Wedded bliss all the way from Vegas to Tattyreagh
Aromantic marquee draped in white and decorated with elegant festoon lights and large bouquets of blush pinks and ivories made Denise Sweeney and Duncan Hyndman’s wedding day intimate and beautifully unique.
The pair were wed on May 27, 2017 at St Mary’s Church, Killyclogher during a ceremony performed by Fr Thomas Canning. Their wedding reception featured a marquee which was set up in the grounds of Tattyreagh GAA – the groom’s local Gaelic football club and a place which the couple chose due to its easy-to-get-to location.
Denise and Duncan are both from Omagh and have known of each other since they were teenagers, but they first met properly at Katy Dalys nightclub, Strabane in October 2013.
“Duncan was a real gentleman and I felt he became a best mate straight away,” Denise described. “I also loved his smile.” For Duncan, it was Denise’s bubbly personality that he fell in love with. “Denise just jumped out to me from the rest of the crowd,” he said.
It was during a bustling holiday away to Las Vegas in October last year to celebrate Denise’s 30th birthday that Duncan surprised her with a special proposal. The date was October 20, 2016 – 13 years to the day that the pair shared their first kiss.
“We were having dinner in the Top of the World restaurant at the Stratosphere hotel during one of our last nights in Vegas,” Denise explained. “Half way through dinner, Duncan said he had two questions for me. He took my hand under the table and he asked if I would go steady with him. At the time, we were ten years exclusive, although neither of us ever asked that question before. “And then he asked me to marry him, and slipped a ring onto my finger.”
The dainty silver ring featured a duo of sparkling diamonds and a small ivory pearl in the centre. Duncan had got it custom-made earlier that day, while Denise was relaxing by a pool nursing a hangover!
“I was completely calm when he proposed and it just felt right,” Denise said. “Duncan showed no signs of nerves throughout the whole holiday or on that day, but a few seconds before he asked, his whole facial expression changed.” Duncan admitted, “I felt nervous as hell.”
The pair decided to keep their proposal a secret from their family and friends for a few weeks to give themselves time to come to terms with their engagement and pick a proper engagement band together. “Once we had settled ourselves, we both felt that we had kept everyone waiting long enough for us to take the plunge and we decided to get married as soon as possible,” Denise said.
“We started our research into marquee receptions, knowing that it was going to be a different experience for most guests. Our main focus was that we wanted people to have had a relaxed day, with good laughs, good food and plenty of dancing in a local location.”
Happily Denise said that she found wedding dress shopping easy as her older sister knew right away which shop she would get her dress from. Visiting ‘Pearls and Lace’ in Donegal, Denise tried on a few sample dresses and picked just the one for her on that first day of shopping.
It was an ivory LaSposa Haldisa mermaid-style gown, featuring delicate Chantilly and lace work on the bodice, and a gorgeous long train. “This shop had a great variety of shapes and styles,” Denise reflected. “The assistant was so helpful in letting me try on the final two dresses a few times so that I was sure of my decision. My sister was right about the store!”
However, Denise described her bridesmaid dresses as a ‘risk’ as she ordered them online. “I initially picked them as the design was a great match with my dress,” she said. “I felt the blush pink tied in well with both our marquee themes and the black tuxedo look for the groomsmen. But I was delighted with them – the two girls looked stunning.”
In the week leading up to the pair’s wedding, Denise said that they simply ‘had no time to get nervous as they were so busy pulling the marquee together’. “We were both just buzzing and excited to see it all coming together day-by- day and we couldn’t wait to show off the end result to the rest of our family and friends,” she said.
“On the day of the wedding it was pouring down with rain but this didn’t phase either of us. We were just ready to let our hair down and party after a week of hard work!”
Following a meaningful ceremony where each song and reading was carefully selected, the newlyweds were whisked a mere six miles up the road via two gorgeous white cars borrowed from their loved ones, and they spent the rest of the night partying on the dancefloor.
“We had great fun planning every detail together and we loved being able to put our own personalised touches to the reception venue,” the 30-year-old concluded. “Going by the feedback we received from our guests, we think that our wedding day was a great success all round.”
• THE FINER DETAILS •
Wedding dress: LaSposa Haldisa dress from Pearls and Lace Donegal Town.
Hair stylist/salon: Tracy Swift (Tracy Wallace – Hairdresser on FB).
Make-up: Lady Unicorn, Omagh.
Bridal Shoes: ‘Lucy’ gold heels by Kurt Geiger.
Head piece/Veil: Something borrowed from a friend.
Bridesmaid dresses: Ordered online and custom made.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Tomorrow’s Bridal, Derry/Londonderry.
Cake supplier: Kay Hyndman (mother of the groom).
Florist: Bumble Bee Garden Florists.
Church: St Mary’s Killyclogher.
Transport: White cars borrowed from bride’s sister and bride’s friend. Personalised number plates read ‘Deni 1’ and ‘’Dunc 1’.
Reception: Oldtown Marquees.
DJ/band: The Breakfast Club / DJ 2Js.
First dance song: ‘You and Me’ originally by Lifehouse, performed by Barry Kirwan (good friend of groom’s).
Photographer: Gemma G Photography, Omagh.
Other entertainment: Andrea Begley (chapel music); McCullagh sisters (pre-reception); Tomas Quinn and friends (pre-reception).
Honeymoon: Santorini, Greece.