Katherine & Ben were Married In Castle Oaks Hotel & Estate on 16th August 2019
Wedding Photographer: Livia Figueiredo www.liviafigueiredo.com
Katherine and Ben met in London in 2015. Katherine was there for grad school and they met after two weeks of arriving in London. Katherine’s friends introduced her to Bumble one evening. Ben and her matched instantly! His profile made her laugh, the only thing he had written was ‘woo feminism’ and he had some pictures of a sport (hurling), that she did not recognise.
Their first date wasn’t a very auspicious start to a relationship as Katherine got the times mixed up and was a whole hour early, and Ben got disastrously held up and was a whole hour late. Katherine, making either the best or worst decision of her life, decided to wait and give him a chance. Eventually, Ben burst through the door in a beam of light, gave her one of his huge, life-saving hugs, and that was it.
On their first date they spent a lot of time talking about their lives, similarities and differences and Katherine learnt what hurling was. Katherine at aged 19 moved to New York and on that fist date, she discovered that another Katherine had once been in Ben’s life. Ben’s Grandmother Kit Honan, eighty years before, moved to New York, also at the age of nineteen and worked in that very same Empire State Building for many years.
Time flew and Katherine had a previous arrangement made for dinner with her Mum. Katherine suggested that he join them for dinner, but when her Mum saw them she decided to leave and give them space. A few days later, Ben sent Katherine a message asking to take her and her Mum out for dinner. Within a few months, Katherine was on a plane to spend her first Christmas of many in Ireland
Ben proposed to Katherine in Paris on 13th August 2018. Katherine was in Paris on a girls’ weekend. The girls were aware that Ben was going to come to Paris and surprise Katherine with a proposal and they made sure that she was looking her best, insisting that her nails and dress etc. were all immaculate. Katherine thought this was suspicious but couldn’t have been ready for the surprise of her life.
She was posing for a photo in the Jardin de Tuileries and Ben sneaked up behind to propose. She felt an arm on her shoulder and when she turned, there was Ben on one knee with ring in hand.
They looked at numerous wedding venues and fell in love with the Castle Oaks House Hotel & Estate.
It ticked all their boxes as the location was perfect and the staff were very helpful in helping them to plan. They agreed on having approximately 150 attendees. The Castle Oaks House Hotel & Estate were fantastic on the day with the service and quality of everything being second to none. They would gladly recommend this hotel to anybody.
Ben’s parents also got married in Castleconnell, 36 years ago in 1983. The same musicians played this march at their wedding, and added in a few of their children to build out the numbers.
Before Katherine got engaged, she already knew who she would ask to be her bridesmaids. She is fortunate to have many wonderful ladies in her life who have been with her through thick and thin. She chose six leading ladies. Her sister is the dearest lady in her life, so she was Maid of Honour.
Katherine was in America visiting her sister when they went dress shopping and she fell in love with a Justin Alexander dress. Her sister worked her magic online and found the same dress in the correct size on a website where women resell their wedding dresses. The woman who sent the dress was very sweet and the dress arrived within a few days, with a nice note wishing her the same happiness she got from the dress. She flew back to London with her dress.
Ben went to Walker Slater in London for a tweed suit to keep with their vintage theme. He went for a blue Border tweed from the south of Scotland, which was lighter and suitable for a summer wedding. His groomsmen picked out suits from Rees and they went to Esquire Formal Wear in Limerick for accessories which made their suits stand out and tie in with the theme.
Ben chose two groomsmen, his brother Conal and best friend Randal. They have both been massive parts of his life since he was a child. He also jokes that it helps that they are both corporate lawyers, so he wouldn’t have to pay for their suits!
One of the reasons they picked Castle Oaks House Hotel & Estate was that it was across the river from where Ben grew up in Clonlara and it was where his parents had got married. They even got to recreate some of his parents’ photographs from their wedding on the stepping stones.
The wedding was supposed to be outside, but as beautiful as the day was, the Irish weather was being unpredictable. Two hours before the ceremony, the outdoor ceremony was called off and everything was moved indoors. Katherine was not sad for long because she knew they had a plan B. She was confident that the indoor ceremony would be just as special. When they went outside in the sunshine for the reception it was wonderful, but were very happy to have opted for inside as the weather could not be depended on.
They held the ceremony in the hotel, which had a room with stained glass windows and great acoustics.
Ben’s childhood friend Sarah Ryan officiated in a very special ceremony that mentioned Ben’s grandmother’s trip to America and their family histories. It was a deeply personal occasion.
They had a mini moon in Kerry for just under a week, before they had to rush back to London for another wedding. The weather was terrible but they stayed at a stunning guest house called Barrow House just outside Tralee. They visited Paidi O’Se’s pub, drove through Connor Pass and came home via West Clare to visit Ben’s family.
They are planning to do a full honeymoon at a later date.