Bride marries on her birthday
Geraldine Casey’s 26th birthday was made extra-special by marrying the love of her life on the very same day.
First meeting Jonny Gallagher while at a local bar on a cosy February night in 2009, the pair felt a “spark” from the very beginning that simply couldn’t be ignored. Seven years later, the couple from Strabane were wed by Fr Gerry Sweeney at St Joseph’s Church, Glenmornan on February 17, 2016.
It was on a February night in 2013, while the pair were away in Belfast, that Jonny (29) surprised his love with a very special proposal. After getting down on one knee, he presented her with a beautiful white gold engagement ring, decorated with sparkling diamonds. “I was overwhelmed with happiness,” Geraldine described. “It would take me forever to go into all the details, but it was very special. It all happened as a surprise.”
Describing wedding dress shopping as something she loved, Geraldine eventually fell for a fitted ivory gown featuring intricate embroidered lace, from Vintage Rose, Randalstown. “Though it took a while, I loved wedding dress shopping and I’m glad I took my time finding the perfect one,” Geraldine said.
After admiring the intimacy of the An Grianan Hotel’s round function room, the pair secured the venue for their Winter wedding day and hand-crafted all of the wedding décor themselves. “The room meant that everyone felt closer,” Geraldine explained. “I also wanted to personalise our décor so it felt special to us.” When Geraldine’s big day finally arrived, she said that she felt both calm and excited as she “looked forward to what would unfold.”
Though on her birthday Geraldine had hoped for snow, the February day presented the Strabane girl with blue skies and a beaming sun. “I kind of knew that snow wasn’t going to happen, but my next wish was for it to be at least dry, and I definitely got that wish,” she said. “The weather was amazing that day compared to the typical wet weather we had been having.”
Swept away to the church via a vintage Volkswagen camper van endearingly called Marie, Geraldine said the service just simply “flew by”. “I honestly don’t have any idea of how long the service lasted as I had no idea of time that day,” she described. “The whole thing was emotional, filled with joy and happiness, but I didn’t at any stage feel teary.”
Soon tucking into their four-tiered wedding cake featuring a lace band, the blushing bride and 150 guests were also “wowed” by two surprise videos organised by groom Jonny. “One was birthday and wedding day greetings from my family across the world that couldn’t make it to our special day,” Geraldine explained.
“Also in the video were greetings from today’s country music stars, including Nathan Carter, Michael English, Mike Denver, Jimmy Buckley, and Lisa McHugh and other celebrities. “Then there was another hilarious video where my husband, our fathers and friends recorded a short comedy mock-up of the movie ‘The Hangover’.
In their recording, it involved a run-in with chickens and a gorilla!” With a live band, a DJ and the Innova Irish Dance Company from Britain’s Got Talent performing during the evening reception, the couple simply “danced the whole night”. “Our wedding went amazingly – it couldn’t have gone any better,” Geraldine concluded.
“Everything fell into place so well and everything we made ourselves all looked beautiful. “All the preparations by ourselves and by both our families paid off and when so many wedding guests commented on the entire day being fantastic. It definitely made it all worthwhile.”