Laidback & Luxurious: Meghan & Dónall’s Dreamy Day at The Merrion Hotel

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A sophisticated day with an informal vibe and the perfect pop of colour!

Just because you have to compromise on size doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style, which is what today’s real wedding couple prove with their laidback and luxurious celebration.

Meghan and Dónall Hogan from Dublin march to the beat of their own drum and created their dream day on 17th June with all the elegant details of a grand event while embracing a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

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HOW THEY MET

It’s true what they say, that sometimes the best relationships can form from friendships – Meghan and Dónall first became good friends after meeting in work and sparks soon began to fly.

“It’s probably not very romantic or a love at first sight situation because we actually met at work and were friends for quite a while before we started seeing each other,” Meghan says.

“We were in the same workplace, but different departments and we were introduced by a mutual friend way back in 2014. As time went on, we soon became good friends over the years and then romance finally blossomed!”

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Two years later in 2016 they finally made things official when Dónall couldn’t hold back his admiration for Meghan any longer – Eeek!

“I would say that Dónall made the first move!” Meghan laughs. “One day he just confessed he liked me and asked me out after we shared a little kiss – and we’ve been together ever since!”

THE PROPOSAL

Meghan and Dónall ditched the traditional proposal and began planning their wedding in secret in February 2020 – creating an exciting surprise for family and friends!

“This is also unorthodox because there was no big romantic gesture,” Meghan says. “We’re slightly unconventional and don’t follow the status quo and up until that point we made all our life decisions together like moving in and buying our house, so we wanted marriage to be no different.

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“After we got the house sorted, we just started talking about planning the next stage and we ended up booking the venue and date before we even announced it to family and friends, so it was like a little surprise for them as well!

“It was our little secret for a while and before we announced it, we went for a little meal, just the two of us. Then that weekend we broke the news as by that stage it had been a month and I couldn’t hold it in anymore!”

THE PLANNING PROCESS

Like a lot of pre-pandemic engaged couples, Meghan and Dónall did not expect Covid-19 to throw a major spanner in their wedding plan works.

“We had actually booked a wedding for over 100 people for May 2021 as at the time there was only whispers of Covid and we didn’t realise how much it would affect things,” Meghan explains.

“As it was getting closer to the time the restrictions for that date were only allowing 6 guests so we ended up pushing it back to 17th June so we could have 25 guests. Honestly, that was such an upgrade from 6 that it just made us more grateful for who we could have there and in the end, it was a much more relaxed and special day.

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“We knew regardless we were going to have a nice time and make it special. Our end goal was always getting married over having a big party – and there’s always time for that in the future!”

DREAM WEDDING SUPPLIERS

Meghan and Dónall had a chic and comfortable ceremony and reception in The Merrion Hotel in Dublin with close family and friends.

Meghan says: “The Merrion was fabulous. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. Laura, the wedding co-ordinator, was just as good as a wedding planner and helped us arrange everything from the menu to the décor and flowers.

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“The fact The Merrion did small weddings before Covid, it didn’t feel like we were sacrificing anything because that was their speciality and they made it really special and cosy for us which is exactly what we wanted. And one of the best parts of the day was definitely the food!”

“Our florist was also recommended by The Merrion – Frederika Colley from ‘A Passion For Flowers’ was just amazing. My bouquet was actually inspired by blue hydrangea flowers that grew at Dónall’s home house and I love how it turned out.”

CAPTURING THE DAY

Olga Hogan Photography captured Meghan and Dónall’s day perfectly with an array of beautiful candid moment and picture-perfect memories that they’ll cherish forever.

“Olga was the perfect balance between really professional and also really personal too and she provides an amazing end-to-end service,” Meghan says.

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“From the second you book until the evening after the wedding, she continues to provide an amazing service and then her photos are just sublime, and she captures so many candid shots that show so much emotion. She definitely captured some of our favourite memories from the day.”

WEDDING WARDROBE

Meghan looks stunning in a simple and stylish Justin Alexander gown from Love Ellie Bridal in Cavan and Dónall also looks dapper in a grey suit from James Herren in Dublin.

Meghan says: “I wanted to go for something that is timeless but with a few quirks like the buttons all the way down and the train. It was also very comfortable which I loved, and my mum actually said to me ‘you look like a lovely bride because you looked comfortable in your own skin’ and I really felt myself in it.

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“My blue shoes are from Freya Rose which I choose to match in with my bouquet! It was kind of practical because I couldn’t go out shopping and I wasn’t going to order different shades of ivory to see if they matched the dress, but I love how the blue added a little something different.

“Dónall’s entire look was actually built around his green bow tie which he got as a gift from his sister and it’s made from an Irish tweed. He also got his brown waistcoat from M&S and put the whole thing together himself – he’s more stylish than I give him credit for!” she laughs.

FAVOURITE MOMENT

With so many memorable moments from their day, Meghan and Dónall find it hard to narrow it down to their favourite moment.

“Donall had said previously that one of his favourite moments was sneaking off and going for a little pint of Guinness together,” Meghan laughs. “We were just watching the world go by before we went back to the party and that’s when things really started to sink in!

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“I also really loved walking down the aisle and was probably a bit impatient and more marching down the aisle rather than walking! My brother was also singing ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by the Beatles and it was just fab.

“We also wrote own vows which was really special. When we were saying them to each other everyone else just kind of melted into the background – we’ll never forget that moment.”

BRIDAL ADVICE

For all the busy brides-to-be planning their wedding in these strange times, Meghan has some positive words of advice.

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She says: “I would say keep the traditions that mean something to you and ditch the rest. For planning in these uncertain times, it’s better to be flexible and just remember why you’re doing it in the first place and that’s to be married, to start your next chapter together.

“Someone had also said to me before that the day just flies by and they’re right, so just make sure that you take a moment to look around and soak it all in and be in the present with who is there because it’ll be over before you know it!”

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