Gillian and Alan - by SOSAC photography

The Vow

Real Irish Weddings: A musical downpour for Gillian and Alan

Bad weather on the big day couldn't dampen Gillian and Alan's spirits

Gillian (27), who works as a doctor, and Alan (29), a teacher and musician, started planning their wedding shortly after a surprise engagement.

"Alan made three T-shirts. Theo walked in wearing one saying '...a bit late'. This had me puzzled. Then Theo handed me a T-shirt which said 'Yes' and I still didn't really get it. Then Alan walked into the room wearing a T-shirt which said 'Marry me?' Suddenly it all made sense." They wore their T-shirts all day, allowing family and friends to piece the news together themselves.

Alan and Gillian chose a ceremony at St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, which the couple can see from their home, followed by a reception at Ballinacura House. "The layout inside was more like a giant house party."


And party they did, making music a top priority. Gillian surprised Alan with a rendition of his favourite song, performed by Irish soprano Cara O'Sullivan during the signing of the register. The reception followed with four musical acts, including Alan's own band. For his speech, Alan composed a song about their relationship and enlisted his musical friends to harmonise from the crowd. Alan recalls, "We had put a lot of careful thought into the music, so hearing all that come to fruition was a definite highlight for me."

With all that excitement, Gillian says the inclement weather was just an afterthought and a perfect metaphor for the couple's wedding celebration. "For me, it felt as though there was a big cloud of love following us around all day...and it didn't just rain poured!"

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