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Dublin Live
Roisin Butler

Bride admits to putting her wedding wishes on 'back burner' ahead of big day

A bride has encouraged couples to prioritise themselves in the build up to their wedding.

Laura Porter married Clontarf native and former rugby player Michael Keating just short of a year ago. The couple first met back in 2014 at the insistence of Laura's friend.

The couple eventually got engaged on a romantic getaway to Rome. Laura explained they were deterred from visiting the Trevi Fountain due to crowds and instead had a truly memorable walk back to their hotel.

Laura told Dublin Live: "As we crossed a bridge, Michael asked me to stop walking for a minute. As he got on one knee a group of ladies were walking over the bridge and they started clapping and cheering before he could continue with his speech."

READ NEXT: Dublin bride considered eloping to 'avoid fuss' ahead of big day

The couple got married at the beautiful Carton House surrounded by their family and friends last June. Laura admitted to feeling jittery about the big day, but the nerves dissipated as soon as she reached the aisle.

Laura added: "We completely forgot about how we would feel or what we wanted and worried about keeping everyone else happy. Remember that the day is about you two and you two only."

The couple's beautiful wedding at Carton House was captured by photographer Under the Veil Weddings. Here is Laura's account about her big day in full.

Who is your partner and how did you meet?

My husband is called Michael Keating and he is originally from Clontarf, Dublin! We met through friends! Michael used to play rugby professionally and moved to England to play.

He then moved in with one of my good friends, boyfriend, now husband! I was living in London and Michael was living in Sheffield.

My friend Allie was over visiting and met Michael and thought we would be really suited and WhatsApped me saying I think this is the guy for you! I didn't think much of it but agreed to go to watch a rugby match that he was playing in London so I could meet him.

And since then we have been together. This was back in April 2014!

Tell us about the proposal.

We had booked a trip to Rome back in March 2019. We arrived on a Friday and had the best day exploring Rome.

On the way to dinner that night Michael was a bit flustered and was determined to go to the Trevi fountain. I wasn’t keen as I knew it would be busy so we ended up going straight out for dinner.

During dinner Michael was acting weird and on edge and I just thought he wanted to get out and about to sight see. So on our walk home we decided to go via the Trevi fountain.

When we got there we couldn’t believe how many people were there. We couldn’t even get near it! So we decided to leave the sightseeing that evening and walk back to our hotel.

On the way home we had to cross the Ponte Sant'Angelo (St. Angelo Bridge) which is such a beautiful spot in Rome. I had admired it earlier that day when we had crossed it. It was so beautiful.

As we crossed the bridge, it was very quiet and Michael asked me to stop walking for a minute. I turned to him and he got on one knee.

As he got on one knee a group of ladies were walking over the bridge and they started clapping and cheering! He continued with his speech and asked me to marry him! We hugged for what seemed like eternity. Best trip ever!

Tell us about your wedding.

It was the most magical day of our lives. Having all our good friends and family under one roof was such an amazing feeling.

We arrived at our venue, Carton House the day before with our families and bridal party (& their partners). We hosted a lovely dinner the night before which was meant to be a rehearsal dinner but we were too busy having the time of our lives to bother rehearsing anything!

This was a very surreal moment for me (the bride). All the months of planning are now starting to go into motion. I am not going to lie, it was very moving.

We got married at Carton House in Co. Kildare and our ceremony took place in the beautiful garden in the most gorgeous marquee which was all organised and decorated by the amazing Frogprince. The ceremony was at 2pm but we decided to host welcome drinks at 1pm beforehand which we are really happy we did.

Laura and Michael walk outside Carton House (Under the Veil)

Michael was able to say hello to everyone before the madness kicked off! I on the other hand was busy getting beautified by the two most talented ladies in the world.

Danielle Whelen, hair stylist and Lisa Shannon my make up artist. The morning of the wedding was so much fun! We were all just so relaxed.

Lisa and Danielle made me feel so at ease and were the kindest souls. Before I knew it, it was time to get married. I had a lovely first look with my dad Jim, which was the one and only time we all shed a little tear surprisingly!

Aoife Kelly played and sang for us at our ceremony and drinks reception, she was amazing and such a lovely person! Emer Dillon was the humanist for our wedding ceremony and it was just perfect.

Emer's words were just lovely and we are so happy she was a part of our day! I can not believe how beautiful it all was. Frogprince did all our florals and decor / table scaping. I could not believe it when I walked down the aisle.

Everything they did for us was beautiful. My vision had completely come to life and I can’t thank them enough! When I walked into the ballroom for the dinner reception I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was better than what I had ever dreamt.

Before the wedding I had asked one of my good friends Anna to give me a thumbs up once I got up the aisle to tell me everything was ok… all I remember is catching her eye and seeing her beautiful smile and a big thumbs up which I responded to with a big thumbs forgetting I was at the top of the aisle in front of everyone. At that point I knew I could relax!

We danced the night away to DJ & Sax who kept the party going into the wee hours! My feet were so sore from all the dancing!! Our family and friends made the wedding so perfect for us. We are so lucky to have these people in our lives.

All I remember is being so happy and nervous when I was about to walk down the aisle. I couldn’t wait to see everyone! Within a blink of an eye we were married and standing out in the beautiful Carton House grounds with our nearest and dearest.

I can remember thinking how lucky we were! Our reception was the best fun ever! We wanted lots of energy and laughter and our MC Tom absolutely brought that for us.

Guests gather with sparklers at Carton House (Under the Veil)

The food was exquisite and every guest has not stopped talking about how amazing our food was at Carton House. I cannot recommend Carton House enough, everything was absolutely perfect. Our cake was by Creative Cakes and it was so delicious. They did such a great job!

What was the best thing about the build up to the big day?

I think the week before was the most enjoyable. Most of the planning is done by then so it’s just a case of going to all the beauty appointments, collecting suits and dresses and chatting to all your friends in the run up etc.

The week before is when you realise “we are actually getting married, it's actually happening” and the butterflies most definitely set in. It’s such an exciting time and I remember just wishing time would slow down! The best part is all the excitement you share with your family and closest friends!

What was your outfit/ the bridesmaids dresses like?

I got my dresses from Forever Bridal Belfast. The designer for my ceremony dress was Riki Dalal and my evening dress was by Wona Concept.

Forever Bridal was amazing from the moment I walked in. They were my therapist as well whenever I would have a little wobble or doubt my decisions.

I highly recommend any new bride to go and visit them, you will not be disappointed! The bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS believe it or not!

Laura's bridal party (Under the Veil)

They were beautiful and my bridesmaids loved them. They were off the shoulder, full length and a pale pink colour.

The suits for the men were from Bogart Menswear in Belfast who were absolutely the nicest and most helpful bunch of men about. Stephen at Bogart looked after us from day one, a true gent! The guys all wore black tie.

What are your tips for other brides?

Do not waste your time worrying about everyone else! Everyone will be fine.

Your guests will be fine! Think about yourself and your partner. We completely forgot about how we would feel or what we wanted and worried about keeping everyone else happy.

We put our feelings on the back burner and this shouldn't be the case. You must remember that the day is about you two and only you two, no one else matters.

Pick the things you want, do the things you want and do not worry about anyone else. Enjoy, every, single, minute! It goes in a blink of an eye so take it all in and soak it all up.

Would you do anything differently?

Apart from not worrying about everyone else, I wouldn’t change a thing! We had the most magical day with our nearest and dearest!

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