Real Wedding in The Killaloe Hotel
Robert & Anneke Were married in the Killaloe Hotel & Spa on the banks of Lough Derg, Co Clare
Robert and I met in the north of England when I was on a work assignment for a week in 2012. I was living in London and after a couple of years of a long distance relationship, Robert moved to London. We moved in together, and at Christmas 2015, Robert proposed with a beautiful antique emerald and diamond ring.
We were keen to get married that summer, so when I went back to Ireland at Christmas time, I started to plan! I had always loved the town of Killaloe, perched on the banks of Lough Derg. We opted to have our service in the cathedral in the town. My Mum had visited a wedding fair in the University of Limerick and luck struck as she discovered a brand new ‘gem’ of a hotel – The Killaloe Hotel & Spa. This was due to open in Spring which was perfect timing for our Summer wedding. I instantly got in touch with Catherine Fahy, the owner/director. Her vision for the hotel really chimed with what I was hoping for, and without seeing the hotel, we decided to go for it.
My friend who got married a little earlier, advised me that the next big thing to sort out was a photographer. We did a lot of research on this, and when we came across IG Studio Photography, we knew that we wanted them to be the ones to photograph our day. On the day itself, Greg from IG Studio was not at all intrusive and bursting with instincts for a good picture. He captured all the key moments without us even noticing! We are thrilled with our photos.
As the months ticked away we gradually ticked “to-dos” off the list. My sister, Lieneke, was a great source of support, constantly turning my scribbled lists into spreadsheets and calming me down whenever it felt like things were going wrong! After trying on a lot of dresses I bought a dress from a sample sale in London Bride. I visited the National Wedding Show at Kensington Olympia with two of my bridesmaids and bought my headpiece there, from Ivory & Co. I found the bridesmaids’ dresses on a shopping trip with my Mum and sister, they were by Ariella at House of Fraser.
As Robert is very artistic, he took charge of some of the visual elements of the day. He designed our invitations on a backdrop of a drawing he did of the old stone arch in the cathedral. He also drew a picture of the cathedral which became the front cover of our order of service. He made a beautiful hand-drawn table plan, and for our place settings, made a card initial for each guest, which we placed on leaves by their table places.
We had our rings made in Lincolnshire by a jeweller, Andrew Buckingham, who has known Robert’s family for years. He designed and made our rings out of one piece of gold which we felt was very symbolic.
Meanwhile, Roberts’s mum, Charlotte, was busy making our four tier wedding cake, a project of many months. It was a cross-family effort, as on the day, my aunt and uncle did the decoration of the cake with fresh flowers and ribbon. Robert’s mum also took charge of the flowers, making my bouquet and the pew ends for the church. Joy Conway of Floralia, Curraghchase did all the other flowers for the church, hotel and bridal party. Together, Joy and Charlotte (with a willing group of family friends!) made the church look absolutely magical for the day.
The day itself was perfect, truly one of the best days of our lives. The service was everything we had hoped for. The cathedral looked glorious with the wonderful flowers, our friends played their hearts out with amazing music, and the Dean led the service with humour and wisdom. After the ceremony we and our guests made our way down to the pier, where a boat was waiting to take Robert and I up to a quiet spot on the lake for photographs, with another boat waiting to take the guests to the hotel. It was a great way to get some photos done, and also to have some quiet time with each other before rejoining our guests. Arriving back at the hotel by boat to the welcome of all our guests was a great moment. We then feasted on canapés with Prosecco and Guinness until we were called for dinner, which was a veritable feast of superb cooking using the finest seasonal local ingredients.
The executive chef at the Killaloe Hotel tailor made a bespoke seven course menu, that we had previously agreed on. The meal was absolutely delicious, the service impeccable, and it was enjoyed by all. Santoria provided the music for the night and they had the dance floor full the entire time and played into the early hours. My friend Matthew joined the band to sing our first dance, “What a Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke. We’’re so pleased we made the decision to go with the Killaloe Hotel. Our guests are still telling us that the food was the best they had ever had at a wedding. Catherine and Brian worked so hard on the detail of the decor for the day. I also loved how we had the opportunity to have our guests transported from the cathedral to the hotel by boat! We had kept that secret from our guests and got the Dean to announce it at the end of the ceremony so it was a nice surprise for them. We had so many guests coming from abroad and I wanted them to get a great impression of Ireland. The Killaloe certainly provided that! Photography by IG Studio Photography