Monday, May 16, 2011

Olivia & Paul

I was back in Meath for the second time in a couple of weeks on Friday. This time it was off to Olivia's house in Oldcastle. Struggling to follow my directions, I stopped and asked a friendly young man in a car. Turned out he was Olivia's brother Ollie, who led me right to the door. Inside, everything was calm - hair and make-up almost finished, and this was almost three hours before the ceremony. The only signs that there might be a few nerves around were the emergency supplies that the Child of Prague seemed to be minding on the window. There was so much time that I even took an extra trip down to the very picturesque St. Mary’s Church in Moylagh where I met Paul and the lads, who had arrived nice and early too.

The ceremony was lovely, with Sister Act providing gospel-style music throughout. The big surprise though, was from Fr Ray Kelly. At the point in the ceremony when there is often a reflection, the church was filled with the sound of an acoustic guitar, followed by the opening lines of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I knew it wasn't Cohen, it sounded a bit like Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright, but when I turned around, saw it was, in fact, Fr Kelly. He even doctored the lyrics to personalise the song to Olivia & Paul. It's a difficult song to sing, but he powered through it, hitting all the high notes with ease. Later, someone told me Fr Ray has made a couple of albums, but they might have been winding me up. He got a big round of applause from the congregation anyway.

Then it was off to Clonabreany House, another venue that was new to me. It is a beautifully sited country house set in rolling countryside among lots of mature trees. The old stables have been converted into guest accomodation, and the marquee was perfect for the late evening sunshine. Little flowergirl Maisie couldn't wait for the dancing to start, so took to the floor early. Olivia and Paul had a stroll around the grounds before dinner, during which I took a few photographs. Finally, I have to include an image of my cousin Stephen, Paul's best man, delivering his funny and entertaining speech.








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