After a short visit to Ireland, Shawn Quish, a meeting and incentive planner from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was so inspired by Ireland voting yes in the same-sex marriage referendum last May that he returned to his hometown of Dallas, Texas and suggested to his fiancée Matthew Skelly, a self-employed Oracle software consultant from Key West, Florida, that Ireland was the perfect destination for them to tie the knot.
A date was quickly set for December 15, 2015 in Killarney, Co. Kerry.
They were introduced through a mutual friend and their love blossomed in a restaurant in Dallas, Texas, many moons ago. They have since moved to Dallas and their lives are busy with a constant brood of rescue dogs from the pound.
On a romantic skiing trip to Big Sky Resort, Montana in March 2015 Shawn proposed to his partner of 17 years at the top of Lone Peak Mountain in the snow. Matthew said Yes!
Shawn recalls, “I was visiting Ireland the week after the vote and joked about Matthew and myself getting married in Ireland while talking with local friends, but it was not legal in the United States. A month later the United States Supreme Court ruled to legalize marriage and the planning started for our big day after 17 years of being together. We had already booked and planned to visit Ireland to research and track Shawn's family lineage in December of 2015 so it only made sense to get married in Ireland during our visit.”
Sure enough the wedding preparations began. A decision was quickly made to have a small and intimate ceremony with just four of them in attendance on December 15 2015, in the Civil Registration Office in Killarney, Co. Kerry.
The Yes vote was a significant event for the couple as “It meant that we were finally able to marry each other in a country that supported equal rights. And we were happy to support Ireland since they support us,” said Shawn.
Uniquely, neither of the men decided to wear suits on the day. As the theme of their special day was Irish heritage, they opted for sweaters, shirts, slacks and boots. Perfect for Irish weather in December!
For Matthew, the highlight of the day was when a red robin appeared during their photoshoot at Muckross Abbey. “It was very personable and singing and stayed very near us until we left.”
The night before they left Ireland, the couple spent a romantic evening in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway.
Sweaters- Quills Woollen Market, Killarney
Dress Shirts- Polo Store
Slacks- Paco factory store
Shoes- Walsh Brothers Shoes, Killarney
Ceremony- Civil Registration Office, St. Joseph’s Road, Killarney.
Photoshoot- Muckross Abbey, Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry.
Photographer- Tara Donoghue Photography
Tell us about working with Tara Donoghue Photography?
“We sincerely appreciate Tara and Dave meeting with the two of us the day before our ceremony and actually asking what we were comfortable with and what we weren't. That conversation put both of us at immediate ease with the process as a whole. We were very comfortable with the photo shoot and the process being very natural and at-ease for people who are naturally discreet, like us. The pictures turned out beautiful and the entire event was as natural and relaxed as it could possibly have been. It also didn't hurt that Dave and I share the same sense of humour. Relaxed, funny, natural, artistic and overall an absolute pleasurable experience made possibly by Tara and Dave.”