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The wedding of the century!

I’ve been procrastinating the massive Ireland 2010 wedding post for too long. It’s time I’ve tackled it. I say this because I took roughly 800 photos while I was there and don’t even know how to choose my favorites. I also say this because it was honestly the most fun trip ever to occur in the history of our family and most families in attendance. We had a ball! It was so cool because essentially our family + a ton of people we know and love were all on vacation together, hanging out, laughing, relaxing, etc. It was great! We should do it more often. Fo’ real. :)

As for the actual wedding day, I can hardly put it into words (good thing I have 800 pictures to choose from…) Megan was the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen. She was also the most calm bride I’ve ever seen/heard about. My sister Kelly did an absolutely AMAZING job on her hair (it legitimately stayed fabulous the whole day – till about 2am!) Her dress was perfection. Her makeup was flawless. And her attitude said it all; she was ecstatic, no freaking out, no nervousness, just happiness.

Matt looked so handsome! And watching him watch Meg walk down the aisle at Holycross Abbey was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. You could honestly see how much he loves her right in that moment. I know it sounds sort of cheesy, but it’s true… After they were pronounced husband and wife and were ready to walk down the aisle, we had a bit of a surprise up our sleeves… With the help of my siblings and my wonderful cousin Aisling (who lives in Ireland) we arranged for the singer to play a few seconds of “The Wedding March,” then pause for a moment and then start up again with “All You Need is Love” like they do in Love Actually. We even had both trumpet and trombone players who popped out as an extra surprise! It was great!

The reception at the Dundrum House Hotel was SO MUCH FUN. Literally the best time of my life (hopefully Meg and Matt’s as well!) My toast went smoothly I’d say – I kept it to about 2 minutes, I was shaking like a leaf and my voice was shaky but I didn’t totally break down or anything. I sort of kept it together, so I’ll take it. I got some laughs, some tears and some applause. Success :) My dad also gave an absolutely amazing toast – made me cry of course! Mr. O’Neill did as well, it was beautiful!

We danced and danced and danced. I don’t think I ever stopped. Literally, my hips were killing me the next day. Great workout!… After the “official” reception was over, the “afters” started. We went down to the residence bar (residence bar in Ireland = a bar in your hotel which you can ask the front desk to open whenever you’d like. If the normal hotel bar is closed for the night, well you just ask the staff to open the residence bar, they get the bartender on call and there you go! Pretty sweet huh?!) to listen to traditional Irish music and nibble on some snacks, drink some Guinness and just continue to have fun!

The morning after the wedding we all had breakfast together and then Meg and Matt headed off to Greece. They had an amazing trip!

After the wedding festivities Colin and I got to do a little traveling – we headed to the Cliffs of Moher, then Galway for two nights and then Dublin for a night. This was Colin’s first time in Ireland so I wanted him to see a bit more than just Tipperary. It was so much fun and Colin did such a great job driving! I must say, I did a pretty good job myself helping to navigate/read the map. Plus, we didn’t get into a huge fight/break up/hurt one another at all. Pretty good. :)

Now, without further ado, I present to you Megan and Matthew Ireland wedding extravaganza…

Ready to go!

Oooh Ireland...

Our townhouse

Ok I gave up on individually inserting the pictures! Here is the gallery:


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Top 5 Things To Do While Visiting Ireland

{In honor of my sister getting married in Ireland today, here is a top 5 on this magical country from MM (my Ireland guru) of Travel Eat Love!}

1) Leave Dublin. Really, even if you fly into Dublin Airport, get out of Dublin as soon as you can. Ok, you can stay and tour around for a couple of days, but no more than that. Dublin is fine, but it is definitely not my favorite world city and definitely leaves a lot of Ireland to be seen. My brother in law once referred to Dublin as a “city on the West coast of England”. Enough said. There’s a lot more to Ireland than Dublin, and I want to make sure you see it.

There are buses leaving for Galway from various bus companies on the hour, there are car rentals, or you can take Iarnroid Eireann, the train service as well. If you stay in Dublin or even just the popular tourist cities, you miss seeing this. . .

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And this. . .

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And this. . .

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2) Eat local food. Like any high volume tourist destination, many Irish restaurants, especially in cities and other well traveled areas, do their best to cater to tourists offering convenience foods and bland, fattening options. All Irish food is not like this, and if you look around a bit, you will find a burgeoning cuisine that is based on fresh, local, delicious goods. Smoked salmon, prawns, Irish cheddar, lamb, and fresh vegetables make the base of many of these dishes, and I can’t emphasize enough that you should seek out these ingredients as often as possible. You will not be disappointed; the taste of real food from the land is as important a part of Ireland to me as the beautiful countryside is.

