Real Weddings

Rachel and Adrian enjoy the ‘best day

A MAGICAL Christmas day proposal transformed into a “fairytale wedding” for Castlederg newlyweds Rachel Walsh and Adrian Sweeney.

Now in a relationship that has spanned 12 years, the dedicated couple were wed by Fr Dermott Harkin at St Francis of Assisi Church on July 17, 2015.

Meeting each other for the very first time at Pulse Letterkenny on a night out with friends in April 2004, the pair’s casual friendship soon developed into something much more in the weeks that followed.

The new Mr and Mrs Sweeney chose to have their wedding reception in the Manor Country Hotel as they admired its vintage charm.

The new Mr and Mrs Sweeney chose to have their wedding reception in the Manor Country Hotel as they admired its vintage charm.

Feeling that it was simply “the right time” to get married after being together for seven years, the pair decided to choose the perfect engagement rings for Rachel in advance. Then on a cosy Christmas morning in 2011, Adrian presented his girlfriend with her beloved princess-cut white gold diamond band which featured diamonds along the band.

“We had been together for so long, so we felt that it was about time we did something,” Rachel reflected. “So Adrian said ‘let’s go and look at rings’. The ring that I chose was the first one I put on my finger and I knew that was the one for me.

I was over the moon when he proposed.” From the very beginning of her wedding planning, Rachel knew that she wanted her day to be decorated with a pretty pale pink and powder blue colour scheme.

“I just love pastel colours,” she explained. “The biggest thing for me was the flowers and I knew I wanted hydrangeas from the start as these are my favourite. “The florist kept this in mind, and when she was designing my bouquet, she added roses as well. They looked absolutely amazing.”

Rachel poses with her pastel coloured roses and hydrangeas.

Rachel poses with her pastel coloured roses and hydrangeas.

Loving every minute of wedding dress shopping with her sisters, it was in McElhinney’s, Donegal where Rachel found the right gown for her. “It didn’t take too long to find the dress as I knew the style I liked from the start,” Rachel said.

“My dress was ivory and very fitted with lots of sparkle. “Everyone expected this of me as I love lots of bling.” Admiring the vintage interior and sparkling lake of the Manor House Country Hotel, Enniskillen, Rachel couldn’t wait to book it for her fairytale day.

“I always wanted my wedding to have vintage theme, and the hotel had such an old world charm and modern luxury feeling,” she said. “It looked amazing, and I knew the venue would tie in perfectly with my theme.”

During their holiday to the sunfilled Dubai in 2014, the pair picked up their special wedding bands. “This is our favourite holiday destination, and I was able to watch them resize my ring while I waited,” she said. When Rachel’s big day arrived, she described feeling an air of calm as she got ready for her events ahead.

Newlyweds Rachel and Adrian Sweeney, alongside maid of honour Bronagh Akay and bridesmaids Madeleine Walsh and Mairead McGlinchey. Also pictured is best man Kieran Sweeney and groomsmen Dermot Sweeney and Brendan Carolan.

Newlyweds Rachel and Adrian Sweeney, alongside maid of honour Bronagh Akay and bridesmaids Madeleine Walsh and Mairead McGlinchey. Also pictured is best man Kieran Sweeney and groomsmen Dermot Sweeney and Brendan Carolan.

“I couldn’t believe how relaxed I was,” she described. “I really thought I was going to cry walking up the aisle, but I just smiled the entire day. “But I did feel a little teary listening to the music we had chosen.

It was extra special as it was our friend Rois Kelly- Lynch that conducted it. “Our wedding service was so relaxed and special, and this was all down to Fr Harkin.” Whisked away to her wedding venue by her father in his green vintage Morris Minor, it was not long before the newlyweds tucked into their three tier wedding cake and cupcakes.

“My aunt made our fruit tier which was lovely as she means so much to me,” she explained. Then it was time for the newlyweds and 220 guests to jive the night away to wedding band, Atmosphere.

Their first dance was to the heartfelt ballad, ‘It Feels Like Home’. “Overall our wedding was magical and we couldn’t have asked for better friends and family to share it with us,” Rachel concluded. “I didn’t want our day to end – it truly was the best day of our lives.”