Offbeat partner: Shannon, Healthcare IT Consultant
Offbeat partner: Thomas, Deputy Press Secretary
Date and location of wedding: Farmland on the Cliffs Walk at Doonagore, Doolin, County Clare, Ireland — May 9, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
When choosing the wedding destination, we thought of all the incredible places we'd visited and that we wanted to share with our friends and family. Doolin, Ireland easily stood out. We could have easily hosted a beautiful beach wedding in California (where I am from) or a mountain wedding in Colorado (where the groom is from), but we wanted to do something different that was unique to our relationship. We had been together over seven years and wanted something that reflected us.
We chose a destination with beautiful sites, awesome culture and music, and amazing seafood… and the drinking culture gets us. We started our wedding week with a weekend in Dublin with family and friends. Then we met up with our 65 American guests in Doolin on the west Coast of Ireland for a welcome party. On Monday we hosted our friends at the Cliffs of Moher and many of them hiked up past our ceremony site.
That evening we hosted our rehearsal dinner at a pub in town. Then Tuesday was the wedding day. The ceremony was at 2:00pm and the party ended at 6:00am. We hosted a farewell BBQ Wednesday afternoon and then joined a bunch of family and friends on a ferry ride beneath the Cliffs of Moher (we gifted our guests tickets as wedding favors). It was an epic wedding week and not like any wedding we'd attended before.
Tell us about the ceremony:
It was on the cliffs, just north of the Cliffs of Moher, owned by a local farmer. We were their first wedding on the land. Our ceremony included the traditional Irish handfasting ceremony performed by our mothers. My brother read “From Instructions For Life In The New Millennium” by the 14th Dalai Lama and “The Privileged Lovers” By Rumi. The groom's aunt read “Anam Cara” By John O Donoghue.
It was a spiritualist ceremony, because we wanted something inclusive of both of our beliefs. I am Christian and Thomas is atheist. Local musicians played the fiddle and concertina.
Tell us about your reception:
The reception started with a two-hour cocktail hour in the courtyard at Hotel Doolin with a trad band. We moved into Marquee tent for a five-course meal, midnight dinner, and dancing until 2:00am. We moved into the pub after and stayed until the sun came up. The vibe was bringing the Irish countryside indoors.
We invited our vendors and their partners to our reception and made place cards for them. We figured there was no way we could keep the party going without some locals, and they were amazing! My favorite moment was our entrance to the reception — Thomas spun and dipped me without any planning.