Real Weddings: Craig and Paul


When Paul Cullen spotted Craig O’Toole on an RTÉ interior design show, it was love at first sight.


Fast forward five years and Paul proposed, so the pair set about planning their dream wedding in Wexford.

26 year-old Craig O’Toole AIB Relationship Manager and 38 year-old Sales Executive Paul Cullen met in a very unique way, when Craig was a featured interior designer on the RTÉ programme, Showhouse. The show went out live and Paul was watching. “I caught his eye,” says Craig. “He got in contact with me that evening and asked me out on a date, and the rest is history.”

Craig (L) and Paul (R) exchange rings (Photos by Noel and Eileen Reddy)

On the couple’s fifth anniversary, Paul popped the question in the gardens of Monart Spa hotel in Enniscorthy, where the two were spending a celebratory weekend. “He stopped on the bridge over the lake and turned to me with a ring in this hand,” Craig remembers. “I was completely shocked, it was a total surprise. And of course, I said yes.”

The couple agreed straight away that they wanted something totally different for their big day and for their venue settled on luxury B&B Rathaspeck Manor, which had never held a wedding before.

“The Manor and grounds offered us a truly unique option for our ceremony, and the owners Betty and Mick Cuddihy, are such lovely people. From day one were as excited as were about our big day and the ideas we had. It really was the stuff of magic for us,” says Paul.

The couple chose Ferrycarrig Hotel for their reception. “Having met with Frances Moran there, it was a no brainer,” says Craig. “The setting on Wexford’s river Slaney is stunning.”

For wedding attire, Paul and Craig shopped for two different suits, each to reflect their personalities. “I wasn’t instantly taken by the burgundy tuxedo I wore, but with a little persuasion I tried in on and loved it,” says Craig. “Paul on the other hand, looked at and tried on just one suit and loved it, a lovely blue with black trim, three piece tuxedo.”

The happy couple (photos by Noel and Eileen Reddy)

There were nerves before the big day itself, but with their venues the couple were sure they were in safe hands. Paul’s In the absense of Paul’s mother, who passed away some years ago, his father, aunt and godmother all led him into the cermeony, while both of Craig’s parents gave him away.

“When it came to exchanging vows, it was probably the pinnacle, the most magical moment of all,” says Paul. “We felt so much love and energy from our guests. It is a moment we will certainly never forget.”

For their reception the couple had a string quartet play for our canape and bubbles arrival reception. Ballroom tables were dressed with flower installations from Slaney Flowers Wexford and entertainment was in the form band American Heart and DJ Ray Coclough. At midnight there were fireworks over the river Slaney.

For their first dance the couple chose Karen Ramirez’s ‘Looking For Love’. “We had our friend Darren edit and slow the original track down so it suited the occasion,” Craig explains. “It was different from some of the popular first dance songs and we think it worked a treat.”

For both Paul and Craig, their abiding memories of the day are their friends and family being with us to celebrate. “It was all smiles, hugs and kisses from dawn to dusk and beyond,” says Craig. “It was such an amazing feeling to have them share the occasion with us and we genuinely felt like the luckiest two guys in the whole world.”

Ending the day with a bang (photos by Noel and Eileen Reddy)

The Suppliers

Ceremony Venue: Rathspeck Manor, Wexford, Reception Venue: Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford, Wedding Planner: Keith Jordan of Westgate Design.

Photographers: Noel & Eileen Reddy, Wexford, (053) 913 9185

Suits: Protocol Menswear, Dublin 2, Flowers: Slaney Flowers, Wexford.

Ceremony music: Kavanagh Ensemble,,Band: American Heart, DJ: Ray Colclough, Cake: Cakes by Eva, Wexford.

Rings: Hynes Jewellers, Wexford, Videographer: David O’Farrell, Wexford, 087 932 9275, Wedding Car: John Byrne, Wexford, (053) 914 0222

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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