Our story started in October 2007. Shane and I had been friends for many years but our first outing as a couple was when we went to see the fireworks display for the opening of the Wexford Opera Festival. Friends and family looked at us twice before they realised what was going on. Who knew back then that I would be writing about our wedding nine years later?
Almost six years after our first date, on a warm Saturday afternoon, Shane picked me up from work. He had our husky, Byron, in the car and said we were going for a walk. We walked to the Raven Point in Curracloe beach which is one of our favourite places. During the summer, this is where we spend every nice day as Shane has always loved water sports and since we met, I have grown to love it too.
When Shane got down on one knee all I could do was laugh as Byron was jumping on top of him. He took the box out of his pocket and I was so happy he asked me this way. I wasn’t shocked as it was something we always talked about, but we were so excited to go tell all our friends and family. When we got to my home place to tell my parents they already knew. Shane had been there earlier that day to ask my dad for his permission to ask me to marry him, which I thought was very cute.
We always talked about having a long engagement but once that ring went on my finger everything changed and the planning started. Shane and I wanted to have our wedding abroad as we wanted something different where we could have our close friends and family at our big day. I started researching weddings abroad and Malta kept popping up. It had something for everyone from Shane’s nephew, Ryan, who is six, to his gran, Kathy, who is 80 years young. We wanted a church wedding and the reception by the sea. We also had a friend, Sandra, living in Malta at the time which was great as she could show us all the really nice areas. When researching getting married in Malta, Sarah Young’s name kept coming up. As she’d organised so many Irish weddings in Malta, and had so many rave reviews, we decided to contact her. I emailed Sarah and she got me so excited that we arranged a date and time to meet in Malta. We booked our flights and in September 2014 we went to Malta and met with Sarah and her team. The whole team were so lovely, they brought us to many amazing hotels and gorgeous churches. We finally decided on the Balluta Church and a wonderful villa restaurant by the sea; we were so happy with our choice.
Once the wedding was booked the real fun started. We didn’t want a large bridal party so I had my sister Sonya as my bridesmaid, Shane had his brother Grant as best man and Jolie and Ryan as flower girl and page boy.
I booked many appointments to find my perfect dress. I had already tried a few different places but one day myself, my mother and Shane’s mother went to Eden Manor Bridal in Enniscorthy. It’s just five minutes outside the town. When we drove down the driveway we were blown away by the beauty of the area. We got a very warm welcome from Hilda who was great at her job. She is very honest and you would know she has a lot of experience. My dress was the first one I tried on and every dress after did not give me the same feeling. I knew this was the one. I also got my headpiece and all the suits and shoes for the men. It was great getting everything under the one roof as it was hassle free and we knew everything went perfectly together.
The time flew by. We went to Malta a week before our wedding. Again we met Sarah and her team who made everything so easy. They picked us up from our hotel and brought us to get all the legal side sorted; we couldn’t have done this without them, we would have been lost. The rest of the time we relaxed and topped up the tan, and our friends and family started arriving. We had family and friends coming from Australia, Sweden and Ireland to whom we are so grateful for making the journey.
The morning of the wedding was so relaxed, my mother and sister stayed with me the night before so we got our breakfast and stayed by the pool until it was time to get ready. I was so lucky to have one of my best friends to do the hair on the morning, Zana is an amazing stylist in Peter Mark in Arklow, and she did exactly what I wanted and it was lovely to have her getting ready with us. I did my own make up as I got lessons from Susan Ryan in Wexford town.
Shane, our photographer, came to the room and reassured us everything was going to plan. When the flowers which our wedding planner Sarah Young ordered and took care arrived, I was taken aback at how perfect they were. We went to the lobby where my father and I got into our amazing vintage wedding car. When we got to the church everyone was inside and Sarah and Fr. Tony were there, ready to go. Sarah had everything running like clockwork. When walking up the aisle with my father, all I could see was Shane swaying from side to side with nerves but when I got there he was fine and the ceremony went without a hitch. We all made our way back to the hotel. When we got there I was shocked at how picture perfect everything was. Shane and I were taken away to have our pictures taken by the stunning seaside while our guests enjoyed canapés, champagne and guitar soloists in the background. When we returned we got all our group pictures taken and sat down to hilarious speeches and one of the best meals we have ever had. We had music inside for the dancers but most of our guests were so relaxed we sat out in the heat of the night and had drinks with the music in the background. It was lovely to see all our friends and family from both sides get on so well, there were many new friendships made on the night.
The next night we arranged with Sarah to have a boat trip to the blue lagoon. It was the highlight of the holiday. We saw dolphins on the way out and when we got out there we all enjoyed food, drink, music and a swim under the stars.
It was nice as everyone had met the day before and now in casual wear we could all enjoy each other’s company and relax. It was a perfect way to finish off the holiday and wedding of a lifetime. Shane and I stayed in Malta for another week to wind down after our big day. I know it won’t be the last time we visit Malta.
For more information on getting married in Malta visit www.weddingplannermalta.com