Romantic beach proposal wins best friend’s heart
It was the fairytale story of childhood friends becoming lovers for newly weds Susanne Gormley and Thomas McBride. Friends from the tender age of four, the pair’s close friendship eventually developed into something more when they turned sweet 16, and on September 19 2015, they were wed by Fr Brian Donnelly at the Sacred Heart Church, in their home town of Plumbridge.
Having travelled out to sunny Australia to live and find work, it was on a balmy Christmas Eve night in 2011 that Thomas (26) proposed to Susanne (27). Taking her down onto a glittering beach on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Thomas asked his bride-to-be to open an early Christmas present by the whistling ocean.
To Susanne’s surprise, the large box contained a custom-made Stefan white-gold band, encrusted with 45 small diamonds and featuring one large diamond in the centre. “I was so happy and completely surprised,” said Susanne. “But I had always hoped the proposal would come at some stage. It was a perfect proposal, and the ring was so sparkly and beautiful.”
Though the happily-engaged couple spent the next three years living in Perth, Susanne always knew that she wanted to enjoy a traditional wedding back home in the Plum. By 2014, the pair had saved up enough money to buy a house together in Plumbridge, so they moved back and eagerly started planning for their big day.
“There’s nothing quite like home,” Susanne said. “And it was my dream to go back home and start a family.” A shopaholic by nature, Susanne soon found an ivory gown which perfectly fitted her petite physique in Serendipity, Fivemiletown.
Featuring a sweetheart neckline and long trail, the blushing bride also purchased a floral lace bolero to wear over the top of her gown, and a pearl belt to compliment the style. “My dress was beautiful, but plain and simple. So I wanted to add things to it to make it more personal.
To make it more me,” she said. On the morning of her big day, Susanne described feeling “really calm” as the final touches to her hair and make-up were made. However, upon walking down the aisle to a unique variation of Coldplay’s Yellow on piano and guitar, she admitted that the nerves began to kick in.
“I think it was just seeing so many people in the church,” Susanne explained. “But also because I had waited so long to experience the moment. The day was something I had been looking forward to for a long time.”
With Ceallach Reid performing live traditional hymns during the emotional one hour service, it was soon time for the new Mr and Mrs McBride to be whisked away to their reception, in the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny, via a white Mercedes C-Class.
After tucking into her ivory three-tiered floral wedding cake which “beautifully matched” her colour scheme of baby pink and purple, Susanne danced the night away to wedding band The Editions, alongside her 170 guests. “It was definitely the most perfect day ever,” Susanne concluded. “It was everything that I imagined it to be and more. “It was a long time coming, but was certainly worth the
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