Our wedding story: First dance starts with a cartwheel from the bride

Charlene O’Kane and Martin Donaghy’s wedding celebrations kept everyone on the dancefloor

Martin Donaghy and Charlene O’Kane. Photograph: tentwentyone

Martin Donaghy and Charlene O’Kane. Photograph: tentwentyone

 

Martin Donaghy and Charlene O’Kane When Martin, from Claudy, Co Derry approached Charlene, from Feeny, Co Derry at a local music festival, Parkfest, in 2012, to ask for her number, the dance teacher replied, “only if you ask my brothers first”.

“I’d never said that before in my life but thought I’d try it. It worked.”

After some texting, they met for a surf lesson on Portrush Strand – something neither had tried before.

Two years later, after a family wedding in Scotland (and Charlene’s seventh outing as bridesmaid), the couple took a trip to Edinburgh – where Charlene had studied architectural engineering – and Martin proposed at the castle.

In the lead-up to the wedding, Charlene’s sisters took her to London for a weekend of wedding dress fittings – she found the one in Cari’s Closet, Dublin – and then to Marbella for her hen weekend with 16 women.

On September 4th, 2015, Charlene and Martin were joined by 300 guests when they married at The Beechhill Hotel in Ardmore, Co Derry.

The bride’s parents are Laurence and Colleen O’Kane and Martin’s are Seamus and Claire Donaghy.

Friend Kelly O’Neill wrote a poem included on the invitation and made the seven-tier wedding cake. Sharon Peaker arranged the flowers.

Music during the ceremony was by Niamh McGlinchey and the married couple walked down the aisle to All I Want is You, from the movie, Juno.

During the signing of the registry, Roisin Duffy sang Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The band was The Rare ’Auld Stuff and Irish dancing champion Cathal McGuckin also performed.

For the first dance, to Sugar by Maroon 5 and choreographed by Leigh Chapman, the bride changed into a short dress from Blush in Belfast and did a cartwheel across the dancefloor.

“Neither of us could have danced to a slow song, we were just too excited to get the celebrations going and our family and friends all love a good boogie, so the minute we finished the dance, the crowd overflowed onto the dance floor and never left.”

The newlyweds, who live in Dungiven, mini-mooned in Las Vegas and are planning a trip to New York to see Charlene’s brother, Eamonn O’Kane (King Kane), boxing in Madison Square Garden on October 17th. Then they’ll go to best man Gavin’s wedding in Thailand, and are planning their full honeymoon in Sri Lanka.

Photographers: Tentwentyone, tentwentyone.co.uk

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