Real LGBT Weddings

Don Donnelly & Garreth O’Mahony

17th September 2013  

Don Donnelly and Garreth O’Mahony first laid eyes on each other eleven years ago. The pair initially met online and got on so well they decided to meet in person to see if anything would come out of this blossoming friendship. They met for dinner and have had many meals together since.Don, who works for Tesco, had lived in many exotic locations such as Spain, Geneva, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the U.S. before he settled in Ireland. Garreth is a self-employed IT contractor. They keep themselves busy – so busy in fact they recently set up a business together called LegalEase which will provide accounting services to the legal profession.

Ever the romantic and spontaneous person, Don told Garreth last year to pack his bags, he was taking him to Turkey on holidays. “He gave me ten hours notice before our flight,” laughs Garreth looking back.“After a wonderful six days where we visited the Gates of Hell in Ephesus, we packed up and were waiting on the bus to bring us to the airport. With five minutes to go Don proposed to me, saying that as we had visited the gates of hell we could go anywhere. I said ‘Yes’ immediately. Well it was either that or a difficult six hour journey home.”

All loved up back in Ireland plans quickly fell into place to get married. They booked Fallons Bar and Restaurant in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare for a small and cozy December wedding. “We wanted an intimate occasion so we invited 30 guests, Don’s and my family and some close friends,” said Garreth. “We wanted the occasion to be informal, almost as if we invited the guests to our house for dinner.” Don and Garreth decided upon kilts as their wedding attire. “We wore kilts in our family colours, Red for the Donnelly’s and Green for the O’Mahony’s. This allowed us to stand out as the married couple and yes, nothing was worn under the kilts, it was all in perfect working order!” 

Through the ceremony there was three very personal songs sung. They entered to “If I Was to Fall in Love” by Christy Hennessey – it was Garreth’s late father’s favourite song. “It’s Getting Better” by Mama Cass was played during the ceremony, a song which tells the story of their relationship and “Something Inside So Strong” by Labi Sifre was played at the end, a song which portrays the struggle for gay rights. 
“During the reception we decided to play all of our favourite songs on an iPod in the background. After the reception Don’s sister-in-law sang two songs for us,” tells Garreth.

Although there was no set theme for the big day, it being the festive time of year they happened upon a natural one. “We incorporated many Christmas elements into the day. We had crackers for each of the guests, we gave a tree bauble as a wedding favour and had Christmas stockings for each of the children.” Adding his own personal touch to the wedding Garreth designed their wedding cake. It was an angel sponge cake with a melon curd filling and a meringue butter cream frosting. “I gave the recipe to Alice’s restaurant in Naas who made the cake for us the day before the ceremony. We coated the frosting in edible glitter in the colours of the gay pride flag and separated the colours using Jelly Beans (Don’s favourite). Eibhlin created two figurines for the top dressed in Kilts and Magda did a wonderful job decorating the cake.”  

And that wasn’t the only personal touches. Instead of a mass booklet they created a ceremony souvenir with pictures of them growing up and of all the guests who were at the wedding. “We included snippets of the ceremony and songs that we played. We also created activity booklets for the children to keep them occupied during the afters. We gave them a camera and they had to photograph different things during the reception. If they photographed each one they won a prize.” Garreth describes his wedding to Don as “magical.”  

The Details
Damian from Cardam Photography
Who officiated the ceremony?  
Tommy Gorman performed the ceremony  

Favourite memories of the day  
“No one memory, but the whole day was special. I was afraid that the day would go by in a blur of activity but it didn’t. The speeches were excellent, funny, poignant, personal and quick.”  

The guys flew to New York two days after the wedding. They spent a few days there before travelling onwards to spend Christmas with Don’s sister in Colorado. They then spent a week in Santo Domingo in fabulous winter sun shine.  

First dance  
No First dance. We wanted an informal atmosphere where nobody felt pressurised to dance.  

Anything unique  
“When we first started dating we bought a bottle of whiskey which we kept. We gave each member of our wedding party a whiskey tankard as a thank you gift and filled it with the ten year old whiskey.”          

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