The anti- Bridezilla guide to having th e perfect wedding

Arlene Harris talks to three couples who opted for a fuss-free big day, just like Patrick Kielty and Cat Deeley did

Arlene Harris

It has long been thought that every little girl dreams of the day when she will be walking down the aisle in a beautiful white dress to marry her handsome prince in front of a packed congregation of family and friends.

But not everyone wants the big white wedding. Patrick Kielty and Cat Deeley avoided much of the fuss by opting for a low-key affair last September in Rome with close family and friends.

For some people, the idea of sharing their vows with long-lost relations is not something they are keen to do and for others, the thought of forking out upwards of €20,000 (which is the average cost of an Irish wedding) for one day, is something they can't even consider.

We caught up with three couples who, for various reasons, kept their nuptials as low-key and simple as possible.

Babies meant we put it off

Orla O'Rourke (35) and her husband Paul (39), below, have been together for 14 years. She works as a restaurant manager in Dolce Vita, Sandyford, and he runs his own printing and online greeting card business ( Together they have four children, aged between two and 12, and the couple had a small wedding in Spain in 2008 with just a handful of friends, family and their children.

"We met in 1998 through mutual friends in Club 92, of all places. It was a slow-starting relationship, but things got serious and I fell pregnant in 1999. Our first son, Cian, was born in June 2000, so a spanner was put in the pipes as we got used to the trials of life with a new baby.

"I stayed living with my mom until Cian was four and then we eventually bought a house in 2005. Then, that February, our next baby, Alex, was born and Paul eventually proposed in Marbella in the summer of 2006. But instead of planning a wedding we had our third child, Lucy, in November 2007.

"We finally decided to get married and decided to do it abroad with only the people we were closest to. So, in September 2008, we headed back to Marbella for our wedding.

"We got married in the old church in Marbella town surrounded by our closest friends and family and our beautiful kids, Alex sat on our laps for the whole ceremony and we had the most amazing day and our friends still talk about it. After the ceremony, we had a buffet barbecue and our own personal chefs cooked for our guests to order. It was important to us that our guests had a good time as they had all made a big effort to be with us on our special day. The whole experience was amazing and I wouldn't change a single thing."