When it comes to deciding on a venue for your wedding, there’s so much to bear in mind, it can leave you on the horns of a dilemma. So, we asked some gay couples what their experience of the venues they chose was like, to help you choose.
This wedding venue article was originally found in the Annual Wedding Issue of GCN (Issue 325, January 2017) which is available to read in full here.
Brian O’Dowd & Kieran Keon – The G Hotel, Galway
After meeting in the gym and going on their rst date on April Fools Day (“we had such a laugh”, says Kieran, “and we’ve been laughing ever since!”), Brian and Kieran tied the knot this year in Galway’s G Hotel.
“We wanted to stay in Galway to accommodate our guests and to support our local economy,” says Kieran of the couple’s venue choice. “We wanted the ceremony and reception in the same venue. We also wanted somewhere fancy, so The G was our number one choice.”
And fancy it is: situated on the edge of Lough Atelia, The G is the only ve-star spa hotel in Galway, renowned for its pampering breaks and gourmet getaways.
The couple didn’t opt for a speci c theme for their special day. “We only wanted a nice, relaxed and loving atmosphere – which we got in buckets!” says Brian.
“We felt so grateful to be able to have all of our friends and family together to witness our marriage. Thank you to the people of this great little country for Yes Equality. We also felt so happy to be able to marry in our hometown after being together for 11 years. It was the best feeling.”
“We were well looked after by the wonderful staff in The G,” adds Kieran. “Especially Rachel the brilliant wedding manager there.”
“There are so many highlight from the day to choose from. One would probably be when we were being ercely entertained by the fabulous Davina Devine at the reception and everyone was splitting their sides laughing!”
Cormac Gollogly & Richard Dowling – Kilshane House, Tipperary
Richard proposed to the love of his life, Cormac when they were on holidays with friends in Barcelona. “We were on the beach to watch a reworks display and about ten minutes in, I got down on one knee and said, ‘Cormac I love you will you marry me.’ I hadn’t the words marry out of my mouth when he pulled me up, kissed me and said, ‘Yes’.”
The couple had a reception for 128 guests at Kilshane House in Tipperary. “We wore top hats and tails,” says Richard. “The 128 guests wore ball gowns and suits. We had opera singing waiters and a Lego wedding cake.”
“We are so grateful to everyone involved in the Yes Campaign during the referendum,” Cormac adds. “When there was the promise of a referendum, both Richard and I were very worried about how it would it go. We thought it would bring out a nasty element in Ireland, but the way the campaign was run by the sophisticated team was just amazing.”
Kevin Gordon & Ian Mason – Rathsallagh House, Co. Wicklow
Kevin and Ian’s marriage began with a summer romance. The pair met while on holidays in Gran Canaria – in the Yumbo Centre, Playa de Ingles, in a bar at 2am.
“Very early on in the relationship we knew it was serious, and when Ian decided to move from Liverpool to Kildare in January 2015, we both knew it would end in marriage,” says Kieran.
The grooms both wanted a venue that would reflect their personalities and where their guests would feel welcome and relaxed. “Both of us place a high importance on family and friends, Kieran explains. “It was important for us that our guests would feel part of the day in an intimate setting.
“When we walked into the walled garden and glimpsed it set up for the ceremony for the rst time – it was truly breathtaking and we knew that it was going to be a very special ceremony. When the celebrant invited us to exchange our vows, it really did feel so right – there was no doubt at all that we were both doing the right thing. The sense of support from our families and friends was palpable in that moment and the beautiful setting of the walled garden in Rathsallagh enhanced it.”
Both Kevin and Ian can’t say enough about the staff at Rathsallagh. “They did absolutely everything they could to make our day run smoothly, for both ourselves and our guests. Catherine and her team really made us feel as if we were the only couple ever to get married there, and I think this is why the venue was such a unique experience.”
Daryl Gunning & Ray Davidson – Ballinacurra House, Kinsale
This happy couple met online in 2005, on the website Myspace, where Ray, who lived in New Jersey, sent a friend request to Daryl in Ireland. “We were friends online for years,” says Daryl. “We met in person when I got a J1 visa and went to work in New York.” After some more time apart the couple began a long-distance relationship before Ray eventually moved to Ireland. Ray proposed to Daryl, hiding a ring in a place where he knew it would be found.
The pair had a ceremony and a reception for 69 people in Ballinacurra House. “The venue was fantastic,” says Daryl. “It’s very eclectic, with each room having a different theme. It’s also very private, sitting amid 40 acres of beautiful woodland and gardens, with a river. The staff were incredible, very helpful and friendly, and Mary, our wedding planner made our planning very stress-free. She kept on top of everything, while never being intrusive.”
“My only complaint is that the day went too fast,” adds Ray. “The ceremony lasted about 35 minutes. We came in to ‘Glass Vase Cello Case’ by Tattle Tale, played on strings. We exchanged rings and did a traditional hand binding ceremony.”
“We had a three-tiered, naked cake,” says Daryl. “There were two layers of carrot cake with orange butter cream, and the middle tier was a lemon fudge cake with lemon curd butter cream. We had a band and a DJ. We partied until four in the morning!”
Radovan Urban & Rodrigo Silva – The Larder, Dublin
Romance bloomed for Radovan and Rodrigo after they met two years ago via the Grindr app. Radovan was the one who popped the question, over a dinner at home. Both grooms-to-be knew they wanted a Dublin city centre wedding, so they plumped for The Larder on Parliament Street, where they knew the food and atmosphere would be perfect because Radovan has worked there for the past six years.
“We had no special theme,” says Radovan. “The whole thing just came together, somehow.”
They walked down the aisle together, followed by a group of their friends, and emotion was so high, Rodrigro almost forgot to say, ‘I do’. “It was really nice, and really funny,” Radovan laughs.
For their rst song, the couple chose Sweet Harmony by The Beloved. “I’ve loved it for 20 years and knew I always wanted it to be my wedding song,” says Radovan. “When I introduced Rodrigo to it, he loved it too. I’ve even suggested it to my sister for her wedding song!”
Both grooms loved every moment of their special day. “The really nice part was walking the streets of Dublin as newly-weds and getting all the cheers and claps and beeping horns from people passing by. That was lovely.”
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.