Music, laughter and joy fills Kelly and Paul’s perfect wedding

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Kelly Given (née Duddy) said that she felt truly blessed on her picture perfect wedding day. Not only was she marrying a man that encourages her to laugh through the good and bad times, but the glistening spring sun gleamed down throughout the day and her ceremony was amass with personal touches.

During a service held in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Strabane, Kelly and Paul Given were wed by Fr Declan Boland on May 19, 2018.

Their wedding reception took place at the Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa – a luxurious venue set in the heart of the Donegal town and renowned for its gorgeous views and top quality food. Kelly, manager of Sunshapers in Strabane, first met Paul, a pipe fitter, in the River Club one Sunday night about five years ago.

Groom Paul Given with his best man Gary Wilson and groomsmen, Mark Boland, Rory McGlanaghy and James Connolly.

“Anybody that has been to the River Club will know that you never expect to meet your future husband there, but it happened for us,” Kelly reflected. “Paul is funny, which to me is the foundation of any great relationship. It helps also that he’s absolutely gorgeous as well. “We just have a laugh together, and I know that when anything goes wrong he’s always by my side.”

It was July 18, 2016, that the Lifford man asked Kelly for her hand in marriage while on a peaceful stroll across Fanad Beach, Donegal – the place the pair used to visit when they first started dating.

Kelly’s ring featured a gold band encrusted with sparkling diamonds, with a round-shaped cluster of diamonds on top. “The moment was so magical,” Kelly, who is from Belldoo, Strabane said. “I was shocked as it was a Monday, and the beach was packed, so I never expected it.”

Maid of honour Keelin Duddy and bridesmaids, Hayley Duddy, Jade Doherty and Eire Dunne

With her heart set on a plain and simple wedding, Kelly said she was so lucky that all the elements she picked, with the help of her brother and sister, for her big day worked well together. “I would say I had a very traditional wedding,” Kelly said. “There were no added extras, as neither of us are into anything fussy.”

Describing wedding dress shopping as “a great experience”, Kelly’s perfect gown was the last dress she chose in the first shop that she visited. The fitted, ivory gown, from Perfect Day in Lurgan, incorporated dainty diamonte straps with a flowing skirt and feminine lace around the bust and back. “Once I tried it on, I knew that was it,” Kelly said. “So I didn’t have to go to any other shops.”

When Kelly’s big day arrived, she was determined to make the most of every second of it. “I remember feeling extremely calm which isn’t like me,” Kelly said. “I just knew to enjoy it. “You hear about a lot of brides not enjoying their day, so I was determined to enjoy mine. The hard work was done, so on the day it was about having a really great time with all the people that matter. “The weather was also brilliant – the sun was shining, but there was still a breeze. “We couldn’t have got a better day weather-wise; we where truly blessed.”

The smiling groom Paul Given pictured with family and friends on his wedding day.

Whisked away to the chapel in a Mercedes, Kelly and Paul enjoyed an easy-going service, full of laughs while the importance of the occasion remained at the fore. “My niece who was bridesmaid, walked down the aisle and then took her seat at the piano and played my entrance song for me,” Kelly described. “It was just so special having her do something for me on the biggest day of my life.

“Also, Paul’s nephew Jude who lives in Newcastle, England was due to make his Holy Communion the same day but he had to miss it to attend our wedding. However Fr Boland let him make it during our service which was great. “It’s something that we can always share with Jude now.

“When people told me it would be the best day of my life I didn’t really take them on, but I can easily say it was,” the 30-year-old concluded. “It was just so relaxed, and it exceeded anything I ever thought it would be like. “I would do that day all over again in a heartbeat. It was just perfect from start-to-finish.”

The new Mr and Mrs Paul and Kelly Given celebrate with their bridal party.



Wedding dress: Perfect Day, Lurgan.
Wedding band: Exclusive.
Hair stylist/salon: Toni and Orlaith Kelly at Enchanted Hair and Beauty.
Make-up: Toni and Orlaith Kelly at Enchanted Hair and Beauty.
Bridal Shoes: Steve Madden.
Head piece/ Veil: Perfect Day, Lurgan.
Bridesmaid dresses: House of CB.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Tommorows Bridal Rooms, Derry.
Cake supplier: Sheila, aunt of groom.
Cake design: Three-tiered, and round.
Florist: Martin Stewart.
Church: Church of the Immaculate Conception, Strabane.
Priest: Fr Boland.
Transport: Mercedes.
Bridal party transport: Hummer from 3D Limos, Derry.
Reception: Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa, Ballyliffin.
Number of guests at reception: 242.
Band and DJ: Exclusive.
First dance song: ‘The One’ by Kodaline.
Photographer: Katrina Taggart Photography.
Other entertainment: Barry McGowan, who drew a very funny caricature of the newlyweds and their bridal party.
Honeymoon: Spain for four days after the wedding. Newlyweds also going on a Caribbean cruise in the autumn for 12 nights.