"This must be the most romantic county in Ireland!" was the reaction of one speaker at the Annebrook House Hotel on Thursday night, when dozens of loved-up couples hoping to win a wedding turned up to find out details of the prize, and meet those who are part of the whole package.
And what a package that is, as Laura Boyle, sales and marketing manager with the Annebrook, revealed, as she spelt out exactly what the winner of the Annebrook House Hotel/Westmeath Examiner Dream Wedding competition will receive. The winners of the competition will be named on August 19.
"We have professional hair and make-up from First Floor Hair and Beauty: Mairín Gallagher of First Floor is delighted to be involved; Wilf's are putting up the groom and groomsmen's suits; there's also a DJ, Kevin Matthews; and there's a three tier wedding cake from The Bakery," she told the packed gathering, who got the chance to taste, view, feel and smell everything that could be theirs for the big day.
"We have a floral package from Allie Valenzuela, of Waterlily: and that's a fully floral package, not just bouquets but the church as well," Laura continued.
"The White Rooms are providing a beautiful wedding dress; Ruth Foran Photographer is offering to do a full storybook album; and we have Lake County Limos providing a car. Aisling Kerr and Colm Kerr of Arc Studios will design and print the invitations."
One of the most expensive elements of any wedding is the reception, but the winning couple will receive the benefits of the Annebrook House Hotel's Premier Package.
"That is for up to 100 guests, a five-course meal, wine for all the guests, and an evening buffet - everything right down to the fact that we will have the room decorated to your colour scheme."
The overall wedding package is worth €15,000.
Annebrook House Hotel proprietor, Berty Dunne, spoke of his delight at the level of interest in the competition and the enthusiasm for the event displayed by the various companies who have joined up to put the package together.
Padraic Martin, sales and marketing manager with the Westmeath Examiner group of newspapers, joked that there was a lot of love in the room, and expressed his delight that there was such interest in what is clearly a super prize.
He paid tribute to Berty and the staff of the Annebrook for sourcing the leading wedding specialists in the area, and bringing them in on the competition.
"It's great to work with local companies and suppliers in this innovative way," he said of the Westmeath Examiner's reaction to being asked to run the competition.
"The Westmeath Examiner is all about the community and local people and we strive to do our best to serve the people of Mullingar and Westmeath, and we strive every week to bring out the best paper we can."
Mr Martin revealed that the closing date for entries has now passed.
See page 42 for photos from the Dream Wedding Giveaway at the Annebrook House Hotel last Thursday evening.