When Galway native Conor Bernie decided to pay a visit to a pal working in Kerry for few days, it was to change the course of his life.
Because Cupid’s arrow struck during that time and, almost a decade and a half later, Conor is living in the Kingdom.
He and Deirdre Galwey recently exchanged wedding vows in Ballygarry House Hotel near Tralee.
“We first met back in 2008, when Conor was visiting a friend who was working down in Killarney for a weekend,” says Deirdre.
“Conor ended up staying longer than planned.”
The pair’s paths crossed on a “random Monday night out”, she adds.
“We started a long-distance relationship with trips up and down to Galway and Kerry and here we are nearly 13 years later. Conor moved to the Kingdom around 2010 and hasn’t left.”
Deirdre, originally from Currow — known for rugby legends Mick Galwey, Moss Keane and currently JJ Hanrahan — and Conor were married in a midday ceremony in the pavilion at Ballygarry which was followed by a sun-splashed drinks reception in the garden and later that evening, a meal in the hotel.
“The weather was beautiful — we were very lucky, there was definitely no need for the umbrellas packed in the boot,” says Deirdre.
Helping them celebrate were the bride’s parents Marie and David Galwey and the groom’s parents Valerie and Joe Bernie.
Deirdre’s friend Melissa Sheehy was her bridesmaid while Conor’s brother Joseph Bernie was his best man.
The couple got engaged near where they now live, in Killorglin. “We’ve travelled a lot throughout the world over the years, but I had to laugh when we got engaged literally a half a mile down the road from our house, at Ballykissane Pier in Killorglin. After Conor got the go-ahead from my dad he got down on one knee and popped the question.”
They had originally planned to tie the knot in September 2020. “This would have been a big party with 120 guests including our family and friends from home and abroad, but Covid hit and restrictions set in, and like many others, we ended up cancelling and rebooking a few times,” says Deirdre. “We decided it was third time lucky and went ahead with our small intimate wedding.
“Our big day was very relaxed and that’s exactly what we wanted. Thys [Vogels] from the Ballygarry took us under his wing; he and his brilliant staff couldn’t do enough for us.”
They were wed by registrar Mary T O’Shea with Conor’s mother Valerie and Deirdre’s father David were the witnesses. “My dad walked me down the aisle to Lily Allen’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’,” says Deirdre.
The bride looked picture-perfect in a Lucy gown by Alexandra Grecco teamed with a gold Stella headpiece, both from The White & Gold Bridal Shop in Kinsale.
Unique Hair Salon, Castlemaine, looked after the bridal hairstyling and Deirdre, who owns Beau & Co Beauty Salon, Castlemaine, did her own makeup.
The groom and his party were dapper in suits by Suits Select.
Photographer Breda Daly of Love Story captured the occasion on camera.
Maura Sheehy of Maura’s Cottage Flowers created the floral arrangements and the bride’s sister Aoife surprised the couple with a wedding cake she created, complete with a personalised cake topper.
Deirdre is self-employed and makes handmade soy candles (Beau & Co Botanics) as well as running her beauty salon, and Conor works in social care.
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