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Roisín & Elaine

Roisín O’Doherty and Elaine Mai first met back in 2004, in NUI Galway’s college gay society, which was then called Pluto. Although they didn’t get together at the time, they stayed friends after they left, eventually becoming a couple in the last few years, friendship blossoming into something deeper. Just over two years ago, Elaine decided to take the plunge with an elaborately romantic proposal. “I had planned it for quite a while,” she explains. “I wanted to do something fun that would throw her off the scent, so made a treasure hunt in Mount Usher Gardens in Wicklow. At the end she found me and proposed, which I’m sure she had twigged at that point.”

“It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realise what was happening,” Roisín laughs. A little longer than Elaine was expecting - “I didn’t eat that morning, thought it was going to take her 20 minutes, it took like an hour and a half. was literally famished.”

The couple held on until they bought their house together before throwing themselves into the rush of wedding planning. Roisín explains: “We were going to do it the year before and my mum sagely said, ‘maybe try not to do the two in the same year’. We’ve often recalled those words!”

They booked the venue, Castle Grove Country House Hotel in Letterkenny the summer before, getting all the bigger things out of the way first. The couple laugh when they remember how much they thought they were on top of the planning process. “Everyone was saying wedding planning is so stressful and we were like, ‘Is it?’ We didn’t get a planner, just friends and family, so then about three months before the wedding we realised, yes, this is really stressful!”

Elaine agrees: “Even if you’re doing a low-key wedding, there’s still a lot of things that you can’t avoid deciding on. The invitations, and the table plan, which by the way is the worst thing in the world. We literally finished it the day before.”

Although speeches had a time limit, they wanted to make reference to the Equal Marriage Referendum. To that end, friend Vicky Curtis read a piece called ‘Two Birds’, written in response to the major happenings. “To say it went down well is an understatement,” smiles Roisín.

Elaine says the most important things for them were good food and music. Louise McNamara from The Heathers sang at the ceremony. Elaine and Roisín cut the cake with an edible showstopper baked up by Dream Cakes By Rachel before taking to the floor for the first time as wife and wife, dancing to the Talking Head’s classic ‘This Must Be The Place’. Afterwards, DJ Mac and Converse All Stars kept celebrations in full swing, followed by a silent disco to round off the night.

Elaine offered some advice to other couples preparing for the big day. “It will go by in the blink of an eye. So said to Roisín we both have to try and be really present and be in the moment. Especially during the ceremony. Also, stick together for the day, because otherwise with having to speak to everyone you wouldn’t see each other.”

Roisín said something so obvious that many tend to forget in the rush: “Remember that everyone in the room is on your side. Everyone is there for you guys, they’re going to forgive anything; they’re not waiting for you to fail! We had the best day ever. People always say that, but for us it really was true.”

The couple love looking at the photos of their wedding, and it’s not only them looking forward to reliving the memories. “We have our wedding video on the way and my dad was so cute, he said: ‘I don’t really care about other people’s videos, but want to see this video’.”

So have things changed much since tying the knot? Elaine says: “It’s really cool for us to be able to call each other ‘my wife’. There’s no ambiguity there at all.”

Roisín agrees: “A lot of times I’d say ‘my girlfriend’, and people wouldn’t really get it. There’s nothing to misinterpret about ‘wife’!”

The Suppliers

Venue: Castle Grove Country House Hotel

castlegrove.com

Photographer: Love Fool Photography

lovefoolphotography.photoshelter.com

Outfits: Roisín: Laure de Sagazan

lauredesagazan.fr

Elaine: The Kooples

thekooples.com

Flowers: Tiger Lily Letterkenny

tigerlily.ie

Ceremony music: Louise MacNamara

Wedding Band: The Converse Allstars

alternativeweddingband.ie

Cake: Dream Cakes by Rachel

dreamcakesbyrachael.com

Rings: Lorimat Jewellers Kilkenny

vintageengagementrings.ie ; ESL Jewellers, esljewellery.ie

Videographer: Shaun Ryan & Bob Gallagher

bobfilmsthings.com

This article appears in the 346 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 346 Issue of GCN