Tuesday 20 August 2019

'I didn't want a bloody white wedding!' - Anxious time for couples due to tie the knot this weekend

The forecast for Friday looks bleak, but these couples are staying relatively optimistic about their big day

Karen Birney

Karen Birney

"Everytime the phone rings I'm afraid it's going to be the registrar telling me he can't make it" says Stephanie, who is due to tie the knot with husband-to-be Kevin in a civil ceremony in the Hilton Dublin Airport on Friday afternoon.

"I was supposed to have a candy cart at the wedding but I got a message there to tell me that that was being cancelled because of the weather, and I'm worried - what if the make-up artist doesn't come...? It's just all up in the air at the minute," she says.

The couple have planned a small, 'informal' wedding and are expecting 95 guests on the day. They chose to get married at a nearby hotel to make it easy for friends and family to get to, but Stephanie says that "never in a million years did we do it in case we got snow!"

Stephanie and Kevin are due to marry in the Hilton Dublin Airport on Friday afternoon, during what is expected to be the peak of Storm Emma

They will exchange vows in a civil ceremony at the hotel, presided over by a HSE approved registrar who has assured them he'd do his utmost to be there.

"The HSE phoned yesterday to let me know that the registry offices may be closing*, but the registrar rang me and said he'd try his best because he knows how much it costs to get married in a hotel."

"You can do without some things," says Stephanie, "but I'm more worried about the registrar because if he doesn't get there we'll not be married at all!"

Luckily for the couple, their guests are all relatively local, and the furthest journey due to be undertaken by a guest is one from Newbridge to the hotel on the Malahide Road. The best man and Stephanie's sister-in-law, who live in Stamullen, said they might even leave today and stay nearby for two nights to ensure they'll be there on time.

Stephanie says she and Kevin didn't think to take out insurance on their day as it was "only up the road, very informal - and really just close family and friends having a good day and we'll be married at the end of it!"

"I never thought in a million years of needing to do anything like that because I genuinely didn't in a million years think I'd be waking up to snow in March!"

"I can tell you now," she adds, "anyone who's getting married whether they're spending thousands and thousands of Euro or only a couple of hundred whatever you do take out some sort of insurance 'cause you never know."

Read more: Does wedding insurance cover the cost of your big day in the event of bad weather?

Despite the forecast, she's optimistic about everyone being there on the day, saying that once everyone is there they can all relax, but she's not quite ready to joke about it just yet.

"People keep saying to me 'the pictures will be great and you'll have a white wedding...', I didn't want a bloody white wedding! I wanted a bit of sun and I got snow,"she says.

"But when you're there and you're in having dinner, you won't notice it," she adds. "Hopefully we'll be laughing about it this time next week."

Louise Quinn, Dublin and Eamon O'Keeffe from Cork

Louise Quinn, from Dublin has brought everything forward by a half an hour, in an effort to get ahead of her wedding day schedule on Friday.

Louise and her fiancée Eamon O'Keeffe from Cork are due to exchange vows at lunch time in a church in Dunlavin on the Wicklow/Kildare border.

"We've loads of people coming from Cork," she says, "and I'm a bit concerned about them. But my main concern is the guests we've coming in from abroad."

Louise and Eamon are due to tie the knot on Friday 2nd March 2018 in Dunlavin

Louise says a quarter of her guests are flying in for the big day, with the majority coming from Scotland and England. More are coming from France, and they have a couple flying in from Australia.

"If people are late to the wedding that's fine," she says, "my main concern is guests who are flying in - I have terribly little faith in Dublin airport from experience."

Taking the weather into account, Louise has moved her wedding morning schedule forward by a half an hour. This includes getting hair and make-up done, having the flowers delivered and getting out the door 30 minutes ahead of her original time plan.

"Everybody's been so positive and accommodating," says the bride-to-be, "people have just been so nice. Our photographer is coming from Longford, and she said she might even come to Dublin the night before and stay here if the weather is that bad. And the flowers were meant to arrive at 12, but they're going to open early for us. Everyone's being so nice and concerned about us."

And while Louise is fretting a bit about the forecast, she's trying not to 'obsessively' watch the reports. "I'm worried, but I'm trying not to be obsessive," she says, "sure nothing's going to change in my head so what's the point? I'm just dipping in and out."

"Eamon's mam has been texting me every three hours to tell me it'll all be grand though!"

The couple are due at the church for the rehearsal on Thursday evening - "at least we'll get to rehearse the way down too - maybe that will make me a bit more calm!"- and they'll leave Dublin with two hours to get there on the day itself.

Their reception is in Rathsallagh House, so not too far from the church ("I keep saying there's safety in numbers!" Louise jokes). Colleagues have advised her to put the Child of Prague out the night before.

"It's hard to not get all drummed up with the hype," she says, "but I'm looking forward to the countryside being all white. It could be worse."

Louise blames herself for the unusual weather forecast, saying she brought it on when she told people; "knowing my luck it'll snow," whenever they commented on her 'spring' wedding.

The couple are heading off on honeymoon too, but not until next weekend. "I think we'll be okay then..." she says, though not entirely convinced.

Gemma Smith and Colm Matthews live in Monaghan, and will tie the knot on Saturday 3rd March 2018, after the worst of Storm Emma is expected

Gemma Smith and Colm Matthews from Monaghan

Farmers Gemma Smith and Colm Matthews live in Swan's Cross in Monaghan, they're due to tie the knot on Saturday in the Carrickdale Hotel in Dundalk.

"I don't know where any of us are to be fair, we live completely out in the country," says Gemma, adding that as they live on a hill, the transport is a major concern for her.

"We're getting married in the Carrickdale, which a 45 minute drive away 'on a good day'," she says, and while Gemma and her bridesmaids will be making the journey to the venue on Friday, groom Colm and his friends will be setting out on the Saturday, "with wet trousers... God I can picture the whole thing," she jokes. "Thank God I'm not here cause I'd probably have a nervous breakdown with them out there!"

The couple have friends coming from all over the country for their big day, including a few from abroad, who are due to fly in on Friday morning.

"Once you've table plans all worked out, it makes everything a bit messy," says Gemma, adding that her friends, who they met when they lived in Australia, are flying in from Holland.

"We went and got wellies and big throws in Penneys because all out photos are going to be in the garden, so we're trying to make sure we're wrapped up. It was actually my videographer who told me 'Gemma be prepared'."

Gemma has wedding insurance, but with all the worry and work this week she hasn't sat down to check if she's covered.

"I must actually look that up," she says. "But I really don't hope it comes to that. We just have to make the best of it. I was worrying all weekend that I'm at the stage now that if it's going to be, it's going to be."

The isn't the first time the couple's wedding plans have looked a little shaky, engaged since 2012, they put off their first wedding - which was due to take place in September last year - when Gemma got pregnant with their little boy Loughlin. "So it's been a long time coming!" she jokes.

Has your wedding been affected by Storm Emma? Get in contact with us at editor@thevow.ie to tell us your story

*Please contact your registry offices directly to confirm opening hours

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