An American bride has explained why she chose to travel 3,000 miles to tie the knot with her husband in Listowel, Ireland.
Shannon Burke is a 29-year-old solicitor from New York. She has always been fascinated with her Irish heritage. Her great great grandmother was born in Ireland but left to start a new life in America. So when Shannon met and fell in love with Corey Gaul in 2012, she knew that the only place she wanted to get married was back in the home of her ancestors in Ireland.
Shannon spoke to the Irish Independent to explain why they chose to make their vows in Co Kerry town Listowel.
“My mother’s grandmother, who lived to be 103 years old, always talked about her mother, Kate McCoy who came to America from Listowel.
“In the summer of 2001, my family travelled to Ireland and we were sure to make a stop in Listowel to see where our people came from. We loved the people and the landscape and the small-town charm.
“I had always said I did not want a big wedding, just a dinner party with family and a few friends. My husband, on the other hand, comes from a big family and envisioned a big party.
“I knew I’d have no trouble convincing Corey to marry in Ireland because he has strong Irish roots; therefore, once the decision was made to have a destination wedding, Listowel was the place.”
The happy couple got married at St Mary’s Church in front of 83 of their closest friends and family. The happy memories were captured by a stunning wedding album created by Irish photography company Paper Hearts.
Shannon couldn’t speak highly enough of the staff at the Listowel Arms, where the wedding reception was held. She said: “Though the idea of planning a wedding from across the Atlantic was originally daunting, my mom was so instrumental in getting each detail of the wedding planning exactly right.
“Everything was arranged via email and telephone and we are still amazed at how perfectly everything turned out.
“The staff at the Listowel Arms, particularly Patrice O’Callaghan, are utter professionals and simply top notch.
“I was really nervous the day of our wedding and I had been told to just expect and accept that something will go wrong on the big day. I can honestly say that everything went even better than we had hoped. The Listowel Arms looked absolutely gorgeous and every detail was executed perfectly.”
Like all good Irish weddings, the party went on long into the night, and Shannon paid tribute to her wedding band The Love Junkies for keeping the atmosphere up as the night went on: “The Love Junkies kept everyone on the dance floor the whole night! When the music stopped, those still standing, including myself, my new husband, as well as my father, spilled over the hotel bar at the Listowel Arms and kept the party going until the very wee hours. It was truly unforgettable and we are still glowing.”
Congratulations to Shannon and Corey. The American couple are not the only people who have chosen Ireland as the venue for their wedding. Several celebrity couples have also chosen to tie the knot in Ireland over the years, most famously David and Victoria Beckham, who married at Luttrellstown Castle in 1999.