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The Best Days of our Lives – Real Wedding at Kilshane House by Weddings by Kara

bride and groom driving getaway car

“We had our drinks reception outside while listening to Jazz followed by traditional Irish music. Nobody wanted to leave it to go for dinner!”

The couple: Ciara Walton & Cormac McCarthy
Length of engagement: 18 months | Wedding date: 18th July 2013
Wedding venue: Kilshane House, Tipperary –
Church: Bansha Church of the Anunciation, Co. Tipperary

Photographer: Weddings by KARA –

pearl bracelet shell wedding jewellery

perfect vintage white lace wedding shoes floral

solitaire engagement ring photo

We met… at the Cork School of Music college ball in 2003.

yellow bridesmaids dresses hanging

bride getting ready hair done rollers

bride getting make up

bride bridesmaids getting ready morning

Our proposal… It was my birthday and we were living in Chicago at the time, so Cormac planned a night away in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to celebrate. We went for dinner and afterwards, back at the hotel, he asked me to check the meal receipt to see was everything right… He had written ‘Will you Marry Me?’ on the receipt.

vintage style bride headdress up do

side up do wedding hair style

portrait of vintage style bride pearl headdress

My hair and make-up… I had Marie Hickey (Bridal Hair by Marie) do my hair – I found her online and really liked her style. Also Kilshane House recommended her and said I’d be in good hands! Yvonne Maher did my make-up. She was recommended by my hair stylist and I had heard from a few others that she was excellent.

destination wedding style italian fan

pale yellow bridesmaids dresses

My dress… I bought my dress in Bella Bleu, Cork, it was an authentic vintage gown. I had a new top/corset crafted by Nell McCarthy, Cormac’s grandmother, who also made my veil from scratch! My shoes were by Perfect Vintage and were bought in The Ivory Rose Bridal Rooms, Passage West, Co. Cork. My comfy flip flops are Michael Kors!

bride and father of the bride in car black and white

groom waiting for bride at alter entrance

bride walking up aisle with father

bride and groom lighting separate candles

bride and groom church wedding ceremony

bride and groom walking down aisle

Our ceremony… We had both been brought up as Catholics, went our own ways with our beliefs, went against religion for years, but in maturity (relatively speaking!) we realised that spirituality has its place at the heart of all religious doctrines and we wanted spirituality to be at the heart of our marriage ceremony.

pale yellow wedding inspiration summer daisy bouquet

bridesmaids in pale yellow summer

groom daisy wedding boutonnaire

groomsmen laughing

Groom and bridesmaids’ style… The girls wore primrose strapless gowns which I got in Ivory Rose Boutique. Their shoes were from Next and their jewellery was from Debenhams. Cormac wore a Suit by Tom Murphy’s, Cork and his shoes were from Clark’s on Patrick St. Cork.

vintage wedding car bride goom

fine art wedding photography frame

We chose our photographer because… We saw Karina’s (Weddings by Kara – work at our friend’s wedding and also saw the photos afterwards. We knew that’s who we’d book if we ever got married!

kilshane house wedding garden party

We chose our venue because… Kilshane House is such a beautiful and perfect setting, and has a very personal service. It suited our personalities and our plans.

wedding party sitting in garden

male wedding guests group

kilshane house real wedding outdoors

My favourite part of the wedding day… The photo shoot straight after the ceremony, which was just myself and Cormac, and then the drinks reception which we were lucky enough to have outside while listening to Jazz followed by traditional Irish music. Nobody wanted to leave it to go for dinner!

navy and white cupcakes wedding

Celeriac and Truffle Oil Soup

Pig on a Spit

Tarte Tatin

kilshane house wedding dining room

kilshane house wedding bride and groom

Our honeymoon… We started off on the Island of Ischia off the south west coast of Italy. We spent five days there, and then made our way by ferry and train to Sorrento where we spent six days. We decided then that we’d like to head to France so we took the train all the way to Genoa, and then across the border to Nice. We hired a car and drove to a countryside guesthouse in Castleneau where we spent five nights. From that base we drove to up around the Pyrenees and experienced the outdoor thermal spas and drove the Tourmalet route from the Tour de France as Cormac is a big cycling fan (there was no cycling done this time though!). We finished our holiday in San Sebastien where we spent five days. That was our favourite part of the trip and we will probably go back again this year.

vintage style bride and groom

groom kissing bride summer outdoors

bride and groom driving getaway car

My piece of advice for other brides… If you like a supplier, book them. You picked them because you like what they do, so stand back and allow them to do what they are best at. At the end of the day, they do know way more than us. This also reduces stress! Trust that your day will flow if you allow it to. Also, it’s not true that it will be the best day of your life, because there will be so many to follow. But it is start of the best days of your life.

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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.

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