Our wedding story: ‘I asked Tracy to marry me in the middle of Grafton Street’

Thomas Matthews’s proposal to Tracy Knightly didn’t go as planned, but the big day was perfect, complete with Celtic monk, Christian ceremony and blessings from the elements

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Motorbike enthusiast Thomas Matthews, from Dublin, and Tracy Knightly, “a fitness devotee” from Co Kerry, had known each other almost 20 years when Thomas planned to propose marriage by the red panda enclosure at Dublin Zoo.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t go accordingly,” remembers a happy groom, “The zoo was absolutely packed that Saturday, so we went into the city centre and I couldn’t hold it in any longer, so I asked Tracy to marry me on the middle of Grafton Street.”

Just three months later, on January 25th 2015, Tracy (in a dress from Arklow boutique B Couture) and Thomas (wearing Hugo Boss from Louis Copeland) tied the knot. Literally.

During a Christian ceremony at Powerscourt Hotel, in Co Wicklow, celebrated by Celtic monk Dara Molloy with a reading of Anam Cara, by John O’Donohue, blessings from god, the four elements, the oak tree and water from a sacred well, the couple participated in the hand-fasting ritual, a Celtic tradition symbolising the binding together of two people in love and marriage.


Their first dance – unplanned – was to My Way, performed by the post-dinner entertainment, comedian Dave Young.

Any tips for planning a wedding in a short timeframe? “Don’t get too caught up on all the hype, there’s only so much you can fit into one day. Shop around – delayed responses from potential suppliers can get frustrating. Small weddings require some extra negotiating. And fear not, it will all come together on the day.”

Does the groom find married life different from before? “It’s different in a good way. You definitely feel the extra bond and the strength that comes with that. You know that you’ve committed to making a life with your wife or husband, and do your very best to make sure that every day gets better.”

“As Dara, our Celtic monk, said, it is a journey where we get to navigate our own way, and with all the predictability and excitement that goes with that journey.”

Thomas and Tracy live in Co Wexford with their two dogs, Lilu and Jessie, and Tracy finally got her own motorbike last year.

Photograph: Alan Roche Photography, alanrochephotography.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