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3) Have a pint of Guinness. Unless you don’t or can’t drink, I suggest having a pint of Guinness in its home country. Maybe you haven’t liked Guinness in the past, and maybe you won’t now, but it’s definitely worth a try.

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If you hate the Guinness, there are plenty of other delicious Irish libations like Bulmer’s cider and Smithwicks.

4) Go to a pub and listen to traditional Irish music. Pretty much anywhere you are in Ireland, you can find traditional music any night of the week. My favorite places for trad are Galway, Westport, and Doolin. If you need specific suggestions please feel free to email me! And don’t forget to stop at a chipper on your way home for some garlic and cheese chips. You won’t regret it (Well you might, but it will be worth it!)

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5) Get outside! Yes the weather may suck at times. It could be rainy, blustery, cold, cloudy, and even hailing small frozen peas from the sky. But you can see 4 seasons in a day in Ireland, and your best bet is to just get out there. Make sure to pack enough clothing to wear layers, lots of light wool, lots of socks to make sure you have dry ones, and good walking shoes. I have experienced so many different days where it has been pouring in one place and gloriously sunny in another; if we never went ahead with hiking or running plans because of the rain, we would spend a whole lotta time in my husband’s house! Even when the sky is threatening, the scenery can not be beat.

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Thanks so much, Colleen, for giving me the opportunity to guest post. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Ireland and that Meg’s wedding day is the best ever. Looking forward to seeing you both when you get back! ;)

My big sister is getting married

The Foodies at work were nice enough to ask little ol’ me to write a guest post for their blog. I of course said yes! Not only do I love their posts, recipes, tweets, etc. but they are my twitter friends for God’s sake, of course I would write a post for them. I got their back.

The topic was ‘If you were stranded on an island what one food could you just not live without?’ My answer: hamburgers. Scrumptious hamburgers. Read the full post here, and thanks again foodies!

On another note – tomorrow is the big day! Well, not the big day (as in Wedding day) but the big day as in travel day. Colin and I leave tomorrow around 6:30 pm for our flight to Ireland, we will get in to Dublin around 8:30 am Thursday morning. We rented a car (please say a prayer for us. This could potentially be the end of our relationship… I can see it now, Colin: “Colleen, read the map please, stop falling asleep, I need you to help!”, Me: “Colin, slow down! These roads are very narrow! Ahh wrong side of the road!”)

Thursday and Friday we have some wedding prep stuff, Friday afternoon we have the rehearsal and then the rehearsal dinner, after that we’ll have a “welcome” party for all the guests to hang out, catch up and share our excitement! Saturday my Dad is hosting a golf tournament for those interested in playing (most of the men…) and the rest of us are headed to the Rock of Cashel, Saturday night we have Bru Boru – a traditional Irish show and dinner. It’s a lot of fun. :)

Sunday the women of the bridal party are headed to the spa for some pampering, and Sunday night all the bridesmaids plus Meg are going to stay at my cousin Aisling and Christians house so we can have a little slumber party. Monday is the BIG DAY! I may or may not have a few tricks up my sleeve… You’ll have to stay tuned….

After the wedding my parents are hosting a breakfast for everyone on Tuesday morning right before Meg and Matt head to Greece (so pumped for them!) And then Colin and I will be on our way for a few days of traveling – we’re going to Galway for two nights and Dublin for one. Any Irish pro’s out there have suggestions for us??

So I still feel as though I have a TON to do. Tonight is going to be a late one! I’m working from home for a few hours tomorrow so I should be able to get a lot done tonight (hopefully everything) and if need be, finish up tomorrow.

I can’t believe my big sister is getting married – we’ve been thinking/talking/dreaming of the day one of us would get married since we were little girls. She has been my best friend for twenty-four years now. I’ve looked up and admired her since the day I was born. She has taken such good care of me, and now she has Matthew to take such good care of her. Matthew and I have been friends since before they started dating – I am a huge fan of his! I’ve always been cheering him on. I wish both Megan and Matt only the best life has to offer – plenty of smiles, compromises, babies, and blessings. Much laughter, tenderness, trust, adventure and excitement. What a wonderful journey to be on together. They are going to kick ass at marriage! I couldn’t be happier for two people. They are amazing and I love them both.

Meg and Matt!

Heheh, credit goes to either Moll or Kelly on this one, I forget which one!

PS – I am not going to be able to make it through this trip dry eyed. Hopefully I can control myself during the ceremony/my MOH toast. Wish me luck – I’ll need it!

I’ll miss you all while I’m in Ireland, but don’t forget to still visit the daily craic, I have some AMAZING guest posts coming ‘atcha. You truly don’t want to miss this. Thanks to all who have helped! {Twitter/blogger friends are thebomb.com.}

Will be back on the 8th (with TONS of pictures!), enjoy the craic while I’m away!

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