The father of this bride 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 her bridegroom Graham Murphy, from Grove Place, Derry city, live in Abu Dhabi, UAE, but returned to these shores to tie the knot.
“My dad is well known for his creativity. The wedding cake stand he made was decorated with wild mountain heather and was a real artistic showstopper," says Niamh.
"And an oak cake stand was super-fitting as Graham is from Derry, which is the Oak County."
Celebrations started at the bride’s family home Lissyclearig Thatched Cottage B&B in Kenmare town, where their wedding photographer, Padraig Healy, was behind the lens.
“Getting ready at our fairytale thatched cottage on the morning of our wedding was another dream come true,” adds the bride.
And Davey wasn’t the only creative family member at work: Graham's sister Olivia (@_rustic.craft_) “made the most beautiful personalised signs for the wedding”, says Niamh.
The couple were married in Holy Cross Church, Kenmare, by Father George Hayes and held their reception in Dromquinna Manor, Kenmare.
By their side were Niamh’s mum and dad Carmel and Davey and Graham’s mother Noreen. Very much in their thoughts was the groom’s late father John Murphy.
Niamh’s love of nursing and travel took her to Abu Dhabi in 2015 where, three years later, she met Graham in a sports bar: “I invited him to join me in dragon-boating and he invited me to play on his touch rugby team."
Two years later, they got engaged, in December 2020, while on a weekend away in the desert for UAE national day.
Guests converged on Kerry from the four provinces of Ireland as well as across the globe for the wedding.
The groom’s best man Philip and former rugby teammates surprised him with a guard of honour outside the church. “Confetti was replaced with rugby balls,” says Niamh.
“Graham has played rugby for years — at school in Derry, in Trinity College, with Abu Dhabi Harlequins and international rugby for UAE.”
The couple describe the event as “an amazing, 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 the square Kenmare followed by a very relaxed outdoor wedding reception in Dromquinna Manor,” adds Graham.
Niamh’s friend, Ciara O’Sullivan, was her chief 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 flower girl and Niamh’s nephew, Brooklyn Breen, and Graham’s nephew, Roe Murphy, were the pageboys.
Niamh sourced her dress from The White Ivy Bridal Boutique in Kenmare and the bridal hairstyling was by Collette O’Sullivan with Trisha Clery Harrington ensuring her makeup was picture-perfect.
The groom and his party were dapper in suits by Different Class Menswear, Derry.
The newlyweds enjoyed a five-star honeymoon in the Europe Hotel & Resort, Killarney.
Niamh is a nurse at Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi and Graham is a construction cost manager.
The couple have now returned to the UAE. “We look forward to moving home — destination to be confirmed, Derry, Kerry or somewhere in between!” says Graham.
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