Maria & Jon’s Irish Wedding

Franki Hobson


Jun 16, 2015

Newlyweds: Maria, 36, freelance make-up artist, and Jonathan, 37, electrician.

Ceremony: St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath, Ireland.


“The ceremony was Catholic as I am Irish Catholic, Jon is English Baptist. There were a few words also spoken in Gaelic (Irish).”

“I walked into the church while Ave Maria was being played by my Uncle Vincent and Aunt Ruth. My nephew, Ryan, who is 15 months-old, made it all the way to the alter with the rings!”


“We had a beautiful ceremony and when the priest said, ‘You may kiss the bride…’ Jon kissed me, then waved to the congregation like he was a rock star thanking his audience!”

“When Jon was signing the registry, the priest handed him the pen upside down and Jon started to write, and couldn’t work out why there was no ink! This is typical Jon behaviour, so everyone was very amused!”


Reception: Mount Druid Boutique Camping, Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath, Ireland.

“The venue was a glamping site with a man-made lake. The accommodation included Mongolian yurts, Shepherds huts and retro caravans.”

Guests: 85


Wedding theme: “It was a ‘Music Festival’ theme to tie in with the rustic style venue. We called it The JAM Wedfest (The Jon and Maria Wedfest)!

The Dress: “I wore a Maggie Sottero full-length ivory dress with lace capped sleeves, a keyhole lace back and a plunging neckline. There was lace embellishment from the bust to just below the hips, along the side of the dress. The rest of the dress was a matte satin fabric.”

Dress cost: $2,500


Hair ‘do: “My hair was blow-dried straight and I made my own birdcage veil using netting and an old diamond brooch, which I purchased in a thrift store.”

Rings: “Jon designed my engagement ring! It is a white gold band with a 1.2 carat cushion-cut solitaire. My wedding band features two slim, white gold bands with 15 small diamonds on each band. They sit on either side of my engagement ring. One is engraved with our names and a tiny diamond, and the other is engraved with the wedding date.


Jon’s wedding band is brushed white gold with diamonds on the inside of the band, and both of our names and wedding date engraved on it.”

Bridal party: “We had three bridesmaids, two groomsmen and a page boy.”

Bridesmaids dresses: “They wore navy dupioni fabric tea-length dresses with a boat neck and nude shoes.”


Invitations: “I made the invitations myself using brown kraft card. I designed the image by using the venue’s illustrations of Mongolian yurts and barns.”

Bouquets: “My mother-in-law, Yvonne, and I made the bouquets, using local flowers from the market. My bouquet was made up of long-stemmed daisies held together with brown twine and netting. I attached old brooches – one belonged to my grandmother and the second belonged to Jon’s grandmother on to the netting. We made baby’s breath bouquets for the bridesmaids and the buttonholes.”

Wedding eve: “We arrived at the venue on the Friday, which was the day before the wedding, and set up the barn for the next day. Jon stayed in a cottage with his family, who are from the UK, and I stayed with my family in another cottage. Wedding eve I had dinner with the family and had some beauty treatments with my bridesmaids. Jon had dinner with his family and went to the local pub, ‘The Drake Inn’, for a pint, which managed to last until 3am!”

Traditions: “Being Irish, an old tradition is to have a statue called ‘the child of Prague’ and leave it outside the house the night before your wedding, in order to receive fine weather on the wedding day – if the head falls off, it means the weather will be fine! So, my grandmother, who is 96 years old gave me her ‘child of Prague’ from her wedding day. I placed it outside, and low and behold, the morning of the wedding I discovered the head on the ground next to the statue! Our guests were sure it was going to be a cold, rainy and miserable, but they were wrong! The sun shone from arrivals to departure – it actually started hailing as we drove out of town!”


Wedding morning: “While I was getting ready I received a beautiful handwritten card from Jon and a lovely Pandora bracelet, which brought tears to my eyes. I had already written a letter to Jon and sent it to his mum to give to him on the morning, he got a little emotional as well!”

Decorations: “White paper lanterns hung from the barn ceiling. We had tea lights in jam jars and white and blue long candles in candelabras. Floral arrangements were baby’s breath and blue daisies, arranged in little jam jars by my mother-in-law, Yvonne.”


