Helen and Cathal met on a night out in Helen’s hometown, Naas. They got engaged while moving from Istanbul to Cambodia. Here’s the story from Helen’s perspective:
“We wanted to take pictures of our favorite view looking down over the town we lived in and the Bosporus. After Cathal had taken some pictures, we went to a small local tea house for a cup of chi (Turkish black tea). Cathal asked if I wanted to see the pictures he had taken, as I looked through the pictures he had written on pages and taken pictures of the words ‘Helen, will you marry me?’. When I looked up, he had the ring open in front of me. The following day we had a boat party with some of our closet friends in Istanbul.”
Since they’ve spent years working and living abroad for most of their relationship, they wanted the wedding to reflect their international lifestyle. Because of this, they chose a travel theme. Each table was named after a different country they had either lived in or traveled to together.
Cathal’s suit was tailor made for him by a local tailor in Phnom Penh Cambodia, while they were living there. It was dark grey with a white shirt. He bought the green ties in Dublin.
Helen’s dress was by designer Anna Kara and bought in Folkster bridal shop in Kilkenny. She first tried on the dress in Dec 2019 and then didn’t see it again until July 2022 (thankfully it still fit).
The groomsmen rented slightly lighter grey suits from Richie’s Menswear in Naas. The green ties were bought in Arnots in Dublin. The bridesmaids all chose their own dresses to fit their style and body shapes. The only request Helen had was that the dress was any shade of green.
Helen and Cathal had a traditional church ceremony, with Cathal’s local priest officiating.
“This was important to us as Cathal and his family have a close relationship with Fr Liam and he also did Cathal’s confirmation. Fr Liam was wonderful, made everyone feel relaxed and was very funny. He was also considerate that we had friends who had different religious beliefs and didn’t hand out communion so those guests didn’t feel left out.”
They celebrated their relationship with a beautiful reception dinner at Mount Druid. This is what they had to say about the venue:
“From the moment we got back into the car after viewing our venue, I knew it was the only place that I wanted to get married. Mount Druid is relaxed, beautiful, quirky and surrounded by the stunning Irish nature. We loved the alternative accommodation (yurts, stone cottages and tin hurt)”
Their wedding was beautifully documented by Cathal’s childhood friend, Steve!
“They grew up together in the same close-knit easte (Steve’s whole family were guests at the wedding). He is a professional photographer and videographer but doesn’t often do weddings. He is extremely talented and was amazing on the day. As he is friend we felt so comfortable with him and he knew us well enough not to spend too long on photos or give us too many directions. He captured the laughter and love felt on the day.”
Marius from Pro Media House created their incredible wedding venue!
“He was very attentive and captured a huge amount on the day. He went with the groom’s party to a local whiskey distillery, captured the bridal party getting ready and was at the church get up and ready to go by the time I got there. He worked hard on ensuring he had enough video and gave us lots of directions to make the video look natural. He has there to capture the moments and details we have already forgotten, like the joy of greeting our guests after the church, the laughter and tears during the speeches and the energy of the dancing. We were hesitate on whether to get a videographer or not but after seeing the 3 minute highlights video were so glad we had the decision to get one. Marius did an amazing job at putting the video together and editing it. I have watched the video many many times and shared it with everyone.”
To entertain their guests, they had HoneyVoom Duo perform the church music and reception music and Flog the Dog as the reception band. They choose Flog the Dog for their take on traditional Irish music.
For favours, they gave guests bamboo straws. Each table also had a specific sweet or snack from that country. For those who were staying in the on-site accommodation, Helen and Cathal made up small ‘hangover kits’ and left them in their rooms.
Helen found it hard to choose just one favourite memory from the Big Day!
“So many moments throughout the day come to mind: walking to the church with my dad and bridesmaids as the sun shone down on us and the venue dog ran alongside us; getting to the top of the aisle and getting to be with Cathal; the laugher during the speeches; the 20 minutes we took before dinner to be together and take it all in; our first dance when I saw my brother and grandmother dancing. There are so many moments I want to relive, thankfully we have the video and pictures to do so.”
They gave some brilliant advice to couples planning their own Big Day:
“Do it your own way. Everyone has opinions and ideas of what a wedding should or shouldn’t be and people are always willing to share their opinions with you (even if you didn’t ask). My advice would be to do what you want as a couple. We didn’t get announced into the dining hall or have a cutting the cake moment and we did our speeches before dinner. Some people might not agree with that but we had the day we wanted and it was perfect for us. We had family and friends contribute to our wedding which made it extra special, like our mothers made the wedding cake, my aunt did all the church flowers, bridal flowers and button holes and Cathal’s childhood friend was the photographer. If possible getting family and friends to actively contribute to the day added an extra loving touch.”
Ceremony venue: St Michaels Church Castletown Geoghegan | Reception venue: Mount Druid Castletown Geoghegan | Photographer: Steven Sheehy | Videographer: Pro Media House | Photo location for groomsmen: Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery | Church and reception music: Honeyvoom Duo | Band and DJ: Flog the Dog | Hair: Art Hair Design – Christina | Makeup: Pamela Matthews | Couple’s outfits: Folkster Bridal and Richie Whelan’s Menswear | Cake: Mothers of the couple | Cheese cake: Sheridan’s Cheese Company | Celebrant/solemniser: Fr Liam (Naas Parish) | Stationery: Withjoy | Jewellery/rings: Claddagh and Martina Hamilton | Accessories: Hair piece – Jingles, Shoes – Folkster | Flowers: Bride’s aunt