Real Weddings

Perfectly purple wedding of poignant moments for Michelle and Gavin

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Michelle McElroy (née Hollywood) said that she felt like a princess on her beautiful summer wedding, which was filled with poignant, personal moments… and lots of purple!

Not only were her bridesmaids dressed in a lovely dusty shade of the Rouskey woman’s favourite colour, but Michelle also loved her dainty bouquet of lilac and lavender flowers, which were complimented by bright blooms of pink and cream.

Michelle McElroy (née Hollywood) celebrates her wedding day alongside her parents, Dolores and Michael Hollywood.

With their families and friends by their side, Michelle wed Gavin McElroy at St Mary’s Church, Rouskey on June 29, 2018. The service was particularly moving as it was officiated by Fr Francis Bradley and Fr John Forbes who are family friends of the newlyweds.

The new Mr and Mrs McElroy’s wedding reception took place at Kee’s Hotel in Stranorlar, Donegal – a homely place that won the pair’s hearts from the moment that they went to view it.

“We loved the layout of the hotel,” Michelle said. “Our guests were all kept together as the reception ball room was off on its own, away from the main foyer.” The couple were also keen to thank the Kee’s staff members, Vicky, Richard, Paul and the whole team who made them feel so comfortable and cared for throughout their day.

Michelle McElroy is all smiles alongside her maid of honour, Breige Hollywood and bridesmaids, Niamh Hollywood and Majella Rafferty.

Together for more than a year, it was on August 29, 2015 that Gavin proposed during a romantic weekend away to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

“We thought that we would go explore Amsterdam, as we previously watched the ‘Fault in Our Stars’ movie,” Michelle said. “We went for a few drinks before dinner, and then we went for a walk to the Magere Brug (the ‘Skinny Bridge’).

It was by the canal that Gavin asked Michelle for her hand in marriage. “I was so, so excited,” Michelle said. “It was such a shock, and I couldn’t wait to tell our family and friends back home.”

In Gavin’s hands was a glittering white gold engagement ring that his partner simply loved. “I absolutely loved the ring when I saw it, and I still do,” she said. “I couldn’t have picked any better myself. He did a good job.”

Gavin McElroy and his mother, Eileen having a great time at St Mary’s, Rouskey.

Planning for their summer’s day wedding straight away, Michelle said that she wanted a vintage shabbychic style wedding – with glints of purple, of course. “I just love the colour purple,” Michelle smiled.

“We also knew from when we began planning our wedding that a traditional wedding was exactly what we wanted. “Good food and good music are the two essentials for an Irish wedding!”

It didn’t take the blushing bride-to-be long at all to find her perfect gown. In just under two weeks, Michelle visited three shops and found her perfect gown at Ultimate Dresses, Dungiven. The ivory number featured a fabulously fitted design with delicate lace detailing and flared skirt.

“It’s true what they say: When you find ‘the’ dress you just know you feel like a wee princess!” Michelle described. “I fell in love with it, and it was a dress that I knew I could dance in all night long with our guests.”

The new Mr and Mrs McElroy enjoy beautiful sun-kissed scenery on their summer’s day wedding.

When Michelle’s wedding day finally arrived, the summer sun was beaming high in the sky – just what Michelle had hoped for. “It was a scorcher – it was 32 degrees Celsius outside,” Michelle recalled. “We were so lucky that the sun was shining.”

And despite feeling the pre-service nerves, Michelle was whisked away to the chapel with her father, Michael in a vintage Volkswagen Beetle. “Our Mass was lovely and so personal as our priests are family friends and know us both very well,” Michelle said.

“There were very poignant moments throughout, and particularly when our departed family and friends were remembered in our special day. “Our wedding was absolutely everything that we could ever wish for and more,” she concluded.

Little page boy, Ryan Bowman is all dressed up to celebrate Michelle and Gavin’s wedding day.

• The Finer Details •
Wedding dress: Ultimate Dresses, Dungiven.
Engagement ring: Ernest Jones.
Wedding ring: Ernest Jones,
Hair stylist/salon: Lynne Lyttle at Scissor Sisters, Sixmilecross.
Make-up: Clodagh McKenna at Beyond Beauty, Omagh.
Bridal Shoes: Scarpa Shoes, Omagh.
Head piece: Handmade from Lynne’s Fascinators.
Veil: Borrowed.
Bridesmaid dresses: Ultimate Dresses, Dungiven.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Red Groomswear, Cookstown.
Cake supplier: The Cake Clan, Carrickmore.
Cake: Three-tier birdcage-style vintage cake.
Florist: Bumble Bee Garden Florists, Dromore.
Church: St. Mary’s Church, Rouskey.
Reverend/ Priest: Fr Bradley and Fr Forbes.
Transport: Cloud 9 Car Hire, County Antrim.
Reception: Kee’s of Stranorlar.
Number of guests at reception: 200 guests.
DJ/band: Atmosphere.
First dance song: ‘Today’ by Brad Paisley.
Photographer: Lauren Coulter.
Videographer: John Mc Mullen (JMAC Productions).
Other entertainment: Fiddler Adam; ceremony music and drinks reception, Niamh McGlinchey.
Honeymoon: New York, Las Vegas and Cancun.

Groom Gavin McElroy, best man, Brendan McAleer and groomsmen, Ciaran McCarney and Mark McCullagh don the shades as the sun was beaming.