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Catherine and Stephen’s wedding was the ‘best day of their lives’

A romantic proposal on Christmas Eve transformed into a beautiful wedding day filled with music and laughter for Catherine McElroy and Stephen O’Brien.

Surrounded by their loved ones, the pair were wed on July 6, 2018 at St Colmcille’s Church, Carrickmore in a traditional ceremony performed by Fr Seán O’Neill. Their wedding reception took place at the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan. It was a place chosen by the newlyweds due to its close-to-home location – certainly an important factor for Catherine, who said that the most important part of her wedding day was having all of their friends and family together.

Catherine, a hairdresser, first met Stephen, a salesperson, on a school bus in 2002. The Omagh woman was a mere 12-years-old at the time. And as such, they started their relationship as friends. “I’ve always loved Stephen’s sense of humour,” Catherine reflected. “We were friends first, and then began dating many years later, in 2010.”

Bride Catherine O’Brien, maid of honour, Maria McElroy and bridesmaids, Carla Monaghan and Michelle Monaghan enjoying the summer wedding celebrations.

Together for five years, it was on Christmas Eve in 2015 that Stephen surprised Catherine with a heartfelt proposal in their first home. “I felt a mixture of pure shock and happiness,” Catherine recalled. During the proposal, Stephen presented Catherine with a sparkling engagement ring, featuring a cushion cut, princess diamond with a sparkling platinum band. “I loved my ring from the moment that I saw it,” she said.

The pair booked their wedding for the summer of 2018, giving them more than two years to plan for their perfect day. “I knew I wanted my wedding to have a neutral colour scheme, and I liked the idea of keeping everything quite traditional,” Catherine said. “However having all our friends and family together was the most important thing to us.”

Groom Stephen O’Brien, best man, Patrick O’Brien and groomsmen, Frank O’Brien and Conor McElroy made their way to the chapel in their rally cars.

Describing wedding dress shopping as ‘so enjoyable’, Catherine said she knew exactly what she didn’t want in a gown so she was able to narrow her selection down to the ones which she really liked. However she fell in love with a white dress from Belle Marie, Omagh which boasted a figure hugging design with lots of stones and glittering beading which caught the light. The David Tutera Mon Cheri dress also featured a long train, delicate illusion sleeves for added femininity and a low back. “I loved the traditional element of the long train and illusion sleeves,” Catherine said. “It was so comfy and so me. I just had to buy it.”

When Catherine’s wedding day finally arrived, she remembers feeling ‘emotional’. “I’d say it was also probably a mixture of nerves and excitement,” she smiled. Catherine and her bridal party were whisked away to the wedding ceremony in a beautiful cream coloured vintage car, while the groom and groomsmen made the journey in their rally cars.

The new Mr and Mrs O’Brien enjoying the lush Irish countryside on their wedding day.

“Our service was so special to us,” Catherine said. “Our beautiful music was provided by Niall Donnelly and Bronagh Hackett. It was lovely seeing all of our family and friends together.”

Later on in the evening, it was time for the newlyweds to tuck into their four tier cream and blush cake with rose detailing perched on top… And then the music started and everyone danced the night away!

“Our celebrations ended at roughly 5am,” the 27-year-old said. “Our wedding was the most amazing day of our lives, and we would do it all again in a heartbeat.”

Newlyweds Catherine and Stephen O’Brien celebrate their big day alongside maid of honour Maria McElroy, best man, Patrick O’Brien; bridesmaids, Carla Monaghan and Michelle Monaghan; and groomsmen, Frank O’Brien and Conor McElroy.

• THE FINER DETAILS •

Dress: Belle Marie Bridal, Omagh.
Hair/Makeup: Del Loughran Hairdressing & Makeup.
Bridal shoes: Badgley Mischka Shoes from Petticoat Lane, Hillsborough.
Veil: Belle Marie Bridal, Omagh.
Bridesmaid dresses: Creative Ideas, Cookstown.
Suits: Tux and Tails, Dungannon.
Cake: Jill’s Cakes NI.
Cake decoration: Four tier, cream and blush icing with rose detail.
Florist: Stephen Mallon.
Church: St Colmcille’s Church, Carrickmore.
Priest: Fr Seán O’Neill.
Transport: Glendale Limousines.
Reception: Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan.
Guests: 260.
First dance: ‘How Would You Feel’ by Ed Sheeran.
Photography: CMAC Images.
Video: MACAV.

Stephen, son of Kevin and Una O’Brien, wed Catherine, daughter of Ciarán and Helen McElroy on July 6, 2018 in a lovely traditional ceremony.