As with so many other 2020 brides and grooms-to-be, Covid-19 “really disrupted” their wedding arrangements, says Cathy Coleman.
But their plan B turned out to be more than they could have wished for. Cathy, from Ballinhassig, Cork, exchanged vows with Dave Duffy, from Blackrock, Dublin, on Hags Head at the Cliffs of Moher.
“We were due to get married in June in Actons Hotel, Kinsale, and we were gutted when we had to cancel. We saw the option for the Cliff of Moher ‘elopement’ on the Eloping in Ireland Facebook page and instantly knew this would be perfect for us,” said the bride.
“There are other options out there that are just as amazing, if not more so than the traditional wedding. We are just so happy with how everything went, even though it was not what we had originally planned.”
The couple’s two brothers, Brendan Coleman and Andrew Duffy, were their witnesses at the ceremony in August led by celebrant, Pat Mangan. Brendan’s wife, Emma Coleman, and Andrew’s girlfriend, Casey Murphy, were there to celebrate with them also on the day, as were Cathy’s parents, Sheila and Brendan Coleman, and Dave’s dad, Brian Duffy.
“Unfortunately, Dave’s mom Sarah could not make it due to health reasons and my sister, Bríd, who is living abroad also could not make it,” said the bride. “They were missed but we remembered them throughout the day!”
“Stephen Neary from Eloping in Ireland co-ordinated the wedding. It was everything we wanted and more, so personable and relaxed, but so special and something that we will remember forever.”
Cathy, who works in human resources, and Dave, a member of An Garda Siochána, were also buoyed by the support of their workmates: “My colleagues threw me a surprise virtual hen before I finished and Dave’s colleagues gave him a lovely send-off with cake and good wishes.”
“We only told our friends and family the week before the wedding, as we were nervous people would be upset they could not be there with us, but we were wrong. Everyone was so happy for us, and supportive of our decision.”
Cathy and Dave posed for photographer, Philippe Gosseau, on the Cliffs of Moher; then they headed to Gus O’Connor’s pub in Doolin for some Prosecco before a dinner with their families at the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, Co Clare.
In fact, it was at another wedding that Cathy and Dave first laid eyes on one another: “We met at our friends Claire and James’ wedding on August 16, 2018, in Dunmore House in Clonakilty.”
Dave popped the question exactly a year later, as they marked their one-year anniversary in the Trident Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. “We spent the next weekend ring shopping and picked an amazing ring in Brereton’s Jewellers in Dublin, with the help of the lovely Anne, where we also picked our wedding rings, the week before lockdown!” said Cathy.
The bride looked stunning in a Pronovias gown sourced in Say I Do in Midleton and she also wore a bespoke pearl cape and headpiece, by Kyna Brady, of ByKyna Accessories in Batterstown, Co Meath. The bridal hairstyling was by Anne Stackpoole and makeup by Bodytreats Beauty Clinic.
James Ryan, Lovestruck Films, provided the videography and the newlyweds travelled in style thanks to Órga wedding car hire.
A family friend, Niamh Deasy, baked the wedding cake, and Cathy’s cousin, Megan Buckley from Cork Flower Studio, created all the floral arrangements.
The newlyweds enjoyed a one-week staycation in Ireland, in the Trident Hotel, Kinsale, in Seafield Hotel & Spa Resort in Wexford, Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow, and finishing off in Dublin. Cathy and Dave live in Cork city.