Anxious wait for same-sex couples as they count down to their big day
Published 19/09/2015 | 02:30
The invitations have already been sent out to 190 guests, two wedding dresses have been secretly stashed away in the wardrobe - and a 95-year-old grandmother is eagerly awaiting the party of a lifetime.
As the Government finally approved the Marriage Equality Bill, same-sex couples across the country have the champagne on ice as they prepare to give true meaning to all this paperwork with the simple words: "I do."
Amongst them are Sarah Kemp (26) and Ciara McCarthy (31) both from Dublin, who are poised to get married on December 12 next.
And like all same-sex couples who have already optimistically set the date, they are anxiously hoping that all the formalities will be well done and dusted by the time their big day rolls around - otherwise they would be forced to proceed with a Civil Partnership which could then be upgraded to marriage at a later date.
Kevin Humphreys, Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, told the Irish Independent he hoped people would be able to get married as soon as was realistically feasible.
"Everybody is trying to work to an October, November date. We are all trying to do this as quickly as possible," he said.
However, Sarah, a singer, and Ciara, a wedding DJ, dispatched their invitations last week and are hoping all will proceed as planned.
Theirs would be "just an average wedding, as traditional as possible", explained Sarah.
Both women will be walked up the aisle by their parents.
In Limerick, Richard Lynch and partner Hugo Dahn are planning their wedding next January.
Actively involved in Limerick Pride as a PR manager, Richard said he was "completely over the moon" following the Marriage Referendum result.
"It doesn't matter who we choose to love as long as we're loving somebody and they're loving us back," he said.
The couple met three years ago at Dublin Pride and Richard says he's never been so happy in his life.
Now in his 40s, he is looking forward to settling down with his husband-to-be - who has moved in with him and his elderly mother who requires full-time care.
"I want to get married as quickly as possible - I don't want him to get away," joked Richard.