A pal played Cupid for Kerry couple Danielle Dunne and Robert (Rob) Cronin.
Eight years later Rob proposed on Christmas morning and they exchanged vows under blue skies this summer.
“We were set up by a work colleague of mine 16 years ago in Killarney. She was friends with Rob and thought we would be perfect together,” said Danielle.
Danielle and Rob, who are both from Killarney, and now live in Fossa, just outside the town, were wed recently by registrar Mary T O’Shea in a civil ceremony at the thatched cottage in the grounds of The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens, while the five-star venue was also the setting for the intimate reception. “It was unreal,” said the bride.
The scenic grounds of the 64-acre estate provided the picture-perfect backdrop as leading photographer Ian Cronin captured the occasion on camera.
Toasting to their future together were the mother-of-the-bride Marie Dunne and the groom’s parents Mary and Michael Cronin, as well as Danielle's grandfather John McConnell.
Danielle’s friend Helena O’Brien and cousin Katie Mulligan were her bridesmaids while Rob’s friends Frank Culloty and Denis Kissane were by his side as best man and groomsman respectively.
Playing starring roles were the couple’s two children. “We have two boys, Finn, 6, who held my hand and walked me down the aisle, and Ben, 5, who was ring bearer. They stole the show!” said Danielle.
Their original wedding plan, pre-pandemic, had featured a guest list almost five times the size, in the same venue.
“We said from the start that we wanted it to just be about us and the kids and close friends and family — to have a big celebration together — and with 25 instead of the 120 definitely made it so much more special,” said the bride.
“It was magical. There wasn't a dry eye in the place as it was so intimate and personal. Jason Clifford, the hotel manager, was incredible from start to finish.
As a surprise, Finn penned a poem to recite at the ceremony. "It was beautiful and it set everyone off crying again!” said his mom.
Danielle looked elegant in a design by Tamem Michael in Dublin. “I couldn’t find any dress I liked and within minutes Paula at Tamem Michael had sketched out the dress that I had in my head — and the finished design was even better than I ever had imagined,” she said. Tara Boughen did the bridal hairstyling and Marilyn McSweeney was the makeup artist.
Instead of a cake, the couple ordered mini-wedding cakes from Tasty Temptations by Cathriona. “They were a compromise between cupcakes and a wedding cake,” said Danielle.
“The boys had two dinosaur-themed ones, they are dinosaur-mad — hence the dinosaur bow ties and dinosaur Converse high-tops they wore.”
The newlyweds honeymooned first in Monart Spa in County Wexford. “We made it back home nice and refreshed to face into the monumental task of packing everything and the kitchen sink for a lovely family holiday in Centre Parcs,” said Danielle.
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