Real Wedding: Dara & Shivaun

I’m delighted to have some great Real Life Proposal Stories on the blog and also feature some Real Wedding Stories, and I adored reading this story from Shivaune about her “Little Big Day” as well as seeing the beautiful photographs from Bartek Witek, a wedding photographer based in Co. Kerry. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too!

Over to Shivaun…..

My husband Dara, is a very lucky man! When we travelled to Berlin in October 2009, Dara was looking for a perfect spot to propose. His first attempt to climb Berlins TV tower was abandoned due to fog and his second attempt to suggest a canal boat trip was disregarded by me when out of nowhere a huge green love heart etched into grass appeared on a stretch of open ground in the centre of Berlin. Pointing at some graffiti in the distance, Dara led me closer to the love-heart art installation and only when he nudged me along to the centre of it, did I begin to get suspicious. Having spoken with my father in Ireland by phone that morning and ready with a ring in his pocket, he took me completely by surprise and asked me to marry him. He couldn’t have found a more romantic setting if he planned it.

And that sets the tone for our wedding which followed just four months later. We decided we would like to get married in a civil wedding ceremony with family to witness our event. What evolved was a destination wedding held in the furthermost corner of the island of Ireland – Killarney, Co. Kerry. We visited Killarney in November 2009 to meet with the registrar and to choose the venue for what we termed “Our Little Big Day” which was planned for a Tuesday in February 2010.

Using our good friend the internet I began to browse local restaurants, photographers and wedding blogs for ideas. I took a gamble at the end of November and ordered my wedding gown from a website in Australia. Five days later it arrived in a no fuss plastic envelope. I tried it on and I loved it! I made contact with Bartek Witek after seeing his blog and asked him would he be available to take a set of wedding photographs for our very small wedding ceremony. I contacted a local hairdresser Pat O’Neill to ask him if he was available the same day and again another email success. Just as some elements of our wedding planning were working out with a few clicks of a mouse and some very funny friendly phone calls, bad weather struck our wedding plans.

The Killarney lakeside hotel we had planned to hold our wedding in and host our guests had been flooded. Pictures on their website showed water where beautiful grassy lawns had recently been. With more rain forecast and a dreadful winter ahead, I needed another venue and preferably somewhere on a hill. The internet provided the answers and after scouring many websites Coolclogher Manor House became our new location.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Mary Harnett the owner on several occasions who was delighted and excited to host this, their first civil wedding ceremony in their Victorian country house.

Back to the internet, to make some more long distance searches and arrangements. So February loomed with cheeky invites printed, menus chosen, rings bought, a local chef making a buffet lunch, mother of the groom bringing flowers and the madcap plan of bringing two families who had never met before, to stay for three nights together in a manor house we hadn’t even seen. Madness and a potential for disaster!

No need to worry for everything about our wedding worked out even better than we could ever have dreamt of. We had an amazing venue, soaked in sunshine, filled with a very stylish but relaxed atmosphere created by everyone involved in the day.

Our internet dependent wedding was filled with joy as friends and family from near and far sent their video messages, gifts and greetings to add to the private house party.

Feeling very much like lady of the manor, even if for just one day, I married my very lovely (and as I said before, very lucky) husband!

Loved these wedding photos? Then check out Bartek Witek Wedding Photographer

Ciara Crossan

Ciara is the Founder and CEO of WeddingDates and has a particular love for quirky & unusual weddings! Considered a wedding venue expert, lucky for her she has visited hundreds of stunning wedding venues all over Ireland and the UK.

The Wedding Dates Team
Submit a Real Wedding

Are you a bride, groom or photographer who wants to share a unique wedding with our readers?

Learn More