Wed-Fest- Ally and Stephen’s Combined Wedding and Baby Naming

Joseph Carr

Ally and Stephen’s theme for their wedding was a festival or bohemian styled event, with a mix of love for the outdoors and nature.

Joseph Carr

They were married at Kippure Estate in a Marquee and combined the naming of their daughter Eleanor with their Handfasting Ceremony. Mary O’Mahony conducted a wonderful ceremony including many family members and guests. Ally tells us her memories of the day- ” The celebrant Mary was very good, She wrote our ceremony which was done beautifully. She added in a few laughs & it wasn’t too long & didn’t drag out. My favourite part was the handfasting ceremony with the ribbons representing each element, it was very Celtic and not many of our guests had ever seen anything like it. The ceremony received lots of great feedback from guests.”

Two months after they became a couple, Alison and Stephen went to America on holiday and find themselves in Las Vegas. They’ve met, they’ve fallen in love, they have some nice clothes with them, they think… Of course, we should get married. Now, drink may have been taken and it might have been quite late at night when they had this revelation, but they were not to be daunted, so off they went in a taxi, driving around the wedding chapels of Vegas, trying to find Elvis. They only had a couple of hours before their flight to San Francisco, it was a real, ‘let’s do this thing right now!’ moment. Unfortunately, or fortunately from Alison’s mum’s point of view, they couldn’t find anywhere that was open! The wedding chapels, contrary to popular belief, don’t run twenty-four hours, and Alison and Stephen are possibly one of the few couple who have failed to get married in Las Vegas.


It didn’t put them off though, if anything it made them more certain. Alison told me, ‘Vegas was supposed to be a bit of a laugh, but we also knew we were serious about it. That we wanted to be together.’ Their friends all thought they were messing, but six months later, on Alison’s birthday, they were officially engaged.

Joseph Carr

The Baby Naming ritual was part of the whole wedding ceremony, making Eleanor a very central part in the love being celebrated and the family being formed.

Photography by Joseph Carr


Joseph Carr

Ally’s top tip:-” Not to panic, enjoy the day as much as possible. Plan well in advance as much as you can. Don’t let other people influence your plans.

“The suppliers Alison and Stephen recommend are:  Photographer: Joseph Carr, Invites: Rosie Days (She made poster invites like electric picnic theme), Cake: Creative Cakes, Dress: Ro Molloy – Irish Designer,Venue: Kippure Estate Wicklow, Bands: Luna Boys,Trad Music: The McVeighs, Flowers: The Fussy Peacock, Make-up: Alison Smyth, Hair: Diane Sharkey.

We were surprised to be asked to combine two ceremonies into one but on the day it was beautiful, poignant and the perfect way to celebrate a young family, it just worked.


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