Wedding of the Week: 

A couple who met while attending secondary school and started dating in their late teens, wed recently in their home parish of Blarney, County Cork 
Wedding of the Week: 

Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, at Blarney Castle, County Cork. Picture: Bismark Photography

A JELLY ring in a Keane’s jewellery box and scrabble letters spelling ‘Will You Marry Me’, were the perfect props when Declan Ryan, from Killeens, proposed to Marie-Clare Burke, from Blarney.

Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, at Blarney Castle, County Cork. Picture: Bismark Photography
Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, at Blarney Castle, County Cork. Picture: Bismark Photography

The couple met while attending Scoil Mhuire gan Smal, Blarney, and started going out when they were 17. Their friends and classmates from school joined them at their wedding.

Marie-Clare Burke and her bridal party, outside the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Blarney, County Cork.
Marie-Clare Burke and her bridal party, outside the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Blarney, County Cork.

Recalling the proposal, Marie-Clare said: “My dad distracted me by taking me to town for a coffee that morning. When I came home, Declan had our kitchen and conservatory decorated with flowers and balloons. He had the scrabble board game on the kitchen table and had spelled out ‘will you marry me’. There was a jelly ring in a Keane’s box and when I turned around he was down on one knee.”

At the church door, Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan.
At the church door, Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan.

They were married on July 27, 2019, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Blarney, by parish priest, Fr Michael Fitzgerald.

The couple said: “It was important to us both to get married in our local church with our friends and family present. Fr Michael gave a lovely mass and we had both sides of our families as well as friends involved in the readings and prayers.”

Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, with their groomsmen and bridesmaids.
Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, with their groomsmen and bridesmaids.

Claire Heffernan did the church music. The suits and shoes were from Morleys formal wear on Daunt’s Square.

Declan Ryan with his best man and groomsmen. 
Declan Ryan with his best man and groomsmen. 

The bride’s wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses were both from Vows in Blarney. Her shoes were Jimmy Choo from Brown Thomas. She wore pearl earrings and a necklace from her parents. Hair was by ‘Hair by Zara’ in Blarney and The Beauty rooms in Cloghroe for everything beauty-related. The very talented make-up artist Caroline Bourke looked after them on the morning of the wedding.

Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, on their wedding day, with their bridal party.
Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan, on their wedding day, with their bridal party.

Jasmine Bullock, a local florist, did the bouquets and button holes and a fresh flower comb for each of the bridesmaids.

The reception took place in The Radisson in Little Island. The couple said: “We looked at a few hotels but after meeting their wedding planner, Joanne O’Donoghue, we knew it was the hotel for us. They went above and beyond to ensure everything on the day went smoothly.”

Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan with family outside the church in Blarney.
Marie-Clare Burke and Declan Ryan with family outside the church in Blarney.

The cake was made by family friends, while the wedding car was rented from Christy Buckley in Vicarstown. The band were the Boogie Men and the couple’s first song was Yellow by Coldplay.

As to what was the most memorable thing about the day?

“Having everyone with us to celebrate the happy occasion.”

Bismark photography looked after the photos while Anthony Fleming captured the day on video.

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