A lesson in love

Teachers Rebecca Lawlor from Bandon and Paul Costello from Tinryland, Carlow tied the knot in the Oriel House Hotel in Ballincollig in July. Paul tells us all about their very special day:

Where did you meet?

We met in London as secondary school teachers, both fresh out of college, Rebecca went to London in September and I in November. Rebecca was my liaison for getting settled in the school, and it wasn't long before a great deal of the time we spent together between classes and lessons spilled over into evenings and weekends.

How long were you going out before you got engaged?

A little over four and a half years. We started going out in March 2015 and got engaged in October 2019.

How long was the engagement?

The engagement was almost four years! We were both teaching in the Middle East and were planning our way back home for good when the pandemic hit. With us being abroad and everywhere being closed for viewings and getting the ball rolling, an initial plan of two years stretched to nearly four.

How many different dresses did the bride fit on before choosing the perfect dress?

Three in total, and all from the one shop, Diamond Bridal. They did an outstanding job of nudging Rebecca into different options and styles to get the full flavour of choice and taste. I visited seven suit shops and lost count of how many were tried on. Fortunately, Tony's Menswear was the ace in the pack and took great care and attention to ease the vastness of choice to sort exactly what was needed on the day.

Where did the ceremony take place and why?

The ceremony took place in the ceremony room of the Oriel House Hotel. We had both viewed this room as part of the various wedding showcases that take place in hotels, as well as the South Munster Brides show. The Oriel had an intimate setting that we were looking for, and we wanted to have a ceremony that suited all weather types as well as a ceremony that would take place as close as possible to the reception.

Where did reception take place, and what drew you to that location?

The reception also took place in the Oriel House Hotel. We had been to so many weddings where there was a lot of travel across the day between ceremony and receptions, and we wanted to do both in the one to get the most out of the fly-by time that a wedding day has. After seeing the concept of a one-venue-for-all in a wedding at Kilronan Castle in Leitrim, we knew it was a must.

What was the memorable part of the day?

The reveal. We had decided that we didn't wish to lose the time that the bride and groom normally lose to photos following the ceremony. So we got our photos done before our ceremony in the morning. As part of this, we did a reveal in the bridal suite at the Oriel House, and it was a special moment when we got to see each other with just ourselves in the room to share.

Have you any advice for couples planning a wedding?

As daunting as it seems, a few minutes here and there add up over the length of time for planning. Ask loads of questions and have a few chats about what you want to happen. And absolutely steal as many ideas from other weddings as possible!

Was the work divided up equally between you or who did the most organising?

The divide and conquer method worked best for us. I looked after the photographer, videographer, invites, games, and music, and Rebecca took care of the cake, decor, accommodation, inventory, and tokens.

Did you have anything quirky at it?

We did a 'Wedding Speeches Bingo' that brought out the competitive side of a lot of guests. There was a 4x4 card with phrases and mentions to collect across the speeches, with the winners receiving a round of drinks for their respective tables.

Would you change anything about the day?

No, not at all.

Things will come up across the day, and the day itself goes so, so fast, but we had the time of our lives and tried to have as much fun as possible above all else.