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Magic and mix-ups for a memorable wedding

So many moments made Caroline Candon and Ben Rice’s big day extra memorable.

Fota House & Gardens was the perfect backdrop as the bride and groom exchanged wedding vows in a ceremony led by celebrant, Liam McCarthy.

The Cobh couple first laid eyes on one another during their days in secondary school.

“We met in Coláiste Mhuire in Cobh years and years ago and started going out in 2006,” says the bride.

“Ben popped the question Christmas night 2020 in his family home — cute and cozy. He said he was getting me a top-up of champagne but had the ring ready to go.”

Anne Mulligan, Keith Candon Brian Candon, Michael Candon, Caroline and Ben, Colette O’Donovan, Donna Candon and Liam Candon

Friends and relatives arrived from London, Australia, Singapore, America and Vietnam for their wedding.

“Some of Ben’s family accidentally crashed a wedding at Fota Hotel — they mixed up the wedding venues. They’ll definitely be featured in the couple’s wedding snaps,” says Caroline.

Creative wedding guests in Caroline and Ben’s entourage caused some other cheerful confusion. “Fota had a greeter (we knew nothing about this); he was suited and booted with a top hat greeting guests. One of our friends started a rumor that he was there to perform magic tricks!” says the bride.

Carol Devlin, Tom Rice, Caroline and Ben, Lesley Walton and James McGrathCarol Devlin, Tom Rice, Caroline and Ben, Lesley Walton and James McGrath

Caroline dazzled in an Arlo gown from the Grace Loves Lace label and Ben cut a dash in a Marc Darcy suit.

After their marriage ceremony, during the May bank holiday weekend, they strolled through the orangery and gardens of Fota.

Agnes Stodolny of Bracket Studios captured every magical moment on camera and also organized photoshoots earlier that day, including at Ben’s family home with his groomsmen, and of the bride with her parents and bridesmaids near St Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh.

The newlyweds were then whisked by Cork Wedding Cars to Cork city for their reception, at Jacobs on the Mall. “We really loved being in the wedding car — that was lots of fun, listening to music and drinking champagne driving through the city with lots of people clapping and cheering for us,” says Caroline.

Caroline Candon and Ben RiceCaroline Candon and Ben Rice

The original vision for their wedding was “laidback, minimalist and modern with a city feel”, she adds.

“Some quick snaps were taken in the city near Electric on the bridge to capture some of the urban landscape,” adds Caroline.

Caroline’s parents, Colette O’Donovan and Michael Candon, and Ben’s mother, Lesley Walton, and grandparents, Phyllis and Tommy Rice, led toasts to the newlyweds’ happiness.

Caroline Candon with Donna Candon Katherine O'Shea and Jennifer AhernCaroline Candon with Donna Candon Katherine O’Shea and Jennifer Ahern

Donna Candon was Caroline’s maid of honor, with Katherine O’Shea and Jennifer Ahern as bridesmaids while Tom Rice was the best man; and Alan Stack and Alan Geasley were the groomsmen.

Keith Candon, Caroline’s brother, and his partner, Roksana Racka, traveled from Vietnam. Tom Rice, Ben’s brother, and his fiancée, Carol Devlin, made the trip from Sydney; Gerry Corrigan, Caroline’s cousin, arrived from Brisbane; and Loraine Rice, Ben’s aunt, traveled from Singapore.

Ben Rice with Tom Rice, Alan Stack and Alan GeasleyBen Rice with Tom Rice, Alan Stack and Alan Geasley

The bridal hair and makeup were by Laura O’Flynn and Amanda Gowers in Cobh.

Colin Hickey of Orchid Pictures was the videographer and the floral arrangements were by Ina McCarthy, Midleton.

The newlyweds have yet to choose their honeymoon destination.

“This is the year of all years for our friendship group, with life events. We’ll get planning later on in the year,” says Caroline.

Caroline Candon and Ben Rice with their wedding partyCaroline Candon and Ben Rice with their wedding party

They are currently living in London, with plans to return to Cobh soon.

  • If you would like your wedding featured email eve.kelliher@examiner.ie
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