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A Christmas Wedding at the Westgrove Hotel by Couple Photography

Well is just about ready to start driving home for Christmas. But before we leave, we wanted to share some stylish Christmas spirit with you all in the form of Claire and Alan’s very festive wedding (which was JUST TWO WEEKS AGO!) Ros of Couple Photography warmed our wintry cockles when she sent us a sneak peek of the day, and Claire was so lovely as to share with us all the details of her yuletide wedding from her snowman leggings and blue sparkly shoes to their Christmas tree lined aisle and one the most beautifully personal cermony events we’ve ever seen!

The Couple: Claire Beattie and Alan Gannon
Length of engagement: 5 months | Wedding date: 8th December 2012
Venue: The Westgrove Hotel, Clane, Co. Kildare
Ros from Couple Photography

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We met… Alan and I met in secondary school. He was my best friend’s brother so we got to know each other really well before we became a couple. That made it so much easier as his parents already knew me!

Our engagement… We got engaged in July after 15 years together as a couple! We finally decided to tie the knot after Alan announced that I was “getting on a bit”.

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My dress… My dress was from Kathy De Stafford on Grafton Street, Kathy and her staff were just great (an amazing experience!)

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My favourite part of the day… I can’t pick one part of the day that stood out as my favourite but the look on my dad’s face and my husband’s when they first saw me will stay with me forever!

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Our wedding colours… My uncle had a vase full of peacock feathers in his farmhouse which I used to love looking at blowing in the breeze. The colours fascinated me as they were all different! When I choose my bridesmaids I realised they are each as different as each feather on a peacock so I went with a different colour for each of the girls. The dresses were made by Fiona Toddhunter who is amazing and great fun also, she had us all laughing in all of the dress fittings!

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Handfasting Ceremony

“These are the hands of your best friend, full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day
as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,
and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours,
still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”

– Handfasting ceremony by Tom Colton, Minister for the Spiritualist Union of Ireland

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Love Letter Ceremony

“Claire and Alan, you have each written a letter in which you express the feelings that you have for each other, the good qualities that you have found in each other and your hopes and dreams for your future together. You have each kept your letter to yourself and they are sealed in individual envelopes which will be placed in this wooden box.

Claire and Alan, should you ever find your marriage enduring serious difficulties, you agree that before you make any irrational decisions, that you will open the box and over a glass of wine you will read each other’s letter. By reading these love letters, you will be given an opportunity to reflect upon the reasons that you fell in love with each other in the first place. Of course, the hope is that there will never be a reason for you to open this box. If that is the case, then you can have it to open together on your 25th wedding anniversary!

Claire and Alan please take your letters, along with the bottle of wine, and place them in the wooden box, take a nail and one at a time hammer the box shut.”

– An extract from the Love Letter Ceremony by Tom Colton, Minister for the Spiritualist Union of Ireland.

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Our venue… We picked the Westgrove Hotel in Clane as its close to our home. The hotel is fabulous but mainly because Nicola and all of the staff made us feel really special from our very first viewing of the hotel! Everything went so smoothly on the day and Nicola really took all of the pressure of both of us which made the lead up to the wedding very calm.

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Our photographer… Ros from Couple Photography was our choice for wedding photographer as she is so much fun and has a great personality that really endears you to her. She has great ideas for shots – she definitely gets you excited about the day as early as possible!

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My advice to other brides-to-be… My only piece of advice would be to enjoy every minute as it all goes by so quickly!

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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.


  1. Claddagh says:

    Oh my gosh what a beautiful wedding. The brides dress is stunningly beautiful, the color, perfect for the time of year. I loved the wine box idea, and her dads face…priceless.

  2. Maria Murphy says:

    Stunning coupe,loved the fact that her Dads reaction meant as much as her husbands,they are equally important in any girl’s life.Enjoy a long and happy marriage!!

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