Childhood sweethearts brought together by their love of sport

Childhood sweethearts brought together by their love of sport

September 23, 2016 – Langtons House Hotel Kilkenny 

Emma Breen didn’t have to look very hard to find the love of her live, Orla Neary. These two grew up together playing camogie since they were six but it wasn’t until they were 16 that Emma got a lifechanging text from Orla while she was in the library at school. Orla had asked her on a date and the lovebirds have been inseparable ever since. The couple now live together in Kilkenny with their two dogs Buddy and Holly.

They went to a James Stephens Camogie Club match, the club they both played in, on their first date and made a ten-year plan that day. Their plan consisted of finishing school, go to college, get jobs, find a house, get engaged on their eighth anniversary and get married on their tenth. Despite being ready to get engaged much earlier into the relationship they followed their path and they both got down on one knee on September 23, 2014 in the gardens of Kilkenny Castle and said yes! The couple celebrated their wedding at Langtons House Hotel Kilkenny, using the set theatre and the ballroom, with 160 guests.


Stephanie Sherrard, Mary Brady and Leah Coonan stood as bridesmaids for the girls and the dapper bridesmen were Michael Breen, Patrick Neary and Michael Molloy. The adorable flowergirl was Chloe Neary and the proud parents were Michael and Margaret Breen and Paddy and Maria Neary.


Orla wore a stunning ivory gown from Sabella Bridal in Waterford chosen carefully after many shopping trips, and Emma wore a fabulous blue suit from Hennessy’s formal wear Kilkenny. The brides made the brooch bouquets themselves along with a wand for their flowergirl and Orla’s bouquet included a brooch from her Nanny Neary who had passed away. Emma made the wedding cake and dessert table for the big day.

Emma’s cousin, Chloe Power, provided the ceremony music and Men in Black band played after the meal. Photography by Ben captured the couple’s day wonderfully and was amazing on the day and Limelight Videography caught their precious moments on. Cathleen Grace-cashin helped to beautify the brides with fantastic hairdos and Jenny O’Brien was on hand to do the ladies’ makeup. Emma’s dad, Milo Breen, ‘master of invitations’ provided the girls with their invites and the wedding cars were also provided by family, with Emma’s dad and brother’s Volkswagen Golfs used for the bridal party and an Audi for the brides provided by Orla’s cousin Nicola. Orla got her wedding ring in Nolan’s Jewellers Kilkenny while Emma’s ring had belonged to her grandmother, Margaret ‘Peg’ Doran.


Emma and Orla went with a rustic outdoor theme that was really influenced by their love for dogs. Emma grew up training greyhounds with her grandad and uncle, and Orla swiftly joined in on the fun so all of their tables were named after greyhounds. “Our precious pooches couldn’t make it on the day but they also had cookies dedicated to them on the dessert table”, the brides recall.


Emma’s favourite memories included seeing Orla walk down the aisle after such a long wait and dancing all night long, while Orla loved walking down the aisle and getting photos with their family in Langton’s Courtyard as well as the surprise Ferrero Rocher Tree. The ladies decided to have two first dances, Westlife’s ‘Us Against The World’, a song they loved as teenagers, and ‘The Story’ by Sara Ramirez.


Emma and Orla did a lot themselves to make their day personal and it certainly paid off. Orla’s favourite touch were the Tayto sandwiches they had put out at the end of the night as a treat. They also had a candle centrepiece designed with their two family names on them, Doran-Breen and Neary-Coonan. Emma’s grandad Jim and her mom Margaret lit one part of the centrepiece and Orla’s Nanny Biddy and her mom Maria lit the other part to signify two families joining together. The girls also made confetti for their guests to throw which was a great hit and they got some fabulous pictures out of it.

Orla’s dad is a hurley maker and for the brides’ ceremony exit he had made six hurleys which were held up by Orla’s brother Michael and sister Aoife, Emma’s aunts Teresa and Helena and her cousins Shane and Darren. The desert table was Emma’s brainchild. “She pulled out all the stops and made brownies, cheesecake, pavlova, cookies, cupcakes the list goes on. She also roped in the whole family. Her brother Michael made Banoffi Pie and cookies, aunt Bernie made apple tarts and Noelle made her amazing chocolate buns to name but a few,” Orla recalls. There was also a trifle showdown between Emma’s aunt Geraldine and Orla’s Aunt Rita making their traditional family versions but alas, the brides won’t share the winner. Emma’s mom also surprised Orla with a Ferrero Rocher Tree as they’re her favourite chocolates.


The newlyweds booked their honeymoon through Marble City Travel, they spent a week on a cruise around the Mediterranean followed by a week in Emma’s parents’ house in Torrevieja, Spain.

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