An iconic Dublin city landmark and a spectacular setting for an unforgettable wedding day, The Westbury Hotel epitomises sophistication and style. Nestled in the heart of the city shopping district, this Irish icon played a pivotal role in Emma Maher and Kelvin O’Mahony’s spectacular wedding day on the 23rd of March 2024. Beginning in Dublin city hall end ending in the Westbury, their special day was perfectly captured by Wonder & Magic.

The pair have a sweet story as childhood sweethearts, having met through a mutual friend during secondary school and not looking back since!

Kelvin proposed to Emma on the morning of her 30th birthday at home in their kitchen with their springer spaniel pup, Milo. "It took me completely by surprise so the ‘yes’ took a few minutes to come amongst the tears, leaving some anxious moments for Kelvin to wait!"

Emma tried to keep up a good skincare regime using products from Biologique Recherche, as Katarina at Skin by Olga in Donnybrook recommended, who also did some facials for her in the run-up to the wedding. "I wanted to look myself on the day so did not stray too far from what makes me feel good normally. Shauna has done my hair for years so encouraged me to stick with a curly blow-dry, and I went with Nas for make-up on her suggestion too – they were a dream team on the morning of the wedding!" For her wedding fragrance, Emma wore ‘Green Almond + Redcurrant’ from Jo Malone on the day, which has been a favourite of hers for years.

Wanting to give herself enough time to make a considered decision and not to feel rushed, Emma went to only three shops in Dublin with her Mum and sister. "I got a sense of what suited me by trying on every style under the sun!" She had seen a photo of her dream dress on the designer’s website and knew The Suite stocked it. "Tara at The Suite knew to leave this particular dress to last at my first appointment and I felt it was the ‘one’ as soon as I tried it on." Given the style of the venues, the couple knew that they wanted to go with a ‘black-tie’ dress code for the wedding party and guests. "We often walked by Abrahams on South Anne Street when in town and when we called in to discuss options for the suit, Declan and Tony were a fantastic help. Kelvin went for a ‘made-to-measure’ suit and chose a black velvet suit jacket that looked wonderful." Abrahams also sorted the rest of the wedding party with their suits.

Emma had a small bridal party of her sister, Aoife, and best friend, Dan. "Shopping for a dress for Aoife was relatively easy; I was keen for it to be a sky-blue colour, but let Aoife take the reins on what she wanted." Her chosen pick from a trip Folkster was classic and modern, enhancing all of her fantastic features. Shopping for Dan was also an easy process, he looked brilliant in his tailored suit from Abrahams, with Declan and Tony making sure the fit was immaculate for him.

The couple decided on a humanist ceremony early in the planning process. Their celebrant, Moya, took the time to get to know the two and crafted a ceremony that suited Emma & Kelvin perfectly. "We wanted the ceremony to feel like a joyous occasion and there was plenty of laughter throughout. Moya asked that we write our favourite three things about each other in secret, and listening to this at the ceremony for the first time was undoubtedly our favourite part."

With both of Emma & Kelvin coming from and living in Dublin, a city centre wedding had always been in their minds as they wanted their guests to feel relaxed on the day (and hopefully avoid an early morning car journey!). "I persuaded Kelvin to view City Hall as a ceremony location, having visited many years ago on a school tour and he could not get over how stunning it was. The light in City Hall on any day is incredible, and we were blessed with sunshine on the day of our wedding."

The two chose The Westbury as their reception venue as they had fond memories of it together. "We would highly recommend it, the staff were so attentive in the run-up to the wedding and throughout the wedding weekend (special mentions to Mary, Elisa and Séan from the operations team). Our guests particularly complimented the food, both the canapés and the dinner itself, and the service they received."

Music was an important part of the day, and the two were determined to give their guests a variety across the wedding weekend. For the ceremony, Emma & Kelvin chose the D-Strings string trio, who had a huge repertoire of music to select from. "We chose songs that meant a lot to us as a couple, that were upbeat and modern – I walked down the aisle to ‘More than Words’ by Extreme, and we walked out as a married couple to ‘Everything’ by Michael Bublé. We also made sure to include ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as we signed the registry as a nod to our shared love of Liverpool FC."

For the drinks reception, the couple hired Séan Boland, a rat-pack-style singer. "We had planned this to be a lovely calm interlude for our guests before their dinner, but little did we know that our guests would start the dancing early! We arrived to Séan singing Abba classics like ‘Dancing Queen’ and an impromptu sing-along to ‘Que Sera Sera’ started as we entered the room. This is one of our favourite moments of the day!"

Finally, for the after-dinner music, the couple chose something a lot more upbeat and funky, "After a tedious afternoon listening unsuccessfully to videos of 40+ wedding bands, we decided to go with The Bentley Boys who are the best in the business when it comes to keeping the dancefloor filled. 

Regarding the best decision of the day, Emma had to say, "We were over the moon with how the weekend went, our best decision was to stick with what we wanted for the wedding, knowing that our guests would be happy once we were relaxed and enjoying ourselves on the day too."

- Gráinne