Photos courtesy of Livia Figueiredo Photography
Katherine Roberts-Hill and Ben Honan said “I do” with a heartfelt ceremony in the Castle Oaks House Hotel on August 16, 2019. The wedding was officiated by Sarah Ryan, a childhood friend of Ben, from his home village of Clonlara. The happy couple celebrated their special day with family and friends travelling from different parts of the world. Ben’s parents also got married in Castleconnell in 1983.
Katherine, born and raised in the United States, spent most of her life in Colorado and Texas with her family, but her desire to work in social and health care, with a focus in humanitarianism, saw her move to New York for college and then to London. Ben who works in Communications in London, comes from a family of four brothers from Co. Clare. Like many modern–day romances, this one started out on a dating app. Katherine remembers how his profile made her laugh (and she hadn’t a clue what hurling was!)
Their first date saw Katherine arrive one hour early (blame the 24-hour clock) and Ben arriving 20–minutes late. Nevertheless, the date went swimmingly and before she knew it, Katherine was on a plane to Ireland to spend her first Christmas here.
After dating for three years, Katherine got the best surprise of her life while on a girl’s weekend away in Paris. On their last day, she found her friends acting strange insisting she slept well the previous night, steaming her dress and getting her nails done that morning. In the Jardin de Tuileries while posing for a photo, Katherine felt an arm on her shoulder and when she turned her head Ben was down on one knee, ring in his hand to propose.
“After we got engaged, a friend of mine from Ireland who was recently married gave me a stack of Bride of Limerick issues. It did help because even though I visited Limerick a lot, and plan on living in Ireland someday, I was not very familiar with the local suppliers. It was also useful for getting ideas for decor and my DIY projects”.
Katherine stunned in a beautiful Justin Alexander dress the day of her wedding and Ben and his groomsmen looked very handsome in suits from Esquire Formal Menswear and Walker Slater. Ben’s mom, Máire got her dress and shoes in Sinéad’s Boutique in Annacotty with accessories from Glitzi Bitz in Cruise’s Street in Limerick. The ceremony music was sung by a friend of the couples, Lauren Andree, an opera singer. She was also accompanied by Nora Casey from Limerick on the harp.
Katherine tells how she put a very personal stamp on the décor “I decorated with items I found around the Honan’s 200–year–old home, including some trees I painted. My mom also flew in items from my grandparents.”
The photographer on the day Livia took the time “to get to know us before the wedding, over several calls to get a feel for the venue, guests and wedding dynamic. As a result, she easily captured the many special moments of our day perfectly.”
Speaking from personal experience Katherine has some advice: “If you plan on having your wedding outdoors, make sure you have a Plan B. Our wedding was supposed to be outside, but as beautiful as the day was the Irish weather was acting rather unpredictable. Two hours before the ceremony, the outdoor ceremony was called off and everything was moved indoors. I was not sad for long because I knew since we had a Plan B, I was confident that the indoor ceremony would be just a special”.
Brides of Limerick Wedding Team
Mother of Bride Sinéad’s Boutique
Suits Esquire Formal Menswear
“The Castle Oaks House Hotel food was super and the unusually large number of vegans [about 35] were overjoyed at how well the chef John Crowhey responded to their culinary needs. Ben is also gluten-free and they catered to his tastes perfectly. I was also able to order a dessert off-menu, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake for me and my Mom, and the manager Adam made me a beautiful gin and tonic during the meal. Adam was outstanding throughout the whole day and build up. Every member of the bridal party hugged him on the day (whether he liked it or not!) as he handled every drama and crisis with ease. The hotel incorporated all our special requests and did an outstanding job decorating. The staff at the Castle Oaks did not disappoint. When I walked into the hall I was overcome with how beautiful they made it. The trees I had decorated lined the aisle and the colourful and natural light shined through the stained glass. It was heavenly”.