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When a Bride’s Eyes are Smiling – Carmel & Alan’s Real Wedding in Kilkenny by DOK Photography

“I now believe other brides when they said it was the quickest day of their lives!”
– Bride Carmel reflecting on her wedding day

Wedding Date: 14th September 2012
Wedding Ceremony: St.Moluas church in Ballaghmore, Co.Laois | Wedding Venue: Hotel Kilkenny

Photographer: Deirdre O’Keefe, DOK Photography

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We met… on the Rugby pitch! I played for Roscrea Ladies Rugby and Alan was our coach for a year!

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Carmel’s first impressions of Alan… After matches we used to go for a few drinks and I have to say straight away I knew I had a friend for life. Not too long after we became more and I knew I would marry this man one day.

Alan’s first impressions of Carmel… She was beautiful, funny and fit what more does a man want!! I thought she was out of my league but we became great friends and not before long…

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Our proposal… Not the most romantic! Maybe a typical Irish one! After a few drinks at home he hobbled on one knee and popped the question, I said “Ask me in the morning”! And he did with a lot more romance!

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My dress… was a Paloma Blanca dress from Aibheil in Adare, Co.Limerick.

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Our ceremony… was in St.Moluas church in Ballaghmore, Co.Laois. Fr.Lorcan Kenny gave a beautiful ceremony.

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“We would both agree the church ceremony was so beautiful and special. Fr Lorcan is a family friend and made it so personal, he nearly stole the show!”

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We chose our photographer because… Deirdre has produced beautiful, natural albums. She made us feel so comfortable throughout the organising, the wedding day and choosing pictures for the album which in the end I let Deirdre choose herself as I trusted her and I was so delighted with it.

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“I now believe other brides when they said it was the quickest day of their lives!”

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Our honeymoon… We went to Monart Hotel & Spa in Wexford for three nights after the wedding to completely relax. Then in November we went to New York for a week to enjoy the festive season.

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My piece of advice for other brides-to-be… Honestly try not stress – and the only way to ensure that you don’t stress is be organised. Double check everything and (fingers crossed) nothing will go wrong. Also enjoy and take a minute to look around and take it all in, I now believe other brides when they said it was the quickest day of their lives!

By Karen Birney

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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. Avatar Carmel Kavanagh says:

    Aw I loved it (I’m the Bride) it was like reliving the day all over again. Have to say were a great help in organising also.
    Thank you to everyone from Carmel &Alan xx

  2. Avatar Laura m says:

    Carmel your dress is AMAZING! I love the bodice and the skirt is so dreamy! Beautiful wedding – loving the hurls too!

  3. Avatar Orla says:

    Gorgeous photos, you look so relaxed! Would love to know where the bridesmaids dresses are from

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