Beautiful day: Fiona from Ballyclare, Co Antrim, and Rob from Dublin on their wedding day

The Vow

Real Irish Weddings: Fiona and Rob's love story began on the last day of college

Fiona from Ballyclare, Co Antrim, and Rob from Dublin, met while they were studying at the National College of Art and Design, and although they meandered as friends for a long time, they both realised on the last day of college that it was "now or never!".

After nearly 10 years together, Rob proposed to his love on London's Battersea Bridge, overlooking the Thames, with a ring he had commissioned from friend and jeweller Clare Grennan - asking Fiona if she wanted "to have a big party". The pair wanted a fun and colourful Humanist ceremony and decided to have their Big Day at Cork's Blackwater Castle, where they could have their own castle for a day and get creative to have everything to their tastes.

"All the decorations were made by friends and relatives. We had a big pom pom- and kimchi-making party a few weeks before the wedding. Then everyone helped fluff up pom poms when we got to the castle. We asked family to bring blankets to cover the straw bales for the ceremony," says Fiona. Even the flowers were all grown on an allotment by a friends of Fiona's mother and brought down the day before the wedding.


The bride had her unique gown designed and made by two very good friends of hers, Jill De Búrca and Emma Sheridan, meaning she could choose the fabrics.

After their beautiful day, Fiona and Rob spent some nights in the Garryvoe Hotel before travelling straight to Glastonbury festival where friends had pitched their tent in the mud - "Best wedding gift ever," says Fiona.

* Words by Dee Finnerty. Photography by Aoife O'Sullivan Photography, visit

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