Christmas is over. We’ve packed the last box of decorations into the attic. Claire and Mike have arrived back in Sydney where they are grappling with jet-lag and a welcome return to summer heat. Shan’s family are in an icy Beijing en route to Xinjiang Province for the Chinese New Year. Shane, Shan and Dermot will follow them there in a few weeks time.
It’s a time for getting the house back in order after playing host to 17 under one roof and for reminiscing on a memorable few weeks before taking on the challenges of a new year It’s a time for duvet days if an 11 month old grandson and a work schedule jostling for attention would allow.
Of all the special days of Shananigans Christmas, the 28th December – the day of Shan and Shane’s wedding and Dermot’s christening – stands out. For me that day was the culmination of over six months of planning with them long distance to create a unique celebration of Chinese and Irish traditions. As Shane pointed out in his speech, I even let them have their own way from time to time. Mind you he also thanked Shan for letting him have the fairytale wedding he always dreamed of…
We couldn’t have been luckier with the group of people who worked so hard with us to make the day a success. They included our very special priest friend Fr. Aodhan Marken who conducted the service at Crossabeg Church, Margaret Caulfield and her parents at Slaney Manor, Ingrid at Slaney Flowers, my sister-in-law Ann Marie Corcoran who sang at the wedding and her brother Patrick Clancy who along with his band Some Like it Hot provided the music, my sister-in-law Colette McKenny who made the wedding cake, our friend Tiedong Yang who helped with interpretation for Shan’s family, my brother Jim and his wife Maria whose unofficial duties included chauffeur and Christian and Dearbhala from Brown Sugar who transformed a number of us women for the day.
I found two of the most important contributors to the success of the day through Twitter. Eunice Power was superb, not just her sublime food that catered for both Chinese and Irish tastes but her personal warmth and efficiency and her fabulous front of house service led by the unflappable Grace O’Callaghan. Paul Sherwood took the official photos and his relaxed, professional style made easy going of what can sometimes be the boring part of the wedding for the couple themselves.
Paul took over 300 photos capturing precious moments throughout the day. The photos below were taken by him except for the one of Shane waiting at the altar, the one of them cutting the cake and the two of Shan in her red dress later in the evening.
Paul took a better official photo of the cake cutting but I love the quirky one caught by a friend and included here. It is Chinese tradition for the bride to wear red during her wedding and Shan changed for their first dance which was to “One” by U2, the song to which she and Shane had their first kiss.
Shane’s best man was his close friend Oisin who he went to visit in China 7 years ago, a life-altering journey for both of them. Shan’s bridesmaid Wei Wei is Oisin’s wife. Her brother Gao Feng “gave her away”. Dermot’s godparents are our daughter Claire and her husband Mike. Lucky Dermot.
I hope the photos give you a little glimpse of a very special day. I know I’m totally biased but wasn’t Shan a gorgeous bride and don’t they make a lovely couple, not to mention our much-loved grandson Dermot.
After the magic, normal service will resume shortly at Shananigans.