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Real Irish Wedding – Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

This couple went their separate ways on around the world trips, but not for long...


Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

3rd July 2015. Ceremony at St. Michael’s Church, Kildysart, Co. Clare, followed by reception at The Inn at Dromoland, Co. Clare.

This couple went their separate ways on around the world trips, only to meet up again in Australia and later return to Ireland together as a couple..

Photography by Casey Photography

The couple

“Brian and I met nearly eight years ago on a night out in Dublin,” Cliona begins, “we hit it off immediately and dated for a few months. However, prior to meeting, we both had different travel plans made so we went our separate ways to go globetrotting. We kept in touch and 12 months later we met up in Sydney and have been pretty much inseparable since.”

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

The proposal

Cliona received a special birthday surprise on a weekend away in Wexford. “He popped the question shortly after arriving, it was completely unexpected but a fantastic surprise,” Cliona recalls. “We rang our parents and told them our exciting news and swore them to secrecy until we had chosen the engagement ring. Once the bling was on my finger we began to share the news with family and friends.”

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Venue

The couple chose the Inn at Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare for their wedding reception venue. “It’s a hotel that I have always loved, with a fantastic function room,” Cliona says. “On our initial visit we were impressed with the refurbishments that had been done. The wedding co-ordinator, Claire Coughlan, was extremely helpful and efficient and offered excellent packages which also contributed to our choice of venue.”

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Theme

“We didn’t have a theme as such but wanted the overall look to be bright, summery and elegant,” Cliona explains. “The bridesmaid colour that we chose was quite a strong blue so we went for softer colours that complimented the blue. Although not a summer bloom, the cherry blossom, which is one of my favourites, featured prominently from the invitations to the room decor.”

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Wedding Dress

The brides wore a stunning Sottero and Midgley wedding dress from Cameo Bridal, Kilkenny. “It had a tulle sheath with an illusion neckline that featured mirrored jewels and sparkling Swarovski crystals atop beaded embroidery,” Cliona explains. “I loved it the minute I put it on, it was just so glam with a vintage feel. The dress was one that the sales assistant suggested I try on. I’m glad she brought it to my attention – I felt like a million dollars wearing it!”

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Groomswear

Brian and the groomsmen wore navy blue three-piece suits from Esquire Formal Menswear, Limerick.

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

The bridesmaids

The bridesmaids wore chiffon one shoulder dresses by Dessy in Lapis colour. They featured a sweetheart neckline and ruched bodice detail.

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Wedding flowers

The wedding flowers were created by Stalks & Stems and featured beautiful peony and coolwater roses among others. “Caroline was a pleasure to deal with and did such an amazing job,” Cliona enthuses. “I was completely blown away by how beautiful the church was, it surpassed all my expectations (Brian was even impressed!). The arch around the door of the church was fabulous. We also had pedestals with floral rings and candles lining the aisle and floral pew ends. Caroline also created beautiful displays on the windows, behind the altar and the unity candle arrangement on the altar.”

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Stationery

McNamara Printers, Co. Clare designed the wedding stationary. The invites were pearlised ivory card, with blue on the front, and a cherry blossom ground inside the cards.

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Wedding cake

The bride’s mother made the three-tiered fruit and chocolate biscuit wedding cake. “Each tier was decorated with handmade flowers which my mum made to match the colours of the wedding flowers, and the tiers were finished off with ivory ribbon and beautiful brooches,” Cliona says.

Real Irish Wedding - Cliona O’Connell & Brian Calnan

Favourite moment

Brain: “Seeing Cliona in her dress and meeting all the guests after the ceremony.”

Cliona: “Walking up the aisle with my Dad and seeing our guests and more importantly Brian waiting at the top – I was beyond excited!”

RL Cliona and Brian (2)