Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Meet The Team: 25 Questions with Orla!

Wedding photography and Videography Ireland by The Portrait Room

One of the many details that distinguishes Waterlily Weddings from other wedding planners out there is our amazing team. Not only are we so good at what we do, we’re honestly a lot of fun to work with. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, dedication to our craft, knowledge and work ethic, and also our ability to be positive and connect with our clients. 

We thougtht it’d be fun for our readers and prospective clients to get to know us a bit better! So we’ll be running a fun, casual “Meet The Team” series where we’ll deep dive into everyone’s personalities more, and even get some behind-the-scene takes on what really goes down on a wedding day! 

25 Questions with Orla

Mishy: “Orla! I’m so excited to do this with you. You’ve been with Waterlily Weddings for six years now and I’m so intrigued to get to know you a bit better!” 

Orla: “Let’s do this!”

Mishy: “Ok, first off the bat: where did you grow up?” 

Orla: “Dublin! A gorgeous place called Portmarnock which is right beside the sea – about 30 minute drive from Dublin City Centre. I now live a little closer to the city with my Husband Stephen and our Little girl Joanie but we are still really close to all of our family and friends. I love Dublin and could never see myself not living in the city!”

Mishy: “Your zodiac signs is –” 

Orla: “Leo – through and through. A quick google says: typical Leo traits include being confident, comfortable being the center of attention, drama-adoring, ambitious, loyal, fiercely protective of their nearest and dearest, generous, luxury-loving, sunny, and big-hearted.  I can happily agree with all of that!” 

Mishy: “I can agree with that too! Haha! Ok, I always have to ask the Irish natives this question: what’s a secrete or favorite place in Ireland you’d recommend everyone has to go see?” 

Orla: “Not really a ‘secret place,’ but one of my favorite places to go is Kilkenny. Very close to Dublin, and a great mix of culture, entertainment, great food & drink and a great atmosphere.” 

Mishy: “I seriously love Kilkenny! One of my favorites in Ireland as well. We always try to stop even if it’s a quick drink when I visit with my husband and family.  Ok, an easy one now: coffee or tea?” 

Orla: “Tea is purely for dipping biscuits – and once they’re gone, I have no interest in drinking the tea itself! ”

