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Friday 20 October 2017

Local ladies make it wedding dress Sunday

Michelle Hanlon (back) with her mum Claire and sister Lorraine
Michelle Hanlon (back) with her mum Claire and sister Lorraine
Enjoying the champagne reception hosted by P J O’Hares

Margaret Roddy

Having raised over €5,000 for the Irish Cancer Society with their Today FM Dare to Care Wedding Dress Wednesday Challenge last year, sister Michelle Hanlon and Lorraine Clifford decided to go one better this year.

The result saw visitors to Carlingford turning their heads in wonder as 135 women and girls wearing their wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride outfits, and flower girl dresses paraded through the village streets on a recent Sunday afternoon.

'We said this was going to be the last year we'd do it so we put a lot of effort into organising it,' says Michelle.

As last year's event proved such a success, even more women signed up for this year's soiree which saw them being told to gather at Cooley Hall where they would be taken on a 'mystery tour'.

'We had three buses from Anchor Tours when they got there and as we were travelling to Carlingford we went past a 'bride' driving a pony and trap,' says Michelle.

The 'bride' was none other than her Dad Michael who had entered the spirit of the event by donning a wedding dress and hat.

He met them as they arrived in Carlingford and escorted them through the village to P J O'Hare's which hosted a champagne reception.

'There were lots of people in Carlingford and they thought they were seeing things,' says Michelle. 'Everyone was completely shocked to see so many women in wedding dresses - sure it was great craic.'

After their trip to Carlingford, it was back to Cooley Hall which was transformed into a magical wedding venue thanks to the talented Martina Crilly Creative Designs.

'It was absolutely fabulous and you'd never think it was a GAA hall,' says Michelle.

The women were then treated to a delicious feast with food provided by Fitzpatrick's Bar and Restaurant and Avenue Deli. They then danced the evening away while a few of the die-hards ended the night in Lily Finnegan's.

Everyone left with a goodie bag kindly donated by Exhale Beauty and Horseware and some went home with lovely prizes which they won in the raffle.

Michelle thanked everyone who contributed to the event, who donated prizes, and especially all those who turned up on the day.

'We thought last year was brilliant but it paled in comparison to this,' she says, revealing that the event has raised at least €11,000 for the Irish Cancer Society, for their work supporting those affected by cancer as well as funding medical research to help find a cure for the disease.

Today FM had a camera crew on hand to record all the action, having asked Michelle to stage the event after last year's success.

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