The McSmalla Fest

The Mcsmalla Fest 

Our Wedding Story


Awh, what can I say? Even thinking back on our wedding, I cannot help but smile from ear to ear and have a little giggle out how amazing it was. I suppose everyone says that right? That their wedding was incredible, but feck it, ours was. I’d love to do it all over again, as often as I could. But I guess thats why weddings are so magic, they only happen once.

I was told that a lot, that wedding sonly happen once and to enjoy every second, honestly, it’s one of the best pieces of advice I got, to soak up every second and enjoy all of the madness, love and awesomeness that comes with them. Thats exactly what we did.

Paula & I met in 2013, and like all epic romances our first glances were exchanged over a pint of Guinness in a pub in Limerick City and two months later, with a strike of fate and a lot of luck, we ended up meeting again in Thomond Park for a rugby game. The night itself took us in completely different directions, I was on a 12 pubs and Paula was out for a few drinks with friends but we ended up , in the same pub , beside the same fire in Limerick , this time Paula feeding me a terrible mix of drinks as part of one of our 12 pub dares. This lead to some terrific banter and as all great love stories go, we ended up arm wrestling in the middle of the pub for a solid 30 minutes! I won! 😛 But, the rest they say is history. We’ve had a whole heap of adventures together ever since, climbing mountains, exploring new lakes on the boards, drinking more Guinness and looking back as I write this, it’s been an awesome 6 years. CHHHEEEESSSSE!!!

We got engaged at Christmas 2016, I proposed in the very same pub that we met in. I know, I win for sentimental thoughts but suck on the romantic side! 😛 But, ( and I hope Paula agrees) , it was us! and yes, there was plenty of Guinness drank that night!

When it came to planning our wedding, we had a fine idea of what we wanted, and I guess, didn’t want at the same time! We knew that we didn’t want a hotel wedding, we wanted something outdoorsy, by the lake and to have the best party ever. Our two main things were picking photographers + a band. The more we researched outdoorsy venues , close to home for everyone and with enough accommation to sleep everyone, we soon realised that this would be our most difficult task and for a while, it seemed that picking a hotel, would be so much easier! Sometimes, when you try break away from tradition and opt for the more alternative wedding , it becomes very apparent that its way too difficult. We found places, but they were too small, then we found others that were wildly expensive, we costed out doing it ourselves on the grounds of our family homes…. we were that rich. We found others that were big enough but had zero accommodation! Unless, alas one day my very good friend & bridesmaid said ” What about Larkins? ”

Larkins Bar & Restaurant is a cosy pub with incredible charm that is tucked right beside Lough Derg in Garrykennedy- which as it happens was exactly 15 minutes from a house! And from our very first meeting with Maura we knew this was it! Maura and the crew at Larkins allowed us to create the festival wedding of our dreams. There was literally no idea too crazy or daft, bit or small and she said, yip lets make it happen and this was one of the best things of our wedding! We made it personal and exactly how we wanted it to be! A big BBQ Festival Party with a ceremony in the middle! 😛

Thes rest of the planning was fairly straight forward once we had the venue, the band and the photographers/videographer booked. Sometimes , because we were going with an alternative wedding, we did get some resistance from our families, naturally concerned that a BBQ wouldn’t be enough food to feed everyone and what about good old ROAST BEEF? What do you mean your not having flowers? Hold on, its all outside???

This was tricky, because in truth, while a wedding is about the individual couple, its also important ( well to me anyways) that all our friends and family would be happy. Sometimes it could happen that you forfeit something you wanted or didn’t want just to keep the peace! My second best piece of advice is to plan YOUR WEDDING for YOU and YOUR PARTNER. No one else. Feck it if a BBQ isn’t enough, Feck it if its weird you dont have flowers ( I ended up with flowers :P) , FECK it if you want something, DO IT!

We had the best day, the weather gods were so good to us that day and it was one of the finest days of the summer, in fact I think it was the start of that amazing heat wave we got that summer! Victor, Paula’s Dad married us and our ceremony was the most fun part off the day. It was so special to be married by Victor. Special moments like that dont come around often and we are very honoured! We partied well into the night and literally danced our feet off!

So before you get to nosey on the images , my piece of advice to any couple reading this , in the mist of planning your wedding ” Start with the most important things, research photography styles you both love and contact the photographer you both agree on, YES photographers seem expensive but their actually not considering that the only thing you’ll have left of your day are you images and in my case, my memory as I had forgotten everything the following day. Dont book because of price, book because of you love for their personality and style. You’ll spend you whole day with them and they will be there through it all- find someone you love, no matter what the fecking cost and GO WITH THEM! You’ll save on other things like cupcakes and decorations later. Book your venue, videographer and hair&make up next.. same process applies. and Enjoy the rest, make days out of suit/dress shopping, stay over in places when you are going to taste or see a band, when your meeting your vendors, make a date out of it after… its very easy to get caught up in planning that you forget to actually talk about everyday life, so its so important to do that! ”

Heres our vendor list :

Photographers : Awake&Dreaming – Laurie&David

Videographer : Ben Condell Films –

Hair & Make Up : Paula : & KD Hair Design Newport.

Ciara : &

Flowers : Liza Moss&Mushroom :

Venue : Larkins Bar& Restaurant Garrykennedy

Band : Blaky Tye Wedding Band :

Dj/Disco: Silent Disco Ireland

Celebrant : Paula’s Dad Victor : The Burren Celebrant

Entertainment :

Welcome to Treble & Bass

Now, go on, feck it , check out our WedFest and if I can help you with anything, just drop me a message!


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