Our Wedding Story: Clonmel meets Capetown at Lyrath Estate
Irishwoman Gillian Flynn and South African Wesley Bearpark met while both were working in Florida
Gillian (26) is a pastry chef from Clonmel, Co Tipperary who most recently worked at the Shelbourne Hotel.
Wesley (26) from Capetown, South Africa, a sous chef at Brasserie 66, met Gillian in 2012 while they were working together in Admiral’s Cove country club in Florida.
In May 2013, as the season came to a close, the couple took a road trip to New York. Wesley proposed in Central Park and they celebrated that evening in the restaurant WD-50.
When Wesley’s contract ended, he moved to Ireland and they were married in a civil ceremony at Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny on May 14th.
After dinner for 26 guests, 80 more joined the couple for a blessing by family friend Father PJ Fegan.
Music during the ceremony was by Will Cullagh and brother of the bride Daniel Flynn who played Pachelbel’s Canon for Gillian’s arrival. Her father Michael and uncle Fergus Flynn are also musicians and sang The Rose. Gerry Cunningham and Danielle Lonergan joined the other musicians later that evening.
A few days beforehand, the groom’s mother Marilynn Smith Bearpark and his uncle David Bearpark surprised him by arriving in Ireland. The bride had her own surprise when friend Josephine Geimecke (and fellow pastry chef from Admiral’s Cove) flew from New Zealand.
Gillian’s dress was being made when, after months of alterations, she was in Clonmel picking up her wedding ring and spotted her dream dress in the window of Cinderella Bridal. Wesley’s suit was from Fitzeralds Menswear, Clonmel. The bride’s sister Cliodhna Flynn was bridesmaid and Max Kraemer (friends with the groom since their days in Florida) was the best man.
Gillian’s best friend Joanne wrote a poem which she read during the ceremony and her other brother Michael (Spike) made “a speech that was so moving and heartfelt that even the staff were in tears”.
Along with her friend Jose and mother Jennifer Doyle Flynn (also a pastry chef who runs The Sweetest Thing in Clonmel), Gillian spent days creating a dessert display for the reception. Flowers on the day were by Tina’s Florist, Clonmel. The couple give a special shout-out to Gillian’s “amazing nanny and granddad”, Alty and Mike Doyle.
The newlyweds, who live on Kildare Street in Dublin, spent their honeymoon in and around Cape Town. Gillian started her new role in Taste restaurant in June.