They met in Donaghmore when they were just 16, and moved their lives down under. But when it came to getting married, Eilish Rafferty and Louie Somerville came home to tie the knot.
Not every groom can say his proposal made him and his bride-to-be an internet sensation, but Louie Somerville has the Facebook hits to prove it! After being together for almost 14 years, he popped the question to Eilish Rafferty during a game of Speak Out, in which someone endeavours to be understood while wearing a mouthpiece that makes pronouncing words more than a little difficult! There were floods of tears when Eilish finally got the message, and the subsequent Facebook video went viral and even resulted in a couple of interviews on American TV shows!
Eilish, a 30-year-old café manager, and plumber Louie, also 30, lived in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, and went to the same primary school. They met when Eilish worked in the local chip shop, and Louie quickly became the shop’s best customer. The couple have lived in Australia for eight years. Louie’s proposal came on New Year’s Eve 2017, when they were celebrating with Eilish’s sister, brother-in-law and four kids. The Vera Wang engagement ring which Louie presented Eilish during the proposal is from Mazzucchelli’s jewellers in Perth, but Eilish bought her dress closer to home, in Creative Ideas in Cookstown.
“I tried on a good few but knew I had found ‘the one’ when I put it on. I had so much fun dress shopping with my sisters and mother, I never felt too stressed,” Eilish said.
She had four bridesmaids – Noreen Fitzpatrick (her sister and chief bridesmaid), Lucia Mckillion (sister), Leona Morrow (sister) and Nicola Carson (her brother’s girlfriend and Eilish’s best friend). They wore dresses made by Nuala McCaffrey dress design. “She is amazing and helped me choose the design and colour,” said Eilish. “I bought my flower girl dresses online from Occasion wear for kids, they were so cute!”
Groomswear was from McQuillan’s in Portadown, and the four groomsmen had a touch of the international about them. Best Man was Phillip Little; Eilish’s brother BJ Rafferty had travelled from Australia, as had friend Dean O’Neill, while Christopher Beggs travelled from America! Eilish said the most stressful part of organising the wedding was planning it from the other side of the world. “It was hard doing everything over emails and having to take chances on things, hoping we would like them, especially when it came to picking the venue. We had to rely on our families quite a bit,” Eilish said. The couple married in St Patrick’s Church, Donaghmore, on April 27 2019. They entertained 180 guests at a reception in Errigal Country House Hotel, Cootehill, Co Cavan.
The theme was ‘rustic travel,’ with travel themed invites, table plan and signs. “We love to travel and have seen a lot of the world, so it’s something we were passionate about,” Eilish explained. She had brought her bouquets all the way from Australia, as she wanted to incorporate something from her adopted home into the day.The couple’s first dance was to ‘You make it easy,’ by Jason Aldean.
“The day was very smooth and enjoyable and of course, it went very fast,” said Eilish. “The highlights for us both were probably the speeches and the dancing.”
Their advice to other couples looking towards their own big day is: “Try to take a few minutes and take it all in, spend 10-15 minutes together on your own and enjoy a little toast together.”
Eilish and Louie honeymooned in Toronto and Mexico and are loving married life. “We are very happy starting this new chapter in our lives and are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us,” they said.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Reception location: Errigal Country House Hotel
Wedding Dress from: Creative Ideas Cookstown
Bridesmaids dresses from: Nuala Mc Caffrey Dress Design
Groomswear from: Mc Quillans Menswear
Make-up by:Erin Devlin Makeup
Hair by: Curly Sues Hair and Beauty
Flowers by: Flowers by Geraldine
Stationery by: The Wedding Room at CR Print
Transport from: Keiths Limos
Photography by: Chris McKernan Photography
Videography by: Memories in Motion
Entertainment by: Exclusive and DJ Chris Entertainments