THE GUESTS of a Valentine’s Day wedding could be forgiven for thinking they were seeing double, as not one but two brides from the Duffy family walked down the aisle dressed in white.
However, no opticians were needed, as it emerged that Patricia had asked her daughter Aisling to join in on her wedding day, making it a double ceremony.
The special day, which saw Patricia marry Joe Fitzgerald and Aisling marry Marius Cislikauskiene, was all the more unique in the fact the guest were left completely in the dark to the whole double arrangement. Marius is originally from Lithuania has been living in Limerick 16 years.
“Me and mam are so close, not only mother and daughter, but best friends. And Marius and Joe are very close. From day one of mam planning her wedding I was maid of honour and Marius was groomsman. Then out of the blue mam and Joe came to us and asked us if we would like to share their special day with them, that they would be honoured to have us by their side. So we said yes.”
The family from Rhebogue double wedding took place in the Castletroy Park Hotel, with 160 guests in attendance, all completely in the dark that they were, in fact, attending two weddings.
“The four of us decided to keep it a total surprise from everyone including my sisters, so nobody knew. Only Marius’ parents were told because we needed them to fly here for the wedding. No one at all. They were absolutely shocked but thrilled for us all,” said Aisling.
“Mam and Joe went in first and when they finished everyone was asked to stay as Trisha had a surprise for everybody. And then in I walked. No one knew, no one at all. They were absolutely shocked but thrilled for us all.”
Aisling, who met her now-husband in the age-old matchmaker venue that is Icon, says that arranging guests was no problem, due to the fact the mother and daughter are so close.
“Because it was mam and daughter, everyone going would be there anyway. Mam gave all her children invites to give out to all of their friends so no one knew any difference then.
“The funny part was everyone on the top table was exactly who we both wanted so everything up to the big day went plain sailing, not once did we have a different opinion on anything.”
Aisling’s mother, Patricia, said although it wasn’t the wedding she had planned, it was the perfect day. “I would never have imagined it. But I would do anything for my children,” she said.
Patricia, 53, works for Family Carers Ireland, a care agency that operates solely of donations. She said that it was hard at times to keep everything a secret. “It was funny. I slipped up a few times but no one noticed. I had all of Aisling's stuff hidden in my house. As Aisling was to be my maid of honour people didn't take much notice.”
The fantastic family moment was captured expertly by Limerick city based photographer Pat O'Donnell.
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