Al­ter­na­tive wed­dings

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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.”

Pic­ture: Adrian O’Neill

>> Kate Evans and Grat­tan Keat­ing ex­changed vows in a Vic­to­rian-gothic themed wed­ding,

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