They were there to say they mean the world to each other so Cork couple Hansey Sexton and Gary Power could not have wished for a better wedding backdrop.
Gaia is the name of the seven-metre wide rotating sculpture of Planet Earth suspended from the vaulted ceiling of Cobh’s St Colman’s Cathedral as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
It was in St Colman’s that Hansey, from Glanmire, and Gary, from Blackrock, exchanged wedding vows, on Friday, June 17, having had to postpone the event due to the pandemic.
“Our wedding was originally meant to be June 2020 and we have had three previous wedding dates so finally on the fourth attempt we did it!” says Hansey.
“We were also blessed with a little girl six months ago and her name is Gia — very similar name to the installation in the church, Gaia.”
The bride says she had “no idea” until a few weeks before the wedding that the art installation would be in place.“I didn’t know what to make of it at first,” she says. “I was thinking, 'Now there’s going to be a globe in the middle of the aisle?' Then, when I actually saw it in real life, it blew my mind. It is magnificent.”
Taking her dad’s arm just two days before Father’s Day was also special.
“As we entered the cathedral, my father looked up at the sculpture of the globe and said, 'I’d like to give you the world, that’s how much I love you',” says Hansey.
And the father-of-the-bride, Derry Sexton, also had words of wisdom for en route in the car: “He told me not to be nervous and take in every single moment as I’d been looking forward to it for so long — and he was so right!” she says.
“He also joked halfway up the aisle that this was my last chance to run! It was a special moment with him walking up the aisle and one I will cherish forever.”
Hansey and Gary met on a night out in Cork city eight years ago. “We had friends in similar circles so we had lots in common and hit it off from the get-go. Cork is a small place, after all. Gary has worked abroad a lot in Amsterdam over the last number of years but made the permanent move home to Cork in March 2020,” says the bride.
The couple got engaged four years ago on the beach, in Mojácar, in Spain, where Hansey’s family holiday every summer.
Their original vision was to enjoy “a classic, traditional church wedding”, says the bride.
“With the addition of the globe it was almost cinematic and looked like something from a movie,” says Hansey.
Another special aspect of the wedding was the bridal veil, a gift from her aunt, also called Hansey. “It was a gift from my aunt who had it custom-made, but she, unfortunately, passed away in 2020 and was sadly missed on the day,” says Hansey. We got engaged in 2018, the year Meghan Markle was married. Meghan had a fantastic long veil and my aunt said, I’ll get you a veil like that. I felt like she was there with me in spirit.”
They were married by a relative of the groom, Fr Liam Power, and held their reception in the Fota Island Resort Hotel.
Toasting to their future happiness were both sets of parents, Mary and Derry Sexton; and Bertilla and David Power; and the groom’s grandmother, Freda Lombard.
Hansey had the support of her bridesmaids, Hansey Brosnan, Colleen Kelleher, Michelle Scanlon, Edel Flatley and Barbara Neville, while by Gary’s side as groomsmen were Gerard Kelly, William O’Leary, Ivan Sexton, Brendan Spillane and Adrian O’Shea.
Gia, Julia and Sofia Power were the flowergirls and Hansey's nephew Jack O'Leary Sexton was the pageboy.
Into the light photography captured the big day on camera, while DG Video was the videographer; and Ina McCarthy, Midleton, created the floral arrangements.
The newlyweds and their daughter will honeymoon in Mojácar, in Hansey’s family home, for two weeks.
Hansey is a primary school teacher in St Columba’s Girls National School in Douglas and Gary is an electrical engineer.
“We settled in Glanmire, not far from my family home, and have been living there for the past two years,” says the bride.
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