Women’s Health Physiotherapist Aoife Clark and Quantity Surveyor Frank Cullen tied the knot on a beautiful August day in 2017. Despite Aoife being from Mayo and Frank from Wexford, they bucked tradition and had a stylish City Centre wedding in Dublin, saying their ‘I Dos’ in Trinity and following on with a reception surrounded by friends and family in the exquisite Morrison Hotel. Photography by Darek Novak.
The couple first met in January 2012, a blind date at a ‘January Blues’ party. Set up by friends who were dating at the time, they were encouraged to attend that night as both friends were adamant that they had, ‘just the right person for us to meet’. As time would show, they weren’t wrong, and six years later Aoife and Frank are happily married.
The couple were together for two years in Dublin before they moved to Canada in 2014. Here, they worked and lived blissfully for a year until Frank’s work moved him to Saudi Arabia. At the time, Aoife was enjoying all the work opportunities Canada had to offer, so she decided to stay, and they parted ways, entering into a long distance relationship. Luckily, Frank’s work ran in cycles, 14 weeks on and then two weeks off, and he chooses to fly back to Canada to be with Aoife during these breaks.
My Mum was visiting during Frank’s second trip back from Saudi Arabia. I was working the day he proposed and had agreed to meet both him and my Mum after work. We met in a local café and enjoyed some food before Frank suggested we take a walk in a local park we loved. ‘I should have been suspicious when my mum said she didn’t want to come along’, says Aoife, but at the time she was blissfully unaware of what was to come and went with Frank gladly. Frank brought Aoife down to the lake and got on one knee, asking her to be his wife. The surprise so took Aoife that she initially didn’t reply, ‘I was so distracted by the gorgeous ring he had picked that I was speechless and he had to ask me twice’. Naturally, she said YES!
The planning process presented the couple with some difficulty. An Irish wedding is hard to organise with the bride and groom living in Canada and Saudi, respectively. However, it was within their limitations and, as Aoife puts it, they had to ‘trust their gut, go by recommendations of friends and give into what felt right’. Even though Aoife is from Mayo and Frank is from Wexford, they had met and lived in Dublin together for the first two years of their relationship, and so, for them, Dublin felt like the perfect place to celebrate their marriage: a middle ground that held the happiest of memories.
With the location set upon, they now needed to find the perfect venue and, for them, this was the most natural choice of all. Both families paid a visit to The Morrison Hotel in Dublin on their behalf and met with the wedding co-ordinator Marion, ‘she was so accommodating to all our requests and timely in her response to our multiple questions and queries that even before we were able to view the venue she made us feel entirely confident in our choice’. The couple loved the elegance and charm of The Morrison Hotel, and the idea of a City Centre wedding thrilled them.
The ceremony itself happened in the chapel in Trinity, an iconic venue they loved the historical feel, and so the choice to say their vows here was made without hesitation. The chapel has an intimate layout that features pews that face in towards the aisle, and so, as Aoife made her way down she was greeted with the smiling happy faces of her friends and family. To make this moment even more personal, Aoife’s local parish priest had travelled from Mayo to celebrate the mass and gave a touching and personal ceremony, making this one of couple’s favourite parts of the day.
Once the ceremony was complete, the couple first had their photo taken in The Long Library, a moment they will forever cherish, before they took a stroll around the Capital on their way to their venue. Walking through Temple Bar was a fun experience as passersby cheered and wished them well. The couple wanted to make their city centre wedding a walk down memory lane and so dropped into The Foggy Dew for a quick drink and some pre-reception snacks. The Foggy Dew is a bar they visited on their first date and so coming back to have their first drink as husband and wife was perfect. Many of their guests had not been to a city wedding before making this stroll somewhat of a novelty, and thankfully the sun was shining for this perfect jaunt between venues.
From start to finish their day was everything they could have wished for and more. Given the chance, they would do it all again and change nothing. The most important part for them was having ‘all your favourite people in the one room at the same time.’
If they were to give any advice to others embarking on this special journey together, it would be to, ‘Enjoy it all, don’t worry about the little things’.
Make sure to keep family close and take the time to appreciate all the people who have made an effort to celebrate your love and friendship.