A SPARK was first ignited between Tom Ahern and Joe Burkett when they met by chance at the Killarney Races in July, 2014.
Three years later while on holiday in Australia, Tom planned a secret proposal on the set of Neighbours in Melbourne. A surprised Joe said ‘Yes’ to the all-important question.
Following one Covid-related postponement, the couple tied the knot on August 1, 2021, in the stunning Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork.
Jackie Day, the couple’s wedding coordinator, executed the day to perfection.
Joe, director of the Joe Burkett Theatre Company and Performing Arts tutor for Inspired, is the son of John and Teresa, of Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry. Tom is a financial controller and son of Michael and Josephine, of Glasheen, Cork city.
Aoife Hurley, the celebrant, worked tirelessly with the grooms to create a ceremony that was personal to both of them.
The wedding party’s hair was by Cathyanne Kelleher of Cathyanne Bridal Hair and makeup was by Michelle Ryan, make-up artist.
The couple exchanged their vows in an outdoor ceremony at the castle moat. Joe’s close friend and musical director Claire Adams was accompanied by Orpheus Duo.
Tom’s best man and brother Denis Ahern, his first lady Bridget Dunne and Joe’s best man Dave O’Shea and his first lady and best friend Karen Best walked up the aisle along with the page boys and flower girls, Rhys Power, Finn Ahern, Freya Godley and Ellen O’Donovan to Canon in D. Tom chose Come What May while Joe opted for Love Thy Will Be Done. The groom’s mothers gave them away.
An emotional spiritualist ceremony followed and included readings by Joe’s sisters Mag Power, Avril Godley. Tom’s sister, Sheila O’Donovan, gave a beautiful rendition of Angel of Mine.
A jigsaw ceremony was introduced by the couple, who had a Love Heart-shaped jigsaw made especially, featuring pictures of them, their family, and friends. The couple’s godchildren were on hand to bring up the pieces.
Joe’s best friend Karen Farrelly sang Higher and Higher as the couple danced down the aisle.
Tara Aherne of Tara Aherne Photography and Eamon Dennehy of Aisling Productions captured the entire day.
Rachel, from Ina McCarthy for Flowers, ensured the floral displays were a burst of colour. The couple’s many travels were also lovingly portrayed in the wedding decorations designed by Tom.
The 3-tier cake was made by Louise Byrne from The Little Love Knot Bakery.
Their first dance was to Affirmation by Savage Garden followed by evening entertainment in the form of a specially made bingo game, a Mr and Mr Quiz, and Tayto sandwiches.