Alma Clohsesy and Sean Kelleher.
Pictures: Bracket Studio Photography
When bride-to-be Alma Clohessy enlisted her mother Rita’s help in planning her wedding, they made the most of every precious moment together.
Rita was determined to ensure her daughter had the best day of her life — all the while knowing she herself would probably not be able to attend.
Alma and her bridegroom, Sean Kelleher, from Kinsalebeg, Co Waterford, first met in 2003 while working together in Brookes SuperValu in Alma’s native Youghal.
“We then went our separate ways and met again in 2015 when we started dating, and the rest was history,” said Alma.
The couple’s engagement was a bittersweet moment.
“Two weeks before I was due to give birth my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told she had six months to live.
"A few weeks after our daughter was born I got very emotional one night thinking about all those important moments my mother was going to miss and Sean comforted me with a hug and bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him — it was just perfect timing and my mother got to be part of it too because while I was looking for my wedding dress we both went onto the television show Say Yes To The Dress Ireland,” said Alma.
The RTÉ programme aired on December 4, 2017, just five days before Rita passed away.
Rita and father-of-the-bride Michael Clohessy together with the groom’s mother and father, Anne and Patrick Kelleher, helped alma and Sean plan the event and they were wed recently in Our Lady of Lourdes Church (Strand Church) in Youghal, Co Cork, by Fr Patrick Winkle.
“It was the best, yet most emotional day of my life not having my mother there,” said Alma.
The bride and groom’s daughter and flowergirl, Mila, helped make the celebrations extra special. “Mila brought so much joy to our lives when my mother passed away. She kept me going and gave me so many reasons to smile and see the positive side to life,” said Alma.
Agnieszka Stodolny of Bracket Studio Photography made the most of the scenic beach walks nearby for the wedding photoshoots before they rejoined their guests for the reception in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.
Alma’s sisters, Shirley Clohessy and Deirdre Clohessy Scott, along with her niece, Melanie Clohessy, were by her side as bridesmaids.
Sean’s friend, Frank Noonan, was best man while his brothers, Patrick Kelleher and Thomas Kelleher, were groomsmen.
The bridal hairstyling was by Hannah McCardle of Vibe Hair Salon, Carrigaline, with makeup by makeup artist Michelle Hennessy.
Ina McCarthy for Flowers, Midleton, created the floral arrangements.
Alma, a dental hygienist, and Sean, a member of the Irish Defence Forces, don’t plan on jetting off on their honeymoon until next year as Sean will be overseas for six months, but they have their trip booked and are looking forward to exploring Tanzania and Zanzibar.
They will reside in Glanworth.