Real Irish Wedding – Orla Coppinger and Fred Fullard

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10th April 2015. Ceremony at Claddagh Church, Galway, followed by reception at Salthill Hotel, Galway

Photos by Gary Barrett Wedding Photograph

From the incredible wedding cake to the wine bottle seating plan, this wedding features inspirational DIY touches

The couple

“Fred and I are both from Galway so we have always know each other to see,” Orla begins, “it wasn’t until a night out six years ago that we bumped into each other and things went from there.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

The proposal

Fred proposed in February 2014 in the Europe Hotel, Killarney. “It was our anniversary in January and Fred suggested I pick a hotel and we’d have a weekend away,” Orla begins, “he immediately had me suspicious when he volunteered to organise the weekend, something he would never usually do! After numerous times of asking him if he had booked it my suspicions were dispelled after he asked me to book it, he since told me that he knew I would guess what was going on if he were to book everything. We arrived to the hotel on the Friday night where we were shown to our beautiful room, not long after arriving Fred got down on one knee and popped the question.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

Reception venue

The Galway couple chose the Salthill Hotel for our  wedding reception venue, “We’ve been to a number of weddings in the Salthill Hotel and everything from the venue, the food and the service have always been fantastic so it was an easy decision for us,” Orla explains.

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

Wedding dress

The bride’s stunning wedding dress was by Monique Lhuillier from The Suite, Dublin. “I had been to so many bridal shops and although I had tried so many beautiful dresses I never felt I found one that I was excited to wear,” Orla recalls. “Tara in The Suite asked me to try on the Monique Lhuillier dress which I really didn’t think was the one for me. However, as soon as I put it on I knew it was the dress I wanted. Lace and strapless were the two things I thought I wouldn’t go for but I loved it on and felt it suited my shape well.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and FredReal Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred


Fred wore a charcoal suit from Brown Thomas in Dublin. “He wanted something slightly different to the groomsmen who wore three-piece charcoal suits with ivory ties,” Orla says. “Fred needed to tie in with the whole wedding party so he went for a two piece charcoal suit which had a subtle check going through it, he finished off the look with a sliver/grey tie.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

The bridesmaids

Orla struggled to find bridesmaid dresses to fit as two of her sisters are quite tall. “Eventually after much searching we ended up also getting the bridesmaid dresses in The Suite,” Orla explains. “We went for the Amsale dresses in charcoal, the colour and style was so nice on each of the girls and we were able to get the dresses with the longer length.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

Wedding flowers

Louise in Seamus Florist Sundries created the flower displays.  “Louise was absolutely brilliant and did exactly what I was hoping for,” Orla enthuses, “there was nothing I asked of her that she couldn’t do. We decided to go with sweet avalanche roses for the girls and a mixture of the sweet avalanche roses, David Austen roses and hydrangea’s for my bouquet which looked great.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred


The couple send out e-invites from Glosite instead of the traditional invitations. “My cousin had used these and I though I was a great idea and something a bit different,” Orla says. “We put name card into wine corks which we had cut down.  For our table plan we wanted something different so we spray painted wine bottles, put a label with the table plan on each one and had candles in each bottle which looked really well. Fred’s sister made the mass booklets.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

Wedding cake

“My dad decided to make my cake with the help of my sisters,” Orla says, “he had never done anything like this before so it was a big undertaking but they did a fantastic job.  The cake was a four tier biscuit cake with different flavours on each tier.  It was decorated with white chocolate cigar rolls and hand made flowers which my sisters put a huge amount of time into making.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

Favourite moment

Fred: “Number one: Seeing my beautiful bride finally arrive at the top of the aisle. Number two: Picking her up and spinning her around the ballroom (three times) as Frank Naughton and Sean Costello raised the roof!”

Orla: “There were so many fantastic moments it’s hard to pick one but I suppose the one that stands out is when I was walking up the aisle and once I saw Fred waiting for me at the top.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla Coppinger and Fred

Top Tip

Fred: “Make sure that the bride is happy at all costs! Cross your fingers and hope it doesn’t lead to a second mortgage.”

Orla: “Try to have all the little jobs out of the way the week leading up to your wedding and enjoy this week, so many guests arrive the days leading up to your wedding so go out and celebrate with them, as soon as the wedding is over they’re gone again. Also, my hairdresser told me to have a good breakfast the morning of the wedding as she said it’s always the brides who don’t eat that get nervous and teary.”

Real Irish Wedding - Orla and Fred

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