Our wedding story: ‘All of a sudden you’re sitting beside your husband’

Aoife O’Connor and Ben Collister met at a comedy club, and had a ‘hysterical’ wedding night

Dubliner Aoife O’Connor and Ben Collister, from the Cotswolds, met at the King’s Head Comedy Club in London in 2010, were engaged in Santorini in October 2013 and married by Eithne Dempsey in a Humanist ceremony at Haughton House, Dublin Zoo on December 12th, 2014.

“We don’t consider ourselves Humanist but it gives you more freedom, and it’s more personal,” said Aoife, who works on the leadership team at the preschool at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Readings by family members were chosen from The Velveteen Rabbit and Maybe, and afterwards the 90 guests travelled to Tinakilly House in Wicklow.

“We hadn’t accounted for Friday evening traffic so it was a really long journey, but it gave me and Ben loads of time to sit there and think about what had just happened,” laughed the bride. “All of a sudden you’re sitting beside your husband.”


With almost-exclusive use of the house for the weekend, “we essentially had a big house party”, and high praise was reserved for the venue’s “exceptional staff”. The meal was followed by speeches, a surprise poem by the bride and music by The Bentley Boys.

The bride and groom had requested that their guests wear Christmas jumpers for day two of the celebrations, which kicked off with a table quiz over beef and Guinness stew. “We thought only a few would do it, but everyone turned up in jumpers that sang and flashed – it was brilliant.”

“An hysterical night” followed the arrival of a “spectacular” traditional Irish music band. Friend of the bride Deirdre McManus, an astrophysicist, did the wedding flower arranging but also transported the whole lot, plus wine, honeymoon luggage and her own Christmas presents from the UK in her van.

The couple spent four weeks driving around South Africa and Botswana for their honeymoon.

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Photographs: Lionel Taplin, stealthedayphotography.co.uk