A Chic Lyrath Estate Wedding by Emma Russell Photography

Real Weddings

“ The sand ceremony we had with our daughters was a very special moment.”

The couple: Laura Cooney & Paul Dolan
Length of engagement: 23 Months | Wedding date: 22nd September, 2016
Wedding venue: Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny
Photographer: Emma Russell Photography

We met… We met coming home from our local nightclub! Although we grew up quite close to each other, we had never met before. One of my closest friends was a neighbour of Paul’s and she introduced us. The following week Paul asked me out on a date and the rest is history!

Our proposal… At the time of our engagement, we had been together for over nine years so we were always aiming towards marriage. One Saturday, Paul asked me to go into town shopping with him saying he wanted to pick up a few things, which I did find unusual as he hates shopping. When we got into the city, he directed me towards a little antique jewellers and asked me to take my pick!!

His suit… was from Louis Copeland.

My hair and makeup… my hair was done by Leanne from Vow2Wow and my makeup was by Nicola from Buff and Blend. Both girls are extremely talented artists. I was amazed at how they managed such a large bridal party and their influence was so calming on the morning of the wedding.

My dress… from the moment we got engaged I knew I wanted a gold coloured dress and fell in love with mine first online. It was ‘Sottero and Midgley Marisol’ from Cameo Bridal, Kilkenny. Lynda and the girls there were amazing from start to finish. I needed some alterations so the dress was in the shop for a while but I looked forward to each fitting just to chat with the girls and see the dress another time!!

Our ceremony…We chose a Humanist ceremony as we wanted the freedom to personalise the content as much as possible. It was wonderful to be able to spend time together in the run up to the wedding working on the script and selecting the readings and songs. From the moment we met our celebrant, Billy Hutchinson, we were assured by his professionalism that we had made the right choice. All our guests commented on how personal and inclusive the ceremony was.

What our bridal party wore… the bridesmaids dresses were from www.littlemistress.com. Having four bridesmaids, I was delighted when I found the perfect dresses at a reasonable price. The flower girls’ dresses were ordered from Littlewoods. Groomsmen and fathers’ suits were hired from Love Suits in Fairview.

We chose our photographer because... Emma (Emma Russell Photography) had photographed the wedding of friends of ours at which I was bridesmaid. On the morning of that wedding she was so relaxed to have around and it was important to us to have someone around who we were comfortable with. Her work is so natural and she captured all the little details of the day.

We chose our venue because…When we both walked into the Lyrath Estate we knew that it was our venue. It was the perfect setting with the old style house for the ceremony, the fabulous grounds for photographs and the comfort and accommodation options of a modern hotel.

The staff were so friendly and accommodating from the moment we walked in and our coordinator Gill couldn’t have been more helpful.

Our honeymoon… We went to Iceland for a week. It is probably the most amazing place I’ve ever been. The scenery was amazing, black sand beaches, waterfalls and the famous Blue Lagoon. I would have to say the highlight of the trip was the Northern Lights which we were lucky enough to see on three nights. Their magic is hard to describe.

Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t have a set theme as such but tried to incorporate some gold and dusky pink to complement the colour of the bridesmaids.


Ballontine of Lemon Sole Stuffed with Crab and Organic Salmon, Citrus Salad, Pernod Sauce or

Spiced Asian Vegetable Spring Rolls with Szechuan Pickled Cucumber, Ginger Soya Dressing


Organic Summer Vegetable Soup  or

Kir Royal Blackcurrant Sorbet Topped with Champagne


Grilled Prime Sirloin of Irish Angus Beef Steak, Wholegrain Mustard Mash, Truffled Beans, Confit Cherry Tomato Served with Cabernet Jus or

Roast Fillet of Cod, Lemon & Herb Crust, Creamed Leek, Salmon Sauce


Mini Wild Berry Pavalova, Chocolate Fondant, Passionfruit Cheesecake Served with White Chocolate Ice Cream


My favourite part of the wedding day… It’s so hard to choose as the whole day was amazing. The sand ceremony we had with our daughters was a very special moment. Also, when we went to have photographs taken down by the lake, we got to spend some quiet time alone together in the middle of such a busy day.

My piece of advice for other brides… Believe people when they say the day will fly in. Where possible, do as much as you can the days/night before. Delegate any job that doesn’t need you or your fiancé to be present. Small things may go wrong but just brush them off as they won’t matter afterwards. Most importantly, enjoy every minute of the day. Everyone is there for you and your fiancé so soak up all the wedding day atmosphere.


Venue: Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny | Dress: Cameo Bridal | Photographer: Emma Russell Photography | Video: Drangan Video | Invitations: Foxford Atelier | Hair: Leanne Nolan, Vow2Wow | Makeup: Nicola Costigan, Buff and Blend | Suit: Louis Copeland, Dublin | Groomswear: Love Suits, Fairview | Sand Ceremony Kit: myweddingstore.ie | Celebrant: Billy Hutchinson | Ceremony Music: The Kooky Ukes | Band: The Best Men | Cake: Maria’s Cakes | Flowers: The Wild Bunch