Swipe Right to Meet Cute: A Modern Love Story
Love is not just something you feel. It’s something you do. It’s the way you give and receive, not just the way you look at each other on your wedding day
A move home from Toronto with a beautiful diamond ring led Courtney and Niall to wedded bliss. Their wedding was held on 26th May 2023 in Downings Bay Hotel, Donegal.
Kitchen Designer Courtney Carey from Belfast first met Niall Darragh a Recruiter from Randalstown on Tinder when they both swiped right and started chatting, although if it wasn’t for a chance meeting; a meet cute if you will at the old Box Nightclub in Belfast they might never have met in person.
The proposal took place in Toronto where they had been living for a couple of years, the couple had planned to move back home in August 2021 but before they did a day trip was planned to St Catherine’s Lake. Courtney told us “That evening on the way home Niall suggested ice cream by the lake which of course I agreed to, so we grabbed our ice cream and parked up to dander down to the water. Now this is the moment I knew something was up because for a 2 minute walk Niall took his backpack which set my mind on a very curious path. What could be in the bag? On our walk I noticed Niall was quiet and dragging behind me. Perhaps he was going to propose came across my mind. We walked down a lovely pier with crowds of people passing us but it wasn’t until we were off the pier that Niall suggested we take a seat…on the mildewy evening grass. If I had an inkling before about a proposal I knew for sure by now that something was coming because this was a little out of character. We both sat and Niall shuffled closer and then got down on one knee asking would I be his wife; of course, I said Yes! To make it even more special we giggled ourselves home”.
The wedding date was set for 26th May 2023 at St MacNissis Parish Church in Randalstown followed by a reception at Downings Bay Hotel in Donegal, they had a simple and sage green theme running through their day, with their bridesmaids dresses in sage green and the men in dark grey suits with a green stitch through it, the bridal bouquet had babies breath, eucalyptus, veronica and wax flower with hints of lavender and thistle. Sage green it turns out is a bit of an unknown favourite colour for the couple, their kitchen was painted a similar colour as well, not on purpose just a happy coincidence.
After trying a few stores for a gown Courtney heard about a pop-up bridal sale in the Crowne Plaza, Belfast, with a few friends in town Courtney went along, she told us “With a few of my friends in tow I tore around the room looking for something that would make me feel and look beautiful. It was third time lucky with a Jill Jones dress my friends said I was beaming with happiness and they just knew it had to be the dress for me. The dress was simpler but with a few alterations it added a little more uniqueness. I found the pop up bridal sale more fun there was a buzz amongst the room of women ‘oooing and aahhing’ at their friends/sisters/daughters trying on their dresses. It may have been a bit fast paced but it gave me the chance to look at various dresses from all kinds of stores”
Bridesmaid dresses came from Coast for maid of honour and sister Lindsay along with friends Lauren, Sophie, Charlotte and Niall’s sister Danielle.
The suits came from Freddie Hatchett for Niall and his groomsmen brother and best man Eoghan and friends Michael, Pádraig, Nathan and Andrew.
The best part of planning was pulling all of the details together, as Courtney is a designer she enjoyed the whole design process for the invites and being able to source flowers, this made her feel like she had a say in every little detail, she said “I feel like I really had a say in every little detail that likely would have gone unnoticed by most but really mattered the most to me”. The only downside was the anxiety of not knowing whether everything would pull together successfully.
The day itself was wonderful and went by in a blink of an eye, before they even realised it was 10pm and the couple hadn’t had a chance to speak to all of the guests. A favourite part of the day was having photos and video taken on the beach with the bridal party, they even a first dance on the sand. The weather was perfect all day making for a stunning backdrop for the photos.
Courtney and Niall were sensible when it came to their budget, they set up a savings account and set money aside month for the wedding so they knew exactly how much they had to spend.
A special feature was a sweetie table that was set up by Niall’s Mum and Sister, it went down a treat, by the end of the evening there was barely any left.
The only disaster was a car accident on the road through Derry which made them an hour late for the reception, by that stage the drinks were flowing in the limo and everyone was left unfazed by the delay.
A highlight of the day for the couple was “We both weirdly enjoyed the speeches. They were a highlight despite us both being so nervous about them beforehand. ‘Niall – By the time I stood up to speak all the nerves had gone away (nothing to do with liquid courage)’. ‘Courtney – Half my speech I did on the spot but I still stand my ground that my speech was funnier than his. It was the best laugh’!” The couple told us.
The couple jetted of to New York and Cancun for their honeymoon, before they left, they gave this advice to other couples planning their own wedding “Try not to get stressed – the day will come and you will regret having not enjoyed the process. Do what makes you happy. It’s your wedding nobody else’s”
“Married life pretty much the same as before the same old bickering about who unloaded the dishwasher last…Wedded bliss. But we wouldn’t change a thing”. Courtney and Niall told us.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO:
Reception location: Downings Bay Hotel
Wedding Dress from: Jill Jones
Bridesmaids dresses from: Coast
Groomswear from: Freddie Hatchet
Make-up by: Camilla Mua
Lashes by: Lashes by Kirstie
Flowers by: Budding Designs
Room Décor by: Ultimate Touches
Rings from: H Samuels
Transport from: A Touch of Class
Photography by: Cindy Robinson Photography
Videography by: Stephanie Joyce Weddings
Weddings Entertainment by: DJ Mr Wild