Love & Luck: Philip + Shona's Friday 13th Wedding

Embracing their lucky day. Friday the 13th never looked so romantic and full of hope. Philip and Shona celebrated their wedding at Rochestown Park Hotel on a crisp November’s day. Soft lighting, flourishing flowers, touching family moments and the most thoughtful wedding gift from the groom. Just stunning.

Philip & ShonaPhilip & ShonaPhilip & Shona

Shona and Philip met back in 2009 outside Halo nightclub in his native Galway. After accidentally bashing in the coat queue, a long-distance relationship ensued and on meeting Philip’s family on their second date, Shona knew he was a keeper. The pair made the move to the UK together and returned to the West of Ireland in 2012 to set up their home together. Following a relaxing Bank Holiday and beautiful meal at Thai Garden, Philip stopped outside the venue where they first met and got down on one knee to ask his love for her hand in marriage.

Philip & ShonaPhilip & Shona

Shona’s chantilly lace gown by Justin Alexander shimmered against the soft lighting and its ivory tone complimented her bridal bouquet perfectly. A colour scheme of navy and silver was flecked throughout the finer details from their wedding stationery to the bridesmaid dresses. AND their wedding guests were wowed by a professional MUA who was on hand for ladies in the main bathroom from 3-6pm to touch up their make up.

“I had experienced this at a friend’s wedding earlier in the year and I absolutely loved it! Mary T from Powder and Plait did such an amazing job, she touched up faces, applied lashes and the feedback was that people just really enjoyed something different.”

We’re a sentimental bunch here at WeddingDates HQ, and when we saw the groom’s wedding day gift to his wife-to-be, our hearts just melted! It’s the sweetest thought ever!

“When I woke the morning of the wedding at 6am, my sister came into the room with a big bag from Philip. The bag contained two surprises. The first surprise was the most beautiful pair of pearl and diamond earrings with a matching bracelet- I was blown away by the effort he made to pick them out himself. The second surprise came in the shape of a wooden box- I opened the box and it contained 4 paper scrolls tied together with ribbon. On each of the ribbons was an instruction: 1) Open me when you wake 2) Open me before you get your make up done 3) Open me before you leave the house and finally 4) Open me when you get to the church.”

“Each note contained the most beautiful handwritten message from Philip, so personal and thoughtful and I never felt as special and as loved in my whole life when I read the words he had written. I did not know he was capable of such romance! It was the most amazing start to the most amazing day.”

Philip & ShonaPhilip & Shona

“We had visited a number of really lovely venues but the age old adage of ‘When you know, you know’ rang true when we walked into the Rochestown Park Hotel and met the downright amazing Elaine Cronin! Instantly, we were struck by the magnificent setting, their professionalism and we were blown away by what the hotel could offer to us. Elaine was most accommodating and went through our list of requirements with us. She exceeded all our expectations. We knew there and then that we couldn’t get married anywhere else.”

“On the day there were several things that really stood out for us; the service that both we and our guests received from the hotel staff, the top quality food from the arrival canapes to the main meal to the hot bacon butties served at 11.30pm! The ample dance floor space and the phenomenal performance from our wedding band The Weightless Astronauts. In particular though, I must again give credit to Elaine Cronin, our Wedding Coordinator. From the very beginning we knew we were in safe hands and she was with us every step of the way. When we pulled up outside the hotel on our wedding day and I saw her smiling out at us, I knew there was nothing to worry about. She is absolutely superb and I cannot thank her enough for all that she did for us. I must also mention Joanne from the Hotel’s reservations team. She was also a dream to deal with and couldn’t do enough for us to make sure all of our guests were looked after and had an unforgettable visit.”

Philip & ShonaPhilip & ShonaPhilip & ShonaPhilip & Shona

“Grace McMahon from McMahon Studios was our wedding photographer and she was an absolute pleasure to deal with. We met with her before the wedding and she made a point of finding out exactly what was important to us both and what we wanted from the day. On the day itself both she and her brother John, our wedding videographer, were consummate professionals. They were unobtrusive but managed to catch us from every angles and I cried with happiness when I saw the finished photos. She captured some of the most beautiful moments from our day and we will forever be grateful for the amazing job she did at showcasing the best day of our lives.”

Rochestown Park HotelRochestown Park Hotel

Thanks to Philip and Shona for sharing their special day with us and to their photographer Grace McMahon for allowing us to publish these beautiful shots. You can see more of her work at

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