Real Weddings

Winter proposal wins heart of Aghyaran girl

When Cathy McMenamin first met Patrick Kelly on a Boxing Day night out in Katy Dalys in Strabane it was simply “love at first sight”. After being in a devoted relationship with each other for nine years, the happy pair were wed by Fr John Gilmore at St Patrick’s Church, Aghyaran on September 12, 2015.

Cathy is all smiles beside her parents Bernie and Sean McMenamin on her wedding day.

Cathy is all smiles beside her parents Bernie and Sean McMenamin on her wedding day.

Cathy, daughter of Bernie and Sean McMenamin weds Patrick, son of Margaret and Sean on a beautiful autumnal day.

Cathy, daughter of Bernie and Sean McMenamin weds Patrick, son of Margaret and Sean on
a beautiful autumnal day.

It was during a November weekend away to the Errigal Country Hotel, Cavan in 2013, that Carrickmore man Patrick (26) surprised Cathy (25) with a winter proposal. While celebrating the Aghyaran girl’s success in her Chartered Accountancy examinations, Patrick presented Cathy with a white gold glittering diamond band, decorated with a trio of large diamonds in the centre.

“I was in shock for a couple of minutes – usually I am the one organising everything,” Cathy laughed. “But when that wore off, I was completely over the moon.” Waiting until after their hectic Christmas to start planning their wedding, the couple soon fell in love with the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny after attending a wedding fair there.

“My brother had also got married in the hotel a couple of years ago, and I suppose we already had happy memories from it,” Cathy explained. “I knew that we would have a great meal and good day’s craic there.”

After ‘trying on every wedding dress’ in the first bridal gown store she visited, Cathy and her three sisters, Therese, Emma and Niamh then took to Pinterest to see if they could find something else that perfectly suited the bride-to-be.

However it was in dress shop two, McElhinney’s in Ballybofey, that Cathy found the right gown for her. Designed by Mori Lee, the white fishtail dress featured ivory beaded embroidery, a low-cut back and capped sleeves. “It was a unanimous yes from everyone,” Cathy explained.

The happy bride, Cathy Kelly alongside her flower girls Sarah-Louise Kelly, Jasmine Mc- Crabbe and Sinead McMenamin and her pageboys, James McCrabbe and Darragh Ferry.

The happy bride, Cathy Kelly alongside her flower girls Sarah-Louise Kelly, Jasmine Mc-
Crabbe and Sinead McMenamin and her pageboys, James McCrabbe and Darragh Ferry.

“The dress was completely worth it, even though I couldn’t really sit down properly all day!” Hoping for a “modern feel to a vintage-style wedding”, Cathy’s next stop was picking out the right shade of bridesmaid dresses to match her favourite type of flower, pink Peonies. “That is also my granny’s favourite flower, so I thought it would be a nice memory of her to have on the day for me and my mum,” she explained.

On the morning of her big day, Cathy described feeling “excited and surprisingly relaxed” as her sister Emma dressed her hair. And while her bridal party were whisked away to the chapel in a classy white limo, Patrick had one final surprise for his wife-tobe. “He had organised a horse and cart to take me and my dad to the chapel as my present,” she said. “It was a complete surprise, but I loved it.”

During the wedding ceremony, Cathy’s friend Fionnuala McHugh sang the Responsorial Psalm, her family members performed the readings and a harp and flute provided the music. After travelling from the “special and lovely” service to the Radisson Blu Hotel in their limo, it was soon time for the newly weds to step out into the chilly Letterkenny air for photos.

Cathy and Patrick8

The newlyweds, Cathy and Patrick beside their maid of honour Therese Ferry, and bridesmaids Emma McMenamin and Niamh McMenamin, and flower girl Sarah-Louise Kelly. Also pictured is best man Christopher Kelly, and groomsmen Patrick McCartan and Rory Kelly.

“Our photographer, Lauren Coulter was so great on the day – she was like our own personal assistant,” Cathy said. Shortly after tucking into their three-tiered cake, decorated with a large sugar peony, lace and brooches, the newlyweds alongside their 180 guests danced until the early hours of the morning to Donegal wedding band Cufflinks.

“Our wedding was perfect,” Cathy concluded. “It was definitely worth all the planning and stressing. We hope everyone had as much fun as we did.”


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