First Swords Castle chapel bride says ‘I R2-D2’ to Star Wars mad hubby

by Sylvia Pownall

The Force is with two newlyweds who have just made history by tying the knot at Swords Castle chapel – while embracing their love of Star Wars.

Alan Duffy and Vivian Bom became the first couple in over 200 years to marry in the medieval castle as they walked up the aisle under a canopy of lightsabers.

Star Wars fan Alan (34), who works at Hertz in Swords, honoured the film franchise during the nuptials but there wasn’t a Stormtrooper or Jedi Knight in sight.

The civil ceremony wedding was the first of its kind ever to take place in the chapel of Swords castle, which was built around 1200 by Archbishop of Dublin John Comyn.

The groom’s proud dad, Ken, told Dublin Gazette: “It’s certainly something to tell the grandkids.

The chapel has undergone extensive reconstruction since 1995 with a new oak-beamed roof, a timber gallery leading to the chamber block, and new windows.

Fingal County Council took the decision to open it up for civil ceremony marriages late last year and the venue caters for up to 70 guests at a time.

Swords man Alan and his Dutch wife Vivian are now honeymooning in Spain – but dad Ken was happy to give the venue its first five-star review online.

Tidy Towns volunteer Ken said: “They wanted a small venue and I suggested the castle. We were lucky enough to get it because it seems to be getting a fair few bookings.

“It was absolutely fantastic, from the layout of the church to the intimacy and cosiness of the ceremony. The gates of the castle were kept closed and only opened to let the bride’s limo in.

“There was a sense that you were somewhere special. It lent an air of occasion and solemnity to it.”

Alan’s cousin, Sean, who was best man, organised Star Wars-themed music during the vows and he kept one surprise up his sleeve for the end of the ceremony.

Ken revealed: “When they were walking down the aisle the guests all took out their lightsabers and formed an archway for them to walk under. It was super.”

The local authority is now taking bookings for civil ceremonies, which require HSE approval in advance, and says it will happily help couples plan their wedding, and you can email them here.

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) said: “Swords Castle is an important historical and cultural site for Fingal.

“The chapel is a beautiful setting for a civil ceremony and I would like to congratulate Alan and Vivian on being the first couple to be married in this unique venue.”

Council chief Paul Reid agreed, adding: “I look forward to the chapel’s continued use as a wedding venue.”

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