Our wedding story: organised from Australia, celebrated in Ireland

Cathy Holland and Barry O'Callaghan Barry (30), from Togher, Cork, an operations manager for a formwork company, and Cathy (27), a disability support worker from Cloghroe, also Cork, met in 2007 on Washington Street, where they shared a pizza after a night out.

They moved to Perth in 2008 and on Barry’s 29th birthday, in November 2013, he wrote his marriage proposal in the sand on Floreat Beach.

During a Christmas trip home that year the couple chose Fernhill House Hotel and Gardens as their venue.

After returning to Australia, they were assisted in the wedding planning process by family, friends – and the internet.


Barry’s parents, Mary and Michael O’Callaghan, visited churches with bridesmaid Jane O’Driscoll; his sisters Orla and Vivienne carried out the Prosecco-tasting, organised the invitations and, said the bride, “were the eyes and ears for groomsmen suit decisions”.

Cathy's mother, Sheila, recommended the florist, Patricia Duggan of Fuchsia Flowers; her sister Ann made the cake; and her other sister, Hilary – who married in 2013 – was on hand for all related tips. Videographer John Hennessy, who recorded Hilary's wedding day, was booked for Cathy and Barry's too.

The couple found the ceremony musicians, Cadenza Wedding Music, online after watching them on YouTube.

On June 13th, 2015, two weeks after arriving home in Cork, Cathy and Barry were married at Timoleague Church.

The bride’s father, Noel Holland, passed away suddenly in July 2014 so “it was very special to have my mom to walk me up the aisle”, Cathy said.

Hilary Holland was the maid of honour and bridesmaids were Louise Holland, Ann Holland and Jane O'Driscoll. Cathy's niece Niamh Passmore was the flower girl.

Barry, his best man, Michael Harrington, and groomsmen Graeme Browne, Colin Foley and Michael O'Mahony, wore suits from Lapel 1865 in Cork.

Cathy found her Sottero Midgley wedding dress in a look-book at a wedding Expo in Australia and ordered it from Cinderella's Closet in Cork. She spotted hairdresser Lynsey O'Leary and make-up artist Kate Noonan on Facebook.

The couple booked a band they've been fans of for years, J90, and their first dance ("un-choreographed . . . that had us each so nervous but it turned out to be so much fun") was to Barry White's You're the First, the Last, My Everything.

Two days after the wedding, the newlyweds flew to Las Vegas and then travelled down the coast of California for three weeks before flying back to Perth on July 6th.

Photographs: Brian Mulligan, brianmulligan.ie