by Gerry Hand

What looked like being the wedding day from hell turned in to the best day ever for one East Meath couple, despite the fact the bride ended up wearing her pyjamas and slippers, instead of her wedding dress, for the traditional first dance and the small number of guests had to make do with a sponge from a local cafe as the wedding cake!

It was a case of ‘let’s just get it done’ for Garda Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan from Kenmare and his bride Fiona Tenanty from Drogheda, who live close to Julianstown, when they eventually said I do in St Mary’s church in the Louth town last Saturday after COVID-19 restrictions threatened to destroy everything.

The build up to the big day had gone smoothly until just after the rehearsal on the Wednesday night.

Fiona recalls, ‘ When we got home from the rehearsal the level five restrictions had kicked in and we got an email from Tankardstown House, the hotel where we were due to have the reception telling us we could only have a sit down meal, there was no dancing allowed and no live music.

‘It was lucky we copped the email as they didn’t ring us to tell us there was an issue, when we called them the manager explained the situation and we had to accept it but it broke my heart to realise we couldn’t have our first dance at our wedding so we scrapped the reception altogether.

‘Things got even worse the next day when the hairdresser and beautician rang and said they were not classed as essential services and had to cancel as well, I can tell you they were essential to me that’s for sure, but anyway they were now gone as well.

‘ This was actually our third attempt at getting married, initially it was meant to be in 2015 but I fell pregnant so we opted against it, then we were scheduled for August but called that one off because of Cthen OVID, and now it looked like we were doomed again.

For the third time I had to ring people and say sorry I know you were invited to a wedding but now you can’t come because we can only have 25 people at it, so I’m sure that went down well

‘We were meant to get married in Slane church in Meath, but the 5km restriction put paid to that and it looked like everything was going to fall through it was devastating really.’

Kieran however, had other ideas.

Fiona revealed, ‘ He was brilliant he rang our local priest who was due to marry us anyway and organised it for our parish church in St Mary’s, I think he was just fed up with not being married and wanted it all over and done with.’

On the big day the couple and there three children son, Lee (12), and daughters Lily Anne (6) and Sophie (4) sat through the ceremony with ten guests before remembering yet another difficulty.

Fiona said ‘The photographer we had booked had to cancel as well so the best man Francis Breen stepped up and took our wedding pictures and did a brilliant job’.

Then the newlyweds and guests headed to the hastily organised reception in Fiona’s parent’s house, to be treated to an unusual wedding breakfast.

She revealed ‘ I bought one of my favourite sprinkle sponge cakes from the Moorland Cafe for a wedding cake and the guests had tea and my mothers home made apple tart for the wedding meal.

‘I went upstairs changed into my PJ’s and slippers and came down for my first dance as a married woman wearing them.

‘But do you know what it was still the best day ever’.