The gothic wedding
KATE EVANS and Grattan Keating met on an alternative dating site called Alt Scene aimed at people who share a love of alternative culture. The bride, from Oxfordshire, and groom, from Macroom, Co Cork, went on to exchange vows in a Victorian-gothic themed wedding, celebrating with 80 family members and close friends and their daughter Isobel, five. Kate, a deputy head of a primary school, and Grattan, an art lecturer, used their favourite books and films as inspiration. Grattan proposed at Mizen Head and the Oxfordshirebased couple were married in west Cork. One of the funniest moments during the ceremony, she says, was when the celebrant first set eyes on the ring box. “We had purchased a small coffin box complete with bats, moss and a skeleton hand upon which the rings were placed. He stopped, blinked and just stared. “It was at that point that I panicked that we might have gone too far but suddenly he completely cracked up, bringing the whole ceremony to a standstill. I was so relieved.” The bride wore a ‘Sybil’ wedding dress by Maggie Sottero and her shoes, handbag and black velvet jacket were all bought for under £100 from sellers on Amazon. At the reception in Randles Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry, the newlyweds took to the floor for their first dance to ‘Kiss From A Rose’ by Seal. “We chose it because it featured in Tim Burton’s
Batman Forever film… as huge Tim Burton fans it seemed the perfect song,” says Kate. “We didn’t have entertainment, in the end, as we wanted something really personal. We rented a PA system from the hotel and we put together two fourhour playlists: one for the dinner and one for the evening reception which was played through my laptop.” Any advice to other couples? “Pick a theme that screams the two of you as a couple and just go for it! Lots of people couldn’t understand our vision and were shocked at the thought of black dresses, skull cakes and pumpkins at a wedding but once they saw it, everyone loved it,” says Kate.
The destination wedding
SYDNEY-BASED Ciara O’Neill and Michael (Mixey) Hourigan chose to organise a “destination wedding”. Ciara, from Kanturk, Co Cork, and Mixey, from Newmarket, Co Cork, got engaged in December 2014 while back in Ireland on holiday and the bride immediately knew she wanted to hold their nuptials in Spain. “My partner is a little more traditional but after some convincing, he agreed and it was the best decision we ever made!” They were wed in Nerja on July 1, 2016. “From the time we visited Nerja we fell in love with it straightaway.” Those helping ensure the day went to plan were their Irish wedding planner Sonya Casey, their photographer Adrian O’Neill and hairstylist Pat O’Neill. “We flew to Spain five nights before the wedding and everything was easy and chilled from the get go! Most of the 154 guests flew in the two days before the wedding and that’s when the party started,” says Ciara. The church ceremony was scheduled relatively late in the day, taking place at 4pm, which added to the sense of relaxation. “Although we wanted something different we still wanted to be married in a church. We then went to our reception venue which was two minutes’ walk from the church and also overlooking the ocean. “The day went off without a hitch and we danced the night away beneath the stars till the early hours of the morning.” A “trash the dress” photoshoot on the beach and in the ocean a few days after the wedding added to the occasion, added the bride. “Not everyone will agree with an offbeat wedding as people can fear the unknown, but we can’t recommend getting married abroad enough — it was definitely a risk worth taking.”
>> Kate Evans and Grattan Keating exchanged vows in a Victorian-gothic themed wedding,