How They Met
Kevin and Orla met through friends at their university in Belfast and would regularly run into each other in Dorman’s Bar in Magherafelt.
In September 2009, Kevin asked Orla to be his girlfriend the day after being her ‘plus one’ at her sister’s wedding. ‘My family must not have scared him too much! I was bridesmaid so he was definitely thrown in at the deep end, it was also the first day he met my dad!’ Orla recalls.
Kevin and Orla had been living together for a while when they got engaged. ‘Kevin had always joked he would never get any surprises past me,’ Orla remembers, but one Saturday night while she was on her laptop, she turned to see Kevin on his knee!
Orla was stunned and asked three or four times if he was serious. ‘It was just perfect, in our own home and I genuinely didn’t see it coming!’ she laughs.
The couple chose The Everglades as their wedding venue, based on the service they received one Sunday at a very busy lunch time when they called in to have a look around. ‘We were told to take a seat and we were looked after so well! JP freed himself to take us on a tour of the hotel, telling us what it was like to have a wedding here. We never visited another venue!’ Orla recalls. They paid their deposit that same day.
Orla comments how The Everglades take care of absolutely everything, leaving very stress-free wedding planning! ‘I genuinely had no concerns or worries – I actually looked forward to email responses as they shared the excitement and nothing was any trouble!’ She comments how the staff was amazing and guests commented on their friendliness throughout the day.
‘They take a lot of pride in their hotel and it shows in how well they organise your day,’ Orla comments, adding that JP was on top of everything that day so she could just enjoy being a bride! She adds that the food was outstanding, ‘we had heard great reviews and we were delighted our guests enjoyed it so much!’
Orla and Kevin chose Andrew McKenna Photography to capture their big day. ‘I had seen his name mentioned on a wedding review site and the words ‘documentary style’ and ‘less formal photos’ jumped out at me.’
There was no formal photo shoot as the couple wanted to spend as much time with guests as possible. After their Mass, they joined their guests for tea and were at the hotel before their guests!
‘The photos Andrew and Matt captured were better than we could have ever imagined, they mingled around our guests all day capturing little moments of us with them. So many of our guests commented on how much fun they were, I can’t thank them enough because the really contributed to how stress free our wedding day was!’
Opting out of a specific theme, the couple wanted to keep their day simple. Due to the distance many guests were travelling, tea in the hall was a must! Also, the drinks reception hosted by the Everglades was a great way to get the party started.
‘We wanted the entire day to be stress free and that was our main aim. Having our wedding reception in the Everglades enabled us to achieve that!’
What The Bride Wore And The Rest
Orla wore a simple gown with a statement pleat designed by Suzanne Neville from Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Fivemiletown and the bridesmaids dresses were from Coast and featured a lovely pleat to match.
The men wore a classic tuxedo that was ideal for the time of year.
‘Kevin managed to lose his speech so spent ten minutes writing up the bullet points he could remember on a piece of Everglades note paper in the room shortly after we arrived to the hotel!’
‘The most special moment was probably when we both met each other at the altar and turned to the priest who quietly spoke to us. My cousins sang beautifully as I came down the aisle which was very special. The nerves started to fade away once we met each other and it was a lovely moment that the priest acknowledged privately with us!’
‘We truly had the best day with the best people. Everything came together perfectly for us and we got to spend so much time with our guests before the meal and throughout the day – we just loved it!’