We recently hooked up with the lovely Eleen Whelan to chat about her recent wedding & get all the gossip!!
Firstly, Eileen congratulations on your recent Wedding! We're dying to know all the news, so let's get down to it......
1. Where did you two meet & who made the first move??
We met at a party in Galway in December 2007. Larry's colleague in the School of Law at NUI Galway, Donncha O' Connell, was having his Christmas drinks. I was down for the weekend with my friend and colleague Teresa Mannion. She asked me to go along to the drinks party. Larry and I got chatting in the kitchen (by the dishwasher). We spent the evening chatting and having a laugh - we even slow-danced around the kitchen (the only ones to do so). We got separated and I found myself in a taxi having not even said goodbye! Larry e-mailed me when he went home to Boston for Christmas - we had our first date on New Year's Day and had a great time. The rest is history!
2. I believe it was a whirlwind romance! Do you believe in love at first sight? How long were you “courting” before Larry popped the question?
I don't really believe in love at fist sight. It's usually infatuation or lust! Larry and I got on really well. I thought he was a lovely guy - very sincere, kind and really good fun. We started talking seriously after about four months. We went to Edinburgh for a weekend and I think that's when we realised this was something very special. When Larry proposed in early August of last year, I can't say I was completely shocked, but I was delighted. I said yes and we immediately started planning the wedding.
3. Did it take you long to find “the dress” or did you like most brides-to-be try on several?
I tried on a lot of dresses - I thought I knew what I was looking for but found when it came to the crunch I didn't!! I ended up buying it in the United States - completely unexpectedly. I was in Florida with my son Sean last November - it was to be our last holiday together, just the two of us. One of my closest friends, Jackie Meere, lives in New York - she came down for a weekend and we decided to take a couple of hours out to have a look at dresses. I really admire her taste and style and I knew she would be good at suggesting something I might not have gone for myself. I fell in love with the dress at fist sight - it's a Maggie Sottero - I had been looking at her dresses online all along, but they're not available in Ireland. We both got really emotional when I put it on and I knew then it was 'the one.'
4. Did you enjoy the wedding planning or are you somewhat relieved it’s all over?
From the minute we got engaged, I was determined to enjoy every second of the planning and I did. I found the invitations the only stressful thing; the rest I loved. Having a wedding reception in a hotel makes it all stress free because they do everything for you. We had our reception at the Summerhill House Hotel in Enniskerry and they were fantastic. There's nothing like just turning up at the hotel on the day and finding everything is just perfect! I was relieved to have my days to myself again when it was all over, but after a couple of weeks I was very nostalgic and just wanted to do it all again - with the same man of course!!
5. Did your family have a big input into the wedding planning or did they let you get on with it yourself?
I come from a very big family - there are thirteen of us so we've had a LOT of weddings. Everyone was really interested and offering to help, but I suppose I did most things myself as I knew what I wanted. My bridesmaid (my sister Betty) was fantastic. She was excited as I was and we spent hours discussing everything. I couldn't have done it without her.
6. Who from RTÉ made the guest list?
I've made lots of friends in RTÉ over the years, so it was very hard to make the final list. In the end, my good friends, Teresa Mannion, Cathy Halloran, Bethan KIlfoil and Mary Wilson (all friends from my days as a reporter), were there. My newsreader friends, Eileen Dunne, Anne Cassin, Anne Doyle and Aengus McGrianna, were there, as was Colm Murray from the sports department. There were several other good friends from RTÉ there for the full day and many more came to the afters!
7. Did you make a speech?
Yes, of course. I really wanted to thank so many people and I wanted to pay tribute to my parents. I also wanted to say some special things about my son, Sean. He had a big part in the day. He was pageboy and usher and I was a bit concerned that he would find it overwhelming. He actually had a great time and enjoyed every second!
8. Would you change anything about the wedding?
Not really. I would just make it Groundhog Day and keep re-living it until I got to talk to everyone and dance with everyone and have a glass of champagne with everyone on the day. That's not really possible, is it?
9. Where did you go on honeymoon?
We had a fabulous honeymoon. We went to Rome for a couple of nights and then to the Amalfi Coast - Sorrento and Positano. Positano is stunning, the ideal honeymoon location. It's a little town built into a cliff with amazing views and tiny winding streets. It's really romantic. We just chilled out and had a wonderful time. I really want to go back.
10. Do you feel somewhat different in your relationship now that you’re married?
I felt differently about things the minute we got engaged. I don't know; it's like as if suddenly as a couple we become a very strong unit and nothing can come between us. Larry says it will be harder for him to run away! But seriously, it’s real, it’s permanent, and we’re both delighted to spend the rest of our lives together!
Editor: We wish Larry & Eileen a truly 'happy ever after'!