Real Weddings

Seana and Caolan enjoy their very beautiful Spring wedding

Being married by her first cousin gave Seana Mallaghan the perfect personal touch to a day which she loved every second of. The Carrickmore woman and Caolan McAnespie were married at the Church of the Assumption, Pomeroy on April 30 with Fr Ryan McAleer performing the ceremony.

While Caolan (30), from Dungannon, was very shy when the pair first met at a cross-community border weekend in Castlewellan, his sense of humour won Seana’s heart straight away. “The weekend’s theme was Indians, so we slept in tepees, and wore face paints and feather head bands!” she laughed.

“But Caolan was so much fun and made me laugh the whole time. I knew I liked him straight away and when he eventually asked me out, I was so excited to go on our date that I almost collided with my sister in our cars when I was leaving!”

Together for three years, it was on a cosy October evening in the pair’s home that Caolan surprised his girlfriend with a special proposal. “He had made me a lovely dinner, and we were just about to leave to go visit my parents house. I was trying on a necklace with my outfit and I asked Caolan, ‘does this look okay?’,” Seana explained. “And he replied, ‘I know what would make it look better’ and got down on one knee and produced the ring.”

The white gold ring was decorated with cluster diamonds, and smaller diamonds on the band’s shoulders. “I was so happy,” Seana smiled. “Although it was an amazing surprise, it just felt so perfect and right that we were going to be getting married.”

Eager to plan their beautiful Spring wedding day, the pair soon realised that the Mellon Country Hotel was the perfect venue for them. “The Mellon was close to home, with good food and lovely people,” Seana described. “Then, the next person I contacted was Jude Browne. She’d been the photographer at my cousin’s wedding a few years before, and when I saw pictures of their wedding I had to have her as my photographer. I’m so glad I did.”

The new Mrs McAnespie, alongside maid of honour, Fiona Glynn, bridesmaids Louise Mallaghan and Seanan Loughran and flower girl, Saorla Mallaghan.

The new Mrs McAnespie, alongside maid of honour, Fiona Glynn, bridesmaids Louise Mallaghan and Seanan Loughran and flower girl, Saorla Mallaghan.

Loving every gown she tried on, Seana admitted to finding wedding dress shopping “quite difficult”. However it was in No 8 Bridal, Cookstown, that she found just the right one for her. The champagne-coloured dress featured an ivory lace overlay, and fishtail bottom with a small train. It was also decorated with pearl and diamanté detail along the sweetheart bust and the waist.

“When the girls at No 8 showed me the bridesmaid dress that really complimented my wedding dress, I loved it. But what really sold it was the matching dress for the flower girl,” Seana described.

“She definitely stole the show! She was gorgeous.” On the morning of Seana’s big day, she described feeling “relaxed and excited” – however she soon realised that she was in for a few last minute surprises.

“Seanan (Caolan’s sister) gave me a gift from him just before I got my make-up done,” Seana said. “Caolan had booked us into the Radisson Blu in Sligo for a spa day, and then for a meal in MacNean House in Blacklion for us to enjoy in between the wedding and our honeymoon.

So once I got this, the nerves and emotion really hit me!” During the pair’s “lovely and personal” wedding service, Seana’s parish priest, Fr Moore, and Caolan’s parish priest, Fr Carvill were both present. “We were well married!” Seana laughed. “I loved that we were able to have a laugh, with Fr Ryan able to talk about my snapchats from the night before.

The music in the chapel was by Mick Owens, from Beragh. He was fantastic. He sang ‘Lady of Knock’, which was Caolan’s deceased granny’s favourite song, and very important to his family. “It made everyone’s hairs stand on their arms.”

After being whisked away to their wedding venue in a pretty horse and cart – a surprise from the blushing bride’s father, Sean – the newlyweds then danced the night away to bands Cream of the Barley and All Folk’d Up.

“We had a perfect day,” Seana concluded. “There is not one thing I would change about our day. We loved every second of it from start to finish.”

The newly-married Caolan McAnespie, alongside best man, Shea Loughran, groomsmen Aidan Loughran and John Regan and page boy, Darren McAnespie.

The newly-married Caolan McAnespie, alongside best man, Shea Loughran, groomsmen Aidan Loughran and John Regan and page boy, Darren McAnespie.

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