Real LGBT Weddings

Chocolate surprise proposal only the beginning for Julie & Erica

Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
 28 June 2017 - The Haven Hotel, Dunmore East, Co Waterford

Following a blissful four-year romance, Julie and Erica got hitched over the summer in an intimate ceremony at The Haven Hotel, Co Waterford. The couple met on a random summer’s night in Dublin and the rest, as they say, is history.

Julie and Erica now reside in Dunmore East, with their seven-year-old daughter Jodie. Julie’s proposal in April 2014 oozed romance. Erica was due home from work and Julie had rose petals from the front door leading to the bedroom.

The engagement ring was placed in a Kinder Egg (Erica’s favourite) and after it was put back together, Julie placed it inside a heart she had made from rose petals. The surprise was perfect. The brides decided on a small and intimate wedding with close friends and family of 50 sitting down for a meal with 25 more arriving for the afters.

The Wedding Team

Erica had originally sided towards wearing a white suit but in the end opted for a white dress that was custom made. Julie wore a satin dress with diamante detail in the middle. Utopia in Waterford took care of everything flowers wise, while a friend of Erica’s made a three-tier cake that was red velvet, chocolate biscuit and sponge in a love heart shape.

Ger Hennessey took care of the music and “OK Sounds” had everyone dancing long into the night. The invites had a GAA match tickets theme as Erica is a massive GAA fan and both her and Julie wanted that to be incorporated into the wedding. They were created by Invites by Jen in Co Clare.

The girl’s hair was done by their regular hairdressers Nicola Sheehan and Laura and their make-up was taken care of by Grace & Jayne from J’Adore by Jayne. Kathy Bradley from Cork performed the wedding ceremony. The couple also had a sand ceremony where they collected Tramore sand (Julie), Dublin sand (Erica) and Dunmore sand (Jodie) and coloured each sand with their favourite colours and mixed them all together to unite them as a family. The day was captured beautifully by Gary Kavanagh Photography. their first dance song was ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran.

Special Touches

The GAA theme of the invites was also evident on the actual day as Julie explained: “Our theme was GAA for our invites and we also had a cart that we filled with blaa’s (Waterford bread) and batch loaf bread from Dublin and made Tayto/King sandwich packs.” Just after the meal they had a selfie mirror set up by “Sweet Events” that proved to be a hit with everyone at the wedding.

“For our ceremony, we got two candles with pictures of Erica’s mum Patricia and her brother Mark who sadly passed away a few years before,” commented Julie. “It was a lovely personal touch to have them feel present at our wedding and at our meal we placed them in lanterns and they were placed behind the fireplace that was behind our top table.

Favourite memories of the day?
Erica and their daughter Jodie surprised Julie by singing Bruno Mars “Just The Way You Are”, a song that means a lot to them. They had been practising for months prior to the wedding when Erica would be bringing Jodie to school. Julie and the wedding guests had no idea that it was coming.

On the morning of the wedding, Julie and Erica gave each gift boxes that contained a couple of gifts and a little note to each other. As they go forward together, they hope to keep all the special memories that are shared in their lives in these boxes.  

Can you tell us in a few words how great The Haven Hotel was for your wedding?

“Paul, Sharon, Karen, Judy and all staff at The Haven Hotel were absolutely amazing from day one when we met with Paul he made everything sound so easy and nothing was ever too much hassle or inconvenience,” Julie said.  “On the day, they had everything planned to a tee! Our ceremony was planned to be outside but unfortunately with the luck of Irish weather it rained all day and I mean all day. “They had a marquee set up for us as a backup plan so we could still have it outside, as we walked out they had umbrellas for us and we were escorted to the red carpet so we wouldn’t get wet they treated us like royalty. “The food was amazing, the champagne, the wine, the little touches they added Erica and I would love to do it all over again in a heartbeat!! www.thehavenhotel.com

Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane
Julie Whelan & Erica McFarlane

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