Our Wedding Story: A romance fueled by Ryanair

James Drury and Laura O’Beirne met in the US, and took a lot of planes to stay together

“A holiday romance that worked out beautifully.”

That’s how Laura O’Beirne, from Arklow, describes her relationship with James Drury, who she married last August after meeting nearly 10 years ago in California.

“I was in Los Angeles on my J1 and James was there for six weeks with his twin brother Tom and friend Dave. My best friend Lauren and I were at a barbecue in a hostel off Hollywood Boulevard when we crossed paths.”

After a week together in LA where their first date was in the Cheesecake Factory, Laura – who was moving to Toronto shortly afterwards as part of her degree – was sure that was the end of that.

Phone bill

“I thought he’d lose interest when he went on to Las Vegas and I went home to Ireland. I honestly thought I’d never hear from him again. But his £300 phone bill when he got home to Birmingham indicated otherwise.”

“We spent the next two years on planes, between me moving to Canada for a year, then back to Dublin to complete my final year of Marketing in DIT. It became a relationship highly reliant on Ryanair. When I graduated, I promptly moved to Birmingham to be with James.”

Two years ago, James sprung a colourful proposal on Laura.

“I came in from work after a long day, breezed by James and checked if he’d put dinner on. I recall commenting that it didn’t look like he had put on enough peas. The paint on his T-shirt reminded me that he’d taken the day off to paint the kitchen.”

Paint proposal

Specifically, to paint “Will you marry me Laura?” on the wall.

On August 27th, 2016, Laura and James married at the church in Avoca village and celebrated afterwards at Brooklodge, Macreddin, Co Wicklow.

“We did a ‘first look’ where we got our nerves and tears out of the way before the ceremony, so by the time we got to the church, we were both just beaming with excitement.”

Their parents are Bernard and Melissa O’Beirne and John and Brenda Drury.

Nods to the couple’s happy American memories included the red in the bridesmaids’ dresses and the blue in the bride’s Jimmy Choos, US flags on the canapes and tables named after Hollywood couples.