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Real Weddings: Cat and Alexander’s colourful wedding at Waterford Castle
Image / Style / Weddings

Katie Kavanagh

Real Weddings: Cat and Alexander’s colourful wedding at Waterford Castle


by Shayna Sappington
09th Oct 2022

Melomaniacs Cat and Alexander wanted a wedding full of life, and Waterford Castle adorned with a rainbow of flowers and gorgeous greenery fit the bill perfectly.

THE COUPLE
Cat Monaco, teacher, and Alexander McWhirt, senior regional admissions counsellor.

THEY LIVE
In Chicago, Illinois.

THE VENUE
Waterford Castle Resort, Co Waterford.

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PHOTOGRAPHY
Katie Kavanagh.

THEY MET
At a mutual friend’s wedding in Memphis, Tennessee.

THE PROPOSAL
Every holiday we gift each other a record we’ve been wanting. After a long work week (especially gruelling during the height of COVID), Alexander said he was going to check out a local record shop and later that night he wanted to show me what he had bought.

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He handed me a record that had a photo of us on the cover and when I took the record out, it said: “Will you marry me?”. All the songs on the record were important songs from throughout our relationship. We celebrated with champagne while we Facetimed our family and friends.

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THE DRESS AND THE SUIT
Even before we were engaged, I followed the wedding dress designer, Savin London, on Instagram. The minute I saw the Alika gown and cape I was obsessed. I found a boutique outside of Chicago that had Savin London gowns and the Alika was the first wedding dress I ever tried on.

Its 3-D florals and cape were so unique and stunning that I bought it that day! Alexander loves colour and patterns, which was hard to find in a wedding suit. He found a local tailor in St Louis, Missouri where we were living at the time. The Tailored Gents team worked with Alexander to make the most amazing custom suit. He was able to choose the pattern, fabric, buttons, stitching, and lining of his coat.

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THE CEREMONY
We had never been to Waterford but my parents had attended a family gathering there and saw a wedding at the castle, so they convinced us to look into it for our wedding. We wanted an outdoor wedding with lots of colour and it was truly the perfect space.

We were able to have the ceremony in front of the castle doors, which were beautifully decorated by Lamber De Bie. The weather was perfect and our mutual best friend, Juan Roncal, officiated the ceremony.

THE RECEPTION
We were so lucky to have 70 friends and family travel from all over the world to join us for our ceremony and reception at Waterford Castle. The castle itself served as an amazing backdrop, and we were so lucky to have fantastic weather which allowed us to celebrate both inside the castle and on the grounds.

We had a cocktail hour followed by a formal dinner and hours of dancing courtesy of Black Tye. Irish weddings are vastly different from weddings we are all used to, so we all had a great time celebrating and taking advantage of the bar in the Fitzgerald Room until the early hours!

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THE ENTERTAINMENT
Since we did all of our planning from the US, we spent a lot of time researching bands via social media and the internet. When we found videos of Black Tye we knew they would be perfect. They have so much energy and really kept people on the dance floor all night.

We are huge fans of the show Schitt’s Creek and they were able to play the acoustic version of The Best by Tina Turner while we walked down the aisle. They also learned our first dance song, which was so special to us.

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THE DECOR
We were not able to bring much over with us, so we really relied on the beauty of the castle to serve as our decor. Waterford Castle is a stunning space and does not need many additional decorations. We were so lucky to have Lamber De Bie provide a floral arch for the castle door as well as floral arrangements for the staircase and the fireplace.

We had the bridesmaids wear floral gowns to incorporate more colour. We wanted to make sure all of the little details had a personal touch too. Our ceremony programs included shout-outs to guests and a picture of our dog. Our Save the Dates were designed by a friend and my sister (thank you, Beth!).

Our invitations were designed by one of my best friends. Since we could not bring wedding favours over, we hired the amazing Linda Byrne to do custom illustrations of our guests throughout the wedding day. Her work is amazing and the guests loved the unique gift.

THEIR TOP TIPS

Be open during the planning and expect a few hiccups to happen on the day of the wedding. The purpose of the event is to celebrate each other with your friends and family present.

You shouldn’t let anything interrupt the joy and excitement you will feel when you stand across from the person you love and want to spend your life with on your wedding day. Enjoy that moment especially; I constantly think about it and I still have the same level of excitement that I had on our wedding day.   

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THEY WISH THEY HAD
Spent a little more alone time together after the ceremony. It all goes by so fast!

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
The first look I was absolutely stunned when I first saw Cat and the excitement was so great (I may have squealed a little bit!). The moments we had with each other before dinner where we got to share some laughs with each other and learn how to properly pour a Guinness. Finally, getting to see everyone who travelled near and far at our ceremony. It meant so much to us.

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THE FIRST DANCE SONG
I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis.

THE CREW
Bride’s Dress: Savin London. Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade. Bride’s Headpiece: Untamed Petals. Bride’s Jewellery: I’MMANY London. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Birdy Grey. Groom’s Suit: Tailored Gents. Groom’s Socks: Polly & Andy. Florist: Lamber De Bie. Make-Up Artist: Making Faces Gorey. Hair Stylist: Vow 2 WowBand: Black Tye. Videographer: Paul Barker, Old Pine Films. Illustrator: The Wedding Illustrator.

See more photographs from Cat and Alexander’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography by Katie Kavanagh.

Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.

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