I woke to the sound of rally cars on Saturday morning, the day of the wedding. All the participants were staying in our hotel. I opened the curtains and once again the sun streamed in. I turned to Gareth and said "It's a beautiful day for Aeda's wedding," to which I received the mumbled reply "The Child of Prague must have worked,". Unbelievable. Less than 24 hours in the country and he already had the superstitions. Another successful integration! This is how the Irish take over the world; with our sayings, beliefs, music and drink! For those of you who aren't familiar with the Child of Prague, it's a strong tradition in Ireland that this little statue, if left out in the garden the night before, will bring good weather for the wedding day. My aunt Mary, Aeda's mum, had actually called my Mum on the way to Cork to check if we'd put it out. It's another theory that it won't bring you luck until the head is off it, and ours is decapitated (by accident I might add).
I took off into Midleton to get my hair done at Oxygen Hair Design. A lovely girl called Louise gave me a blow-dry. Louise was very friendly but I'm not sure she knew where Dubai is; she certainly wasn't interested in visiting there once I told her it was in the desert. I can see how living in a town like Midleton would seem preferable to dwelling in the sandpit and I envy people who are completely happy with their lot, unlike us - constantly chasing the dream.
Back at the hotel, Gareth eventually got out of bed and we prepared ourselves for the day ahead. The bus was late, and there were a few rain showers but as we climbed the steps in the grounds of U.C.C, the sun was splitting the stones again. The bridesmaid were resplendent in fuchsia and I felt a little tingle of excitement. I actually realized that Aeda was getting married! It had felt pretty surreal until now. Most of the reason for this is because there's 13 days between us and I still think we're 16! Lawrence looked dapper in his wedding suit and not in the least nervous, and much as it sounds like a cliche there were a few gasps as Aeda entered the church. She's a gorgeous girl anyway but as is only right, she was absolutely breath-taking and grinning like a cheshire cat as she walked up the aisle.
Fr Michael Enright, Aeda's Dad's cousin, was the priest for the wedding. In his opening he said "In the word's of Henry 8th to his wives' - I won't keep you long,". That pretty much set the precedent for the ceremony. He sped through all the prayers and kept us entertained at all other times. Aoife Collins provided some beautiful musical accompaniment with her singing and on the flute.
Then it was a mad dash in torrential rain to the bus to take us to Castlemartyr resort where the reception was being held. There was a champagne and canapé reception in the drawing room whilst the photo's took place and I got a chance to speak to some Tralee people I hadn't seen in a few years. I lived in Tralee for 7 years prior to moving to Dubai and I absolutely loved it; it used to be one of my favorite places and I'm still very fond of a lot of people there. Castlemartyr - as an aside, is gorgeous. I wished I had time to walk through the grounds, I believe Gareth took a bit of a jaunt around later that night! The room where we had dinner was flooded with natural light, with floor to ceiling windows.
For a change at a family wedding - I wasn't sat with family. I love my mum's family dearly - but it was a welcome change! We were on a really fun table - a combination of Aeda and Law's friends in Oman, and my cousin Alex. We even had a child of prague at our table - rumors that it was been plyed with jager later are unconfirmed. I wish I'd recorded the speeches! Denis hit all the right notes of humor and poignancy after giving away his youngest daughter. Then came Lawrence, and I've literally never heard a groom's speech like it. He should have his own show! We almost felt sorry for Dangerous Dave, the best man, to have to follow him! He did himself proud though. Usually at Irish weddings we play games betting on the length of the speeches or how many times people say thank you but we were mesmerized throughout. I welled up a few times but managed to keep most of my eye make-up intact!
After a sumptuous feast for dinner (honestly we couldn't get through all of it, but it was fab) and a few more drinks - including Gareth getting on the jager-bombs, it was time for dancing. Gareth eagerly took part in the "Siege of Ennis" (This is a lively Irish ceili dance, often performed at weddings) despite having no idea how to do it. Anything that involves thrashing his legs and arms about at high speed is always appealing to Gareth when he's had a few. The band had all of us on our feet for most of the night and even convinced us to get quite mushy and romantic during the slow-sets. After the band it was trusty DJ Manus to bring us through to the early hours. Manus has DJ'd at many of our friends and family weddings and the obligatory Riverdance was performed a short while later. This is not Riverdance as most of you know it - but a much more raucous version where the guys basically try to jump as high as they can and take each other out. It is hilarious both to watch and take part in but not for the faint hearted! At some point in the merriment Mum suggested we should take a taxi home, this is an absolute first - normally I'm putting Mum in a taxi but I knew Gareth must me lying on the ground somewhere talking to trees or traffic if she was bringing it up! So, we left a great wedding...I heard tales of people bribing residents bar staff, flings in the holiday Village and singing til the small hours....I'm impressed Gareth stayed as long as he did! It was a fantastic day, and I'm sure Aeda and Lawrence are delighted with how it turned out.