“Jon and I made table names using old vinyl records. We chose different music bands and created labels to reflect the original artwork, then secured them by slotting them into a wine cork, inside the wine bottle.”

“We made name settings with Kraft card, then used mini pegs to secure them to each wine glass.”


“Jon and I made a JAM WEDFEST burlap sign and hung it across the stage.”

“Our dinner reception was at the main barn. We had a table set up with a polaroid camera, coloured pens, glue dots and a guest book for everyone to sign and stick a pic inside.”


“We had canapés after the ceremony at the Mount Druid Lake House. The lake house is the most amazing place and holds so much character. Decked out with taxidermy animals and random shoes in a cabinet and old style lounges.”

Entertainment: “Jon and I created numerous playlists from rock to traditional Irish music, Oasis, blues, Jazz, Bob Dylan… and played them throughout dinner. Then, my uncle Vincent Ryan played live music, which was amazing.”

Bridal waltz: “We danced to Bob Dylan’s ‘Emotionally Yours’, which my uncle sang live.”


“I was delighted that our friends from Australia and New York were able to make the long trek over to Ireland.”

“The music was amazing, Everyone danced, drank, sang, laughed then drank some more!


“As I made my way to the dancefloor, my brother John decided to have a bit of a dance off with me. While everyone stood around in a circle, he proceeded to bust some moves and pulled out his known party piece THE WORM! In my competitive state, I did the worm too – three times, all while wearing my beautiful elegant wedding dress!”



“It was a repertoire of Mount Druid homemade breads accompanied by our own relishes and pesto, with Rogan’s Applewood smoked back bacon, smoked salmon and various mini vegetarian and meat tartlets.


Cream of végétale soup


  • Slow roast supreme of marinated chicken served with scallion mash, honey roast root vegetables and homemade gravy.
  • Slow roasted lamb with mint jus on a bed of spring onion mash accompanied by seasonal vegetables


“Cupcakes and carrot cake wedding cake, made by my sister, Catherine.”

Wedding cake: “My sister, Catherine (with help from Jon!) made 85 cupcakes and decorated them with white icing and yellow and blue daisies. The main cake was a carrot cake, as this is Jon’s favourite. It was also decorated with white icing and yellow daisies.”

Favours: “We made a playlist of relevant songs from the day and put them on a CD for everyone. I kept with the invitation design and printed kraft card envelopes to slide the CD’s into.”

Transport: “My mammy, Daddy and I made our way to the church in an original old style Morris Minor, named Morris!”


“The night ended at 3am for Jon and I which is when we finished up singing and dancing and made out way back to our honeymoon yurt.

For the record… I carried Jon over the threshold!”


Wedding Cost: $20,000

Best advice for other brides? “Relax, enjoy and don’t sweat the small details. Take time out of the day and night to spend with your new husband. Don’t feel like you need to speak to every single guest, they understand!”

Stolen moments: “The best decision I made about the day was to sneak off every hour with my husband and sit in a corner where no one could see us and spend a few minutes together.”



Photography: Amy French at Rubistyle Photography

Dress: Maggie Soterro, Abbey Bridal, Dymocks Building, Sydney (02) 9233 5106

Shoes: Panache Bridal Shoes, Dymocks Building, Sydney (02) 9232 3808

Rings: Raphael Jewelers, The Strand Arcade, Sydney (02) 9233 4843

Make-up: Adrienne Kennedy Campion, Make-up Dept Dublin Ireland (08) 72808979

Beauty treatments: Karen Smith at Beauty By Karen, Sydney e:

Groom’s suit: Jack London, Newtwon, Sydney (02) 9519 3194

Shoes: Barker Shoes, London

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Alfred Sung, Weddington Way

Florist: Smithfield Markets Dublin

Ceremony: St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath, Ireland

Ceremony music: Vincent Ryan, +353 (86) 812 0139 e:

Reception: Mount Druid Boutique Camping, Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath


Honeymoon: “We went snowboarding in Banff, Canada.”

What do you love about Maria and John’s wedding? Tell us below…


By Franki Hobson


Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships. Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.


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