01 Oct 2022

Love conquers all...

Siobhan Daly pulls her wedding to fiancé Jack Conroy out of a hat! (Photographs by Evelyn McNamara)

Love conquers all...

Jack Conroy & Siobhan Daly tie the knot in unusal cirsumstances

We need some positive news now more than ever. So it was lovely to hear about the unexpected and unconventional wedding of Kilkenny hat designer Siobhan Daly to her fiancé Jack Conroy on Monday evening.

Siobhan & Jack taking their wedding photographs in Kilkenny County Council carpark

Siobhan literally pulled this wedding out of a hat! The couple were due to be married later this month on March 27, in front of 240 guests. Guests were flying in from Dubai, San Francisco and Manchester. Siobhan's dress from Jeutonic Bridal had been delivered, so it was all systems go for the big day.

That was until the night before Leo Varadkar made his restrictions announcement on Thursday March 12. On Wednesday evening, March 11, Siobhan had a bad feeling that their wedding might not happen. So the couple decided that they would bring it forward and get married immediately with just a handful of family members. Siobhan says "we didn't want to be rash, so I asked my dad who is very level headed and he said under the circumstances, it wasn't a bad idea at all."

The next morning, Siobhan contacted their priest Fr. Roderick Whearty and he informed them that he had availability on Monday, March 16 at 4pm. Just four days away. 

The next phone call, or text message in this case for Siobhan was to contact her fiancé Jack. Her text read “are you free Monday at 4pm”, to which he replied “yes, let’s get married on Monday at 4pm!”

Siobhan contacted a small group of Kilkenny wedding suppliers to help with pulling the last minute wedding together. Everyone was on board and delighted to help the couple, that was until Sunday. The day before the wedding, many suppliers had to decline their services due to recommended social distancing. Siobhan said her heart went out to Shane Rice in Zuni as he said it was the hardest phone of the day, i.e. to ring a bride and cancel her wedding meal the day before her actual wedding.

Holding back the tears

All this time, the bride never cried with everything that was happening. She was keeping her chin up and making it a happy and memorable time, but she did come to a breaking point with one more phone call they received on that Sunday. "I was holding it all together until we received a call from Jack's parents, saying that they couldn't attend because they were in the high risk category. It was a hard decision to go ahead without them".

The next morning, Siobhan, Jack and the handful of wedding guests pulled it all together for the big day. Siobhan told me "I telephoned Fr. Whearty and our photographer Evelyn McNamara first thing on Monday morning to see if they were still available. Thankfully they were and everyone in our families did the rest."

The Bride with her Dad 'Richard Daly' as he gives her away

"We just wanted to get married and our families knew that. Jack's sister who is a horticulturalist did the flowers, both my sisters sang, Mum made dinner and I wore a dress from Zara."

The Wedding Day

Siobhan and Jack were staying with her parents, and in keeping with the unconventional day they went for a walk in the Castle park together that morning. That afternoon her mother cooked a meal for six of the family, who all seat apart at the large dining room table.

The small wedding party

"There was no wedding banquet, no wedding dress, no hair and make-up but fortunately I was able to make my own head piece on the morning of our wedding, just hours before arriving at the alter!" said Siobhan.

The couple drove separately to the church and took their wows in front of a handful of guests, who stood at the required distance apart at Folkstown Church. They took their beautiful wedding photographs afterwards in the carpark of Kilkenny County Council, so they could capture the magnificence of Kilkenny Castle in the background. 

Siobhan & Jack outside Folkstown Church

When they returned home after the ceremony and photographs, Siobhan said they popped open a bottle of Moet champagne that she was saving and they sat in front of the fire watching TV, while still in their wedding clothes!

Siobhan told me she received hundreds of messages on line after announcing their surprise nuptials. "Strangers sent us virtual toasts and messages saying that they were deeply touched by our happy news and how we had made their day. Lots of people posted about how love conquers all."

The happy couple

Siobhan informed me that they have deferred everything from their March 27, 2020 wedding to March 16, 2021. "We will celebrate our wedding on our first year anniversary and I am so looking forward to wearing my wedding dress for the first time, to our first dance, the speeches and being in a room again with all our family and friends.”

We wish them the happiest of futures together. Congratulations Siobhan and Jack and thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us.


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