Our Wedding Story: Elaborate engagement celebrations in Thailand

Couple married in Kilkenny in front of 70 loved ones after meeting in Thailand

John James Rush and Kattiya Putrasreni

John, from Kilkenny, completed a degree in art and design in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and in 2008 travelled to Thailand where he found a job as an animation teacher at the American School of Bangkok.

Three years later, he met Kattiya, a stage manager for a Thai TV company from Saraburi province.

The couple got engaged last year and as is Thai tradition, the celebration party was an elaborate affair – “like a wedding, where everyone wore gold”. John’s mother, aunt and cousin made the journey to Thailand to celebrate with the couple.


Having decided to marry in Ireland, about 70 loved ones – including Kattiya’s parents Prasan and Wattanee Putrasreni and her sister, a bridesmaid – were present at the civil ceremony at Butler House, Kilkenny on July 18th, 2016.

This was followed by a reception at Langton House Hotel where the newlyweds' first dance was to Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight.

John, son of Jim and Anna, and Kattiya, travelled to Ireland just after their engagement to organise the wedding and, finalising plans over email, found the process, “pretty stress-free”.

Their favourite part of the day was “when we went across to the rose garden in Kilkenny Castle for photos. As we walked through the gates, buskers serenaded us . . . a really nice, unplanned touch”.

The couple – who say married life feels, “just like it did when we dated but still as special as the day we met” – try to make it back to Ireland once a year and while they still live in Bangkok they say “moving back to Ireland is always an option for us both”.

Photographer: Chris Dolinny, dolinnyphotography.ie