Tracy and David at the Maryborough Hotel & Spa

Dave and I met in October 2006 on a night out in Cork city. Dave had been at the Mallow races that day and I was out with friends. It all started from there and the rest is history as they say. Our first date is often a topic for debate and to this day is something we never fully agree on. Our first ‘official’ date was in a popular Cork City bar, the Bailey. The conversation and drinks were flowing and it became a regular occurrence for us. Bailey later became the name of our first dog together.

We were together for seven years when Dave proposed. Dave chose to propose in our home on the 19th April and I couldn’t have been happier. We celebrated with champagne and a beautiful meal that Dave had arranged for us.

We decided on a Christmas wedding as it’s one of my favourite times of year. We only went to see two venues and booked the beautiful Maryborough Hotel and Spa, Douglas, Cork. We both fell in love with the hotel and its grounds and it is a stunning venue for a winter wedding. When we met their fantastic wedding coordinator, Niamh, it sealed the deal; she made us feel at ease immediately and nothing was ever too much trouble for her.

I went wedding dress shopping with my mum and bridesmaids and eventually found my wedding dress in Rice ‘N Roses, Douglas. When I walked out of the fitting room everyone started crying and I didn’t want to take it off. The dress I picked was a Justin Alexander ivory soutache lace mermaid dress with a sweetheart neckline. We returned the following week for the trunk show and I had the privilege of being drawn in my dress by the designer Tony Mantel, a keepsake I will cherish forever.

I had five bridesmaids, Dave’s sister and four of my closest friends. Dave had five groomsmen. His brother Richard was his best man. Dave and the men were suited and booted by John Wallace of Morley’s in Cork City. Our four nieces were flower girls and they stole the show on the day.

It was a 6am start on the morning of the wedding. Audrey from Upstyle Junkie and Andrea Murphy, our amazing makeup artist, had their work cut out as us ladies only got about three hours’ sleep the night before. The first thing I did after

I booked the hotel was to book Upstyle Junkie. I always loved Audrey’s work and she did not disappoint. The morning was extremely relaxed with plenty of laughs and Prosecco flowing. John Sexton was our photographer and he was amazing on the day. He went above and beyond for us and made sure everything ran smoothly and on time throughout the day.

When I started to get dressed it hit me that it was actually happening. I loved sharing this moment with my mother and got teary eyed when I saw the emotion on my dad’s face when he first saw me in my dress.

When the car arrived it was raining heavily, I think the child of Prague I had in the garden was faulty! The rain got even heavier as we headed to the church and Martin from Cannons Limos made a detour to his home nearby to pick up extra rain jackets to try and help keep me dry, the umbrellas weren’t going to cut it. I was rethinking my choice of a four tier veil in this storm. We got married in the Honan Chapel in University College Cork and it was perfect. I chose the Honan as it is very intimate and the surrounding UCC grounds are amazing for pictures. All the flowers on the day were supplied by Ina McCarthy Flowers in Midleton. They were nicer than I ever could have imagined and Rachel beautifully added a brooch belonging to Dave’s grandmother to my wedding bouquet as she sadly passed away a few short months before our big day.

Walking up the aisle with my dad was an amazing experience that I will cherish forever. When Fr. Wade announced ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife’ I was bursting with excitement, I had just married my best friend.

Our drinks reception was in the Orangery in the Maryborough Hotel, where Sean from Twilight Entertainment staged a Champagne Ferris Wheel, it was a fantastic addition to our day. Sean also provided a twilight dancefloor and love sign for our ballroom which enhanced the already beautiful décor. Dominic, the banqueting manager, and all the staff ensured ourselves and all our guests were well looked after. The service and food were out of this world. After the dinner and speeches we danced the night way to music by Oceans Six.

Our honeymoon started with an eastern Caribbean cruise visiting the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Martin. This was followed by 10 nights in Mexico and four nights in Las Vegas.

Photographer John Sexton