Working at the same secondary school, Brendan and Nollaig were together ten years before they tied the knot in June 2018.
But Brendan had planned the proposal for six months before the moment arrived to ask Nollaig the all-important question.
“The proposal was completely unexpected. We were hiking at Howth head, Co. Dublin and as usual, Brendan was carrying our backpack with general food supplies and unbeknownst to me at the time he also had the engagement ring, champagne and flute glasses inside.
“Halfway around we decided to take a short break and sat down to enjoy the scenery. As I munched away on a packet of crisps, Brendan took out a Valentine’s card from the previous February and handed it to me. I was totally confused until he pointed out a small message he had hidden on the back of the card. The message revealed his planned proposal. I was completely overwhelmed.
“Not only had he fooled me, he had the actual engagement ring and several laser cut versions of the ring with him, which he had made as part of his design plan. Brendan is a drawing and engineering teacher and he had designed my engagement ring from scratch. He had a moodboard with all of the initial drawings, plans and recorded emails to and from the goldsmith too for me to see when we returned home. He had designed my ring over six months previous to the proposal.
“He had also asked my Dad the previous evening for his permission to marry me and showed both my mum and dad the engagement ring. A total gentleman, as always. My ring is very unique, totally me, it is just so personal. Voltaire diamonds, Co. Dublin assisted with the making of Brendan’s beautiful bespoke design.”
Nollaig started to look online for the perfect dress to match their vintage, art deco themed wedding.
“I spotted a photo of my dress on the Divinity Bridal Facebook page and I just knew that it was the one. It was featured in one of their exclusive designer weekends so I messaged them straight away to book my appointment as I really did not want to miss the opportunity.
“Divinity bridal made it quite easy for me to choose my dress. I wanted something traditional yet a little different with a quirky twist and they definitely offer the something different factor. They have an amazing collection of gowns that you will not find anywhere else. “It was an absolutely fantastic experience. The ladies in Divinity bridal couldn’t do enough for me. From the minute I arrived, I felt so at ease; comfortable yet special all in one. There was no rush. I was made to feel like I had all the time in the world. I felt so excited and amazing!”
She then sourced the bridal party style, with her sister Stephanie Tynan Caffrey, as her one and only bridesmaid, she sourced her dress online from ASOS.
The Groom’s suit was from Fashion Xposed, London, and we sourced the two groomsmen suits from Paisley London, for Brendan’s brother Patrick Comiskey, brother and son, Mark Comiskey.
They then worked on a theme which they based their day’s ‘look’ around.
“We love art deco, eclectic and vintage elegance so we tried to combine these themes as much as possible and Bellingham Castle was the ultimate backdrop for this. We thoroughly enjoyed personalising our day. “We made our own wedding invitations, church flowers, unity candles, pew ends, buttonaires, wedding photo props, bouquets, wedding cake, wedding favours, social media signage and our road signage.
“We also loved every opportunity we had to visit Bellingham Castle. Having great chats and coffee with Ciara and Patrick, and their wonderful staff members, John, Jack and Elliott. Bellingham Castle is a very special place with incredible staff. We were made to feel totally at home the minute we stepped inside.
“Because Bellingham Castle is a bespoke, exclusively private venue it allowed us to personalise our wedding day with such ease, confidence and flair. The staff at Bellingham Castle are one in a million, so attentive, friendly, caring and really go above and beyond to make any vision we had become a reality. Having so much personal input from the start meant that our day ran exactly as we planned. We wouldn’t change a thing.
“Our day was full of special features; Our transportation was a vintage VW camper van named Dorothy. Everything that we designed and made incorporated the vintage theme too: handmade wedding bouquets; handmade church flowers; handmade unity candles; handmade buttonaires with little silver pugs attached (we have a pet pug Billy and wanted to include him); bespoke groom’s tie and pocket square – William Morris print ‘Strawberry Thief’ printed and made by designer Catkin Jane (William Morris is my favourite print artist and a lot of his designs featured in the décor at Bellingham Castle too!); handmade road signage with pugs painted onto each one; handmade wedding favours and hangover kits; handmade bespoke design wedding cake and handmade wedding reception welcome signs.”
With so much hands on design and craft the couple had their hands full on the run up to the wedding.
“As a couple, we don’t stress the small stuff but I suppose when the Groom’s trousers were sent for alterations and came back as a pair of shorts the week of the wedding, that was a bit of a stressful moment! However, we laughed our way through it as only we could do. Luckily a local seamtress, Winnie Monagh, came to our rescue and all was well again.”
Ultimately, the couple said their day was ‘Overwhelmingly beautiful’.
“It was absolute perfection. Our wedding ceremony was so intimately personal. This was all down to the many kind words and guidance shown upon us by Fr Dermot Prior and Brendan’s grand uncle, Bishop Brendan Comiskey.
“Our wedding signer, Doug Sheridan – what a voice! Thanks to Doug my entrance song ‘Close To You’ by The Carpenters followed by an array of alternative style songs really enhanced the importance of this day to us, as well as our personalities and commitment to each other too.”
They also kept things personal when it came to the ‘traditional’ parts of the day.
“We did not have a top table, no seating plan, no formal speeches or entrance as it was important to us that everyone felt relaxed and at ease.
“We would say to other couples, ‘Do it the way you want, not just to please others or to go with what is perceived as the norm. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and put your own stamp on your day.’”
The couple also took time out by themselves later in the day.
“We took a walk through the grounds at Bellingham Castle after the meal. Bellingham Castle is a remarkable place. Each time we got to visit beforehand, we always felt that we never wanted to leave. It’s so homely and relaxing with spectacular grounds.
“Each time, after a coffee or two in the Naper Tandy rooms we would take a walk down by the River Glyde, over the bridge and look up to view the castle from there. We always promised ourselves that we would do that on our wedding day too. It truly was a very special unforgettable, moment that we got to share.”
They then shared their first dance to ‘Falling slowly’ by The Frames before heading to Cancun, Mexico and New York, USA.
“We are finding married life fantastic. We are soulmates and true friends who have wanted to share our dreams for a long, long time. Finally, our dream has come true!”
Reception: Bellingham Castle
Wedding Dress: Divinity Bridal
Groomswear: Fashion Xposed
Make-up: Anne Marie Doherty
Hair by: Jemini Hair Design
Rings: Voltaire Diamonds
Videography: Liutas Pictures
Entertainment: The Trips and DJ Stevie Dee