Intimate spring wedding day for Eoghan and Michaela
Walking up the aisle with her father on a day where the sun beamed through the chapel’s windows gave Michaela McGurk a truly memorable wedding.
The Dungannon woman and groom Eoghan Forker enjoyed an intimate, sun-filled wedding on April 22, 2016 at Aughnagar Chapel, where Fr Pat Hannigan performed the service.
First meeting each other in August 2006, it was when the pair were together for almost nine years that the Armagh man surprised Michaela (26) with a romantic proposal in May last year. Living in Australia at the time, Eoghan (27) treated his love to a weekend away to ‘The Eagle View Escape’ in the picturesque Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
Organising a picnic hamper which the pair enjoyed at the glittering Lake Lyell, Eoghan popped the question after asking her father’s permission. “I was just so excited,” Michaela said. “I couldn’t stop crying!
We spent that whole evening on facetime to our families at home – they couldn’t believe it. “We had stayed in that place over Christmas in 2014 and I had just fallen in love with it,” Michaela reflected. “It was just this wee secluded paradise in the middle of nowhere with the most amazing view – there were even wee kangaroos coming right up to our balcony.”
Michaela’s engagement ring featured a rose gold diamond-encrusted band, with a large diamond in the middle surrounded by a halo of diamonds. “I still can’t stop looking at it,” she laughed. “We were due to travel home to Ireland the following week, so we got to celebrate our engagement with our friends in Australia, and then our friends and family back home.”
Initially planning for their wedding to take place in March 2018 in Donegal, the couple decided to bring the date forward as Michaela’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December 2015 at the age of 52. “So we booked and planned the whole day in eight weeks,” Michaela explained.
“We went for quite a vintage and quirky theme, as we hoped for something different and unique – while staying simple. “We chose flowers which were quite wild and country-esque. “We had turf in old apple crates outside the chapel and also at the top of the aisle to represent Eoghan’s family and their peat business.
“The pew ends were decorated with straw and wild flowers – it was so simple, but beautiful.” Visiting Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant in County Louth regularly with Eoghan for food, the blushing bride booked the venue for their big day as it “held a special place in theirs hearts”. “It’s just class,” Michaela said. “It’s a traditional Irish bar and restaurant. “The food, the atmosphere, the old world decor, memorabilia… everything about it is just amazing.”
Excited to experience shopping for wedding dresses, Michaela found her perfect gown in No8 Bridal, Cookstown, with help from her mother, sister and best friend. Falling for the first dress she tried on in the store, its vintage style featured quilted material, lace sleeves, and elegant detail along the trail.
When her big day finally arrived, Michaela described feeling “so excited and happy” and said her service was simply beautiful. “Fr Hannigan was brilliant,” Michaela said. “He spoke so nicely about Aughnagar Chapel, which is very special to us, and the atmosphere was relaxed and personal.
“Daddy walking me up the aisle was amazing – it was something I couldn’t wait for since I was a child,” she smiled. “I didn’t even cry because I was just so happy I was beaming with pride!”
Leaving the chapel in a twin cam car, it was soon time for the newlyweds to tuck into their two tier wedding cake and cupcakes, decorated with fresh flowers.
“The Bleed’n Cowboys sang after our gorgeous dinner and speeches, and we danced the whole night,” Michaela concluded. “The day was absolutely perfect. “For a wedding planned in eight weeks, it was amazing.
“We got everything we wanted, the weather was unbelievable, the food was out of this world and the craic and atmosphere was unreal.”