Our Wedding Story: Raising a glass to the ‘Wow!’ factor

A love of travel brought Emma Cleverley and Enda O’Doherty together – and back home

 

Emma Cleverley and Enda O’Doherty Primary school teacher Emma, from Cullen, Co Cork, and Enda, a civil engineer, met in 2006 at NUIG.

After two years travelling around Australia and Asia, Emma was in first year studying arts when she spotted “a tall, dark, hairy and handsome third year engineer student”.

They didn’t go on their first date until the end of January, says Emma. “I used to get shy, go bright red and run away every time I saw him,” she says.

After two years in Galway the pair moved to Enda’s hometown of Ballybofey, Co Donegal while Emma completed a master’s degree in ecology at Queen’s University Belfast.

When the economy took a downturn, they decided to take the opportunity to travel the world and settled on the idea of living in Wellington, New Zealand.

“We loved it there and would have happily stayed, but living in different time zones and so far away from family and friends was always in the back of our minds,” says Emma who always dreamed of becoming a teacher and was accepted to study in London where the couple spent the following 2½ years.

Enda proposed there in December 2013 after taking Emma to see the musical Once – and the day before flying to Thailand for work.

They moved to Emma’s native Cork that April – “We wanted to settle closer to home and it was easier to plan the wedding we wanted” – and were married in a civil ceremony in Barnabrow House, Midleton on August 13th, 2015.

There was a rushed and mighty team effort by family members in decorating the venue with homemade pieces, including flowers from the Cleverley family home- from 10am that morning.

The bride’s brother Richard Cleverley made table pieces by slicing a huge old oak tree brought down in a storm, while lanterns and a sweet cart were decorated by her sister Fleur and sister-in-law Marie.

Music was by traditional entertainer Michael Greaney from Ballycotton, who also did a story-telling performance through dance with a local dancer. J90, friends of the couple, were the band.

A special memory for Emma and Enda, who now live in Dublin, was drinking champagne and enjoying that “Wow, we are married feeling!” in the VW on the way to the beach for photos.

Photographs: Niall Brownen Sarah Geraghty

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