Real Weddings

A sun kissed wedding in Castlederg for Helen and Junior

It may have rained the entire week before Helen and Junior Kelly’s wedding – but on their big day, the sun came up and the newlyweds were treated to beautiful blue skies in Spring.

Mr and Mrs Kelly were wed on March 11, 2017 at St Patrick’s Church, Castlederg in a ceremony performed by Fr O’Doherty.

The pair first met on the scenic island of Lough Derg in Pettigo back in 2003. Helen was working as a cleaner on the island at the time, while Junior was working there as a builder.

Initially introduced by Helen’s good friend, Grace Martin, the pair were friends for years, before they began dating in 2013. “We knew each other for so long and he always fancied me, but I never looked at him like that before he asked me out,” Helen reflected. “However I’ve always admired his sense of humour, kind heart, confidence and drive.”

Helen Kelly shows off her beautifully elegant ivory wedding gown, featuring sparkles and feminine lace.

Helen Kelly shows off her beautifully elegant ivory wedding gown, featuring sparkles and feminine lace.

It was in May last year, while staying at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny, that the Castlederg man asked Helen to marry him in his own unique, yet romantic, way. “We were talking about wedding bands,” Helen explained. “And he asked me ‘If you were getting married, who would you like to play at your wedding?’ “So I said Robert Mizzell, and Junior said that I should book him.”

Junior then presented Helen with a beautiful, custom-made white gold ring featuring three glittering diamonds – and his fiancée found it to be particularly special. “Junior got the ring made for me to look like a ring my mother gave me when I was younger,” Helen said. “I couldn’t believe he had proposed – I don’t think it sank in right away.”

The very next day, Junior, who is a contractor, secured the Silver Tassie Hotel for their wedding reception, booked wedding band The Logues, and of course, booked country singer Robert Mizzell. “I wanted my wedding to be traditional, but also to feature a country style,” explained Helen. “I wanted lots of wood, flowers and candles.”

She added, “We booked the Silver Tassie because Junior and I have been going there since we got together – and Junior for years before that. “The food is also excellent, it has a homely feel about it and it’s well-run with brilliant staff.”

Helen went to two bridal stores before finding a glamorous gown which both fitted her figure perfectly and suited her style. Visiting McElhinney’s in Ballybofey, it was dress number five which featured a fashionable low back and feminine mermaid shape.

“My dress was ivory with a gold underlay, with lots of lace and sparkle,” Helen described. “It was just want I wanted.”

Helen and Junior share a kiss after being pronounced husband and wife.

Helen and Junior share a kiss after being pronounced husband and wife.

When Helen’s big day finally arrived, she simply couldn’t stop smiling. “I thought I would have been nervous, but I was calm and excited,” she recalled. “I couldn’t get over the weather on our wedding day. It was raining the whole week before our wedding – but on our wedding day, the sun was shining and it was like a Summer’s day.”

She added, “There were a few tears when I was walking up the aisle, but thankfully everything ran so smoothly. The priest made us feel so relaxed.”

Whisked away to their wedding reception in a gorgeous champagne-coloured vintage car with the top down, the new Mr and Mrs Kelly were soon tucking into their three-tier wedding cake decorated with fresh roses and a custom-made cake topper before dancing the night away.

“We had an absolutely brilliant wedding day,” the 33-year-old concluded. “I would do it all again tomorrow.”

Newlyweds, Helen and Junior alongside their maid of honour, Amanda McDermott and best man, Jason Gilchrist. Also pictured are bridesmaids, Genevieve Simmons and Joanne Gilchrist, groomsmen, Maurice Kelly and Tom Kelly and page boy, Rain Kelly.

Newlyweds, Helen and Junior alongside their maid of honour, Amanda McDermott and best man, Jason Gilchrist. Also pictured are bridesmaids, Genevieve Simmons and Joanne Gilchrist, groomsmen, Maurice Kelly and Tom Kelly and page boy, Rain Kelly.