A gorgeous real wedding in Kinnitty, County Offaly, Ireland filled with sunshine and sparkle.

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WHERE: St Finian’s Church of Ireland, Kinnitty

WHEN: July 2007

PHOTOGRAPHER: James Abelson

About the couple

Meeting through work, Clare and Ken got together four years later when Clare visited Dublin.

“I emailed Ken because he was the only Dublin-er I knew!” Clare says. “We met, got on and a few weekends later, he visited me.” A year later, both got jobs in London.

The proposal

Ken surprised Clare with a New York holiday and proposed after a romantic day skating in Central Park.

The bride’s outfit

Clare found her tulle and lace real wedding dress at JS Couture. “It was perfect – vintage style with a fabulous brooch that inspired the theme for my jewellery”.

“The ceremony was so beautiful and we had lovely weather – I arrived at the church in an open – top car”

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Finishing touches

“I wasn’t sure I wanted a tiara but I fell in love with mine as soon as I tried it on.” Clare bought her tiara, with matching earrings for the evening, from Luella’s Boudoir, Wimbledon. She also found her real wedding bridesmaids’ dresses in the same shop – “they were pink, off-the-knee and made – to order,” adds Clare. “The shop was just a bridal haven with so many beautiful pieces”.
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The groom’s real wedding outfit

“Ken wanted traditional tails and went for navy blue,” says Clare. He and his five ushers found their tails, waistcoats and cravats at Bond brothers, Dublin.
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The ceremony

“We gave the children a goodie bag of toys to keep them entertained, Bride’s top tip After a weekend of wedding lessons in Kenmare, the couple knew what to expect from their ceremony at St Finian’s. “The lady vicar was lovely and made the ceremony really special,” Clare says. Four friends did readings and the traditional elements, both Catholic and Church of Ireland, worked well.
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The reception

Kinnitty Castle was the beautiful venue for the reception, with the banquet room decked out in candelabras, pearls and feathers to complement the gothic style. “We had Tattinger Champagne, canapés, tea and scones in the courtyard, then moved to the banquet room for the meal and dancing, with traditional Irish music, moving to the Dungeon Bar for late-night drinks!”.
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The cake

Three tiers – including chocolate biscuit and two fruitcake layers – made up the beautiful vintage cake, made by Frances Kelly.
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Special touch

“Ken left a Smythson book of love letters under my pillow – I found it when I went to bed”.

The honeymoon

A week in Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand, then just over a week in the fabulous Cook Islands.

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