Music by family and friends during their wedding in Dromintee Church and a surprise drumming act helped ensure Thérèse and Jonah had the best day of their lives
Thérèse Kirk, and Jonah McNamee originally met on Tinder, but the budding romance fizzled out quickly. Then a chance meeting on a dance floor brought them back together.
Thérèse, a 28-year-old Financial Paraplanner from Dromintee, and Jonah, 32, a Quantity surveyor from Newry, married on May 24, after four years together.
Jonah proposed in Jamaica in July 2017, although his very original method of popping the question, like the Tinder relationship, didn’t fizzle quite as he had hoped!
“He had ‘Thérèse, will you marry me?’ written in the sand and planned to light it up with fire, but the sand wasn’t wet enough so only a few letters lit up,” said Thérèse. “It didn’t go to plan but once he got on one knee and showed me the beautiful ring it was perfect.”
Jonah chose the ring, a single diamond surrounded by inset diamonds, himself. “It couldn’t have been more perfect!” said Thérèse.
She found finding a dress a bit stressful because she had a totally different vision of her dress to the vision her mum and one of the bridesmaids had.
Thérèse went in search of something fitted with a lot of sparkle or beading, but couldn’t find one different enough to give her the WOW factor she was after.
Then, after trying several shops, she found her dream dress in Forever Bridal in Belfast, braving heavy snow thanks to the ‘Beast from the East’ to make the trip to the city in her Fiat 500.
“When we got to shop the owner explained there were some Savin London dresses in the store but she hadn’t been able to get them back out because of the snow. That’s when I saw my dress – the 3D effect flowers on the skirt of the dress caught my attention immediately, my name means little flower and I love flowers,” Thérèse said. “As soon as I put it on my mum and bridesmaid started crying which is obviously the reaction you hope for!”
The bridesmaids’ dresses – for Thérèse’s sister Aoife, her cousin and best friend Ellen Maguire and her other best friend Natalie Mathers – were from La Mariee outside Newry. “I wanted the girls to feel comfortable so I was happy for them to take control with styles but I knew I was leaning towards the powder blue as my colour – it’s just so fresh and with all my bridesmaids being dark haired and tanned I knew it would look fab,” she said.
The men in the bridal party were suited and booted in Bogart in Newry. Jonah wore a Remus Umo suit and Best Man Neil Courtney and groomsmen Andre (Jonah’s brother) and friend Ciaran McGuinness, wore Bogart Le Collezioni suits.
When it came to planning the wedding, the couple most enjoyed all the parties and celebrations before. “It’s so lovely to be with friends and family and feel their excitement for you,” Thérèse said.
On her wedding day Thérèse went from being a Kirk to a McNamee – incredibly her mum did opposite of 30 years before, going from a McNamee to a Kirk!
The couple got married in Dromintee Church and hosted a reception for 150 guests in Cabra Castle.
All the music in the chapel was provided by Thérèse’s family: Her godfather Peter sang a duet with chief bridesmaid Ellen which gave everyone goosebumps, her cousin Michelle Harvey was the pianist, and the harpists were Jonah’s sisters Maria and Zoe. As the couple left the church, Jonah’s sister Maria’s best friend played the saxophone.
Thérèse chose white flowers as a theme as she wanted her flowers and the girls’ flowers to look really fresh against the blue. There were white cherry blossom trees in the church and on the tables in Cabra Castle. “I had a vision of crisp whiteness and I’m glad I did because it looked amazing,” said Thérèse.
The day went perfectly. “My makeup artist and hairdresser were amazing and kept the morning calm and then our priest was lovely,” Thérèse said. “Cabra is such a top class venue. They go above and beyond and make sure you don’t bear the stress. We did actually stick to our budget too which is brilliant.”
The couple had booked the Hit Machine drummers as a surprise act for guests before the band started. “Our guests were blown away,” said Thérèse. “We also had a candy cart. We did charity favours which were close to my heart as we made a donation to the Sabrina Ryan Foundation, a charity my family started in memory of my cousin who lost her fight to cancer at just 32.”
The couple’s first dance was to Al Green ‘Let’s stay together,’ a song which they feel matches their personalities.
“We both have said it was best day of our lives. We were just smiling from start to finish,” said Thérèse.
“Moments of stress during planning are natural. We took our time choosing our suppliers and I think it showed – every single one went above and beyond.
“My advice to other couples is set your budget and spend the money on the suppliers that matter – the hairdresser, make-up artist, florist, band, photographer and venue.”
Thérèse and Jonah honeymooned in Tanzania travelled around the safari parks and relaxing on the beach in beautiful Zanzibar! “It was the holiday of a lifetime,” said Thérèse.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Reception location: Cabra Castle
Wedding Dress from: Forever Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids dresses from: La Mariee
Groomswear from: Bogart
Make-up by: Tara Doran Make Up
Hair by: Kay Burns Hair
Flowers by: Lily & Lace Florist
Cake by: The Elite Cake Company
Transport from: Ideal Wedding Cars
Photography by: Ciaran O’Neil Photography
Videography by:CD Media Productions
Entertainment by:The Nooks