AFTER four years of attempting to walk down the aisle, Priscilla McLaughlin was not going to let a global pandemic stand in her way in 2020.
The South African native married Peter McLaughlin from Shannon in a civil ceremony in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare - the first at the hotel post-Covid lockdown.
“We have been together since 2008 and we have tried to walk down the aisle for the last four years and every year something would crop up and this year it was Covid and we thought, oh no!” said Priscilla.
“I’m delighted I went ahead with it. I think if I’d waited another year, I don’t think there would have been any joy in planning it any more because I have been trying four years to go ahead and every year it was cancelled for various reasons.”
The ceremony was performed on Monday of last week by Geraldine McCarthy, the superintendent registrar and there were 40 guests at the wedding. Sadly, Priscilla’s family in South Africa couldn’t attend due to the pandemic. There were a number of limitations on the day due to Covid-19 but the couple made the most of it.
“We put people into family units at the ceremony and at the reception as well. Families sat with their own. Peter and I danced our first dance but there wasn’t really much dancing. It was relaxed,” she explained.
Priscilla is a stay-at-home mum of four children - Edu, 16, Lebo, 13, Conor 8, and Lilyrose, 6 - while Peter works for UPS. The couple, who reside in Shannon, met through work in Ireland in 2008.
They were due to fly out to Malta on their honeymoon on July 22 “but we couldn’t - we didn’t want to take the chance because my little daughter has asthma so we said it wasn’t worth it,” said Priscilla.
“We decided to stay in the Woodlands for two more nights. They made it really special. It was just a peaceful, and perfect day and we were blessed with very good weather.
“We also are very grateful to Mary O’Connell, the senior executive registrar, Louise Morris and Geraldine McCarthy for making it happen. They all went out of their way especially in this difficult time.”
As part of the wedding, the couple performed a sand ceremony which is a type of unity ceremony which saw the groom and then the bride pour their favourite coloured sand into the one clear vessel.
It is carried out to express the coming together of two people or two families into one new family.
“It came out as a rainbow - what it means is that no-one can separate sand so we just want to be like that for the rest of our lives, nobody will be able to separate us,” said Priscilla.