WHILE lockdown blues have given Fermanagh folk little very little to smile about in 2020, for local couple Clare and Martin Mullarkey, not even a worldwide pandemic could stop them from walking down the aisle and saying ‘I Do’.
“We knew that Covid-19 was going to impact our wedding day one way or another,” explained Clare.
“However, we were probably a bit in denial at the same time because we thought that it might have blown over by the time our October wedding came around.
“It was throughout the summer months when our friends had to cancel their wedding that we started to panic a bit more.
“Without a doubt our biggest frustration was having our original wedding venue based in the Republic of Ireland cancel on us just four days before our wedding day due to level 5 restrictions.
“It was upsetting but we understood that they had to close because only 25 people were allowed at weddings under level 5 restrictions and that wouldn’t be worth their while. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them to cancel either.
“That left us with four days to plan a whole new wedding, but it was pulled together practically overnight with the help of our amazing family and friends. Our day turned out better than we could have ever imagined.”
Looking back on their experience, Clare revealed that it ‘wasn’t an easy process’ when it came to adjusting their guest list to meet the regulations.
“We had a notepad with 10 different guest lists on the kitchen table on the entire wedding run up. “It definitely wasn’t an easy process choosing people or cutting lists, but the experience was definitely an eye opener and made us realise that big weddings are such a waste.
“We cut our lists to 100, and then 50. We were content with our 50 guests, but then four days before the wedding we had to cut to 25.
“As our southern venue cancelled, we started to look at receptions in Fermanagh which could allow much more than 25 or 50 people because it was based on the venue risk assessment.
“We could have had more people there in the end up but we went ahead with our smaller guest list for an easier life.”
Clare added, “We very nearly postponed our wedding day and had a back up date for January 2021, and then we realised that it’s going to be quite some time before ‘normality’ returns.
“So God only knows how long we would be waiting for a ‘normal’ wedding to occur. Friends of ours kept us thinking positively every time we had doubts.
“Eventually we just started saying that we’ll get married in October no matter what, even if it was just the two of us, our witnesses and our priest.”
Despite the many highs and lows that came with planning their dream day while in the middle of a pandemic, Clare revealed that her only wish was to finally marry her long-time-love and bestfriend Martin.
“Our wedding went from your typical conventional day to the best unconventional wedding we could have ever imagined.
“Our wedding was on a crisp (and occasionally wet) autumnal October day and our venue was in a big barn at Carrowhony Pet Farm.
“We had the barn decorated to the nines and our guests had the petting farm experience as a bonus on their day out. It’ll definitely be a day that we and our guests will remember for the rest of our lives.”
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