Tranquility House situated in Omeath, overlooking Carlingford Lough was the stunning venue that hosted Cliodhna and Ian’s wedding. The luxury house was the perfect venue for their intimate day with their closest family and friends. Both local to the area, but living and working in Dubai, they were delighted to be able to travel home to their hometown after much remote planning and organising from the Middle East. Rashida Keenan captured this stylish summer wedding hosted on August 5th 2023. 

The story began five years ago when Cliodhna was persuaded to join her friend Orlaith for a last-minute night out in Carlingford. Ian, also on an unplanned outing, crossed paths with Cliodhna in PJ O’Hare’s, and the rest as they say is history! They made the move together to Dubai in 2018 in pursuit of sunshine, travel and career opportunities and have never looked back. When it came to planning their wedding, however, they knew home was the only place for such a special event. “When you live away, you truly get to appreciate coming home to Ireland and all its beauty. We wanted something close to our homes so we could maximise our time with family and friends, and are spoiled to live in such a naturally gorgeous part of the country”. 

The two were engaged on 24th December 2021. Ian took Cliodhna completely by surprise with a stunning custom-made ring from his parent's shop Aidan Brennan Jewellers. They were midway through a walk in Ravensdale Forest with Cliodhna’s golden retriever Finn when Ian suggested they take a break as he had an important question to ask her. “I was blown away by the ring as it was the perfect choice for me, and all the more special knowing Ian’s dad sourced the stone and made it especially for me”. The couple went to visit Tranquility House in Omeath three days after their engagement, knowing their time at home was limited and fell in love with it on the spot. What is sometimes a difficult decision for some was easy for the couple, as it had everything they wanted for their wedding vision. 

Cliodhna’s beauty journey was simple and attributes her glowing look on the day to good skincare, as well as a talented makeup artist. “I wanted to make sure that my skin was as bright and glowy as possible so I had regular facials and microneedling in the run-up, as well as continuing my home skincare regime. As soon as I got engaged I knew Sarah was the only person I would trust for my makeup. Her less is more and natural beauty approach is exactly what I wanted, and I felt so confident knowing she was in control on the day”. Cliodhna relied a lot on recommendations from friends, as well as online reviews for most suppliers as the planning was all done from Dubai in January 2022. “Instagram and Facebook, along with wedding blogs were invaluable resources for finding the right suppliers. A lot of our vendors came recommended this way, and we were very fortunate that most of them worked out to be exactly what we wanted”. 

When it came to wedding dress shopping, Cliodhna knew this would not be an easy task due to her indecisive nature. “I found the process quite difficult as I had no idea about which style I wanted or would suit my shape. After three days out with my Mum, I finally said yes to MK Bridal in Navan. It was the last dress I shortlisted, purely because of the bow, but once I had it on I fell in love with it”. It was very fitting for the alternative venue style and meant she could maximise her accessories as part of the look; a Bridal crown from Aura Bridalwear and the iconic Sabine 85 by Jimmy Choo. Ian was equally groomed and glamorous for the occasion in a custom-made tuxedo from Suited and Booted in Dubai. He underwent three rounds of alternations and was so impressed by the level of detail that went into ensuring it was the perfect fit for him. 

Cliodhna had one Maid of Honor, her close friend Orlaith Kent, who was also a 2023 bride. “It was so nice to share the wedding buzz and journey and it was great to keep each other accountable for the planning and organising, especially towards the end”. Sticking to the alternative theme, Orlaith wore a champagne-coloured cowl neck jumpsuit, straying away from the traditional dress look, which was very fitting for the vibe of the day and complemented her figure. Ian’s Best Man was Richard Brennan, his cousin and best friend. The pair bonded over their shared passion for golf over the years. 

The pair had a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the front lawn with Carlingford Lough as the backdrop. It was a classic Irish summer’s day with torrential rain, but thankfully it cleared up just in time for the ceremony! With the closest family and friends present, Cliodhna walked into the ceremony to the talented Odhran Murphy, and Gareth Matthews (Always and Forever) was the celebrant. They did traditional vows, an Irish blessing, and had several enhancements such as Unity candle lighting. "Our favourite part was being able to sit and enjoy the relaxed and intimate ceremony with all our family and friends. Gareth made it so personal to us, and managed to squeeze every emotion in from laughing to crying and everything in between”. 

The venue was central to the success of the whole wedding weekend, and the couple could not speak highly enough about Tranquility House as a venue. “We knew we didn't want the traditional function room wedding, so took a bit of a gamble on Tranquility House having never been there before. Hugh Barton was so attentive in the lead-up to the wedding and went over and above to make sure everything was as we wanted. His attention to detail and high standards meant all our guests were so well looked after, and the whole day ran seamlessly. We loved the intimate feel of having all our guests in the dining room together and felt like we were at home for the weekend”. 

About the best decision, Ian said, "Our best decision was choosing Tranquility House and keeping our wedding intimate in size. The venue felt so magical and having a small number of guests, approximately 80 in total, allowed us to spend more time with everyone who travelled from all over to celebrate. Since we could reserve the house for two nights, we had a relaxed BBQ the following day and extended the invite to other family and friends to keep the party going”. Cliodhna added “We were also so glad we booked a videographer. We found Daniel from Tall Tales through an online wedding directory and hit the jackpot. He captured the day perfectly and made everyone feel at ease. The day went by in a flash so we were so glad to have the video to look back on and relive the whole thing over and over!”

When asked about bad decisions “Thankfully there were no major dramas or setbacks when it came to the day itself. Our only regret was that the day was far too short and went by too quickly. We went to get some photos in Carlingford which did take time away from our time with guests, but looking back was worth it for the amazing shots Rashida captured of us in the village”. 

- Gráinne