So where do I start?
Thursday dawned and I woke early, the car was packed and ready to go. I spoke to Elly and she was in very good form (for a bride) and seemed quite relaxed! I had a good breakfast and set off on the road of a wonderful adventure.
Where have the 29 years gone, it seems at times as if while I blinked she changed from a tiny baby to the beautiful, capable, organised and independent young lady I now see. Her Dad would have been proud!
The journey was uneventful with some heavy rain as I crossed the border from Northern Ireland to the south. I called with Elly and we had some quality time before going to check into the hotel. Elly still had some things to sort out so she left me to get my bearings in the hotel and have an early quiet night.
Friday was a rest day for me with my only task being to press the famous outfit. This I did in stages and rested until after lunch.
Reception informed me when guests checked in so I was able to meet and greet them. My cousin and her husband from California who I met and stayed with a few years ago were the first to arrive. As we caught up with family news and looked at photos, my cousin from New Zealand and her son whom I last saw in the late 60’s were next to join us. These cousins were aware of each other but never met so it was good to make the introductions. We spent several hours catching up and filling gaps in family history.
Elly and the bridesmaids checked in and joined us for dinner. We were nine in total at this stage and the banter and craic was wonderful. A good omen for the day to follow!
Saturday dawned with sunshine and no rain. I went to breakfast at 8.30 and was joined by the Bride-to-Be and her attendants before they headed to keep hairdresser appointments. The remainder of the morning passed quickly with guests arriving from all arts and parts. It was becoming a very international affair. We had representatives from north, south, east and west of Ireland, London, Paris and Troyes in France, Romania, California, New Zealand and the high point for Elly was to have an Uncle from Australia who was bringing his 18 year old daughter to Ireland for the wedding and to meet his (our) family for the very first time.
Elly announced that she did not want to miss the fun so we all changed into our finery and rejoined the guests for the pre-wedding reception. It is the only wedding I ever attended where the Bride and Groom mingled with the guests before the ceremony.
At 3p.m. I had the honour of walking Elly in and handing her over to George. Music was provided by a sister of the Groom, while another sister, a friend of the couple and an aunt of the Bride took care of the three readings.
An Uncle of George’s officiated and the couple had written the service and vows themselves. It was very moving, and the place resounded with everyone singing ‘When I’m Sixty-Four by the Beatles as the couple walked, or should I say danced out.
At this point I have no pictures but if you check Elly’s blog, not alone will find a picture but can read her vows.