A true family wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel

Real Wedding: Doireann & Ian’s true family wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel.

Shamrock Lodge Hotel has been owned and operated by the McCaul family for over 60 years. They have a reputation for attention to detail and treating your guests as if they were family of their own. It’s a venue hidden away at the end of a tree-lined avenue in the heart of Athlone. In 2023 they took the prize for the Top Outdoor Wedding Venue in Ireland at the WeddingDates awards. Consistently over the past four years, they have been rated as the Top Wedding Venue in Westmeath. This gem of a venue has lots to offer those seeking a home-from-home vibe on their wedding day. Read on to learn why Doireann and Ian could simply not choose any other venue. 

Family Wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel

Tell us about yourself 

My name is Doireann, I am 28 years old. I am a wedding coordinator at Shamrock Lodge Hotel and I love my job. Myself and Ian are together 9 years and we have 2 kids. We got married this year (2024) on a Friday in February.

Family Wedding at Shamrock LodgeTell us how you met your husband

I was 19 when I met my husband, Ian. We lived in and grew up in the same town so I knew him to see but we had never spoken to each other. One night I was at a nightclub with friends and I ended up dancing with not one, but two of his friends. Ian walked up to me and said ‘Just pick one of them will you’ and I cheekily said ‘No, I pick you’. The rest is history. We bought our forever home in 2022 where we live with our greatest achievements, our kids, Fionn and Fódhla.

a truly family Wedding at Shamrock Lodge 

Tell us about the proposal, we want all the fabulous details!

Ian had just returned from a 6-month overseas tour with the Irish army. It was November and it was the middle of the pandemic. At that time things were very restricted and we couldn’t do much more than go for walks. We walked to see the town’s Christmas tree lit up. Funnily enough, the Christmas tree was put in place close to the nightclub we had met in. Ian planned to propose at the Christmas tree that day but unfortunately, it started raining and I insisted on running home. When we got home I was soaking wet from the rain so I went upstairs to get into my pajamas. When I returned downstairs, Ian and my son Fionn (3) were both on their knees. It was a perfect proposal and, as it turned out, it was very “us”!

family wedding at Shamrock lodge hotel 

Why did you choose your particular wedding venue?

The Shamrock Lodge was truly the only place for us. As we have a young family, we wanted somewhere that we knew well and could cater for us. The team are like family to me and the Shamrock Lodge is like a home away from home. Working there, I saw the effort that the whole team makes for every couple, and I knew that there was nowhere that I would get as much focus and attention to detail.  The McCaul family 100% looked after my family that day. 

Family Wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel

On the day, what was the wow factor for you and your guests?

There were two things: the food and the band. Everyone RAVED about both. The food was gorgeous, everything was so fresh and was served at a steady pace. Nobody was hungry or waiting on food which was a very important thing for us. 

Our band weren’t the typical wedding band. We chose Blessed Irish Band to play for our evening reception. It was like a big party from the minute they started, and the dancefloor was full all night. They had everyone involved from the get-go, no one was sitting. Myself and my bridesmaids are obsessed with High School Musical and they insisted we get up on on stage to sing it for everyone. They were brilliant.  

Also, the glowsticks were also a huge hit haha

Cian singing - family wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel

Was there a most special moment of your wedding day? 

Our ceremony was my favourite time. We had an intimate civil ceremony and we both loved every moment of it. My son Fionn walked me down the aisle as my amazingly talented brother Cian sang and played the keyboard for the ceremony. Both myself and Ian wrote our vows and I also wrote a poem for Ian which was a surprise. Let’s just say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. 


I promise to love you forever and a day, 

I promise to love you in every single way. 

I promise to have your back right till the very end. 

I’ll stick with you through thick and thin, forever your best friend. 

I Promise to never get freaked out, even when you wear your socks to bed, 

I’ll never rely on you to catch the spiders, and keep you well fed. 

I promise our home will always be happy, 

And our kids will be safe with the best Mammy and Daddy. 

I promise to love you forever and a day, 

I promise to love you in every single way.

family wedding at Shamrock lodge 

Tell us about your wedding attire – for you, your spouse and your wedding party.

I wore a Justin Alexander Signature dress. I fell in love with it the minute I put it on. It was pure simplicity. I got my dress at Brummell & Co. in  Athlone, and they were fantastic to deal with.

Ian and the groomsmen wore black velvet tuxes and my bridesmaids wore Burgundy dresses. I think the choices we made will never go out of fashion.



PJ McCormack https://mccormackimagingstudio.com/


What was your favourite thing about your wedding photographer?

I loved the feeling that it didn’t seem like we were being photographed all day yet I have photos of us throughout the entire day. We received a lovely mix of candid and more formal pictures. 


Wedding Suppliers

Lisa Hogan of LH makeup did my make-up. I went to school with Lisa and a nicer girl you couldn’t meet. Lisa made sure I felt and looked like me, just a slighter better version. Nicole Pidgeon from Lawlor’s Athlone, did my hair. I’ve gone to Nicole for years and wouldn’t have had anyone else do my hair on my big day. Our flowers were by Dooley’s Athlone.


In the Heart of Ireland, Shamrock Lodge Hotel will welcome you into the heart of their family. Contact the team today, to enquire about their fantastic wedding packages.

Social Team

The Social Team lives for Weddings.

WeddingDates Contributors
Submit a Real Wedding

Are you a bride, groom or photographer who wants to share a unique wedding with our readers?

Learn More