Mishy: “Ha!! I feel the same way about milk and Oreos! Ok, vintage or new?” 
Orla: “New.” 
Mishy: “What’s one thingpeople don’t know about you?”
Orla: “I am a professional singer / actor and have played a leading role in one of the countries biggest Pantomimes for the last 8 years. 2023 is my first year not performing because having a toddler and 2 shows a day for 2 months is just not a do-able mix.”
Mishy: “Amazing! I still have to see one of your shows one of these days! Ok, name 3 things you can’t live without:” 
Orla: “My leopard print fluffy dressing gown – I wear it every single day – even in Summer And yes I am wearing it now lol! Chocolate – I have a ferociously sweet tooth. Music – for all seasons in my life, music is my therapy.” 
Mishy: “Ok, dream country you’d like to visit:” 
Orla: “Cuba – I would love to experience somewhere with a completely unique and different culture to what I know.” 
Mishy: “Yes! And the food…. Cuban food is freaking amazing! Ok, next question: do you have a secret talent?” 
Orla: “I also played Piano my whole life growing up and completed all grades in classical piano by the age of 16. Sadly I rarely play now as I have no piano in my house!” 
Mishy: “Love this! Ok, what superpower would you love to have?” 
Orla: “Hmmmm – Weather Manipulation maybe!? How cool to be able to choose the perfect weather for all of our fabulous Wedding Days!!” 
Mishy: “I was going to say, I think that’s every wedding planner’s secret superpower they wish they could have! haha.  Favorite color — ” 
Orla: “Black when it comes to clothes – I am also drawn to yellow!” 
Mishy: “Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?” 
Orla: “Oh whatever is going – I am not picky!!” 
Mishy: “One food you can’t live without –” 
Orla: “Fresh bread – brown, white, sourdough – with real butter – cannot beat it!” 
Mishy: “I will qualify that with Irish butter — the best in the world! What makes you laugh?” 
Orla: “The Office. And my toddler’s ramblings first thing in the morning.” 
Mishy: “What song could you listen to over and over again?”
Orla: “Always You – Caroline Kay. She is an Irish singer / songwriter and I walked down the aisle to that song!” 
Mishy: “Current TV/Netflix obsession –” 
Orla: “We are so behind on everything but recently just finished ‘The Fal’ which was amazing! My husband made me watch ‘Prison Break’ and I loved the first season of that too!” 
Mishy: “Your best feature –” 
Orla: “Physically?? Probably my hair! It is the one thing I always get complimented on.” 
Mishy: “I am envious of your hair, not going to lie! OK, time to get into some of the wedding planning stuff. How did you get into wedding planning?” 
Orla: “I did an Event Management degree in University and when I graduated I worked for a Hotel Group as an Executive Assistant. After a few years I left that to perform full time. My old boss had a friend who knew Michelle was looking for somebody to help out a few hours a week with admin and I needed a little extra work to keep me going when I wasn’t gigging. I started working with Waterlily Weddings and my Event and planning brain really came alive –  and within a few months I was planning full weddings! A few hours turned into more and here we are almost 6 years later!”
Mishy: “What’s the best part of being a wedding planner?” 
Orla: “Being able to give great advise to Couples throughout the planning process and knowing how much it is helping them. Also seeing all of the work coming to life on the day is obviously pretty great too! Making great connections and friendships with other vendors in the industry is amazing too.”
Mishy: What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?”
Orla: “This will sound weird – but saying Goodbye to a couple just before leaving for home. It is always such a gorgeous moment when you know that all the hard work has paid off, and to hear first hand from the couple how amazing the day has been for them. It’s pretty deadly!!” 
Mishy: “What’s your favorite wedding memory as a planner?” 
Orla: “I have been working with Waterlily Weddings for almost 6 years now, and have formed really great friendships with some of the teams at some of the Venues we work with, and vendors alike. This year, I was working on a wedding on my Birthday at Luttrellstown Castle. The day was an amazing success but super busy and intense so any birthday buzz was very much in the back of my mind. The team at the Castle found out about this and just as I was about to head for home, they arrived in to me with a beautiful cocktail, dessert plate with candles singing the happy Birthday song!! I know it sounds simple but it honestly made my day and I couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful birthday treat. In this profession, we can do a lot of work on our own in our home office, but this was an example of how we are part of a really big team and it is amazing to make such strong connections and relationships within the industry.” 
Mishy: “Ok, now it’s time to spill the tea. Without biscuits, I’m afriad. What really goes on behind the scenes, and how do you help as a planner?”
Orla:  “There are so many days when I am driving home from a wedding and I think to myself “How do people do this without a wedding planner?!”. Or “That could have fallen to pieces if I wasn’t there”. It is a mix of relief and achievement and pride because I know I am really good at what I do. Of course we do everything within our power in the months leading up to a wedding to have everything planned so particularly and in such detail, that 9 times out of 10, everything runs seamlessly. However, there are always variables that simply can come at you like bullets on a wedding day and we do so much fire fighting under the radar. There are so many things that could be happening that are technically beyond our “job description” and we make sure things are worked out while also not making anybody unnecessarily stressed or anxious. We take that on for our couples and I think that help and support is invaluable.”
Mishy: “Anything you wish couples would do (or not do!) for their wedding?”
Orla:  “I would love for couples to focus more on the bigger picture and what is actually really important. A wedding day is about two people celebrating their relationship, their love, and exchanging vows. It need to reflect them and it needs to make them happy. If you try to plan a wedding purely for impressing or pleasing others – family members, guests etc, you will always have regrets. Do what makes you happy!!”
Mishy: “Finally, anything you’d change in the wedding industry?” 
Orla: “I still think that some venues and vendors have reservations about working with Wedding Planners. We are genuinely, 100%, here to assist, support and help in every way and are so flexible and happy to work around whatever works for everyone. I think there is sometimes a misconception that wedding planner are just trying to change things or take over and make everything the way we want or need it to be. However, I know anybody that has worked with Waterlily Weddings will testify that this is certainly not the case. Our main goal is to create the best day possible for our clients and that is it.” 
Mishy: “Absolutely! We really do pride ourselves on the way we do things, and what sets us apart from all the other wedding planners out there is just that: we’re a planning parnter;  we respect everyone’s individuality and their own unique story. And you certainly are one of the top in this regard — everyone loves you! Thanks, Orla, for taking some time for chatting with me and letting us get to know you a bit better!” 

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