playlist which seemed to go down well, as the dancefloor never emptied. We also organized for Hitched Collective to be on site for the drinks reception to serve prosecco and snacks to our guests. Though, I think the table of various crisps was the biggest hit of the day.
The venue made it very easy to get the rustic vibe we wanted, and the outdoor space was part of the charm of the décor. Sitting outside feeling like we were in the middle of the country overlooking Slane Castle helped set the tone of the day. The venue made everyone more relaxed and we enjoyed seeing everyone after the previous two years.
THEIR TOP TIPS
Focus on what you want to spend your money on. You know what you want your day to be like and you can’t please everyone. Definitely look into first looks, as this gives you some breathing space before the day kicks off. Also, hire a videographer – getting to relive the day is brilliant and hearing the speeches properly is worth it.
THEY WISH THEY HAD
Hired someone to help decorate the night before. We underestimated the work we had to do with what we got for the venue, even with help onsite. Also, if doing a crisp and sweet table, always have extra bacon fries; we underestimated their popularity.
THEIR BEST MOMENTS
The first look photos – getting that time just us before the madness of the day – and leaving the ceremony space seeing everyone we love who had been so supportive of our many rescheduled dates. And, the honourable mention – our two-year-old son trying to drag his dad away to look at the cows mid-ceremony.
THE FIRST DANCE SONG
First Date by Blink 182, covered by Taylor Acorn. When it got into the main part, we switched to the original version and had our guests join us on the dance floor. It was brilliant.
Bride’s Dress: Herm’s Bridal. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Folkster and Boohoo. Junior Bridesmaids and Flowergirls’ Dresses: Next. Groom’s Suit: Best Menswear. Groomsmen’s Suits: Marks & Spencer. Junior Groomsman and Pageboys’ Suits: Next and H&M. Florist: Ashbourne Flowers. Make-Up Artist: Melissa Howard. Hair Stylist: Claire Finegan. Videographer: OC Wedding Videography. Food and Venue: Rock Farm Slane. Cake: Emma Carson. Drinks Reception Caravan: Hitched Collective.
See more photographs from Patrice and Paul’s wedding in the gallery below.
Photography and Videography by Katie Kavanagh.