Our Wedding Story: A match made in Africa

Andrea and Michael Wickham Moriarty had an intimate ceremony at a Dublin chapel

Andrea Wickham Moriarty & Michael Wickham Moriarty

Michael and Andrea met on dating app Tinder in 2014 just after Andrea had moved back to Ireland to join Trócaire's humanitarian team, having worked in Kenya and Chad. "It turned out Michael had previously worked in Sudan, and travelled professionally around west Africa so we had lots of common experiences to share," remembers Andrea, who comes from Navan.

Last August, Michael, an accountant from Monaghan town, proposed before Andrea began a new role with Oxfam.

"I was going overseas again, this time to Iraq, " says Andrea. "He proposed at the Irish UN Veterans Association garden in Arbour Hill, a reference to my family members who have served in UN Peacekeeping Missions, and to my work in humanitarian aid."

The couple started wedding preparations while Andrea was abroad but planning began in earnest when she came home at Christmas.

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On July 30th, 46 of their loved ones (16 of whom were under 14) gathered in the Ignatian Chapel on Gardiner Street in Dublin, opposite Michael and Andrea’s apartment. The parish priest is Fr Gerry Clarke SJ who is, coincidentally, a former aid worker who has spent time in Africa and the Middle East.

They had considered a smaller wedding, “but with 25 members in Michael’s immediate family (including his 14 nieces and nephews who range in age from 4 to 14) that was near impossible.”

Andrea's parents are Paul and Catherine Wickham and Michael's are Peggy and Maurice Moriarty.

His nieces and nephews sang Alleluia during the ceremony, and two of their friends sang other pieces. "The whole ceremony felt very intimate. I was driven to the church by my father, in my grandmother's vintage Jaguar – she and my late grandfather were huge car and motor racing enthusiasts."

The newlyweds hosted their reception afterwards in Olive's Room at the Red Stables in St Anne's Park in Raheny.