The next day, I awoke bright and early feeling refreshed from an amazing night’s sleep in a cosy bed and lay there for a little while, watching the boats from the bed. I was thrilled to see the sun was shining and that my beautiful new shoes would be safe from the heavy rain I had been warned about. We headed downstairs where a delicious breakfast of cereal, juice, yoghurt with fresh fruit, toast and a full fry-up was awaiting us. We filled our boots knowing full well that we wouldn’t be eating again until dinnertime with the wedding taking place at 2pm at a church that was 30 minutes away. We smartened ourselves up and headed over to meet the others.
I wore a Love by Topshop floral dress which I customised by sewing up the slit at the front of the dress, with a black New Look blazer, a Topshop necklace, my bargain Dorothy Perkins shoes (a steal after the were reduced to £15) and a Primark bag.
Mark wore a River Island suit, with River Island shoes, his tie and shirt came from Topshop, he also wore a waistcoat from River Island and red braces.
We were first in the hotel lobby and made the most of it by having a sneak around to look at the reception rooms and have a drink.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful and suited the couple, Brendan and Liza down to the ground, they are very big on family and the importance of everyone being involved – when we visited them last year they did everything they could to make me feel incredibly welcome and they are endlessly generous and kind.
For the service, they started with Liza walking down the aisle to the tune of Mark’s uncle playing the fiddle.
The couple made their vows, interspersed with readings from several members of the family, in front of priest (Great Uncle) Richard, who had made the journey from South Africa where he works as a missionary in order to conduct the service. Such a lovely touch and he made it so personal to them. I was thrilled to finally meet his after hearing so much about him over the past six years.
Later on, after a champagne reception back the the hotel, with strawberries to dip in our glasses, we enjoyed a hearty meal of a large seafood vol-au-vent, followed by prime Irish beef with gravy, roast potatoes, mash and vegetables (all in endless supply) and finished the meal with profiteroles and meringue. Just what we all needed after such a long day. And the meal was later followed by sausage sandwiches for an evening snack!
Then the dancing started. The entertainment was a rockabilly band which later turned into a disco with the best playlist I have ever heard at a wedding – all good, party anthems such as Cornershop and FatBoySlim – perfect to get everyone dancing!
After dancing until our feet could take it no more, and the DJ closed down for the night, we retired to the bar for more drinking and a lot more laughs. Myself and Mark finally left at around 4-4.30am but heard the party was still going on until 6.30am! We stumbled back to the B&B and hit the deck fairly quickly.
The next morning, after missing breakfast in the B&B, we got our stuff together and headed out for a walk and lunch by ourselves, to make the most of the final day before catching our flight. After a gorgeous lunch of linguine with fresh prawns and a garlic, white wine sauce as we sat outside overlooking the ocean, I insisted on dipping my toes into the water – something that means a lot to me. I love the sea and to be close to it is a big part of my life.
I achieved what I came to Ireland to do – I ate heartily, drank heavily, chatted to everyone, danced merrily, made people smile, learnt to smile again after a stressful few weeks and most importantly, it gave me the break I needed.
By dipping my toes into the chilly Irish sea, I feel like a new woman and that is the most important thing.
Ireland is a stunning country and the views, especially in this part, always leave me breathless. I would recommend that everyone visits Dunmore East at least once – as you can see from my pictures, it really is beautiful.