The forecast gives thunder! But we got wedding fireworks this afternoon here in Muff.

‘We’re getting married in the morning” was not the words I expected to hear as I answered the phone yesterday afternoon to a local lady. But that’s exactly the words I did hear!

It has been said that thousands of weddings have been postponed in Ireland this year alone because of Covid-19. But here in Muff, today saw a well-known couple proceed to marry and do so in a very humble way. This was a rather special union between two people who decided they did not need the ‘big do’. They decided they didn’t need the big party, the fancy hotel; they would love to have had all their friends there, but that can all wait for a future occasion. Anne said yesterday, “we want our wedding to celebrate the true meaning of marriage and have just our own family present.”

Anne and Joe

Anne O’Donnell (daughter of Joe and Rosemary) and Kieran McColgan (son of Michael and Sheila) have wed. Yes, they tied that all important knot earlier today at St. Patrick’s Iskaheen. With only family in attendance and the wedding mass celebrated by Anne’s brother, Father Séan, this couple decided that the marriage ceremony was more important than any other part of the marriage celebration. No crowds or party was needed.

When I spoke with Anne yesterday she told me, “I’ve waited all my life for this, and for my Father to walk me up the aisle. This is my dream come true.” The reality of life became very real for both Anne and Kieran during lockdown and like many, they began contemplating what’s important in life. Anne told me, “having our families, and especially our parents alive and well, and here for our wedding day, is more important than anything else.”  Both Kieran and Anne said, “Having the people who created us there by our sides on our wedding day, is the most special blessing we could both have.”

Anyone who knows Anne and Kieran know that these two have been together for many years. Now with two young sons, Michael and Darryl, and big brother Chris, their family circle became complete as they said ‘I Do’ this afternoon.

Irish weddings are famous for the party atmosphere, large number of guests and indeed after-parties. A wedding now is not a one-day-affair, it’s a weekend affair. Not so for Anne and Kieran, as they have gone ahead and put family and love ahead of all else. The quiet wedding is exactly what Anne wanted. She said, “I never wanted a big wedding. Just ourselves and our family. That’s exactly what I’m getting. I couldn’t be happier.”

Anne went on to say of Kieran, “He is the most caring, hard-working man I know, and I will be so proud to be his wife. I already know what an amazing dad he is.”

Following today’s marriage ceremony in Iskaheen, the bride and groom, alongside their families, were returning to the couple’s home for a family celebration.

Kieran and Anne

Having known Anne since I myself came to live in Muff over 25 years ago, I couldn’t be happier to watch her head off to her wedding this lunchtime. Watching her walk down the aisle as Kieran’s wife brought a tear to my eye. Seeing someone this happy makes life so worthwhile. In recent months we have all witnessed such hardship and sadness, so a wedding today brings new life and new hope to our community.

Sealed with a kiss

There’s much advice out there for newly married couples. But the best is, ‘live well, laugh often, love always.’ Here’s to you both living well, laughing often, and loving forever.

Huge congrats to Anne and Kieran and here’s wishing you both much happiness as you begin your married life together.