Couple celebrate their moment in City Hall’s first civil wedding

NOT even wind and rain could dampen spirits at the first civil marriage ceremony at Cork City Hall yesterday.

Ann Marie Collins and Eric Meehan were married in the Lord Mayor’s Office at 2pm after beating other Cork couples in the “Win your Wedding” competition.

“It has been hard, but we got there,” said an excited Ann Marie. “It is a bit surreal to be honest. I didn’t really believe it till I put on my dress this morning,”

In front of 75 of their family and friends, the bride and groom said their vows, after which Ann Marie sang to Eric.

“It was From This Moment On by Shania Twain, it was totally spur of the moment,” she said.

The song proved too much for some of the guests. “The tears started and everyone was asking for tissues.” said Ann Marie’s aunt and godmother, Geraldine O’Hara.

Ann Marie wore a one-shoulder Grecian-style dress from The Moderne on Cork’s Patrick Street, and carried a bouquet of blush roses, which were accompanied by a silver horseshoe.

After the ceremony, the wedding party and guests made their way to the Ambassador Hotel to celebrate.

Mother of the bride Patricia Collins was happy with how the day went.

“I’m delighted everything went well for them,” she said.

The Win your Wedding competition was organised by Cork City Mayor Michael O’Connell as part of his pledge to make the city hall more accessible to the public.

Couples from across Cork vied to win the opportunity to be the first couple married in a civil ceremony at Cork City Hall.

The prize, valued at about €10,000, also included lunch for 50 people in the Ambassador Hotel, a free limousine service, hair and make-up for the bride, dress suit hire for the groom’s party and jewellery for the mothers of the bride and groom.

The couple have not yet planned a honeymoon, but intend to travel in the summer when their three children are on school holidays.


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