'If it means that we have to tighten our belts, then we are happy to do that...'
Published 25/07/2015 | 01:00
Café-owners Elysha Kelly and William Fitzsimons from Co Meath are currently planning their big day next spring.
"My fiancé William and I got engaged in January. Being so busy in the café, at first we talked about just going away to get married. Once we thought about it though, we realised we wanted to say 'I do' surrounded by family and friends at home," says bride-to-be Elysha.
"Now we're due to get married at our local church followed by a reception at Ballymagarvey Village in Meath next May. Apart from anything else, getting married abroad wouldn't have been very practical as both William and I come from big families. Between us, we have 45 immediate family alone.
"By the time you take extended family and friends into account, our guest list is already more than 200. At the moment, any spare cash is going towards the wedding.
"Fortunately, we don't have any big expenses like a mortgage, so we're just trying to save as much as we can between now and then.
"That said, we don't plan to waste money on our big day either.
"Having previously worked as a weddings and events manager in a hotel, I know exactly what's involved in planning a wedding, and have been doing lots of price comparisons to make sure we get the best value possible.
"Weddings have changed a lot in recent years with more humanist ceremonies and so on. But I think the traditional Irish wedding is still a big part of our culture.
"For me, getting married in the church where I made my First Communion and Confirmation as a child was important. Meanwhile, one of William's uncles, who's a priest, is actually marrying us. Both William and I love a good party, and we just couldn't imagine tying the knot without having the people we love there to help celebrate.
"If that means tightening our belts for the next year, then we're happy to do that. For now, I'm just looking forward to getting ready at home with my bridesmaids on the morning of my wedding.
''My parents are married 44 years and William's parents will be 45 years married next month. As soon-to-be husband and wife, that's something we can only aspire to."
Elysha and William run the Butterfly Café in Kells, Co Meath