A Misty, Muted Wedding on the Coast of Ireland
"I think it was date number two," says Kylie Moynagh-Manley, that she knew her late husband, Dermot Manley, was her person. "We went to a comedy pizza night in town and Dermot decided that the right time to go in for the first kiss was just after I put a cheese-and-onion crisp into my mouth. I never laughed so much." She loved that he didn't put up with small talk or nonsense. "He was serious about us getting to know one other—and he kept the interest and spark alive in those early days," she says.
They had been set up by their sisters, Lindsay and Eimear (they've been best friends since school), as part of a grand plan to unite their families; the plot had been in the works for quite some time, but the matchmakers doubled down on their efforts once Kylie—who had spent the last few years working and living in the United Kingdom, while in a long-term relationship—returned to Ireland without a boyfriend. "They tread carefully and convinced us both individually before [orchestrating] our first date. It ended up working out brilliantly," says Kylie. "They couldn't have paired two people more suited to each other."
They became engaged on a trip to Hoi-An, Vietnam, while enjoying their "very inexpensive Huda beer" and taking in views of the Thu Bon River lined with colorful lanterns. "It didn't take me long to say 'yes' to him—he was my person and I wanted to marry him very early on into our relationship," says Kylie. "Looking back now, it was such a special moment." The months leading up to their wedding were just as precious ("Naturally, there was always something to be done, but we enjoyed it," she says, noting that Dermot, a risk analyst, was a master of Excel and, therefore, big-day spreadsheets) and stress-free, largely thanks to her sister, Lindsay, the master planner at House of Hannah Weddings and Events. The wedding, which unfolded on August 30, 2019, in Co. Clare, Ireland, was everything she'd dreamed of.
"Sadly, Dermot and I only enjoyed just over two months of marriage," Kylie shares. On a very normal, quiet Wednesday night in November—just days after learning that they were expecting their first child—her husband suddenly passed away from an aneurysm. "We were just settling into married life, having had the most special honeymoon in Portugal a few weeks prior," she says. "He would have been an amazing father; I am just glad he knew this news. He was so excited." Kylie welcomed a son, Dermot Bród (which means pride), in July; she hopes he inherits his father's laid-back nature, and his idiosyncrasies, too. "I still picture us sitting in our rented apartment, the only home we ever shared together, chilling on our couch and just feeling happy and fulfilled in life," says Kylie. "I'm grateful that I got the chance to be so wholeheartedly loved by someone, even if was for so short a time. Not many people are as lucky in life. And I loved him wholeheartedly back."
Kylie and Dermot tied the knot on a misty August day—though the bride would define the weather, plainly, as wet. "On the day itself, despite being the end of August, it rained, rained, rained. We got an hour of dry weather just in time for our couple photos on the beach and that was all we needed in the end—so it worked out lovely," she says.
The couple's invitation suite, designed, printed, and assembled entirely by the bride's sister, Lindsay, of House of Hannah Weddings and Events, was calligraphed on handmade cotton paper and wrapped in a vellum booklet. A wildflower crest detailed the majority of the insert cards; a pressed gold wax seal held everything together.
Kylie's mother had painted a picture of the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare years prior to her daughter's wedding; the bride and Lindsay knew it would be perfect for the envelope liner.
A Bow on It
Kylie's Halfpenny London wedding dress was composed of two pieces—a structured, full-length skirt made of Mikado silk, complete with a duchess sash that culminated in a bow, and a simple top. "It had clean lines, long sleeves, and gorgeous button detailing at the back," reflects Kylie. "I also wore a 115-inch tulle veil."
The bride—who topped her loose curls with an elaborate custom headpiece by Sorcha O'Raghallaigh ("I asked her to use the same gold color as our wedding car!" says the bride)—spent time with her mother and sisters in the bridal suite on the morning of the wedding.
