The One Where I Meet the One…
They say clichés are clichés because they’re true and quite frankly I couldn’t agree more. I wasn’t looking to meet anyone in 2013, I hadn’t time. Honest! Having gone back to college, I was working and studying full time and had to schedule time to shower. But love is a funny thing. My fiancé, Richard, had worked in TV3 for years but in a separate department. Then fate intervened. He got transferred within the company and we were thrown together more frequently. I told myself “Not this year sister, you don’t have the time”. I’m obviously a person of my word because within weeks and with only months to go to major exams, we started going out. And there goes those pesky clichés again… “When you know, you know”. It was simple, straight forward and magic. Richard was perfect for me and he loved Donegal. Well that clinched it.
Fast forward a year and we were living together. I wasn’t someone who dreamed about getting married, I didn’t have the ring picked out and the dress designed. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good wedding. I’m the person in tears as soon as the bride appears at the door and don’t get me started on the moment the father hands his daughter over. That can always send me over the edge. I love the vows, I adore the speeches and I’ve been known to cry again at the first dance. But that really changed when I met Rich. I wanted to take that next step. I was a traditionalist deep down. Two years later we got engaged. Knowing me as he does, he proposed on a beach in Donegal in the New Year 2016 – he promised it would be a surprise and it was. He worked very hard to put me off the scent reminding me that we were renovating a house at the time and that financially it just wasn’t possible. Appealing to my practical side I bought this line, hook, line and sinker. What followed was an impromptu party in Donegal surrounded by my family and oldest friends. The party didn’t stop for six months. Prosecco for breakfast? Champagne for tea? Yes please. (A little word of advice: even if you don’t want to get married, get engaged! It’s a licence to celebrate and have fun!). I was more than happy to put the wedding on the back burner and enjoy this very special time.
In December we flew to Antwerp in Belgium to buy my official engagement ring. Antwerp is a charming little city with the oldest diamond centre in Europe. 85 per cent of the world’s diamonds change hands there. Now I’m not going to lie, I spent hours on the internet looking at pictures and designs, coveting a sparkler. As a teenager, I had worked in a jewellery store and had spent many an afternoon pretending to clean window displays while secretly trying on diamond rings. I thought I knew what I wanted – a simple gold band, solitaire. But of course I changed my mind. I was thrilled with my ring in the end – and it gave us an opportunity to get ‘re-engaged’.
Finally in January of this year we started to think about the wedding itself. I had always wanted to say ‘I Do’ abroad -I adore Ireland but I love the sunshine too. Dancing outside? Tick. Eating al fresco? Tick. Holidaying with your friends and family? Tick! I knew it was a big ask to expect people to travel and you have to anticipate that some of your nearest and dearest won’t be able to attend. That’s not easy but we felt confident that anyone who could make it, would try their very best and that’s all we could ask for.
Rich and I knew we wanted and hoped to find a rustic, relaxed venue, with lots of accommodation, an airport nearby, frequent direct flights from Dublin and a beautiful view. Oh and no music curfew. We don’t want anyone to limit the fun! In the end, in February we found a venue in Barcelona. Perhaps it was the tapas or the sangria but we said yes to a date in August… this year! So now we’re in the planning stage and with only twelve weeks to go, the panic is beginning to set in!
Main photo by Colin Keegan courtesy of Irish Mirror
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Ciara Doherty has worked in radio and television for over a decade and is best known as a presenter on the very popular TV3's Ireland AM. Ciara got engaged to her beau Richard on New Year's Eve 2015 and blogged all about the lead up to her Spanish wedding in August 2017.