When we arrived at DeBurgh Manor – out in the sticks south of Dublin – all the windows and doors were slung open, and there was a trail of glitter leading from the car park to the porch. Further investigation revealed a cavernous hallway and inside: bundles of lace, flowers, more glitter and young women strewn across the floor. They barely looked up as we called in, so focussed on cutting, sticking and sewing things together… and lazy from the heat of the day.
In Ireland in July.
I kid you not.
The weather held up for our stay and so did the incredibly relaxed atmosphere. Friends, close family and al fresco EVERYTHING were the order of the day. Guinness on tap. The seamstresses in the hallway were Kate’s daughters and nieces, stitching together garments and dressings for the weekend ahead.
The special thing about this wedding was how everyone pitched in to contribute something. From dinners, to hairstyles, from flowers and bouquets to music. Bride and groom Kate and Loc made everyone feel like it was their wedding too.
Even the ceremony was led by our mate Nesbit (ordained specially for the occasion – yes, just like Joey in Friends). Nes is from Sydney. His introduction made us all feel like we were on the beach. He sounds like he surfs, you see. He’s got this laid back, melodic intonation to his voice and he says ‘dude’ a lot.
Selina was the ‘white witch’ of the wedding, the priestess, gathering everyone together in a circle before making a heartfelt speech devoted to the couple and their guests. She marked the bonds of marriage by wrapping ribbons around the bride and groom before their nearest and dearest. Like this:
And then the wedding took place, overlooking the rolling Irish hills, with two curious horses watching from the field across the way. All eyes were focussed on the wedding party. There were solemn vows from the bride and groom, and a reading from Kate’s daughter Steph.
In a stroke of genius, after the ceremony everyone was treated to ice cream from a van waiting outside the manor. There was a minor stampede. These are some of the people who made it to the van:
And the newly married couple themselves getting stuck in too:
Dinner was suitably raucous with food, wine, speeches and thank yous out in the evening sunshine.
We drank wine as the sun went down. It felt like we were in Spain. So when the mariachi band turned up, in huge sombreros and with appalling ‘Spanish’ accents, we knew it was time to get our groove on. The band played typical traditional Spanish hits such as “Sweet Caroline”, “Love Shack”, and “500 Miles”. The guests just danced their socks off.
It was honestly one of the most wonderful weddings I’ve ever attended. Towards the end of the night, the camera was abandoned as the night took another turn. Tom led everyone down some dark and narrow stairs to the basement of the manor house, where he unveiled “Tommy’s Bar”… a unique bar space which he’d decorated with candles, furnished with an acceptable sound system, and multiple bottles of suspicious-looking spirits. There was diving and dancing on tables and much merriment into the early hours… until finally everyone clambered into bed, ready to get some sleep before the next day’s activities.
But that’s another story…