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Wedding of the week: Landmarks and significant birthdays in Emma and Tom’s romance

They discovered they had chemistry during a physics class and Emma-Louise (Emma) O’Brien and Thomas (Tom) Barry recently exchanged vows. 

Emma, originally from Cheshire, in Britain, and now living in Clashmore, Co Waterford, and Tom from Lismore, County Waterford, met during their days at Blackwater Community School in Lismore, and started going out on Emma’s 18th birthday.

Fast-forward to another landmark birthday, and Tom popped the question in the gardens at Versailles in 2020, when they were on a trip to Paris to mark Emma’s 30th. 

The couple announced their engagement when they moved into their forever home in Clashmore last year.

Buildings that hold deep meaning for the couple star in their romance story. The next chapter began in May 2022 at a historic County Waterford estate — the location of their intimate wedding ceremony, which was led by Marian Dooley, interfaith solemniser.

“Tom formerly lived in the gatehouse of Tourin House & Gardens. Tourin House is the residence of the Jameson family and Tom and his family have been friends with the Jameson sisters all of his life,” says Emma.

“They do not facilitate weddings, but we were delighted when they agreed to allow us to conduct the ceremony on the grounds around their home. Tom’s father Keith jokingly said on the wedding day: ‘Barrys have been born there, died there and now one of us has gotten married there.’ 

“With such a long-standing family link to the estate and friendship with the family, we felt privileged to be the first, and possibly only, people to get married here.” 

Chris Healy, David O'Brien, Emma-Louise O'Brien and Thomas Barry, and Rose and Keith Barry
Chris Healy, David O’Brien, Emma-Louise O’Brien and Thomas Barry, and Rose and Keith Barry

The father-of-the-bride, David O’Brien, arrived from Perth in Australia for the occasion. “My dad had a long way to travel to walk me down the aisle,” jokes Emma.

Also toasting to their happiness were Emma’s mom, Christine Healy, and Tom’s mother and father, Rose and Keith Barry, Emma’s grandfather, Ray Milne, and Tom’s grandparents, Brenda and Billy Barry.

Carla Sullivan, Emma-Louise O'Brien, Niamh Coughlan, Dermot Horgan, Isabella and Nadia Sullivan
Carla Sullivan, Emma-Louise O’Brien, Niamh Coughlan, Dermot Horgan, Isabella and Nadia Sullivan

Emma’s cousin Carla Sullivan was matron of honour and her friends Niamh Coughlan and Dermot Horgan were the bridesmaid and bridesman respectively, while her cousins Nadia Sullivan and Isabella Sullivan were the flower girls.

Carla’s husband James Sullivan was also the wedding photographer while a friend, Ruairi O’Neill was the videographer.

Paul O'Mara, Ben Haynes, Kevin Barry, Tom Barry, Dave Barry, Sam Wilson
Paul O’Mara, Ben Haynes, Kevin Barry, Tom Barry, Dave Barry, Sam Wilson

The groom’s brothers David and Kevin Barry were by his side as best man and groomsman while his friends Paul O’Mara, Ben Haynes and Sam Wilson were groomsmen.

Emma was picture-perfect in a Madison James Bridal design sourced in Cinderella’s Closet, Cork. “They were really friendly and I felt so relaxed being a plus-sized bride here,” she says.

“The drinks reception took place at Tourin House, with Prosecco and juice supplied by Keniry’s Centra in Tallow, with thanks to Tim for helping us last minute,” says the bride.

Then it was off to The Old Bank, Dungarvan, for the wedding meal. “It was another historic building for us to celebrate our day in whilst enjoying locally-sourced fantastic food, a great atmosphere and wonderful service,” says the bride.

The wedding afters celebration unfolded in The Creamery, Dungarvan. “My friends Dermot Horgan (bridal party), Gustavo Zepeda, Lisa Hartnett, mom (Christine Healy) and fairy godmother (Angela Welwood) helped to decorate the venue along with the fantastic Debra who works there,” says the bride.

DJ Tomcat supplied the music while the wedding cakes were made by friends and family and decorated by Emma and Rachel Wilson, another close friend.

Mother-of-the-bride Chris Healy and Emma-Louise O'Brien
Mother-of-the-bride Chris Healy and Emma-Louise O’Brien

The wedding party travelled in style in Emma’s mother’s restored Mini. “It seemed to be the perfect vehicle for the job, although getting into it was fun,” says Emma.

“We can’t stress enough how much we value the circle of people that supported us in making this day truly special, especially my mom.” 

Emma-Louise O'Brien looks fabulous in a Madison James Bridal design from Cinderella's Closet, Cork
Emma-Louise O’Brien looks fabulous in a Madison James Bridal design from Cinderella’s Closet, Cork

The bridal hairstyling was by Kim Glam Hair, Aglish; with makeup by Crazy Dolls MUA, Cork, and the floral arrangements were by Ina McCarthy Flowers, Midleton.

The suits were by Best Menswear, Mahon Point. “Scott was excellent to deal with,” says Emma.

The wedding decorations were hand-made by the couple’s friends, Aisling Byrne, Lisa Hartnett, Naomi Lawlee, and Emma’s mother, Christine.

  • If you would like to have your wedding featured in Irish Examiner Weekend, email eve.kelliher@examiner.ie

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