Caoimhe and Christopher enjoy fairytale wedding in the countryside
A beautiful outdoor wedding featuring melodies played on the harp, sunshine and a breath-taking view of an Irish lough and surrounding hills gave Caoimhe Nic Nia the fairytale wedding she had always dreamed of.
The Cookstown woman wed her best friend, Christopher Hogshaw on July 7, 2016 at The Red Door Country House, Fahan with registrar, Siobhan Duffy-Browne conducting the service.
The rustic country house, where both the ceremony and reception took place, sits on the edge of the glittering Lough Swilly in Donegal. “Christopher is so caring and determined,” Caoimhe, who is an Irish Medium classroom assistant in Gaelscoil na gCrann, Omagh, explained.
“He’s always talked about our future together. He is so laid back and there is no problem he can’t solve. My parents are very important to me so the fact that they approve of him is great.”
For Christopher, it was Caoimhe’s kindness and thoughtfulness that he fell in love with. “She always thinks about others before herself,” he said. Caoimhe met the Cookstown man for the very first time at his cousin’s birthday all the way back in 2009. However, she didn’t meet Christopher again until May 2010 during a night out with mutual friends – and that’s when he got her number to ask her out.
“Two weeks later after a few dates we went steady,” Caoimhe said. “We were both 22 but we both knew very quickly that this was something special.”
It was on May 16, 2014, four years into their relationship, that Christopher got down on one knee and asked Caoimhe for her hand in marriage in the most romantic fashion. And even though the pair had often talked about their future together and knew that they would be married one day, Caoimhe simply did not see his proposal coming.
“We had planned a date night were we went to the Brewer’s House for meal which was beautiful,” she reflected. “But when we left, Christopher suddenly pulled in to Creeve Lough. “It was sunset, and I got out of the car to see a trail of red roses leading up to the wooden jetty.
“There were lanterns and roses the whole way up to a wrought iron table and chairs set, red table cloth, champagne, crystal table decorations and a little blue box and – I kid you not – swans floating by.”
Full of giggles and nerves, Caoimhe turned to see Christopher down on one knee. “I was so nervous when I realised what was happening, but overwhelmingly happy that I was going to marry my best friend,” she said.
The next Friday, Christopher whisked Caoimhe away to Belgium’s Antwerp – which she describes as the ‘diamond capital city of the world’ – to choose her dream engagement ring. “Choosing my ring was so exciting,” she said. “I picked out a solitaire diamond, in a halo of diamonds. The band was white gold with diamond trim.”
Beginning wedding planning a year later as they were both working full time and studying part time, both Caoimhe and Christopher had a clear idea of what they wanted their Summer wedding to look like.
“We wanted an outdoor vintage feel with soft romantic colours,” Caoimhe said. “I always knew I wanted blush pink as my colour. “We knew we’d do something different and very intimate for our wedding… Even though plenty of people told us we were crazy to have an outdoor wedding in Ireland!”
When Caoimhe’s big day arrived, she felt so ‘relaxed and calm’ and simply couldn’t wait to share the day with her beloved friends and family who helped to take part in the ceremony. “Our service was so lovely and I enjoyed how personal it was,” she recalled.
“I walked down the aisle to a great friend of mine Geraldine Strain from Omagh playing the harp. “My dad read two poems by Seamus Heaney and Christopher’s mum, Karen read ‘Desiderata’.
“My two little nieces recited a funny poem which included funny anecdotes about Christopher and I in it. They read so well and made me proud. “We also wrote our own vows which was so emotional as we both choked on them slightly, but made for such a lovely moment for everyone.”
Caoimhe recalled that one of the most emotional moments of the day was when the Gaelscoil na gCrann choir suddenly appeared and sang some of her favourite songs in Irish – something which was secretly organised by her father, Seán.
“I would say our wedding was beautiful and romantic, with such a personal, fun, happy and magical atmosphere,” the 29-year-old concluded. “We just had the best time, and I remember feeling so much love and happiness.
“I think we did the right thing in making the day about who we are as a couple, and celebrating with friends and family. It’s amazing what good weather, good food, good music and good company can create.”