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Tyrone couple ‘walk on with hope in their hearts’

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‘Walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone’… These are the famous words that rang around St Mary’s Church, Drumragh as Donna Maguire and Paul Loughran left the church as a newly married couple.

Surrounded by their family and friends, the pair were wed on July 7, 2018 in a traditional ceremony performed by Fr Christopher McDermott.

Their wedding reception took place at the Mill Park Hotel, in the heart of Donegal. It was a place the newlyweds fell in love with from their first visit, as they admired its warm, friendly atmosphere, beautiful setting and the wedding co-ordinator’s meticulous attention to detail. This was particularly important as the couple’s main wish after their wedding ceremony was to ‘share a day of good food and good craic with their family and friends’.

Bride Donna Loughran (née Maguire) alongside maid of honour, Claire Rainey and bridesmaid, Lorraine Stewart.

Donna, a childcare supervisor at Cornabracken Childcare who currently lives in Omagh, first met Paul, a salesman at Xcat, in Sallys in 2010. The pair were together for six years when Paul, who lives in Clanabogan, got down on one knee in truly unique style on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

“That was Easter Saturday,” Donna explained. “Paul called round to my house and told me that he hadn’t got me an Easter Egg but had an Easter present for me in his car. “He went out to collect it, and returned with a large red box. He is a bit of a joker so I thought there was going to be a crème egg in the bottom of the big box!

“I took the lid off the box and a red heart-shaped helium balloon floated out.” It took Donna a little while to realise that printed on the romantic balloon were the words ‘I love you Donna. Will you marry me?’

She looked around, and the Omagh native was down on one knee and shaking like a leaf. In his hands was a ring box, which contained a glimmering white gold ring, with a rectangular diamond set into a bed of smaller diamonds. And while the beautiful engagement ring was carefully picked out by Paul, it was exactly what Donna would have chosen too and she loved it.

Groom Paul Loughran, alongside best man, Shane Loughran and groomsman, Barry Loughran.

“I was so surprised that he had proposed, but I immediately said ‘yes’,” Donna described. “I was very excited, and I couldn’t wait to get telling my family and friends. “Paul is very kind and thoughtful, but always up for the craic which is what I love about him.”

The pair decided to delay planning for their wedding day while the Drumquin native completed her degree in Early Childhood Studies, but once her final exam was over, it was full speed ahead. And while Donna had no clue about what she wanted her wedding day to look like, everything perfectly fell into place.

“I hadn’t realised that there were so many options and so many decisions to be made – which was not good for me as I’m so indecisive,” she laughed. “However I wanted a traditional wedding surrounded by family and friends.”

Donna simply loved her experience of wedding dress shopping… But because she had no idea what she wanted, she tried on virtually every style imaginable in the first store she visited. However it was while browsing for different styles online that she found her dream gown.

The newlyweds, Donna and Paul Loughran share a kiss on their July wedding day.

It was an ivory, fitted gown which flaunted a delicately lace bodice, a feminine lace inset down one side and a classy V-shaped back – all complimented by a long train. “When I put it on, it was as beautiful as the pictures I had seen and I felt really comfortable in it,” Donna reflected. “When the assistant added a long veil dotted with crystals, I knew it was the dress for me.”

Donna described feeling ‘very relaxed’ on her wedding day and was whisked away to St Mary’s Church in a silver limo in the blazing summer sun. “Our ceremony was perfect,” Donna said. “Fr McDermott delivered a beautiful service.

“When I walked up the aisle and saw just how nervous Paul was, my own nerves kicked in a little but thankfully Fr McDermott soon put us at ease.” During the special occasion, Niall and Bronagh Donnelly sang a selection of special hymns which the newlyweds had chosen, and upon leaving the chapel there was another special song that rang aloud.

“They both agreed to learn the lyrics to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which is Liverpool’s song – Paul’s favourite football team,” Donna said. “They sang it beautifully as we left the chapel after the service. “I can honestly say that we had the best day of our lives. We were so lucky to share it with so many of our family and friends.”

The new Mr and Mrs Loughran, alongside their maid of honour, Claire Rainey, bridesmaid, Lorraine Stewart, best man, Shane Loughran and best man, Barry Loughran.

• THE FINER DETAILS •

Wedding dress: Pronuptia Bridal, Belfast.
Wedding ring: Bogues, Omagh.
Hair stylist/salon: Kerrie-Ann Sweeney.
Make-up: Velvet Lounge.
Bridal Shoes: ASOS.
Head piece/ Veil: Pronuptia Bridal, Belfast.
Bridesmaid dresses: Pronuptia Bridal, Belfast.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Bowes Brothers, Omagh.
Cake supplier: Yummy Mummy Cakes.
Cake design: Four tier cake decorated with iced pearls and flowers.
Florist: Hello Petal.
Church: St Mary’s Church, Drumragh.
Reverend/ Priest: Fr Christopher Mc-Dermott.
Transport: Glendale Limousines.
Reception: Mill Park Hotel, Donegal.
Number of guests at reception: 200.
DJ/band: The Rockits and DJ Gary.
First dance song: ‘Tenerife Sea’ by Ed Sheeran.
Photographer: Paul and Lisa Gallagher (PG Videos & Photography).
Videographer: Gavin and Catherine Quinn – I Do Wedding DVDs.
Other entertainment: Pre-reception entertainment by Paul Hughes.
Minimoon: Mayo and Sligo for four days after the wedding.
Honeymoon: Florida followed by a Caribbean cruise in the autumn.