Anna and Michael’s River Lee Hotel wedding in Cork City was such a spectacular day. A union of the couple with a blending of their Polish and Irish backgrounds during the wedding day
The couple met while at work , being work mates. Anna’s bridesmaid and the couples mate Ellen was an initial cupid trying to match the two up, but things really turned towards love after Michael injured himself after a skiing accident and Anna offered to help out with lifts too and from work. From there their bond deepened and now their wedding day, after Michael proposed at a look out point near the Torc waterfall. Everything happens for a reason as the beautiful saying goes.
From the moment I arrived at the Grooms family home in Cork City there was banter from his Dad, Michael’s pal making faces while doing all the ironing, even the family dog and Anna and Michael’s dog Zoe set their tone, peeking through the kitchen windows and wanting their own puppy photoshoot which I was all to happy to oblige.
There was laughter, even time for some board games before Michale’s portrait session with the dapper Michael wearing a suit by Benetti bought at Tom Murphy’s and shoes by Marcozzi of Venice.
Back at stunning River Lee Hotel, the breathtakingly beautiful Anna’s getting ready process was in full swing.There was laughter from Anna and her beautiful bridesmaids echoing in the room- which was a suite with such gorgeous light and space. Enough space for all the decor, as it’s absolutely worth mentioning the DIY element of their breathtaking wedding. Anna and Michael took care of the flowers, the table decor, the table settings, the menus in both English and Polish. It was a stunning accomplishment by the newlyweds and everything looked perfect. The couple used the popular wedding website One Fab Day quite a bit in the preparations of their wedding, and they sing the websites praise for vendor inspiration recommendations.
During Anna’s getting ready process there was sentimental tears between Mother and Daughter which was really touching.When the Groomsmen arrived to the hotel and came to the suite to get the remaining decor, it was lovely how they all covered their eyes so as to not see the bride ahead of walking down the aisle. Anna’s bridal hair and make up was done by the talented www.hairpassion.ie
While Anna finished getting ready, we took some time to photograph Michael and his Groomsmen at the hotel bar and front reception, before some final portraits of the elegant Anna and her bridesmaids ahead of the ceremony.
The ceremony was touching. Loving gazes between Anna and Michael, the rings passed around so everyone could hold them with well wishes, and very happy tears, from the couple, their guests, their parents, and even the Groom’s sister who nearly couldn’t finish the reading because of her heartwarming emotions.
After the ceremony we took some time out for some initial bridal portraits en route to the reception room so the newlyweds couple check the final details of their DIY decor prior to the guests arriving for the drinks reception.
Everything looked perfection. From the florals, the Polish and English menus, the drink saver disks, there were chocolates for the guests and even a ‘who has the groom’ game for each guest. Among their epic details and decor, playing piano was pianist Aoife O’Neil, there was a doughnut wall courtesy of Dunns Stores, popcorn, Petit Fours by Bitesize, treats for gluten free guests were catered to perfectly by Riceflour Gluten Free Bakery, board games set up at various tables, and very friendly bar staff ready to serve the guests. The thoughtful couple even had a phone charging table set up with every possible phone lead you could ask for. Anna’s dad, Aleksander Odziemczyk, who also provided videography on the day, even designed a 3D printed light up sign with their name Mr and Mrs Hurley. Michael’s Mom and sister made an incredibly gorgeous wedding cake. Both families are all such a talented bunch.
We snuck away half way through the drinks reception for family photos, bridal party photos and then to head out for the couples solo bridal portraits. We made our way to the famous Daly’s Bridge AKA the ‘Shaky Bridge’ in Cork, and took some time amongst the roses too.
We returned to a very important Polish tradition in which when walking into the reception room to heaps of applause. The couple were presented with one shot of Vodka, and one shot of water, and a beautifully made bread cake. The tradition is that who ever receives the vodka shot ‘wears the pants’ which reflects the older tradition of the gesture. Michael ended up being the one with the vodka, but said good thing we are not a superstitious family. It was a touching and funny moment between the newlyweds and Anna’s beautiful Mom and her Dad.
After the shots, the couple greeted their elated guests who showered them with more applause, hugs, and heaps of banter. Adding to the excitement was the arrival at that point of Michael’s elderly Grandparents. They greeted the newlyweds with love, as the whole room then greeted the Grandparents the same. It was touching to document and was sweet to see Michael’s normally non-partaking in champagne Grandma- deciding to have her first glass of Champagne ever! His Grandpa even had a pint. The perfect occasion for it.
After the gorgeous dinner, the speeches commenced and the room was filled with more laughter for the duration of the speeches and indeed the night.
We took some time to cut the cake, before heading off with Anna and Michael for some evening portraits.We went to the top floor of the amazing River Lee Hotel for some beautiful shots with the views of Cork City, before we headed outside, where the couple embraced in the sunset.
The dancing commenced with the band The Cazettes, the couple had their first dance, while in the background the Mr and Mrs Hurley sign shone bright.
They were joined by the rest of their guests who all let loose and even Grandma hit the dance floor.