The West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, held its exclusive wedding showcase on Saturday 9th October where one lucky couple won the prize of a €10,000 wedding at the hotel. Five couples were shortlisted from hundreds who entered the competition. Four runners up each received a prize to the value of €2,500 each.
The winners of the €10,000 wedding competition were Elaine Hylton and Robert Moore who fought off competition from couples from all over the country. The competition was run through Facebook where more than 3,500 people voted over the past week for their favourite prospective brides and grooms. Elaine and Robert received more than 30% of the vote as well as winning the hearts of the judges with their fun attitude and especially composed song for the hotel.
Elaine, 29, originally from Cork met Robert, 28, three years ago in Killarney. A self professed “Rebel Girl”, the only down side to Robert according to Elaine was that he was from Kerry! The couple live in Ballyheigue and had their wedding planned for Killarney next May to coincide with Elaine’s thirtieth birthday but those plans were forgotten on Saturday when Robert had to relinquish his big day out in the Kingdom for a dream wedding in Cork!
Speaking of winning the competition, Elaine said “We really can’t believe it. It’s always been my dream to get married in my home county and now thanks to the West Cork Hotel we are able to do that. I love Kerry but my heart is in Cork and my roots are here in Skibbereen as this is where my grandfather grew up so it’s an absolute dream come true.”
Robert, who is a plasterer by trade returned to college this year to study computers due to the downfall of the construction business. Speaking of the prize he said “this means so much to us and allows us to go through with our plans for a big family wedding rather than having to cut corners which we may otherwise have had to”. The couples wedding day will also mark the first time for Robert to meet his father-in-law who resides in the US. The pair plans to spend their honeymoon in West Cork and Kerry.
The unique competition was held to mark the milestone of one hundred years of weddings in The West Cork Hotel which last year underwent a one million euro refurbishment. The hotel which was renowned for weddings among previous generations is now again taking back its crown as a new generation is returning to the hotel to uphold family traditions while celebrating in style.
Guests on Saturday were also treated to entertainment by magician and mentalist Gerard Kearney as well as fashion shows and dancing by local talent the O’ Flynn family dancers.
Karen Buchanan, Wedding Co-ordinator at The West Cork Hotel congratulated all the couples saying, “It was an extremely difficult decision to choose a winner from this competition as everyone that entered was worthy of the prize. However, there can only be one winner and we look forward to hosting Robert and Elaine’s big day next year. It was lovely to see the camaraderie between all of our final couples and we wish all of them the very best in their futures together”.