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Real Irish Wedding: Joni McGeehan & Clive Beatty

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Real Irish Wedding: 28th July 2012, Ulster History Park, Omagh

Not the traditional, big white wedding types, Jonie and Clive put a medieval spin on their special day…

The couple

It was love at first sight for Clive and Jon who were engaged in Turkey in 2011. “Clive got down on one knee and vowed to love me forever if I would accept his proposal to be his wife. Of course I said yes.  It was very romantic and a complete surprise,” begins Joni.

Real Irish Wedding Ulster History Park Omagh

Reception venue

“It was never my dream to have the traditional Big Day out wedding,” reveals Joni. “Our children are the most important people in our lives so their needs were paramount when it came to choosing a wedding venue.  The Ulster History Park gave us free reign to use their facilities as we wanted.  We had a cinema room and a playroom for the children; a Roulette room for the ‘big kids’ attending and the main space provided a dance hall and dining room and was an ideal size to create the atmosphere of a Medieval Banquet Hall.”

The theme

“Once we decided on the medieval theme, everything else fell into place,” says Joni. “The first part of the day was completely medieval, with an outside wedding service, traditional medieval music, falconry, juggling and the ultimate in medieval entertainment – a Joust. The second half of the day was inside with good music, great food and lots of other events and dancing. We never sat down the whole night. The atmosphere was fantastic.”

Real Irish Wedding Ulster History Park Omagh 2

Wedding planner

Not exactly a wedding planner, Derek Watson at Northern Period Productions planned and carried out the medieval part of the day. “His wonderful actors and musicians provided a wonderful, authentic medieval atmosphere,” reveals Joni. “Derek’s influence on the day was outstanding. It would not have been so magical if it were not for all his hard work in the weeks and months leading up to the big day.”

Real Irish Wedding Ulster History Park Omagh 3

Wedding dress

In tribute to her mother who died just a few weeks after Joni got engaged, Joni wore her beautiful wedding dress. Designed in 1976, the dress had bell sleeves, a high neck, fitted waist and a long trail, giving it a real medieval look. “It felt very emotional wearing the dress.  My father said he was very privileged to have stood beside two beautiful brides, both wearing the same dress.”

The groom

Derek Watson at Northern Period Productions provided Clive with a medieval costume and a mini version for the couple’s son, Daniel.

Real Irish Wedding Ulster History Park Omagh 4

The bridesmaids 

Daughter Madison and niece Holly looked like princesses in red and gold medieval costumes with gold cladagh circlet headpieces.

Wedding flowers

Wild and romantic in theme, Judith at Floral Temptations Omagh was briefed to make the flowers appear as though they had been hand picked from a meadow that morning.  Following medieval tradition, the floor of the entrance was covered in palms and wild flowers, so that as the guests walked in, a beautiful floral scent filled the air.

Real Irish Wedding Ulster History Park Omagh 5

On the menu

Guests feasted on a ‘Pig on the Spit’ barbecue provided by a local butcher, Fintan Treanor.

Sweet treats

In lieu of a wedding cake Joni and Clive treated guests to an ice cream van and a Candy Cart.

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Favourite moment

Joni: “A stand out moment for me was during our Medieval Wedding Ceremony.  When I vowed “to be Bonny and Buxom at bed and at board” the guests burst into fits of laughter and Clive grabbed me, threw me back and kissed me.”

Top tip

Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and if you keep your guests well informed they will embrace the theme and have an absolute ball.

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