When thebroke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.
But what happened next? Well, first of all the Australian couple who had eloped to Kerry to tie the knot in a private ceremony suddenly found themselves in the world spotlight.
Melanie Joughalian and Lachlan Porteous, who returned to their native Sydney on October 8, are now taking a fresh look at those iconic images and will use one on the invitations they are soon sending out for their nuptial celebration on home turf.
“The plan for us is to use one of the photos as an invitation to a big party,” said Lachlan.
He and Melanie exchanged vows in September in Ballyseede Castle. “We picked Ireland for our wedding because we wanted a beautiful place far away from home. Australia doesn’t quite have the history like Ireland and we both wanted to do it on castle grounds,” said Lachlan.
“The only people present were there two witnesses (both work at Ballyseede Castle), the registrar and the photographer.
This was so we could save money to be able to buy a home when we get back and to avoid all the social and cultural pressures that would have been present if we got married back home.
Following the ceremony, their photographer, Cork-based Adrian O’Neill of Stay Wild Images, whisked them off to Killarney National Park for photographs, where that Disney-esque moment occurred.
“As we started to pose the deer then became more curious and she approached from behind me to nibble on Mel’s bouquet. She was so calm and we embraced the interaction for as long as we could. She then just pottered off to continue grazing,” said Lachlan.
He met Melanie through work. “I used to be a health inspector and Melanie was working at the place I came in to regulate. It then evolved over a long period of time from there,” said Lachlan.
As for their wedding, the couple planned their elopement before they got engaged.
“Melanie even bought the wedding dress before she had a ring so it was all a bit muddled!” said Lachlan. “I still made sure I surprised her with timing.
We got engaged in a place call Mount Tomah in the Blue Mountains which is about 1.5 hours west of Sydney.
They describe their big day as ‘stress-free’. “We went for a hike in the woods in the morning then came back and got ready,” said Lachlan. “Mel’s hairdresser, Aine from @styled_by_aine, came to the room to do her hair while Adrian took photos of us prepping. I was ready in 30 minutes so went to the bar and had a few lemonades.”
“The actual ceremony was short and we walked down the aisle to the outdoor birdcage at the castle grounds to the Van Morrison song ‘Bright Side of the Road’.”
After their photoshoot, Adrian dropped the bride and groom back to Ballyseede where they feasted on a five-course meal and red wine.
“It was such a chilled, relaxing and fun experience. Everyone was lovely to us and Mel looked amazing,” said Lachlan.
Their elopement trip was their honeymoon. Said the groom: “We started in Dublin and moved down to Kerry and Cork areas and then to England in the midland where I used to play rugby a few years back. That was followed by a few days in London.”
The couple spent some time in France before touching down in Dubai on their way back to Sydney.
Mel is an event coordinator and Lachlan works in compliance/investigations for the New South Wales state government.