9th April 2016. Ceremony and reception at Barberstown Castle, Co. Kildare
Photography by Tanya Cullen from Bronte Photography
This couple got married in an opulent Irish castle
This Meath bride and Westmeath groom met in Thailand. “Keith was on his way to Australia for a year-long work visa and I was on a trip around Asia,” Alison begins. “We travelled together for two months until Keith went to Australia, then we stayed in contact every day and met in Malaysia half way through Keith’s Australia trip. He came back to Ireland and the rest is history as they say.”
The proposal took place in Vancouver where the couple live. “I decided one day I wanted to get into photography, so Keith decided he would take me out for a drive and I could take some photos,” Alison says. “He brought me up to a viewpoint, which I was more than happy with but he insisted on finding the perfect spot. Anyway, we finally came to this little secluded beach in West Vancouver. It was a beautiful sunny day and as I took pictures I heard this voice say, ‘take a picture of this’. When I turned around Keith was on one knee and he asked me marry him. I knew afterwards why he wanted the perfect spot!”
“Living away from Ireland I feel like I have become more patriotic, I always thought I would get married on a beach somewhere warm but since I moved away I have become more in love with Ireland,” Alison explains. “When I first visited Barberstown Castle, I loved it. It was everything I wanted and more. The staff were friendly, the venue was old and charming, and above all it was romantic and totally Irish.”
“I wanted the day to be about our friends and family and the celebration of our love so including people in the preparations meant a lot,” Alison says. “Our friend Brendan Kerrigan drew a caricature that everyone signed. Friends Grace Kelly and Zarah McLoughlin done the hair and make-up and our photographer Tanya is also a friend. My Dad took care of the wine and had these beautiful labels with our names and the date of the wedding on them. I felt all of this made the day even more special and although there was no obvious theme, the theme to me was love and friendship.”
The bride wore an Essence of Australian wedding dress from Lisa’s Bridal, Vancouver. “I felt like a princess when I had it on,” Lisa recalls. “I loved the length of the train and the delicate lace. I also went for a cathedral veil with lace applique. I felt like the dress really suited the venue and it just felt perfect on. “
Keith wore a two-piece suit from Ted Baker, brown Calvin Klein shoes, and a waistcoast from a high street store.
The bridesmaid dresses looked girly and gorgeous in Pamela Scott soft blush pink dresses. “I loved the way the dresses floated and how feminine they were in colour. As I was wearing my hair down I thought it would be nice if they all had theirs up,” Lisa says.
A friend of the bride’s mother, Ann Kelly created the wedding flowers which the couple described as ‘a highlight of the wedding’. “I didn’t get to meet Ann until I came back the week before my wedding and she greeted me with a sample of the roses that would be in the bouquets,” Alison says. “This to me is above and beyond! She sat and spoke with me and my Mam about the wedding and you could feel her excitement for me. My bouquet had ivory gerbera’s and ivory avalanche roses and the bridesmaids’ bouquets had sweet blush and ivory avalanche roses with babies breath. We also had an arrangement over the fireplace of avalanche roses and gerberas. It was outstanding.”
Oonagh Murphy from Lynn Cross bakery, Mullingar designed the wedding cake. “My mother in law took care of this for me and the cake was actually a surprise in design,” Alison recalls. “I remember going to have a look at it the day of the wedding and just been blown away. She had these tiny daisy-like flowers on it – just like my bouquet, it was simple and elegant and just perfect. There were three tiers; lemon poppy, red velvet, and my favourite chocolate biscuit. The cake looked too good to eat but once I tasted it I realised it was too good to not eat.”
Alison: “I asked Keith what his favourite moment was and he said of course seeing you walk up the aisle. For me, the whole ceremony was just beautiful, it was emotional but with a sense of fun. I loved walking up the aisle towards my soon-to-be husband, so if I had to only choose one moment. It would be that.”