A young Laois couple went ahead with their wedding during the Covid-19 crisis, by reducing the guests from 120 to 10 and giving it a coronavirus theme.
Musician Joe S, a Dublin native and Laoise Redmond from Portlaoise got married in Portlaoise Registry Office last Friday, March 20.
The couple are together for six years since Laoise was 17 and Joe, 19, and got engaged a year and a half ago.
Their wedding was originally meant to be a big traditional affair on April 15 but with that event seriously in doubt they decided to try and bring it forward and make it safe by reducing the numbers.
"With the uncertainty we are all facing in these trying times we decided to be married in a private ceremony with our closest friends and family because we believe that the most important thing going forward is to keep living a life full of love," a delighted Laoise told the Leinster Express the day after their special day.
They rang the registrar Helen on Tuesday morning who decided that they could get married at 10am on Friday.
"There was no guarantee that the wedding would go ahead but we decided to hope for the best and spent the next two days primping and prepping ourselves for a private wedding party," Laoise said.
The only people at the wedding were Joe's twin brother and best man Dean, his groomsman and childhood friend Eoin, Laoise's best friend and maid of honour Joanne, her parents John and Margaret, brothers Cathal and Senan and her little sister Cadhla.
"Dean, Joanne and Eoin dropped everything to travel from different parts of the country at the last minute to be there," she said.
Everybody gave them a hand to prepare.
"Luckily enough we had bought everything in advance and Joe actually bought my wedding dress for me in Lily and Rose Portlaoise last year.
"With all of the salons close, my fabulous mam helped to do my hair and Joanne saved Joe's hair while picking up the guys from our apartment where they held an impromptu stag the night before.
"I did my own makeup with the help of a few Youtube tutorials which was always the plan.
"We all grouped together the night before the wedding to prep and decorate my parents house and without them we couldn't have done it," Laoise said.
"We may have had to reduce the size of our shindig from 120 people to 10 to adhere to social distancing guidelines, but we made the most of our amazing day which had a definite coronavirus theme," she said.
The couple posed for a kiss with masks on with bottles of corona beer during their little wedding party in Laoise's family home in Portlaoise. Musician Joe put together a DJ set of music with everyone helping to pick the songs.
"We couldn't have done it without our amazing friends and family who helped to make our day special, our witnesses Dean and Joanne who travelled to stand (2 metres away) with us, and our registrar Helen who married us last minute.
We just hope that our love and this story brightens up people's days in these dark times," the bride said.
Laoise is a Philosophy student in Carlow College and works in Internal Results Portlaoise, "an amazing group of people who facilitated my running off to get married at the last minute!" she said.
"It was the most romantic day of my life. Despite everything all of our friends and family made it special, even those who couldn't be there on the day, and when we walked out of the registry office we were greeted with bubbles and the theme tune to Jurassic Park because "life will find a way", she said.