Our Wedding Story: ‘All this has taught us not to take things for granted’

After a cancer diagnosis and brain haemmorhage, it was finally time to celebrate

 

Each Saturday on irishtimes.com/weddings we'll report on couples’ love stories. We'll tell the tales and show the pictures of these fabulous weddings, large or small, simple or extravagant, in Ireland and abroad. Click here to read more stories

Milkman Paul (36) and Audrey (37), who works in the food industry, are from Ballina, Co Mayo and met in 2005 at Audrey’s sister’s wedding.

Paul proposed on Christmas Eve 2013 and they set a wedding date for June 19th 2015 – the date that Audrey would be five years free of cervical cancer. Audrey was diagnosed in June 2010 when the couple’s son Joshua, now seven, was two and she was pregnant with their son Adam, now five.

Adam was delivered by Caesarean section on July 5th, 2010, after which Audrey had a full hysterectomy, followed by rounds of radiotherapy and brachytherapy. The previous September, Paul had suffered a brain haemorrhage while playing basketball.

“Luckily he survived but he was very lucky,” said Audrey. “Paul said to me when all this is over we’ll get married.”

And they did, on June 19th, 2015, in St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina with a reception at the Ocean Sands Hotel Enniscrone, Co Sligo. During the ceremony, celebrated by Fr Liam Reilly, the couple’s nieces Zoe Sheridan and Lara Sheridan sang A Thousand Years by Christina Perrie and Bubbly by Colbie Caillat. Audrey’s cousin, Sarah Keating – who was in the band Six – sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Hallelujah. Also on the song list were Amazing Grace, Rule The World and Sarah’s father Paul Keating sang Ave Maria.

The other musicians were John Browne, Mick Dempsey and Greg Peril. The bride wore a Ronald Joyce dress from The Elegant Touch Bridal Boutique, Castlebar. Bridesmaids were Michelle Brennan, Jenny McAndrew, Naomi Sheridan, Denise Sheridan and flowergirls were Lucy Sheridan and Elena Fois. Best man was Keith Sheridan and the groomsmen were Frankie McDonagh, Keith Devers and Neil Walsh with Joshua and Adam as the page boys.

Both fathers Raymond Brennan and Pat Sheridan made speeches and mothers, Dolores and Christina, added surprises like a chocolate fountain and Irish dancers. Raymond, whose band The Critics recently reformed, sang I Loved Her First by Heartland and dedicated it to his daughter. The newlyweds’ first dance was to Somewhere Only We Know by Keane and their band was Starman.

Audrey says: “I think we love each other more now than ever. All of this has taught us not to take things for granted and value life, our boys and the smaller more important things in life. We will always value how we stood by each other through all of this.”

They honeymooned in Croatia.

Photographs: Tanya Williams Photography, tanyawilliamsphotography.com

We’d love to hear your wedding story. If you’d like to share it with our readers email weddings@irishtimes.com with a photograph and a little information about your big day

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