"I loved my bouquet," says Kylie of the arrangement House of Hannah put together. "It featured some of my favorite flowers, such as café latte roses, ranunculus, and sweet pea with some dried stems of lunaria and lots of different foliages. I wanted something that wasn't too tight and had an interesting color palette. I loved the mixtures of pinks, browns, and purples with the little hints of yellow."
Kylie's half of the wedding party—composed of her and Dermot's sisters and her "bridesman," Paul—wore varying shades of purple. "I would describe the colors as mauve and mink," she says. "They wore TNFC dresses; Paul's suit was from ASOS. I just loved the color combinations and the style of dresses. They all looked absolutely stunning and complemented each other so well."
"Dermot looked so handsome in his midnight blue velvet jacket made by Moss Bros," says Kylie, which he paired with black trousers, a white shirt, patent leather shows, and a bow tie.
His groomsmen—his brothers, Paul and Sean, and his best friend, Kevin—wore fitted DKNY suits; their accessories matched Dermot's.
Kylie's main request for the ceremony, held at St. Senans Church? A lush, crawling arch at the entrance—which the House of Hannah team pulled off with aplomb.
"I love how the royal family dresses their flower girls and page boys at weddings, so I went with a similar vibe," notes Kylie. Her god-daughter, Laragh, pictured here, wore a satin dress with a large bow by Ghost and gold Mary-Janes from Pepa & Co.
Laragh welcomed Kylie warmly as she approached the church. The journey had been a nerve-wracking one. "I was extremely nervous on my journey to St. Senans," she says. "It was lashing rain and I was worried about our guests getting soaked going into the church and that would I trip up the aisle. The rain had subsided a lot by the time I arrived. My entourage helped me to relax and Lindsay helped with the final touches just before the doors opened."
At the Altar
Kylie remembers seeing Dermot for the first time on the aisle, on the arm of her father. "He looked so handsome and happy. I knew it was going to be the best day of our lives," she says. They personalized the Catholic ceremony that followed with traditional Irish music, which Kylie plays. "A large gathering of family and friends played for our ceremony," she says. "I walked down the aisle to 'Lios na Banríona (Fort of the Fairy Queen)' and for the recessional, we had piece of music called 'L'Air Mignonne.'"
The first person to congratulate them in their first moments as husband and wife? Laragh, of course.
A Good Man
"One of the reasons I fell in love with Dermot was because of how laid back he was and what his priorities were in life," says his bride. "He was also one of the smartest people I knew. He could have had the most intense, high-powered job, but preferred having time for his family, sports, and friends. He enjoyed a well-balanced life. He had the quirkiest sense of humor. He didn't have to try to be funny—it just came naturally. We had the most amazing five years together."
Somewhere for Just Us Two
The couple hopped into the same gold vintage Rolls Royce Kylie had taken to the church to steal away from portraits on the beach. "The journey along the Atlantic coastline was breathtaking," notes the bride. Their driver, Ian Keane was a real character, she adds.
To the Beach
Looking back, Kylie is so grateful that she and Dermot took their time posing for post-ceremony portraits—they are precious keepsakes, she says. "It was the longest time we spent together that day, just the two of us. We had so much fun walking through the sand dunes embracing one another," she shares. "Dermot was such a messer and kept making me laugh the whole way through—which is clear in our photos. I am so grateful for them now. They will be forever treasured and I can show our child in the years to come just how special our day was."
Photography, Kim Stockwell Photography
Venue, St. Senans Church
Wedding Planning, Event Design, Flowers, and Stationery, House of Hannah Weddings and Events
Videography, Best Day Productions
Officiant, Fr. Flor O'Callaghan
Bride's Gown and Veil, Halfpenny London
Headpiece, Sorcha O'Raghallaigh
Shoes and Bridesmaids' Dresses, ASOS
Hair, Bridget Haren
Makeup, Body Treats
Bridesmaids' Dresses, TNFC
Bridesman's Suit, ASOS
Groom's Attire, Moss Bros
Engagement Ring, Honans Antiques
Wedding Bands, Courtville
Transportation, Ian Keane and Noel O'Shea