Lisa and Michael are childhood sweethearts in every sense–they first spoke on Junior Cert night at a disco, and the rest, Lisa told us, is history. “We have been together ever since. We went to different universities on either side of the country, with one of us rushing to the other on alternate weekends. We made just the biggest effort to see each other; we are a very close couple. We then emigrated to Australia in 2013 together. I feel like we literally grew up together, it’s lovely,” she says.
Both Lisa and Michael seem to relish the chance to plan something big, and that really was apparent during Michael’s epic New York proposal, which included a horse and carriage ride, a romantic bridge and a trip to Tiffany & Co. to choose a diamond. “We stopped at Bow Bridge, this most beautiful quaint bridge in the middle of the park. We got off for a walk, and as we crossed the bridge I turned around and Michael was on one knee! I was so embarrassed! As there were so many tourists around. But I was just so, so happy. Then I heard the “Click, Click”! I turned around and there was a photographer hiding right there! Michael the sneaky thing had organised the whole thing through a company called the Heart Bandits in New York, which organise overseas proposals all over the US,” Lisa remembers. “I got my dream ring that day, and I will forever be grateful to Michael for making my dreams come true. It may sound clichéd to others, but to me it was just so perfect.”
Planning the whole affair (with a very large, very Mayo guestlist of over 270 people) from halfway across the world was always going to be difficult, but Lisa’s penchant for all things organisation made sure everything was squared-off well in advance. “I think the main difference in planning from overseas is that you have to accept that things have to be done way in advance, and we were okay with that. We arrived to Ireland two weeks before the wedding, and I was determined not to be stressed. But all the big things were done, and although we were kept busy I really enjoyed the build up,” Lisa says. She and Michael fell in love with The Lodge at Ashford Castle, and had to adapt the venue to accommodate their numbers. “As soon as I walked into the Lodge at Ashford Castle, I knew it was the one. The whole place is just magnificent. Our numbers far exceeded the capacity of the ballroom. But I HAD to make it work!”
The day itself went off without a hitch, and even the Irish weather in March played a blinder. Lisa describes having “the best bridesmaids in history”, and says that she really believes the day couldn’t have gone better. “Seeing my friends and family in the church was a moment I’ll never forget. Living overseas, we don’t get to see everyone very often and to see everyone gathered together was very emotional. We also had a very large group travel from Australia, and it was very special to see them there. Our photographer Jenny McCarthy ran the day to precision and just so well, which meant we were back at our drinks reception in loads of time to mingle and enjoy the atmosphere! Karen, our wedding coordinator, was honestly just so amazing. I would not say I was a demanding bride, but I did want a lot of extra décor items and I am a stickler for attention to detail. Karen made sure everything was exactly as I wanted it, and I cannot thank her enough!”
“When we went to bed that night (very very late!), I turned to Michael and said, ‘That could not have gone better’. In that moment, I was just so happy.”