Eden Photography

Your Big Day

Real weddings: 'Justin saw me struggling up the hill and came out to help me with the car'

A magnificent wedding in Mount Juliet for Ciara and Justin

Ciara and Justin were neighbours for years.

Their families knew each other, but Ciara and Justin had never actually met.

One night in the depths of winter however, their paths crossed when Ciara's car got stuck in the snow and she was forced to play the 'damsel in distress'.


"I decided to drive the shorter distance to my parent's house and my car got stuck in the snow. Justin saw me struggling up the hill and came out to help me with the car," she said. "When we finally got it up the hill, we had a drink to celebrate and the rest is history!"

The couple got engaged on a return trip to Sharm El Sheikh where they had been holidaying since the beginning of their relationship.

"Justin surprised me by leading me to the penthouse filled with flowers, candles and a private dinner for two on the balcony," said Ciara. "He made me sit through two courses and eventually just before dessert, asked me to marry him! He almost forgot to get down on one knee but managed it at the last second....we still laugh about it now!"

Photos by Tanya Colclough of Eden Photography.

The Style

Ciara and Justin tied the knot in St. Colmcille's Chruch in Kilkenny. Their main aim for their wedding they say was to make sure their guests were well looked after for the weekend. They also wanted to add some personal touches to the occasion.

"I hand wrote a little memory note for each guest and left it on their dinner settings," said Ciara, "everyone loved it!"

Justin's best friend performed a song for their first dance.

"I honestly believe these little things make a huge difference.  I loved planning the wedding; it took me a while to get used to free evenings and weekends once it was all over!"

The Ceremony

The couple had a traditional Catholic church ceremony in St. Colmcille's Chruch, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.

"We were very lucky as our priest Fr. Dan Carroll was very relaxed, which put us and our guests at ease on the big day. We both really enjoyed the ceremony and it was so lovely to walk up the aisle with my Dad and see Justin waiting for me with a big smile on his face!

The Venue

The couple wanted a venue where they could hold both the wedding day and the day after celebrations, and Mount Juliet was the one.

"Mount Juliet ticked every single box with the beauty of the main house for the reception drinks, stunning room in the Golf Club for the dinner and the downstairs Jinx Bar for the second day!

"The staff were so kind and thoughtful and all of our guests commented on the food! I loved the feeling of the hotel being full of our friends and family for the weekend."

The Dress

Ciara bought her dress in Kathy De Stafford, Dublin, the first bridal store she visited.

"Kathy and her amazing team kindly offered to combine the elements of the two dresses I loved, to make me my very own custom design."

"I couldn't have been happier with the outcome... It felt so special to have this one of a kind dress tailored to perfection!"

The Bridal Party

Ciara's bridesmaids dresses were purchased from The Suite.

"We opted for the Ghost bridesmaids dresses, as I wanted to the girls to pick their own styles and make sure they were happy with the dresses."

Justin had his suit custom made in Patrick Sheary's in Dublin and the groomsmen suits were rented from Fitzgerald's Menswear in Waterford City.

The Highlight

"We both loved walking into the room for dinner."

"We had a singing chef, which was a complete surprise for everyone and he had everyone up dancing and singing along before the coffee had even arrived! It was brilliant!"

The Food

The couple had a five course meal for their wedding breakfast, and served fish and chips for guests to munch on in the evening.

"We were so lucky to have a Michelin Star team preparing the food for us and our guests and everything was so gorgeous!" said the bride.

"Every course was presented with such detail and all of our guests raved about the food for weeks after!"

The Entertainment

The couple hired a 'singing chef' Marko, who they say was 'amazing'. Their band was the Connor McKeon Band, who had everyone dancing all night.

The Stand-out Moment

"The moment we both keep coming back to," said the bride, "is walking into dinner and seeing the room so beautifully decorated and all our friends and family smiling and clapping while the "Friends" theme tune played in the background.

"The formalities were mostly over at that stage and it was time to enjoy a few glasses of champagne."

The Honeymoon

Justin and Ciara booked their honeymoon themselves, as they wanted to visit a few different countries. They spent some time in Penang and Bangkok and then ended in Koh Samui for some R&R.

The Advice

Ciara's advice if you're planning a Catholic ceremony is to start the paperwork sooner rather than later. "Make sure to get these early, as they can take time to find and be sent out to you! Other than that, when family and friends offer help... take it!"

The Vendors

Photographer: Tanya Colclough, Eden Photography | VIdeographer: Ana Conlon, Video Productions | Celebrant: Fr Dan Carroll | Ceremony location: St. Colmcilles Church, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny | Ceremony music: Astral String Quartet | Wedding dress: Kathy De Stafford | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Accessories: Swarovski | Engagement ring: Tom, Diamant | Wedding ring: Tom, Diamant | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ghost, The Suite | Grooms/groomsmen’s suits: Groom - Patrick Sheary | Flowers: Lamber De Bie, Kilkenny | Decor: The Butterslip, Kilkenny | Reception venue: Mount Juliet Estate | Hair and makeup: Hair was Marina, Confession Box | Make-up: Dawn, Glamour By Dawn | Reception entertainment: Signing chef was Marco, Singing Waiters | Band: Connor McKeon Band

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