Exuding elegance and luxury, Tankardstown House provided the perfect backdrop for Erin Dollard & Michael McCrohan's Springtime Country House wedding. Although it was a rainy day, the joy, laughter and love weren't dampened.  Captured by Patrick Ryan Photography, sit back, relax, pour yourself a coffee and take in the romantic details of their March 24th, 2023, wedding.

Michael and Erin met as teenagers when they were students at the Laois School of Music. Their teacher Ann-Marie formed a string quartet together for a concert where Michael played the violin and his bride-to-be played the viola. Friends at first, it took a little while for the pair to get together but they still play in that same string quartet (Vltava) all these years later and have enjoyed many performances with their lovely friends. The two were on a trip away to the Europe hotel in Killarney and on the first night, the 23rd of August 2021, Michael insisted we go for a walk down to the pier. Erin thought this strange as he would normally make a beeline straight to the restaurant! It was there that he got down on one knee and produced a token ring. They had been together 10 years, but it was still such a surprise to her on that day and it was so special. 

Erin is generally very good with looking after her skin but Mary in Bella & Me in Maynooth took over in the run-up to the big day with some bespoke facials. "It is something that I would highly recommend to any bride-to-be as they are just so relaxing too!" The girls in Absolute Beauty by Sarah in Maynooth took care of nails and tan and the ever-brilliant Jennifer Hope at Envy Beauty looked after Erin's waxing, brows and lashes! On the day Erin wore her usual scent Louis Vuitton's‘ Le Jour Se Lève’. "It is my all-time favourite and I love that they can refill the bottle for you."

She went to about three shops before she found ‘the one’ in the White Room in Mullingar. "It wasn’t my favourite part of the planning but I brought my Mam and my bridesmaid Siobhán with me to the appointments, so we had great fun." The soon-to-be bride knew she wanted something quite minimal and it had to be A-line with pockets. It was the fabric that drew her to the dress she chose by Jesus Peiro and when Erin discovered it had pockets, she didn’t have to think twice!

The bridal party was small, with the single bridesmaid being Erin's best friend Siobhán from college. They went to Dresscode one Saturday morning and chose a stunning navy satin dress that looked amazing on her. "The process was easy only having one bridesmaid and Dresscode was so friendly and efficient to deal with."

The couple chose to have the ceremony in the beautiful orangery at Tankardstown House. Having sung for many weddings, Erin was certain about what she wanted and what suited them both. They met their spiritualist celebrant Berenice Farrell at a wedding in 2022. It was the music at the ceremony that made the whole day for Erin & Michael. They have wonderfully talented friends who helped with music for the day. "For many years I sang with the Maynooth University Chamber Choir and it was such a joy to have them perform on the day. Our friends from Vltava String Quartet, Tally Claffey and Matt Rafter, arranged the music and performed on the day along with friends Michael Dawson, James Murphy and Elaine Clarke." Matt even composed a piece of music and it was performed with uilleann pipes, flute, cello and violin. The couple's favourite moment was when Erin's Dad, Billy, sang Elvis Presley’s ‘The Wonder of You’ alongside the choir. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and it is something that the pair will treasure forever.

Having seen lots of wedding venues with the quartet, Tankardstown always stood out to Erin & Michael. They thought the orangery was perfect for the ceremony and the food is divine! The two knew they wanted the band to be high energy and it had to include brass. "We went with the fantastic ‘All Talk’ as I knew and trusted the trumpet player Mark. They had us all on our feet all night and were amazing." They also provided the music for the drinks reception, playing the piano and saxophone they set the atmosphere beautifully.

We asked the couple for their best and worse decision from the day, "the best decision was going to Boyne House in Slane the day before with our families and bridal party to enjoy a relaxing meal and drinks. It was there that we got to get ready on the morning and I loved how everyone was together. Tankardstown look after Boyne House so they made the bookings very easy for us. It was wonderful!" And as for the worst decision, they can’t think of one!

- Gráinne