Wedding of the Week: Ciara and Padraig married by the same priest who wed bride's parents

A luxury manor house at the foot of Ireland's highest mountain range was the setting for Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan's wedding
Wedding of the Week: Ciara and Padraig married by the same priest who wed bride's parents

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan. Pictures: Ian Cronin Photography

A historic 18th-century manor house at the foot of the MacGillycuddy Reeks in Kerry was the picture-perfect setting for Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan’s big day.

The luxury Churchtown House in Beaufort, Killarney, rolled out the red carpet for its second-ever wedding after Ciara, from Scartaglin, Co Kerry, and Padraig, from Ballinhassig, Co Cork, exchanged vows in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Scartaglin.

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan were married at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Scartaglin
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan were married at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Scartaglin

The wedding Mass, in April, was led by Fr Larry Kelly, Ciara’s dad’s cousin, who had also performed the marriage ceremony for the bride’s parents 31 years before.

Orla O’Connor sang When You Say Nothing At All as Ciara walked up the aisle and the bride’s mother sang Your Wedding Day by Jimmy Buckley during the reflection.

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan's wedding reception was at Churchtown House
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan's wedding reception was at Churchtown House

Ciara looked elegant in an Enzoani dress she sourced in Diamond Bridal, Cork.

“The whole day was perfect,” said the bride. “The sun shone, we were blessed with the weather — it was like a summer’s day with blue skies.”

Bride Ciara O'Connor with Aoife Brosnan, Orla O'Connor, Áine O'Connor and Maura McCarthy.
Bride Ciara O'Connor with Aoife Brosnan, Orla O'Connor, Áine O'Connor and Maura McCarthy.

As the newlyweds emerged from the church, they were greeted by socially-distanced friends and family, applauding them. “It was a lovely surprise and really made our day,” said Ciara.

 Padraig Brennan with Eddie Finn, Stephen Sheehan, David Brennan and Kyle O'Donovan.
Padraig Brennan with Eddie Finn, Stephen Sheehan, David Brennan and Kyle O'Donovan.

Jonathan and his team at Churchtown House ensured the celebration was “exquisite”, said the bride.

“It was magical,” she added. “Nothing was too much trouble and the staff knew all of us by name! Because it was a small wedding, it was really intimate.” 

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan had a 'magical' wedding
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan had a 'magical' wedding

The newlyweds travelled in style, thanks to Horan’s Wedding Cars, and the church flowers were by Enchanted Flowers, Macroom.

Ian Cronin of Ian Cronin Photography and Riona MacMonagle captured the big day on camera, while LM Videography made a movie of the occasion.

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan with Marie and Seamus O’Connor and Bernie and Peter Brennan
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan with Marie and Seamus O’Connor and Bernie and Peter Brennan

The couple met 11 years ago in Limerick, in Molly’s bar. “I was in college in Limerick at the time and a mutual friend, Fiona O’Brien Kelly, who lives in Kinsale, would always give Padraig the heads-up if I was about to visit,” she said.

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan originally met in Limerick
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan originally met in Limerick

The rest is history. Padraig organised a surprise proposal on July 23, 2018, in Muckross, in Killarney National Park, with the help of another friend, Aoife Brosnan.

“I was to go out for dinner with the girls and was ready — wearing a maxi dress — when my friends suggested we go for walk,” said Ciara.

As they approached Muckross Lake, Ciara spotted candles lit along the walkway overlooking the lake. “It was where we had strolled on one of our first dates, and that’s where we got engaged,” said Ciara.

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan got engaged at Muckross Lake
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan got engaged at Muckross Lake

Both sets of parents, Marie and Seamus O’Connor and Bernie and Peter Brennan, the bride's sister, Aine O'Connor, maid of honour, and the groom's brother, David Brennan, best man, played key roles in their big day.

Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan were married in April 2021
Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan were married in April 2021

They had originally booked another hotel but when faced with restrictions on numbers due to the pandemic changed plans and went on to organise a bijou celebration at Churchtown House. 

Ciara O'Connor and Pádraig Brennan with Ciara's grandfather Hugh O'Leary.
Ciara O'Connor and Pádraig Brennan with Ciara's grandfather Hugh O'Leary.

Although they had originally dreamed of a 200-guest wedding, the newlyweds have no regrets about their smaller do. "I wouldn't change it for the world. I would tell anyone else who is planning their wedding at the moment, 'Go for it'," said Ciara. "Churchtown House made our dreams come true."

Sealed with a kiss: Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan
Sealed with a kiss: Ciara O’Connor and Padraig Brennan

The bride, a teacher at Scoil Naomh Eltin, Kinsale, and groom, who is a part-time farmer and also works at Glasslyn Veterinary Clinic, Bandon, live in Kilbrittain.

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