Clodagh Leonard and Aisling Dolan
Belleek Castle Hotel – October 27, 2018
Photographs courtesy of Rob Coakley Photography
After being introduced by a mutual friend on a night out in Dublin, Clodagh Leonard from Mayo and Aisling Dolan from Offaly instantly hit it off and it wasn’t long before the girls began seeing each other exclusively.
Aisling popped the question to brunette beauty Clodagh the day the results of the marriage referendum in 2015. A friend had asked permission to film the girls’ reaction to the ‘Yes’ win and when the final tally was revealed, Aisling turned to Clodagh and asked for her hand in marriage.
With Clodagh giving a resounding yes, the wedding was booked for October 27, 2018 at the beautiful Belleek Castle in Clodagh’s home county of Mayo. Aisling’s bridal party consisted of best-person, Sinead Dolan and bridesmaids Niamh Dolan, Sorcha Dolan and Molly O Grady. Clodagh’s consisted of Lorcan Devaney as best man and groom’s maids Bronagh Leonard, Mick Donovan and Jonathan Hayes.
With the venue providing such a breath-taking backdrop, the girls knew they needed a photographer skilled enough to make use of it, which is where Rob Coakley came in, capturing each magic moment of their day. Funky sounds and jazzy moves for the wedding were provided by the extraordinarily talented Tongue in Chic wedding band, who made sure there wasn’t a soul amongst the guests who hadn’t danced their socks off.
With such a special love for each other, their wedding was of course going to have special and touching moments throughout. Both the girls’ dads had a role in the ceremony, with Aisling’s dad singing the processional song while Clodagh was walked down the aisle by her dad.
Clodagh and Aisling’s friend Patrick O Laoghaire from the band I Have A Tribe wrote a song about love for them and secretly taught it to the guests to surprise the girls.
“Patrick O’Laoghaire of ‘I Have a Tribe’ wrote us a song and had taught all our guests the chorus without telling us, which was such a beautiful moment to hear all of our gathered friends and families singing about our love,” Clodagh shares. A pride flag was used for the handfasting ceremony, which was brought up by the two women who had introduced the soulmates to each other, Emma Corcoran and Sinead Wright.
“Seeing each other for the first time at the top of the aisle was just incredible. The entire ceremony was so full of love and had input from so many people that were so important to us,” Clodagh replies when asked what they’re favourite moment had been throughout the wedding.
“This is such a beautiful moment to celebrate your love. There is no expectation, and this is a great opportunity to create our own traditions. People don’t know what to expect of same-sex weddings so do what you want,” Clodagh reveals on what she’s learned from the amazing experience that was hers and Aisling’s wedding.
How was your experience with Belleek Castle?
Belleek castle were incredible to work with, the staff were so kind and helpful. The food was unbelievable, they were super accommodating of dietary requirements. Particularly for our vegan and vegetarian guests. They did our flowers for us and really understood the theme we were going for. They were also great craic and just really understanding of all the little quirks of our day. Eva in particular co-ordinated our day and deserves awards for her patients.