"When two very disorganised people decide to get married it takes a team of very organised and enthusiastic people to make it happen. Now most people probably give their hotel a bit more notice than we did but after a chat and a coffee with Philip Kelly & Carmel Lonergan at the Cork International Airport Hotel we set the date, November 18th 2011, just over 3 months away. We were thrilled that they would be able to do it as it was the first place we thought of, we had been at a Christmas Party there a few years ago and loved how quirky the place was. After going through menu options we had a tasting evening which turned out to be great fun, we were led into a room within a room, sort of a private booth with windows out to the restaurant and Stephen the restaurant manager looked after us on the night plyed us with meal upon meal (and a glass or more of vino). Bill was so impressed and mentioned that these couldn't be the portions given at the wedding but Stephen said "no, thats exactly as it will be served on the day" and it was. So far so great.
Emails then started between Philip Kelly, Carmel and myself confirming details and last minute bits we had thought of/forgotten and these went a little like this - "Could we have a heineken reception with the prosecco?" Great Idea. "Can we have favours for the kids?" No problem I'll hand them out "I promise I will send on the final seating plan after lunch" Tomorrow is fine, how is everything else going? "Is it ok to have an Elvis impersonator?" Of course it is, how is your cold?. "Could you describe the cake stand?" The cake stand is a table with a white pleated cloth on it and then a stand on top of that with a white pleated cloth also, nearly there now!. We were never rushed or put under pressure about anything and no detail was too big or too small. When I did finally send on the seating plan Philip came up with a great idea - our "top" table would be placed on the dance floor which was in the middle of the room with all the guest tables positioned around it, the band were still able to set up without any disruption to us and after the meal nobody lost their seats. It also made it much easier for us to get around and have a chat with everyone. Anyone getting married that I've spoken to said the guest list and table planning are the hardest to get right and I think it is a pity that after all you're hard work that groups do get broken up so I really think this made the wedding such a success and people appreciated they didn't have to spend the night playing musical chairs.
Although I think he's officially meant to finish at 5 we ran in to Philip on several occasions late in the evening on the run up to tthe wedding. It really felt like the kind of place you could just pop in and everyone knew who you were, almost like we were renting the whole hotel for the week. The night we dropped the wine he joked "you didn't see me" and then proceeded to help us bring it all in and told us to take a bottle or two back to enjoy before the day to get us into the swing of things - good advice. The night before the big day when my sister Christine brought up the wedding cake (Vegas themed with lights!) he was still there working away with Merick who was laying out the tables. With more enthusiasm then even I could muster he went through the best positioning of the cake, changed around some of the seating (sorry Philip) and wished us the best of luck for the next day.
Being able to have the ceremony at the hotel was important to us and the room was really lovely, the hotel had offered to provide the flowers at no extra cost to us and even had petals on the floor and candles lighting all the way down to it. The room itself was round with floor to ceiling windows and Bill said he spotted me driving up to the hotel which I believe was a highlight for him, the fact I had actually turned up. The registrar Ann was lovely and the whole thing felt very relaxed but also very special, much more then we realized it would be.
As it was a very stormy day in November it was great that no one had to travel anywhere for the reception. The hotel have a vintage car parked in the lobby which they rolled out and served the drinks off, our Elvis impersonator kept everyone entertained and the kids had their party packs and loved all the funky furniture, the giant egg seats especially and these made for great pics. Also this is when everyone took time to spend a penny and for anyone who has never been to Cork Airport Hotel it is worth a trip up there just for to see the toilets. I also had a sneaky run up to the bridal suite to check it out, the bridal wing would be a better name for it, I was so delighted we had decided to book in for a second night as I didn't have time to take it all in then. People were then ushered in for dinner and we had a little sit down and a drink for ourselves. Philip then led us in to the room past the funky cake and all our friends and family and then the party went on.
Everyone we dealt with in the run up were there on standby throughout the day if we needed anything and came up to us at different times to see how we were getting on and since the wedding everyone has commented on how great the service was at the meal. Each table had a personal server who introduced themselves and were on hand all evening. There were second helpings of beef doing the rounds of what was already a delicious dinner and the roast vegetables were very popular with everyone, except for one veggie phobic groomsman. For the laugh mid meal Bill asked would it be possible to order some mushy peas for the guy instead, not a problem. I'm a vegetarian and my meal was gorgeous but talk about attention to detail - my breakfast the next day was also vegetarian without any reminder from me and really it's that kind of good service that stays with people. My sister Ann Marie had made cakes for later in the night one being gluten and this was kept separate from all other cakes, even set on a separate table again, when she went to collect her ware the next day everything had been washed and stacked ready for her to take away. After dinner, the band Refresh who were recommended to us by the Hotel were rocking, we had only told them the week before what first dance we wanted so presumed they would just through on a c.d. but we were blown away by their version of our song and they also provided the D.J., my Uncle who never dances at weddings had the jacket off and one of my favourite memories of the day is Big Dan with his tie around his head jumping about to "Put 'em under pressure".
My brother in law decided to push the boat out and requested something that's probably not been asked for in the residents bar of a wedding in many years - a cup of rosey lee/tea (he's welsh) but even that was provided with good humour. Our only regret is we were having so much fun that we totally forgot to use the Pullman lounge, a cinema room with first class passenger seats that was made available to us and guests for the day. Maybe we'll get back there for the anniversary. So a huge thanks to Philip Carmel and all the team at the Cork International Airport Hotel, we couldn't and wouldn't have done it without ye."
Amy & John – April 2010
“The hotel was amazing and the staff excellent. Carmel, Sandra and everyone there couldn’t have done anymore for us. The food was excellent and all our guests were impressed with both the food, service and the venue itself. The bedrooms are gorgeous, spacious and a great price. We would recommend the hotel without a moment’s hesitation”
Paul & Susan - December 2009
"We would like to thank Carmel and her team very much for all of their hard work and effort in the planning and lead up to our Wedding Reception. If you are looking for something a bit different from the norm, you will find it at this hotel.
From the moment we booked the wedding we received nothing but invaluable advice, help and professionalism. The day was a huge success due to their excellent service, attention to detail and never ending attentiveness. We would have no hesitation in recommending Carmel and Cork International Airport Hotel as a venue for your Wedding”.
Wendy & Dave - October 2009
“We could not recommend the Cork International Hotel highly enough for anyone wishing to get married. The friendly professional staff took care of every request we made, big and small, to help make our wedding day the happiest day of our lives.
In the build up to the big day Carmel and her team made the planning process simple and stress free. Every phone call and email was answered straight away and nothing was left to chance.
On the day of the wedding we knew everything would be perfect and it was. From the moment we arrived at the hotel we were treated like royalty. The function room was fantastic, food was delightful and the staff ensured all of our guests had a night to remember.”
Paul & Donna - October 2008
“We would like to thank all at the Cork International Airport Hotel for the wonderful experience you created for us on our wedding day. This hotel is a magnificent venue to host your wedding. It is unique in its own way and our photographer was spoilt for choice on where to take photos.
From our very first visit in the hotel we knew we were going to host our wedding here. The warm friendly atmosphere had won us over by the time we left. The hotel catered for our every need, no problem was ever too big and they were always only a call away.