THE BIG DAY: LOCAL COUPLE SHARE THEIR HAPPINESS
GNI MAG catches up with Dearbhaile and Gabrielle. Like so many before them, these two lovely ladies met by chance in the Kremlin. Six years later and they’re still inseperable.
We met while we were both working in the Kremlin. Gabrielle was one of the managers there while I was a member of bar staff. I had been in and out of relationships before I met Gabrielle. I was in uni at the time and working in the Kremlin, so I was just having fun.
Gabrielle and I didn’t really get on when we first met, but after chatting to her one night I realised she was actually dead on. After some terrible flirting on Gabrielle’s part we got together on a staff night out and here we are!
I had been single for four years and, believe it or not, had never been interested in women before. At the time I was training to be a hairdresser and needed a part-time job. Because I was a Kremlin regular I noticed a job vacancy ad behind the bar and asked for an application. After about a year of working together I realised I was crazy about her.
We didn’t rush into things. We were together for six years before we got engaged. We had just bought our apartment and we knew that the next step was to get married. We had spoken about it lots and we knew that it was something we both wanted. We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2012. We had our rings under the Christmas tree for about a month. When Christmas Eve arrived we promised each other that we would be together forever. It was all very sweet.
My main stumble was finding the perfect wedding dress. I found the dress of my dreams while on holiday in NYC a few months before the wedding, but they didn’t have it in my size, so I had to head back to Belfast without it. Little did I know that they wouldn’t ship the dress to the UK because it was a Vera Wang, so I faced the predicament of flying back to NYC to pick it up or do without. Luckily a friend of mine was heading to New York on holiday so she was able to pick it up for me. We still joke that the dress had its own seat.
I had a few struggles in the first few months we were together because I was trying to come to terms with being in a same-sex relationship. I never considered myself gay before I met Dearbhaile or had any feelings for women. It was a difficult adjustment because I’d grown up dreaming about my Prince Charming. Who knew that a girl was to be my soul mate?
When I realised the important part wasn’t about gender or being gay, it was about finding my soul mate and being happy. I knew I would be with her forever.
We discussed our future from early on, moving in together after a year of dating. We knew we would get married; it was a question of, not if, but when. We shopped for our engagement rings together, bought them, and kept them under the Christmas tree. It was an amazing day. I’ll never forget it.
My wedding day was the best day of my life. I know everyone says that, but it was just perfection. We had our ceremony on the Roof Garden of The Merchant Hotel. We were the first couple to ever have a ceremony up there so that was really special too.
Gabrielle and I both stayed in the hotel the night before (in separate rooms, of course) each with our bridal party. We all had breakfast together on the morning of the wedding alongside our wedding party, and then we went our separate ways until the ceremony. The ceremony was pretty small. We had about sixty guests there. We each wrote our own vows because we wanted it to be personal to us. From the music, to the readings, to the seating arrangements, every part of the ceremony meant something personal to us. After the ceremony we had afternoon tea and drinks. We hired a Routemaster Bus to take the party from The Merchant to Harlem Café for the meal and evening reception. Harlem is a fantastic venue. We loved how chic it felt, and how perfectly it fitted with our theme.
We chose not to have a top table, instead just having small tables of five to six people. Gabrielle and I had a table to ourselves. We named each table with quotes from different books, songs and movies, all of them about love. After dinner we danced the night away with family and friends. So off came the shoes and on went the Converse.
I would love to take credit for how our wedding day turned out but it was all Derv. She styled the whole day and organised everyone. We discussed what we wanted at length (I helped with multiple choices when she couldn’t decide), but she executed it all! We decided to go for a small wedding because we liked the intimacy of enjoying it with our close friends and family.
I don’t like the summer and she hates the winter so we felt that September was that perfect medium. And it was. There was rain the night before and morning of our big day but it was completely dry for the rest of it, which we were so thankful for because our photos were meant to be taken on the roof of the Merchant!
Everything went so smoothly, which wasn’t surprising as Dearbhaile (who we fondly nicknamed Monica after Monica from friends) and our events manager Rachel had everything planned to perfection. I literally just had to show up.
The most important thing for us on the day was the music. We put our hearts and souls into getting it right. There could be no compromise. We handpicked every song that was played in the background, the music that played during the ceremony, and the music that was played throughout the reception and evening party. It was a beautiful mix of modern acoustic songs as well as songs from our life that we’ve always loved and have special significance for us. The music really made the day; even now it is the one thing (apart from maybe the food) that we still talk about more than two years later.
The reception was a great chance to relax and talk to old friends that we hadn’t seen in a while. With Harlem being such an intimate venue in comparison it meant we got to close to our friends and family. The atmosphere was brilliant, especially when the guests started to...
Contact Dearbhaile and Gabrielle at popphotographyni.com