As a wedding photographer, I’m privileged to work at many amazing venues, right on our doorstep. One such venue is The Shandon Hotel, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. Many of the couples I photograph choose this venue for their wedding day, and I can’t say I’m surprised. When it comes to wedding days, this venue has it all; amazing views, exceptional customer service and that attention to detail that couples crave.
So with that in mind, I recently caught up with Carolynne, manager and wedding planner extraordinaire at the venue who discusses what exactly it is that makes this venue a real hidden gem.
Carolynne, tell us a little about your background in helping to plan and execute weddings.
I’ve been in the industry for 11 years now and have always found the wedding sales and preparations the most rewarding and exciting part of the job! I just love the buzz that comes with helping bring a couple’s vision for the most important day of their lives together.
What do you love most about organising weddings?
I love to see how the trust and relationship grows between myself, the bride and groom from the moment we meet, to the day I shake their hands as husband and wife. Even after 11 years, the speeches still get me every time. I’m definitely a big ‘sop’ when it comes to romance. It’s just amazing to be part of such a memorable, special event for so many lovely couples. It’s exceptionally rewarding.
What makes Shandon Hotel different to other wedding venues?
It has to be the spectacular views over the bay and of course, our food! We don’t do the ‘usual’ function food. There is nothing regular or standard about the food we serve at weddings, which definitely sets us apart from the rest. We have an executive team of chefs and the quality of food served is on the same level as our fine dining restaurant.
What options are available to couples choosing to get married at the venue?
We are very flexible when it comes to your wedding and we offer three packages; Sparkling, Prosecco and Champagne. Our most basic is the ‘Sparkling’ package, but again, there is nothing basic about it. It has everything you need in terms of décor, drinks reception, 3-course meal, wine and buffet from just £55 per person. As you go up in price, it is simply because you are adding on extras.
What kind of service can couples expect prior to the wedding?
Every bride has her very own dedicated wedding co-ordinator and she is appointed her mobile number and email address so that we are on-hand at any time of the day to support and guide our brides in planning the biggest day of her life.
How do you ensure a smooth running day for couples?
It’s definitely all in the preparation, which we pride ourselves on. Our team here at Shandon are all impeccable planners and we detail every single wish and thought to ensure it happens. No stone is left unturned to ensure your wedding day vision is brought to life.
What is the most unique request you’ve ever received?
A past bride was superstitious about having 13 people at the top table so she requested that we put a huge life-sized teddy bear in the number 14 seat! We love seeing what couples come up with for their wedding day and there is no request too big or small.
What tips would you offer anyone currently planning their wedding day?
I always recommend that our brides visit all their potential venues and go with their gut instinct on the location, service levels, reputation, and of course, the person who will be looking after their special day!
If you have booked Shandon Hotel for your wedding venue, I would be delighted to have a chat about my wedding photography services to capture your special day. To get in touch, contact me here and contact The Shandon Hotel here.