No place like West Cork

Posted on: 6th February, 2014

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

A director in the family-run business, the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, Helen Wycherley recently got married to John Breen. With a beautiful wedding venue at her fingertips, Helen’s day was made even more special. She shares some of her experiences in the run-up and during the wedding day.

Helen and John pictured on their wedding day at The Warren Beach in Rosscarbery. Photo courtesy of John Sexton Photography

Helen and John first set eyes on each other at the Galway Races in 2008. Both from big families and with similar interests in Munster Rugby, skiiing and sailing, they hit it off straight away. Four and a half years later on a skiiing trip in Austria, John popped the question. “We were sitting in the snow 3,300 meters up a glacier on the side of a mountain admiring the view! John even had champagne with champagne flutes, and jaffa cakes (my favourite!),” says Helen smiling.

The couple, who share an interest in travelling decided there was place like home to get married in, so they booked the family hotel, the Celtic Ross, for the reception and set the date for October 26, 2013. The church ceremony was in St John the Baptist Church in Kinsale.

Helen and John really wanted to spend time at their wedding reception before the meal, so they planned the day around this. Helen advises that you spend time on what is important to you. “If at all possible, arriving to the church on time definitely helps,” she says. “As, even though you arrive on time, it could be 15 more minutes before you start walking up the aisle due to photos.” Helen and John used photographer John Sexton who ensured things ran smoothly and on time on the day.

Although of course things can go wrong on the day, looking back, Helen says if they did go wrong, she didn’t notice.

“The important thing is the bride and groom don’t have to worry about it – that is why you pick dependable bridesmaids and groomsmen. And a great wedding coordinator,” says Helen, who had made it clear to everyone involved that if something did go wrong on the day, she didn’t want to know about it! “And after the wedding the next day, I didn’t ask if anything did go wrong!. I enjoyed every minute of it — getting ready, the ceremony, the photos, the welcome reception at the hotel, the meal and the dancing.” She does have three favourites memories — walking up the church aisle to John, exchanging wedding vows and John’s speech. “His speech was probably the best. He said the nicest things ever and I wasn’t expecting it so he surprised me too,” she says.

Of course there are some things you can’t control or hide from – like the weather. “The morning of our wedding, the weather was horrendous, but the sun came out after the church. I had a Plan A and Plan B for wedding photos, so I was prepared for sunshine and for rain,” explains Helen. The couple got their wedding photos taken on Charles Fort, Kinsale and Warren Beach, Rosscarbery, as planned.

Helen advises anyone planning a wedding to try and organise as much as possible as soon as you can. “There are so many things that you cannot do until the last few weeks. After booking your venue definitely get the legal items done straight away, don’t put them off: Registering your wedding with the HSE, doing the pre marriage course if you are having a church wedding and meeting your respective priests — do all this as early as possible.”

“After that, just go with the day and make the most of it, enjoy spending time with your husband or wife and smile!”

Helen and John are looking forward to raising a family and living a long and happy life together. “And finding a house to live in,” says Helen smiling.


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