Love in the time of Covid means going with the flow and Tralee bride and groom Rachael Donnellan and Liam Kissane did just that — with a few dolphins adding a splash of happiness.
Rachael and Liam met in 2013, on a night out. “For the first two years we dated long-distance as I was studying and then working in Scotland while Liam was at home in Kerry,” said Rachael.
Liam proposed at their favourite spot, Barrow Beach, during the June bank holiday weekend in 2019 and they returned there their wedding day.
They were married in the Church of the Purification, Churchill, last October by Fr Eamon Mulvihill and held an intimate gathering afterwards in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel, Tralee.
“After the church, we returned to where we got engaged for our wedding photographs and while on the beach we saw dolphins jumping out of the water which was a lovely surprise,” said the bride.
Also congratulating them were Rachael’s parents, Stasia and Pádraig Donnellan, and Liam’s mum and dad, Geraldine and Billy Kissane, and his grandmother, Hannah.
Rachael’s two sisters, Stacey and Érin Donnellan, were her bridesmaids. “My pageboy, my one-year-old nephew, who unfortunately couldn't travel from Dublin due to county restrictions at the time, was Rory O'Leary,” said the bride. “I was meant to have two flowergirls — Aoibhín Commane, Liam's niece, and my cousin, Aoife Quinn. Unfortunately, Aoife couldn't travel either from Dublin.”
Liam's groomsmen were his cousin, Eamon Kissane, and a childhood friend, Anthony Shanahan.
“Stacey came from Vancouver, Canada, and Érin came from Dubai. Liam's groomsman Anthony, along with his wife Julia, travelled home from Switzerland to attend. They all self-isolated so they could attend, which we were incredibly grateful for. Unfortunately, my sister in Dublin was unable to travel but Stacey had set up a livestream for our family and friends to watch."
“Although we missed a lot of people that day, we made the most of it and we had a fantastic time,” said the bride. “We both come from big families so initially we had planned to have a big enough wedding. We had 25 people attend the new date, which allowed us to chat and have a drink with everyone."
"Ballyroe Heights Hotel exceeded our expectations from the moment we met them to organise our original date, which was back at the beginning of April, to after our big day."
Rachael, a primary school teacher, was delighted to see a banner erected by her school along their route to the hotel wishing the newlyweds well.
She and Liam, who works for his family business, Billy Kissane Meats, were super-elegant. Rachael wore a Stephanie Allin wedding dress sourced in Myrtle Ivory in Dublin and Suits Select in Tralee ensured the groom and his party looked dapper.
Maura's Cottage Flowers created the floral arrangements.
The newlyweds had intended originally to honeymoon in Dubai and the Maldives but that has been postponed due to the pandemic, and county restrictions ruled out a two-week round-Ireland trip in October, while their hotel break was reduced to one night when pandemic guidelines meant the hotel had to close. “So, we then headed down to south Kerry for two weeks, renting the Skellig Rest Airbnb, where we had a wonderful time and lovely weather,” said Rachael.
- If you'd like to see your wedding feature in the Irish Examiner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org