Secret vows spared couple pain of a long-distance love

Irishman Stephen and American Cayce seal the deal in Bray after ‘eloping’ from the US

Stephen and Cayce at the joint family wedding celebration in Bray. Photograph: Callum Jacobs

Stephen and Cayce at the joint family wedding celebration in Bray. Photograph: Callum Jacobs

 

Cayce (24), a freelance make-up artist for film and TV, was studying computer science in her home state of Utah when she decided to take a different direction.

“A friend of mine had just moved to France as an au pair. Within three weeks of deciding to move to Europe, I found a job as an au pair, quit my job and flew to Ireland. I met friends out in pubs and my first actual friend here, Malachi, introduced me to Stephen at a house party.”

From Bray, Stephen, who works as a model-maker and prop maker for film, travelled to the US with Cayce in 2014 but due to work restrictions on his J1 graduate visa, he returned to Ireland.

“His flights were booked and we realised that we were going to have to do a long-distance relationship. We were talking about it one night and Stephen turned to me and said ‘we should get married’. So the next day I called the courthouse and asked for the next available day . . . which was October 28th. We didn’t tell anyone except two of our friends (and witnesses). A few days later, Stephen was on a plane back to Ireland and I followed two months later. On our dating anniversary of two years (five months later), we decided to announce that we had eloped, but we wanted to do an official day with our friends and family.”

“With a hint of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme throughout”, that day was August 27th, 2016.

In front of 50 loved ones, Stephen and Cayce married in a ceremony – celebrated by Malachi – in the house of Stephen’s grandmother, Liz McManus, on Bray seafront.

After the ceremony the wedding party walked along the promenade to Barracuda restaurant for dinner and then back to the house for the reception.

“We couldn’t have done it without Stephen’s family,” says Cayce, who was also grateful that her father, his girlfriend and her grandparents flew from California for the occasion.

“His parents – Therese and Ronan – helped us through all the kinks and were there supporting us every step of the way. His grandma let us take over her home for nearly a week. Her partner Sean was our photographer for the day. His aunt Yvonne helped me with my dress alterations. His aunt Emily decorated our cake and helped with floral arrangements.”

At the end of the night, Stephen and Cayce led the way to the Martello Hotel – where they were staying – for last orders.

“When we woke up, we realised that we hadn’t brought a change of clothes. I thought I was going to have to do the ultimate walk of shame up Bray seafront, but, thankfully, Stephen ran back to the house and came back with something for me to wear. He’s definitely a keeper.”

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