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Catherine and Dáire enjoy perfect wedding day among the hills of Donegal

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A surprise proposal which saw Catherine O’Neill and Dáire Martin cry tears of joy on Christmas Eve, transformed into a perfect spring wedding for the Tyrone pair.

There was rain for luck as Catherine wed the Garvaghey man on March 16, 2019 at St Davog’s, Dromore during a traditional service performed by Fr Patrick McEntee.

The pair’s wedding reception took place at the luxurious Harvey’s Point, hidden in the hills of Donegal. Set in the magical shadow of the Blue Stack Mountains on the shores of Lough Eske, the new Mr and Mrs Martin chose the venue due to its beautiful grounds and ideal room size.

Bride Catherine Martin (née O’Neill) spends time with her nearest and dearest on her special day.

Maid of honour on the day was Gráinne McBrien, best man was Rory O’Brien, bridesmaids were Ónagh Martin and Caroline Early, groomsmen were Darragh McKenny and Glen McKenna, while flower girls were Siofra and Ceala McBrien.

Catherine, daughter of Adrian and Brigin O’Neill and who is a hairdresser, from Dromore, said that while she ‘always knew’ of Dáire, who is a joiner, she ‘met him properly’ outside the Palmbush shop in Kesh one Sunday while on her way to the beach.

“We chatted for a few minutes that day, and then with the power of Facebook, we started emailing back and forward and the rest is history,” Catherine described.

Groom Dáire Martin with his loved ones on his wedding day.

Together for three years, it was on December 24, 2016 that Dáire, son of Paul and Dympna Martin, asked Catherine for her hand in marriage in her hair salon after she finished work.

Her engagement ring, from Lunn’s Jewellers in Belfast, featured a platinum design with sparkling diamontes. “We both had tears of happiness,” Catherine said.

The newlyweds-to-be enjoyed their Christmas Day celebrations – and then began their planning for their traditional yet modern wedding the very next day.

Catherine and Dáire wed on March 16, 2019.

Catherine said that it took her three months and visits to a couple of different shops to find the wedding gown that was right for her. This gown, from La Boda in Banbridge, was white and fitted, and bedecked with feminine lace and sparkles. “We had a lovely time dress shopping,” Catherine described.

When Catherine’s wedding day arrived, rain fell from the sky and she recalled feeling nervous, which made her a little bit quiet. However as soon as she walked down the aisle and stood at the front of the church with Dáire, she felt ‘fine’.

A limousine whisked the new Mr and Mrs Martin away to their scenic Donegal wedding reception, where the newlyweds enjoyed spending time with their loved ones, a drinks reception by ‘Say No More’, music by live band ‘The Rockitts’ and DJing by ‘Boogie Nights’.

“Our wedding day was perfect, the 30-year-old said. “It was the best day ever.”

The new Mr and Mrs Martin admire the gorgeous Donegal waters.

• The Finer Details •

Wedding dress: La Boda, Banbridge.
Engagement ring: Lunn’s Jewellers, Belfast.
Wedding ring: Murray’s Jewellers, Belfast.
Hair stylist/salon: The Hair Lounge.
Make-up: Hayley Slevin, MUA.
Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo.
Head piece: La Boda, Banbridge.
Veil: La Boda, Banbridge.
Bridesmaid dresses: Made by Ellen Lampbert.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: JR McMahon, Portadown.
Cake supplier: Maeve McGirr.
Florist: Bumble Bee Florists, Dromore.
Stationery: Ecclesville Printing.
Church: St Davog’s, Dromore.
Reverend/ Priest: Fr Patrick McEntee.
Church music: Aoife McCullagh Music.
Transport: Blacktown Motors, Castlederg.
Reception: Harvey’s Point, Donegal.
Number of guests at reception: 265.
Decor: Simply Devine.
Band: The Rockits.
DJ: Boogie Nights.
First dance song: ‘Shallow’ by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
Photographer: Erica Irvine Photography.
Videographer: Grá Films.
Honeymoon: New York for five days, and Mexico for seven days.

The newlyweds, Catherine and Dáire, alongside their maid of honour, Gráinne McBrien, best man, Rory O’Brien, bridesmaids, Ónagh Martin and Caroline Early and groomsmen, Darragh McKenny and Glen McKenna