This bride’s father showed imagination as well as a passion for sustainability.
Davey Breen, from Kenmare, County Kerry, handcrafted a wooden stand for the wedding cake from an oak tree.
His daughter Niamh and husband Graham Murphy, of Grove Place, Derry City, live in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, but returned to these shores to get married.
“My father is well known for his creativity. The wedding cake stand he made was decorated with wild mountain heather and was a real artistic spectacle,” says Niamh.
“And an oak cake stand was super fitting because Graham is from Derry, which is Oak County.”
The celebrations began at the bride’s family home, Lissyclearig Thatched Cottage B&B, in the town of Kenmare, where their wedding photographer, Padraig Healy, was behind the lens.
“Getting ready in our fairytale cottage on our wedding morning was another dream come true,” the bride adds.
And Davey wasn’t the only creative family member at work: Graham’s sister, Olivia (@_rustic.craft_) “did the most beautiful personalized signs for the wedding,” Niamh says.
The couple were married at Holy Cross Church, Kenmare by Father George Hayes and held their reception at Dromquinna Manor, Kenmare.
Alongside them were Carmel, Niamh’s mother and father, and Noreen, Davey and Graham’s mother. The groom’s late father, John Murphy, was very much in their thoughts.
Niamh’s love for nursing and travel brought her to Abu Dhabi in 2015 where, three years later, she met Graham at a sports bar: “I invited him to join me on a dragon boat and he invited me to play on his touch rugby team. “
Two years later, they got engaged, in December 2020, during a weekend in the desert for the United Arab Emirates National Day.
Guests converged on Kerry from the four provinces of Ireland as well as from around the world for the wedding.
The groom’s best man, Philip, and former rugby teammates surprised him with an honor guard outside the church. “The confetti has been replaced by rugby balls,” says Niamh.
“Graham played rugby for years – at school in Derry, at Trinity College, with the Abu Dhabi Harlequins and international rugby for the United Arab Emirates.”
The couple describe the event as “an incredible dream wedding”.
The church musicians for their wedding were the bride’s cousin, Colm Conlan, singer and pianist, and Aisling Urwin, harpist and singer, both from Kenmare. “There was live Irish music after the wedding ceremony in Kenmare Square, followed by a very relaxed outdoor wedding reception at Dromquinna Manor,” adds Graham.
Niamh’s friend, Ciara O’Sullivan, was her main bridesmaid and her sister-in-law, Louise Breen, was her bridesmaid along with her cousin, Mary McKeown.
Graham had the support of his friends, Philip Brady, best man; and David Burke and Dan Brennan, groomsmen.
Graham’s niece, Eile Murphy, was the bridesmaid and Niamh’s nephew, Brooklyn Breen, and Graham’s nephew, Roe Murphy, were the pageboys.
Niamh bought her dress from The White Ivy Bridal Boutique in Kenmare and the bridal hair was done by Collette O’Sullivan with Trisha Clery Harrington to make sure her makeup was perfect.
The groom and his party looked dapper in suits from Different Class Menswear, Derry.
The newlyweds spent a five-star honeymoon at Europe Hotel & Resort, Killarney.
Niamh is a nurse at the Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi and Graham is responsible for building costs.
The couple are now back in the United Arab Emirates. “We can’t wait to move – destination to be confirmed, Derry, Kerry or somewhere in between!” said Graham.
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