Love & Honour – Medieval Inspired Handfasting Wedding Ceremony in Cloghan Castle, Ireland

By MrsRedHead In Weddings

Love & Honour – Medieval Inspired Handfasting Wedding Ceremony in Cloghan Castle, Ireland

MrsRedhead Photography Ireland



We both love castles and Irish history, and Craig wanted to have a death metal band play, so we found somewhere where that was possible, and arranged everything around that. We also wanted somewhere we could stay for a day or two after the ceremony to recover!

We absolutely loved Cloghan Castle when we found it, and it ticked all our boxes. We decided to get legally married in the registry office with just our close family a few weeks before, and had a hand-fasting ceremony performed by one of our friends on our wedding day. We wrote the ceremony and our vows ourselves, which made it really personal.

We didn’t have a specific theme, but the castle definitely inspired some elements of our wedding. I had bought Craig a replica sword from Lord of the Rings as an engagement present, as we had a running joke that if I got a nice ring he should get something too. I got my own sword when we visited the Leeds Armory Museum last year. We decided to include these in the day as there is a Viking tradition to exchange swords at your wedding as a promise to protect each other. Also, the expression “Best Man” originally meant your best swordsman, who would protect you from attackers on the day. So our Best Man and Maid of Honour carried our swords for the day, and did an excellent job protecting us.


How and when did you first meet?

We met at a death metal gig in Fibber Magee’s on 1st June 2013. I heard Craig’s lovely Northern Irish accent, and noticed his tattoos and long hair and thought “I need to talk to him”. He was living in Fermanagh at the time, but we spent the next year travelling up and down to see each other before he moved to Dublin 4 years ago.

When did you know it was for life?

About a month after we met.

Craig proposed on the 11th February 2017. He brought me to Debenhams in Dublin and told me he had to go buy something, and for me to wait upstairs. I went upstairs and wandered around. He came up and asked me to wait at the top of the escalator. That’s when I thought something weird was going on. He went back downstairs and came back up the escalator on one knee with a ring and music playing on his phone. It was hilarious but also highly embarrassing.



How did the day go?

Overall the day went really well. It was long and exhausting but we enjoyed it, and our guests all loved it.

Were there any near disasters/funny incidents?

The DJ had transport issues and didn’t arrive til quite late, which was a bit of disaster at the time, but it didn’t seem to ruin any of the guests’ fun.

One of our guests managed to fall asleep directly beside the Death metal band when they were playing, which was quite funny.

What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?

Do whatever you want to do. Do things your way, and be yourselves. People may say “oh, you can’t do it that way” or “you can’t have that at a wedding!” but just ignore that. They’ll enjoy it when they’re there.

Also, DIY stuff if you can, and reach out the family and friends who can supply or help make things.





What was the highlight of your day?


For me it was the ceremony, which had been the thing I had thought about the least, but ended up enjoying the most. It was beautiful, and personal, and so lovely to have everyone there for it.

For Craig it was the huge effort that all our family and friends put in to our day for us, which was amazing because they did so much.


• Photographer : Olga – Mrs Redhead Photography Ireland

I found her site when looking for pictures of the castle we booked, and instantly knew she was the photographer I wanted.

I couldn’t recommend Olga and Mrs Redhead Photography highly enough. I loved her portfolio from the moment I saw it, both her wedding work and artwork, and I knew she was the right person to photograph my wedding. as a keen amateur photographer booking a wedding photographer was the first and most important thing for me, and I even changed the date of my wedding slightly to ensure she was free! I couldn’t be happier with the way she worked, and the photos we received, which are spectacular!

Second shooter – Aleksandra Skibniewska

Wedding Venue – Cloghan Castle

A truly authentic, relaxing and uniquely charming venue where you will find yourself immersed in unrivalled castle comfort. The ultimate mix of homeliness & grandeur makes Cloghan Castle the most appealing destination for those seeking exclusivity & privacy.

• Wedding Dress: My Amazingly talented mum made all the dresses: Mine, the bridesmaids, the flower girls and her own. She also made her own hat.

• Shoes: From Pleaser USA, customised by the amazing Edel of Eden Art Tattoo (who is also responsible for my tattoos)

• Flowers: Craig’s mum brought back artificial flowers from Thailand, where she lives, and they were arranged by a family friend. All the other decorations were made by myself and my mother.

• Groom(smen)’s suits: The Groom’s suit was from Hugo Boss, and the Groomsman’s suits were from M&S

• Accessories: My necklace is a replica of a 15th century piece which my mom bought in Italy. My engagement ring was custom made by Abana Jewellers.

Our wedding rings were ceramic rings bought online for about €10. I made my headdress myself.

Make Up & Hair: Sara of Cosmaddict

• Cake: The cake was made by another family friend – the layers were chocolate, raspberry and lemon and it was delicious

• Stationery: We made all the stationary (invitations, placecards, signs, etc) ourselves.

• Wedding Bands: Overoth, a Belfast Death Metal Band. Craig’s band also played a few songs, and a friend of our Dj-ed.

• Ceremony/Reception Music: Harp played by my awesome Friend Shelly.

Wedding Band – OVEROTH




Love & Honour – Medieval Inspired Handfasting Wedding Ceremony in Cloghan Castle, Ireland

MrsRedhead Photography Ireland