Gerard Sweetman and Stefano Iannelli
September 21 – Lough Rea Hotel & Spa
Photographs courtesy of Paul Duane Photography
By John Harty
After Clonmel native Gerard Sweetman and Galway born Stefano Ianneli met on Facebook and instantly hit it off, Stefano would surprise Gerard while he was at work to ask him out for a drink.
The two future husbands would officially start dating a year after that drink, with both men knowing that the best things come to those who wait.
Stefano would again surprise Gerard on the latter’s 30 birthday when he got down on one knee in front of their friends and family and popped the question, with Gerard’s reply being a resounding yes once he’d gotten over the shock.
The location for the boys’ big day was the luxurious and accommodating Lough Rea Hotel and Spa, Co. Galway, while the date was September 21, 2018.
Paul Duane was the photographer for the wedding and showed an amazing ability to not only capture moments that are sure to be cherished forever, but to make everyone around him feel relaxed and comfortable.
Top class videographer Damian Sadoski of FMX Video was hired by the lovebirds to make sure no important detail went without being immortalised through film.
The sharp and stylish look of the two lovers was provided by Suit You, Co. Dublin, whose suits made sure both Gerard and Stefano looked ready to for the red carpet.
Wedding bands to symbolise the perfect union between the two lovers were gotten at Clonmel’s A&E Jewellers.
An out of this world ceremony was performed by humanist Bridget Carlin, ensuring that there wasn’t a dry eye among anyone who saw the two soulmates make their vows of eternal love for each other.
Galway based singer Nicola Maguire gave a spectacular performance during the ceremony that made sure the men exchanged vows to incredibly romantic harmonies.
I Do Candle Lighting created a surreal ambience during the ceremony with their wedding décor candles, while wedding drapes from WOW Weddings only added to the perfect design.
Tina’s Florist brought the wedding to life with their vibrant floral decoration and colourful boutiques.
The LOVE SHACK Singer Waiters were there during the reception to provide wedding entertainment in the form of singalong songs, so every guest could get involved.
Wedding band Oddity followed with their high energy music that had the dance floor active with guests letting loose from the second they began.
Other wedding entertainment on the day included Paddy’s Photobooth, which the guests fully embraced, with a multitude of memorable and wacky photos being taken through the night.
The bridal party consisted of Amanda Reddin, Katelyn Sweetman, Aoife O’ Donnell, Emilia Marcello, Natasha Sweetman, Michelle o Mahoney, James o Brien, James Sweetman, Jason Sweetman Gerardo Camilli, Keith O’ Brien, Nathan O’ Reilly, Cayla O’ Connell, Jack O’ Reilly, Lidia Marcello, flower girl Molly Sweetman and page boy Leon O’ Brien.
For their big day, the guys made sure to add personal details that make the experience even more unique and special to them such as having their dogs, or as they call them, their “fur babies” Layla and Missy act as ring bearers during the ceremony.
For both husbands, the favourite memory of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing each other after being apart since the night before, where they then confirmed their love for each other in front of friends and family.
“Don’t stress. It’s your day, your way. Remember if at the end of the day you both get to do what you want which is to marry each other, all the rest will fall into place,” Gerard says, offering his advice to future LGBT couples looking to get married.