Fota Island Resort is one of the leading 5-star wedding hotels in Cork thanks to its idyllic location in the heart of a 780-acre estate. Surrounded by gorgeous scenery and situated on a private island amidst the tranquillity of Cork Harbour, Fota Island's natural beauty provides one of the most outstanding landscapes in the country. Sinéad Vine and Pat Sullivan made good use of the breathtaking surroundings on their wedding day on the 2nd of September 2023. Photographed by Anna G, this family affair is heartstoppingly beautiful and chocked full of gorgeous moments!
Sinéad & Pat met through their mutual love of horse racing. The proposal was in Ikos Andalusia a resort near Malaga where the two were on a family holiday. Pat organised with the resort to have the proposal by the beach before they went for a family dinner that evening. He had asked Sinéad’s parents for her hand in marriage before the trip and he also asked for his daughters (Katie and Sarah’s) blessing. Just after the proposal the newly engaged pair and Pat’s two daughters celebrated together with some bubbles by the beachside.
To prepare for the wedding Sinéad had a course of hydro facials with Irene Mannion at the Kelly Clinic in Galway which helped to give her skin a glow. Sinéad’s friend Linda Geraghty helped to get her hair colour perfect for the wedding. She had a hair trial several months before the wedding with Marie Hickey. Marie tried several different styles and was super at helping Sinéad get her hair ready for the day. Marie also was a wonderful calming influence and energy on the morning of the wedding. Elaine and Sinéad know each other from her trips to Cheltenham Races over the years and Elaine is originally from Cork. She loves how Elaine does her makeup so it was an honour when she agreed to travel over. Sinéad had her teeth cleaned and used teeth whitening bleach from King Dental with dentist Rachel King. On the week before the wedding Katie, Sarah and Sinéad had a busy week of appointments. On the Monday of the wedding week, Sinéad had a visit to Oksana Kovale at OK Nails in Clonmel. She went for a traditional French gel nail on both hands and toes. On Thursday She had a spray bellimantia tan with Marcelle in Marcelle's beauty room in Dungarvan and on Friday the day before the wedding, Sinéad had lash extensions with Aggie in MeTiMe beauty in Dungarvan. The signature scent on the day was Viktor and Rolf Bonbon Eau de Parfum. Sinéad picked this perfume as Pat's daughters Sarah and Katie gifted it to her at Christmas and she loved the scent.
Sinéad decided after online searches and a few unsuccessful trips to wedding dress boutiques that she wanted to try the Designer Suzanne Neville’s dresses as she likes her designs. She contacted Dee in Kadee Bride in Athlone and set up an appointment. For that initial appointment, Sinéad's mum Paula came with her which was super as Sinéad trusted her mum Paula’s opinion and she knew Paula would be honest. Dee asked a few questions about what designs she liked and guided her to try on different Suzanne Neville styles. The second dress Sinéad tried on was the Gabrielle by Suzanne Neville. Her mum gave her a big smile and she knew this was the one. Sinéad felt comfortable in it and loved the design. The corset was comfortable and supportive also that’s built into the dress. She wasn’t sure about having a slit in the leg or the front to be as low so Dee assured her that she could go for a bespoke design, and she had the dress made without the slit and slightly higher bust line. When she went back for her fitting she tried on the dress and Dee had arranged an appointment with a recommended alterations lady Larisa Kirwan close by at Larisa’s bridal alterations. This process was also great Larisa altered the dress to perfection and gave Sinéad a few lessons on how to lace up the bodice of the dress on the day.
Pat went to John Byrne in Louis Copeland in Wicklow Street in Dublin and had a made-to-measure suit appointment. John gave excellent guidance on how to pick the fabric, cut and style. It was an enjoyable process and wearing a made-to-measure suit was so comfortable it fitted like a glove.
Kate and Sarah Pat’s daughters were the bridesmaids. The couple loved having them as bridesmaids and we had lots of fun picking the bridesmaid dresses. Katie and Sarah like their style and we originally ordered a few dresses online and then soon realised it was better to visit a bridal shop that specialises in bridesmaid dresses. We made an appointment at La Bella Sposa in Swords and tried on a few bridesmaid dresses. Katie and Sarah picked a beautiful olive-green dress which we loved on them. The make of Katie and Sarah’s dresses was Dessy.
Sinéad & Pat loved their ceremony. Tina from Wild Bunch Florist decorated the ceremony room beautifully. "The staff at Fota Island were exceptional in ensuring our room was laid out as we wished. The icing on the cake was our celebrant Jacqui Lee she was suburb and put all our guests at ease before our ceremony and delivered a beautiful personable and relaxed ceremony. Our guests are still talking about how Jacqui delivered a beautiful ceremony." It was a very proud moment for Pat when his daughters Katie & Sarah walked up the aisle towards him as bridesmaids. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Sinéad’s dad Peter walked her up the aisle. This was a big deal for her dad as he had a difficult previous two years with his health and his mobility has suffered. However, he was determined to walk Sinéad up the aisle and together with his physiotherapist Sarah Casey’s expert guidance in the weeks leading up to the wedding he was prepared and ready for action. "It was a moment we will never forget. We also shared personal vows that we had both written and sent separately to Jacqui, our celebrant it was our first time hearing each other’s vows during the ceremony and it was a beautiful moment."
Pat loved Fota Island Resort and had a positive experience previously organising a sporting event there. The pair had visited a few venues, but Fota made an impression when they had their first visit, they loved how the function room had plenty of light and the décor was beautiful. "We were really lucky on the day with beautiful sunshine, so we also got to enjoy the private garden for a drink reception with the guests. It felt like we were abroad. We were also extremely impressed with the team at Fota nothing was a problem, and they accommodated all our needs with such positivity." The couple loved how the team at Fota made us feel so welcome and ensured the lead-up to our day and events on the day ran smoothly. The pair had attended a few weddings where the Bentley boys played and loved the energy they created. "We were not disappointed. We went for an 8-piece in the band and added the DJ service, so the changeover was seamless."