In the summer of 2017, Daragh Doyle (43) drew a line under his career in the 'challenging' business of insurance to follow his dreams of being a wedding planner.
Coming from a family of butchers and having spent two decades at a desk, the decision to launch of Rainbow Weddings and Events by DD (www.rainbowweddings.ie) was a big one for Daragh - but also an exciting one.
"I'd spent the last 20 years dealing with insurance claims, and the last couple of years were very challenging," he told THEVOW.ie.
"I always loved planning events, so when the opportunity came to take redundancy I jumped at the chance. It was scary, but it's been such an exciting year, it exceeded all my expectations."
Four weeks into his new journey last year, Daragh's brother William (47) was diagnosed with terminal cancer. William ran the family butcher business - Frank Doyle & Son craft butchers in Bridgetown Co. Wexford - so Daragh stepped in to help out.
"While the circumstances that brought me back there have been heartbreaking, it has taught me so many valuable lessons in the things that are so important in business, the number one being the importance of the customer and how you treat them.
"It's a lesson that I have endeavored to carry into my first year as a wedding planner, that the customer must always be central to the business, and you must never lose sight of that."
In April, William passed sadly away and the family butchers shut its doors, but Daragh believes a new business was born with the launch of his wedding planning company.
"While one family business ends another has been born. I love my new career, and I will drive it on and make it the best business it can be in William's memory.
"If it's half as successful as the business my father and brother built I will be very happy. I look forward to the day when my nephews are old enough to come and work with me in the business during their school and college holidays."
Daragh claims to be the first same sex weddings planner with his company Rainbow Weddings, but also organises bride and groom weddings through his business Events by DD.
"As a gay man, the lead up to the marriage referendum was very emotional," Daragh said.
"Being the first same sex weddings planner has been exciting - it's breaking new ground. I think for same sex couples, marriage extra special. Many people believed they'd see the day where they could get married."
Since the business launched last year, Daragh has received over 30 bookings for weddings and has just completed work on his first destination wedding in Spain.
"It was an amazing day, it was two women getting married in Spain. I did the ceremony as well as the reception, so it was really special.
"We have our first in-country destination wedding in September, where an American couple based in New York are bringing 100 family and friends to the fabulous Loughcrew House in Co Meath, which we are very excited about."
Daragh said he would advise anyone that is unhappy with their career to consider taking the leap and making a change.
"To anyone who is unhappy in their career I advise you to get out and follow your dream. The last year has shown me that life can be short and can be taken away very quickly.
"It has also shown me that if you are prepared to make brave decisions, leave the comfort zone behind, and follow your heart, it will lead to a happier career and life."