Hello! It’s Wednesday and in the online world that means #weddingwednesday, although this week is a pretty special one because of course Harry and Meghan’s wedding is on Saturday. Are you cancelling all plans to watch their Big Day? Maybe you’re throwing a Royal wedding party in their honour? Me – I’ll be catching glimpses of it in between the usual swimming lessons, whilst listening to David sneer that I am such a sad sack for wanting to see it – he does NOT get it at all!!
Anyway, what better a day to introduce you to our Blogging Bride for 2018, Deirdre. She’s been married for two weeks now to her love David so we’re going back a little in time today to discover how they met and how they became Mr and Mrs, enjoy!
Hello, I’m Deirdre and I won’t lie, it feels quite weird for me that I’m writing a blog about my wedding because I was never one of those girls who grew up dreaming of their wedding day and wearing a big white dress, but in saying that, I am a hopeless romantic and I always knew the kind of guy I wanted to end up with.
My friend Rachel (and also a bridesmaid) reminded me when I got engaged that before meeting David she asked me what my ‘type’ was and I said, “Just a nice boy who looks like the 6th member of Westlife, is brilliant craic and maybe has a quirky hobby” Que … David O’Neill, the blonde haired blue eyed Omagh boy with a passion for Motocross Racing.
How did we meet?
I’m originally from Derry and David is from Omagh, but we both went to university in Belfast, otherwise our paths would probably never of crossed. It was 2012, and the start of final year for us, and everyone was talking about this new club El Divino. On a random Thursday night we both decided to go and we happened to be queuing beside each other so got chatting. When people ask how we met, David says “we met on the banks of the Lagan” because he thinks it sounds more romantic than “in the queue to a nightclub” but I reckon it sounds more like we were both homeless, anyway….
I’d love to say it was an instant connection, love at first sight … but it wasn’t. We got on really well and had great craic together but I never thought I would ever see him again. However, we did exchange numbers and the next day I looked him up on Facebook (come on, we’ve all done it!) and realised how much of a babe he was!
That weekend we started to text and totally hit it off, I remember literally laughing out loud at David’s messages and taking ages to draft replies. We spent our entire final year “without a label” shall we say because I was moving to Dublin after graduation and David had secured a job in Belfast.
We were too busy playing it cool and pretending we weren’t that interested to even suggest doing long distance, if you can even call Dublin to Belfast long distance, but at the end of my first week in Dublin, David came down to spend the weekend with me and when we were out for dinner he referred to me as his girlfriend to the waiter – this prompted the “are we going steady” conversation (which feels really awkward for anyone over 16).
At the end of 2014, David had a pretty serious motorbike accident which put things into perspective for the both of us, and I moved back to Belfast not long after that. A couple of years later we had just finished renovating our first home together so a proposal was the last thing on my mind when we went to Bali for a holiday!
We had a few days in Bali with no itinerary and David said he would organise something as a surprise. David is a big adrenaline junkie and loves adventure, so instantly I imagined we’d be acting like Bear Grylls camping out in a forest! Needless to say, it was a huge shock when we pulled up outside this amazing 5-star beach resort in Nusa Dua.
I just assumed David managed to get an unreal last minute deal and was too busy soaking up all the luxuries of villa life to suspect a proposal. David suggested going out for dinner that evening at a restaurant on the beautiful secluded beach. I have to say, it took a bit of convincing because the beach was an 80 step descent down the side of a cliff and I nearly passed out earlier that day climbing up them!
We were walking along the beach and there wasn’t a single person, or restaurant, in sight but David insisted we keep walking. We came across this beautiful cave, filled with candles and rose petals and I remember thinking we had walked in on someone’s proposal but when I turned to David he was down on one knee and produced a beautiful rose gold vintage halo ring – which I absolutely love! I of course said yes and we had a beautiful dinner on the beach. It really was magical and a genuine surprise!
Our friend’s Adam, Amy and Rachel were in Bali at the same time, so we had loads of people to celebrate with during our holiday! A week later, we arrived home to Belfast to a surprise party with our families – it definitely got rid of the jet lag and was great to continue the celebrations!
Setting the date
I think it’s safe to say David and I hadn’t a clue where to begin when it came to wedding planning, or what we really wanted. We started off by saying we wanted a low key wedding in Italy, but after a Skype call with a wedding planner in Florence who blatantly laughed at our budget, we realised we would have to re-think. However, the real deal breaker for me (being a true Derry girl) was the thought of not being able to form a proper bond with my hairdresser and makeup artist before the wedding. As far as I’m concerned, that’s one of most important jobs of the day!
Picking a venue in Ireland is a minefield, as there are so many beautiful places. We always knew if we were getting married in Ireland it would be in Donegal. It’s a special place for us both as it’s where we went on our first proper date – cliff jumping in Dunfanaghy – and where I grew up and David’s family have a caravan. We started off wanting a relaxed, informal pub wedding but sometimes those relaxed venues cause more stress for the bride and groom because you’re left to organise the décor, accommodation options, and sometimes even the crockery and chairs! So when we viewed Lough Eske in Donegal, we fell in love and immediately locked down the 4th May 2018 – if we had a penny for every time someone said “may the fourth be with you” this wedding would pay for itself.