Hair and Make-up Artist Rachel Cleary married Lorcan O’Brien at the picturesque Kilshane House last October.
Photography: Nicola Webster
Rachel's Mum actually met Lorcan before she did - when he was just a few hours old! Coincidentally, their Mums went into labour at the same time and met in the maternity ward of Holles Street. Her mum even had him on her knee…little did she know it wasn't the last time they would meet. Fast forward, 28 years later, the couple first met in a cocktail bar in town. Lorcan was with his friends, as was Rachel, but they managed to find each other. And have been inseparable ever since!
Lorcan was turning 30, so Rachel surprised him with a trip to the Amalfi Coast. The first day there was actually the couples second anniversary. He had booked a beautiful dinner that evening and just before they were ready to leave, he took her hand and led her out to the balcony. With Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ playing in the background, overlooking Positano, Lorcan shocked Rachel and went down on one knee. Little did she know, the whole scene was being recorded, so the could share it with their family back home. He had asked her Dad for her hand in marriage, which was very important to Rachel.
After visiting many bridal shops, Rachel stumbled upon a fantastic bridal boutique called ‘B Couture’ in Wicklow. Bernie, the owner was just exceptional from start to finish. Rachel's mum actually chose the dress off the rail. Initially, she said no to it, but once she tried it on, Rachel just knew it was ‘the dress’! The designer was Justin Alexander and it was a strapless, lace mermaid style gown. The dress had a matching cathedral veil with an elegant petal design.
It was the first and only venue the couple actually visited! When they entered the gates of Kilshane House and drove up the long winding drive, it took their breath away. It’s a private regency house built in 1822 on 350 acres of gardens and lakes. What really attracted Rachel and Lorcan to it was that you have full exclusivity of the venue, so the only guests there were ours. Ralph, is the ex-head chef of The Europe Hotel in Killarney and his standards were impeccable. All of the guests commented on how excellent the food was. The night before the wedding, the couple had a formal dinner in the dining room for both families. "It was so special to have all our favourite people in one room and a great start to the celebrations ahead. From the Orangery and the fabulous stately rooms to the old fashioned ‘whiskey sour’ cocktails, we couldn’t have asked for a more picturesque venue for our special day."
For the church ceremony, the couple had the Munster String Quartet. They played nostalgic songs such as ‘Pure Imagination’. Joe Delaney played ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ on the bagpipes as Rachel and Lorcan arrived at the venue which was very fitting! For the drinks reception, they had ‘Mark Wilde’, a saxophone and jazz band which had guests dancing even before the dinner bells rang! After the speeches, WOW band played 80’s & 90’s hits leading into a midnight firework display over the lake which was magical.
Rachel is pretty good with her skincare regime, so didn't change much, although she did become obsessed with not walking out of the house without SPF50 on her face and neck. She also had some microdermabrasion done with Dr Altona Myers from Facial Rejuve, which made such a difference. Being a professional hair and make-up artist for weddings, she decided to do her own, as it was important that she still looked like‘me’ walking down the aisle, which Rachel is glad she did as it really calmed her on the morning. For her wedding scent, Rachel used Hermes ‘Twilly’ as it has become her ultimate favourite over the past few years. It is a floral yet spicy scent and it smells beautiful, day and night.
For her bridesmaids, Rachel chose her best friend from childhood, Anna, as her maid of honour. "We have been through thick and thin together so it was a no brainer", followed by her nearest and dearest - Ali, Liz & Bethan. They are her closest confidants and Rachel has known them since she was little. They organised the most fabulous hen party in Las Vegas which was full of endless laughs and fun. "They say good friends know all your stories, but best friends help you write them, and these most definitely have!"
The Best Decision
"I love attention to detail and wanted to show each guest how much we appreciate them in our lives, so I decided to have personalised napkins hand sewn. Each guests’ initials were embroidered in an olive-green thread, on a white linen napkin. Seeing guests bring their napkins home in their handbags was definitely a highlight!"
The Worst Decision
"I was a little worried that it would become dark earlier in the day, being that it was an October wedding. We decided to have the church ceremony at 12.30 and not 2.30. Looking back, it was too much of an early start for our guests to travel and get ready in such a short space of time. Although it did make for an even longer party, so some would say it was a good decision!"